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Lights In The Field
Posted by: Thomas G (IP Logged)
Date: May 3, 2015 06:58PM

Similar to the "glowsticks in the forest" thread, this is the place to talk about how to accommodate our real-world and fictional desires as cast and players for electric lighting.

What I am looking for:
*technical advice on what lights is good lights
*cast-side feedback about what works for them
*general feedback on sweet spot between visibility for players seeing threats coming across the field, cast not feeling blinded in an unsporting/unfun or unsafe manner, and OOG $$$.
*OOG help with the $$$ and storage/transport aspects.

(On the game level, lights is lights is lights. So if we like them, have them, and they're approved, we can bring in whatever we want for 5 minutes of Laurence's time and a base metal.)

This event I had two of these:


With two of these:


Looking back, I realize that this was a 120 Volt, 24-Watt ("100 Watt incandescent equivalent") bulb in a 150 Volt 150 Watt housing. My ignorance is such that I don't even know how bad that is or how much better some other configuration could be. They are also not even a little waterproof, according to reviews, although they worked fine this event, even though one was exposed on the flagpole (I did take them inside overnight).

Dale said:

Um... from a cast point of view, I didn't like the lights shining out into the field. even red light blinds and causes auras off of glasses and contacts when it shines in your face. I get that it's a reasonable security measure and that, in reality, it would be white floods but I'd actually rather have shielded white floods, aiming down, than red lights aiming out, from a cast point of view.

Id say, if you're going to aim the light down, then you might want to get the most out of it and use yellow (bug) lights to lessen the onslaught of night critters. DO NOT USE BLUE, lest hell rain down on you in insect form!

So, let's take

a) Lights on the pavilion in the field. The suggestion seems to be to replace outward-facing cliplights with downwards-facing floods. Am I right that this is the sort of thing people are talking about?


It looks like these could be mounted on the current cliplight base, and the voltages and wattages match up ok. Does the bulb itself provide the focusing aspect that would let it not be a red panopticonical blinding device? Even so, the weatherproofing aspect is troubling, and it seems like cheap mounts are available.


Then we just have to make sure we have them pointing sufficiently downwards, and what color and how we want to filter them. This could be done maybe with lighting filters, or Erin suggested red gel gift wrap.


There was also talk about

b) shielding the cabin lights, which are very bright and white. See filtering link above.

Maybe that's something to get via donation and add to set-up?

c) putting curtains on the Science Center and the putting exterior lights nearby (on the center or the stage) so that the interior lights don't blind people but also it's not 100% dark over there. I don't know anything about drapery (are there hooks or poles to hang curtains from?), but the clip lights could maybe be re-purposed to that. I have no idea where outlets are out there.

What do people think?

Re: Lights In The Field
Posted by: Michel S (IP Logged)
Date: May 3, 2015 08:13PM

I don't have any night vision to speak of so I liked the idea of more lights on principle, but the mounted lights on the pavilion/bunker didn't seem very effective. The field was more lit for a few yards I guess. I would actually prefer lights on the hill, that thing gets tough to traverse after dark, particularly when it's muddy.

I don't want to do anything to make insects rain down or bug cast, but I would defiantly go out at night more if i could see.

Re: Lights In The Field
Posted by: Jeremy S (IP Logged)
Date: May 4, 2015 12:49AM

The rating on the housing is the maximum volts/watts it can handle before it starts melting and starting an electrical fire. Those bulbs will only draw 120volts and 24 watts through the housing since the housing is pretty much just two wires from the electrical socket connected to something a bulb can screw into. (You will only ever get 120volts out of a US based electrical socket.)

You really should look at LED bulbs though. They are infinitely better and even come as flood/spot lights. They are also only a little bit more expensive than halogens and you can get them in colors.

Re: Lights In The Field
Posted by: Ryan P (IP Logged)
Date: May 4, 2015 04:46AM

From a little bit of research from what Jeremy said, a Mulicolor Flood Light thats LED ranges from 22.99-79.99, depending on the Watt out put.I'm sure you can find cheeper but here is an Example

10-50W Waterproof LED Flood Light

Doctor Christopher Marcetti Valentine - "Snowman/Seven"
Retired CDF Fostrum
Assistant Chief Surgeon - M.E.

"Nothing will drive a man harder then Revenge. And there is no force on this world or mother that will stop them" ~ Unknown

"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. I dont have it, but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. I will find you and I will kill you." ~ Some famous actor some where.

Re: Lights In The Field
Posted by: Stu A (IP Logged)
Date: May 4, 2015 12:14PM

I just bought one of these for giggles, I will let you know how bright it is.


Re: Lights In The Field
Posted by: Stu A (IP Logged)
Date: May 4, 2015 02:25PM

I assume it will be very weak 10w is about equivalent to 60w incandescent, and if you are only throwing red maybe a third of that output

Re: Lights In The Field
Posted by: Brian P (IP Logged)
Date: May 5, 2015 08:16AM

I think the issue Dale and others were having was that the lights were facing out directly into their face. If the lights are mounted high up and aimed down, then you can illuminate an area without shining in anyone's face. The color choice is secondary at that point (my vote is for Red or Bug Yellow).

Brian Paul!
-Prop Boss, Plot Team, Rules Comm, Other Stuff

Re: Lights In The Field
Posted by: Erin B (IP Logged)
Date: May 5, 2015 09:25AM

There was definitely the issue of getting blinded in certain spots. Colored bulbs don't diffuse the light enough to eliminate it but diffusion filter gels (also available through the link below) help. That said, pointing the lights down will help too. Would it make sense to mount them very low so they're not at anyone's eye level? We'd have to test it from the various approaches to get it right but this way there would seemingly be no blinding areas.

Here are the stage gels that I was thinking of. The red gel gift wrap is the cheapo option; the stage gel is a lot less expensive than I was expecting so I would go with that.
Red Stage Gel

Re: Lights In The Field
Posted by: Thomas G (IP Logged)
Date: May 5, 2015 12:09PM

The clip lights are neither bright nor directional, so maybe they could be used immediately outside the science center or some similarly small area. Stu, let us know how bright those floods are. If we can get game safety without sacrificing real life safety at that price point, that would be good.

Re: Lights In The Field
Posted by: Thomas G (IP Logged)
Date: May 17, 2015 08:50AM

Figuring out what to do for next event.

Stu got one of these:


And said it lights up to about 20-30 feet well enough to see a person when red-shifted. He also said that mounting looked to be a problem -- they don't come with clamps, and I'm guessing we don't want to be putting mounting screws into the pavilion. Stu suggested zip-ties, which we could attach to the posts or the rafters ( I forget exactly how the roof is constructed). Even if only the posts are suitable I feel like they could be relatively high and angled downwards, as requested.

So I guess our wish list for the pavilion is:

*1-3 more of those lights
*n extension cords (I have one, we need one for every light beyond the first)
*Heavy duty zip ties

I don't know how things stand with the science center (where there are outlets, how we could do curtains), but if the pavilion isn't using them I'm happy to put my cliplights over there. Another suggestion is to put filters ON the autoforge windows. If we want to filter the cabin lights, I feel like that could probably be done with filters plus duct tape.

Looking at things thus far I will volunteer to bring 1 large extension cord and 2 red-filtered clip lights. Stu is bringing 1 floodlight. Is there anything else anyone can claim?

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