The modern film and video industries rely heavily on lighting equipment. Everyone uses extra lighting to create harmonious visual imagery, from professional studio cinematographers to home video enthusiasts. If you’re looking to light up your next production or simply want to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes, this guide to the most common light sources in the industry will help illuminate the path.
The tried-and-true par light was the one I used when I was gaffing; it was everything. This light is small, but it packs a powerful punch. I used it to bounce into whites, create hot spots in the background, and fill up large white bounces to allow soft white light to pass through windows. I put this light to use for a variety of purposes.
Hydrargyrum medium-arc iodide (or simply HMI) is a lamp that works by forming an electrical arc between two electrodes within the bulb. This excites the pressurised mercury vapour and metal halides, resulting in a very strong continuous light that has long been a favourite of filmmakers. HMIs are high-priced light sources made by industry titans, but they are usually available to videographers through rental dealers.
HMI (Hydrargyrum Medium-Arc Iodide) is a type of light that produces light using an arc lamp rather than an incandescent bulb. HMI video lights are high-quality and therefore expensive. They are popular among film and television production companies, but their cost places them out of reach for those on a tight budget. A ballast, an electronic (or magnetic) device that provides the ignition pulse and regulates the arc, is required for HMI lights.
The age of an HMI bulb is critical. A brand-new bulb will have a colour temperature of up to 15,000K during its first few hours. These bulbs should be left on to achieve the optimal 5600K range, which is close to daylight. Bulbs should not be used after half of their life. The bulbs require more voltage, and the colour temperature decreases by 1 kelvin per hour of use, posing a serious risk of serious damage if used for an extended period.
HMI lights are more expensive, but they are more efficient. Although the bulbs can only be dimmed to 50%, the colour temperature rises to a stronger blue. HMI bulbs will explode hot glass and mercury vapour if blown out or dropped. When using HMI, it is critical to have a knowledgeable lighting technician on staff.
HMI lamps are a type of high-intensity gas discharge lamp that has a high light efficiency (75 lm/w or higher) and colour rendering (colour index over 80). It emits its unique intensive spectrum by containing HMI iodide, thallium iodide, mercury, and other substances, and it necessitates the use of corresponding ballasts and triggers.
Efficiency: 2 to 5 times that of incandescent. This means they consume less energy and operate at a lower temperature. HMIs operate at around 5600K, or daylight temperature. This facilitates daylight photography while also eliminating light loss caused by gels (which are necessary with incandescent). Light Quality: Photographic directors praise the light produced by HMIs.
For decades, OSRAM’s iconic HMI lamps have illuminated film sets. Today, the tradition lives on with a line of lamps designed to meet the needs of modern film. Meet HMI DIGITAL, a line of high-performance lamps that ensure every scene is flicker-free and well-lit.