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Thread: Overhead light-mounting systems

  1. #1
    aleatorist David R Munson's Avatar
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    Overhead light-mounting systems

    So, let's say you were setting up an extremely small studio space, and to help with personal maneuverability therein, you wanted to be able to suspend your lights from the ceiling on articulated arms or what have you. I know I have seen systems made specifically for these purposes, but can't for the life of me remember who or where I saw them. I do recall them being extremely pricey, though, so actual availability may not be as important as decent reference shots for some DIY solution to the same end.

    Ideas?

  2. #2

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    Re: Overhead light-mounting systems

    Bogen, Multiblitz, Broncolor and others have rail systems for lighting.

  3. #3

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    Re: Overhead light-mounting systems

    Something like Manfrotto's Sky Track system?

  4. #4
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    Re: Overhead light-mounting systems

    David ... how small is extremely small? The reason I ask is that if it is a really small space and you 'spot' the points where you want the lights you should give yourself what you need simply by moving the light on its clamp. That is, you can permanently mount on several spots and not worry about infinitely adjustable grids, etc. You will plan the location of your lights in conjunction the locationof your backdrop, posing area, etc. and you should be ok for most shoots ... when you aren't take 'em off the clamps and put 'em on stands.

    I have just finished building a new 28 x 32 studio and, rather than installing a ready-made lighting grid, I spotted electrical outlets centered on the cross ties (12+ feet up) every third beam and have mounting points for lights R, L and Center on ech of these beams, gives me lots of locational flexability. I know we are talking vastly different spaces but it gives you an idea. BTW, I will be using the grid largely for 'hot' lights (a mix of lekos and fresnel stge lights that I have rewired for 110) and will still use monolights on stands that I roll around as needed.

  5. #5
    Greg Lockrey's Avatar
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    Re: Overhead light-mounting systems

    BackDrop Outlet, www.backdropoutlet.com has them for a pretty resonable price. If you know an electrician, he can put up some Unistrut and do the same thing for a lot less. You will just have to buy the light hangers.
    Greg Lockrey

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  6. #6

    Re: Overhead light-mounting systems

    David,

    I have a variation on what Bob Gentile references above. Mine has longer main tracks, four cross tracks and a fourth pantograph. I'd like to sell it and you can probably afford my price. You're not even that far away. Write me if you are interested.

  7. #7
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
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    Re: Overhead light-mounting systems

    I had a small studio with a fairly low ceiling in my previous house. I used "Baby Plates" from Matthews Grip to mount hair lights and such, where a fixed position could be worked around. Another person I know used 3/4" galvanized water pipe with attachment plates screwed into the ceiling beams (he had found a local inexpensive source for the pipe). Neither is as flexible as the commercial systems, but much less expensive, and less consumptive of the head space in the room.

  8. #8
    aleatorist David R Munson's Avatar
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    Re: Overhead light-mounting systems

    The Manfrotto Sky Track system is the one I had seen before and was trying to dig up. I figure in the end when I actually set up this thing (planning stages, currently) I'll likely end up renting a MIG welder and fabricating the framework myself and then make the mounts and whatnot from a mix of stock grip pieces and fabricated items. It's the overhead framework I'm really most concerned about getting right, as it's amazing what one can do in the studio with a mixture of grip heads, grip arms, and superclamps.

  9. #9

    Re: Overhead light-mounting systems

    I saw a set-up in a small home studio that used old bed springs screwed to the ceiling. The owner simply hung the lights from hooks and re-hung them where ever he needed from the spring coils. It seemed to work to his satisfaction, though it looked a bit odd.

  10. #10

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    Re: Overhead light-mounting systems

    I dunno Henry, that seems like a photo-worth subject all in itself. Besides aren't you in Nashville? Lots of characters there...

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