Intense, hard artificial lighting
December 24, 2011 9:22 PM   Subscribe

Whats a good way to get hard, directional, intense lighting indoors? Preferably for not too much money.

For a project I'm doing I'd like to be able to have a light fixture that can produce extremely hard intense light, as if coming from a point source, like a carbon arc lamp, but in a form thats like a clip-on work light. Ideally it shouldn't be too expensive.

From what I understand, actual arc lamps are impractical to work with in a residential situation, so they're out.

What I think would work pretty well is a halogen bulb with a built-in reflector, which are available with standard E26 screw-in bases, so I can just use it with a regular clip-on work light fixture. (I think the built in reflector would make the light much harder than using an external reflector, which would make the light come from a larger area. And just having a bare bulb without a reflector would waste most of the light.)

But can I do better? They make 120V halogens with reflectors that are over 250W. However, they all have a bi-pin GY5.3 base, and I can't find simple fixtures that can take this type of bulb, or adapters that will connect them to a standard screw-in bulb socket. Does the hive mind have any ideas?
posted by Hither to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How about a halogen work lamp?
posted by mr_roboto at 10:02 PM on December 24, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for the response, and I don't mean to babysit this thread.... but I considered those, and 1. I'm not sure if they'd be all that 'hard' compared to the alternatives, since the light would be coming from a reflector area of at least 3"x5" (15 in^2), whereas the MR16 bulbs have a front area of just 3.14 in^2. And 2. I don't think they are as easy to mount and move around as a clip-on work light.
posted by Hither at 10:35 PM on December 24, 2011

One thing I learned while researching lightbulbs (the reason for which I can no longer remember) is that the lower the voltage of the lamp, the more compact the light point will be. Because at lower voltages, the filiament needs to be thicker and shorter to carry the higher amperage to get to the same wattage.

So if you need 100W of light, you'll get a smaller point of light going with say a 12v light instead of a 120v light.

Also, you need the right shape of reflector to get something that approximates a point source, because most of them aren't shaped that way.

I once bought a Luneon Star LED light as part of a project. (I think they are called something different now.) I found that it was bright as hell, and was a very tiny point of light. I'm not sure exactly how bright you are really talking, but one of those might do the trick.
posted by gjc at 10:45 PM on December 24, 2011

I'd think High Intensity Discharge auto lights would work.

Mounting and power supply would be challenges, but not insurmountable ones.
posted by jamjam at 11:23 AM on December 25, 2011

This is the kind of thing I'd probably use a 4515 pinspot for.
posted by toxic at 6:41 PM on December 25, 2011

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