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Choosing a Tungsten Studio Light

Studio lights provide adjustable continuous light for film and photography. They often have to have a wide range of capabilities, be quite powerful, and be able to run for long periods of time without failure. Mole Richardson manufactures many different types of light fixture with different functions, features, and specifications. Most feature tungsten element bulbs, though some new models may have LED options.

How Powerful Are Studio Lights?

While all lighting needs to provide a good source of illumination, there is a wide range of different brightness levels, as measured by wattage. See the manufacturer site for size details.

  • 200 Watts: Models such as the Mini Mole have a wattage of 200 and are usually used for smaller, more precise lighting and finishing touches.
  • 1 Kilowatts and 2 Kilowatts: This range of studio light, also written as 1K or 2K, are common-use, suitable for most purposes.
  • 4 Kilowatts and 5 Kilowatts: These are very powerful and are used to light whole scenes or simulate direct sunlight.

What Accessories and Additional Parts do Studio Lights Have?

As the need for careful adjustment is an important aspect of Mole Richardson studio lighting, many additional parts are available that help with fine tuning.

  • Barn Doors: This is the name of the classic flaps that surround studio lights. They allow for both a reduction in interference between lights and the production of different diffusion effects based on how the light reflects off the barn doors.
  • Lenses: A vital part of adjusting lights, lenses of different types allow for light to be manipulated into just about any shape. An example are Fresnel lenses, which consists of a number of concentric rings that each refract the light. They are light and often quite flexible, unlike many other lenses, and can easily create a variety of effects with beam width varying for 7 to 70 degrees.
  • Filters: Unlike lenses, which change the angle and focal length of a light, filters alter the light's qualities, such as color. There are simple single color filters, as well as filters that slightly alter tone and shade for different effects.
  • Fixtures: Getting the perfect angle for a light and holding it there securely and safely requires a number of different fixture options. Simple light stands with adjustable mounts are a common and simple model, as are hanging mounts and clamps for poles.
  • Scrim: A scrim is a piece of thin fabric or gauze that is draped either in from of a light or behind the subject in order to alter the diffusion of a light as it passes through a room.