Hello! Im not an expert in lighting. But Im looking to get some small lights to simulate  light coming from say a desk lamp.

Kind of like the lights visable in these images. (below)

What kind of lights do they use? I bought a really cheap candlestick light from IKEA, but they got really hot after a while and that kind of worried me. And they didn't seem that reliable overall. Any tips on where and what lights to purchase?

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I used to use small halogens as practical lights, but found I had to switch them on, quickly take the shot, then switch them off while I moved the puppet for the next frame.  If left on they got too hot, and sometimes I used plastic parts to make shades and things, which would melt.  Switching off and on worked, but it was another thing to keep track of while animating.  Today, small LEDs would probably do the job much better.   I made up 2 carriage lamps using 2 LEDs from a string of Christmas lights.  The string was designed to plug into mains power (230 v AC here) but that was way too much for one LED on its own.  It blew.  I used a transformer with different DC voltage outputs, A little thing that plugs into the wall and manpower various DC devices.  I think somewhere around 1.5 v turned out to be about right.  Then the LED carriage lamps worked.  

Thanks for the reply and that sounds like a good idea. Do you have a link to what kind of led lights you used? I don't live in US so its kind of hard getting special stuff like that. ;)

StopmoNick said:

I used to use small halogens as practical lights, but found I had to switch them on, quickly take the shot, then switch them off while I moved the puppet for the next frame.  If left on they got too hot, and sometimes I used plastic parts to make shades and things, which would melt.  Switching off and on worked, but it was another thing to keep track of while animating.  Today, small LEDs would probably do the job much better.   I made up 2 carriage lamps using 2 LEDs from a string of Christmas lights.  The string was designed to plug into mains power (230 v AC here) but that was way too much for one LED on its own.  It blew.  I used a transformer with different DC voltage outputs, A little thing that plugs into the wall and manpower various DC devices.  I think somewhere around 1.5 v turned out to be about right.  Then the LED carriage lamps worked.  

Cheapest and easiest way to go is to buy a string of LED lights, as sold for Christmas and parties.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/20-30-40-50-100LED-MICRO-WIRE-STRING-FAIR...

You can vary the colours using cellophane sweet wrappers, as the lights do not get very hot. Or you could use a lacquer if the bulb is visible.

LEDs are also available in strips, and you can cut them off to the length you need. The controllers for these offer many different colours as a combination of RGB, flashing and all sorts.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10-5M-SMD-5050-3528-RGB-300-600-LED-Strip...

I wonder if the tungsten light hanging down from the top of the frame in the second pic has been added in post, so would be a full-size light bulb?

The christmas lights looks very good and it's exactly that kind of lights I'm looking for. Those I bought got so damn hot, but I think those weren't LED lights.

Yeah the bulb hanging down is probably added in post.

Simon Tytherleigh said:

Cheapest and easiest way to go is to buy a string of LED lights, as sold for Christmas and parties.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/20-30-40-50-100LED-MICRO-WIRE-STRING-FAIR...

You can vary the colours using cellophane sweet wrappers, as the lights do not get very hot. Or you could use a lacquer if the bulb is visible.

LEDs are also available in strips, and you can cut them off to the length you need. The controllers for these offer many different colours as a combination of RGB, flashing and all sorts.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10-5M-SMD-5050-3528-RGB-300-600-LED-Strip...

I wonder if the tungsten light hanging down from the top of the frame in the second pic has been added in post, so would be a full-size light bulb?

If the lights get hot, they are definitely not LEDs. LEDs do not rely on a glowing filament, instead there is some sort of interaction between dissimilar chemical compounds that is about 80% efficient in light emission.

Thinking about your desk light requirement, which would be a single LED, you may be able to find a cheap little torch that has just one. Then all you need to do is extract the working parts and extend the wires so the battery can be hidden behind the set.

Also, I have just remembered that you can get mini multi-poise type lamps, that would be ideal in 1/6 scale. These are sold as booklights. Have a look on eBay under 'adjustable small reading LED clip desk lamp book reader' or similar. I found a nice little one at £2.65. 



Simon Tytherleigh said:

If the lights get hot, they are definitely not LEDs. LEDs do not rely on a glowing filament, instead there is some sort of interaction between dissimilar chemical compounds that is about 80% efficient in light emission.

Thinking about your desk light requirement, which would be a single LED, you may be able to find a cheap little torch that has just one. Then all you need to do is extract the working parts and extend the wires so the battery can be hidden behind the set.

Also, I have just remembered that you can get mini multi-poise type lamps, that would be ideal in 1/6 scale. These are sold as booklights. Have a look on eBay under 'adjustable small reading LED clip desk lamp book reader' or similar. I found a nice little one at £2.65. 


Thanks for the tips Simon!

HI,

you will definitely need LED's. They are versatile, small and can be virtually fit in any shape you want to make. Be careful with Christmas lights because they are powered from mains and i've seen some cheapy ones causing a lot of trouble. You can buy single LEDs from e-bay but you will need to calculate the current resistor for it (calculator here) and add it in series with the LED. If you want to go more sofisticated, you can buy 12 volt LEDs and also you can buy a LED dimmer which can be used to vary the light intensity simulating the low light of an incandescent light or the flashing of a fluorescent light.

Cheers,

JD

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