APS Lighting Equipment Guide

From Help Wiki
Basic Lighting Concepts


Please exercise caution with all lighting equipment checked out from Media Loan. The lights can get extremely hot and most require a lot of power.

When using lighting equipment from Media Loan, ALWAYS:

  • Use gloves to protect your hands
  • Tape down wires/cords to prevent tripping hazards
  • Weigh down heavy stands with sandbags
  • Plug lights into grounded outlets
  • Use gloves/hand protection when changing lamps (bulbs)
  • Wait for hot lights to cool down before packing them away (at least ten minutes)


Touch hot lights without proper hand protection
Touch lamps (bulbs) with your bare hands (excluding fluorescent and LED)
Expose lights to water
Expose lights to extreme weather/temperatures
Set a hot light on top of a gel

Lamp (bulb) Changing

It is extremely important that you never touch halogen lamps with your bare hands. Your hands are covered in oils that, if they get on a lamp, will heat up and potentially cause explosions. To prevent this, you must cover your hands with proper gloves (available in APS) or a clean cloth. Leather, or any type of "working" gloves, will suffice. Do not use latex.
The only type of bulbs you can safely touch with your bare hands are fluorescent and LED.
Every kit should come with spare replacement lamps in the case. If you need help changing a lamp, please call APS (x5506) or stop by during open APS hours.

Know Your Circuits

These lights require a lot of power. Each house is divided into multiple circuits, as controlled by a circuit board, and each circuit has a capacity. Overloading a circuit will cause a blow-out and potential damage. Use the formula below to calculate the wattage a circuit is capable of supporting, without accidents:


Common household plugs are typically 15-20 amps circuits. Household voltage capacity is 110-120V, so for the purpose of this equation it's a good idea to round down to an even 100V to prevent any blow-outs. In an average house, each circuit is capable of supporting approximately 1500 Watts (15 x 100 = 1500). This is a conservative estimate and will be different per location.


There are multiple options for lighting equipment in APS. These kits do not require proficiencies, but as with all other APS checkouts, they do require an APS workorder. APS equipment is typically restricted to students in media-centric classes/programs and ILC's/SOS's. Before requesting equipment from APS, please familiarize yourself with APS policies and procedures here.


Arri 1000W/650W
Arri 1000W/650W Open-Face

Number of lights: 3 per kit
Light intensity: 650W or 1000W
Accessories: Barndoors, Stands, Scrims

The Arri 3-Light Kits come with three open-face focusing flood lights of the same wattage (1000W or 650W). They are designed for a wide range of film and photographic lighting applications. Each kit comes with three barndoors, 3 stands, and scrims.

The 1000W 3-Light kit provides beam angles of 65° in the flood position and 24° in the spot position. Each fixture will throw a beam of 695 footcandles 4.3 ft (1.4 m) in diameter, @ full spot, from a distance of 10 ft (3 m). It will provide a beam of 145 footcandles 13 ft (4m) in diameter @ full flood, from the same distance.

The Arrlite 650 has a 7.25" open face and provides beam angles of 70° in the flood position, and 26° in the spot position. Each fixture will throw a beam of 450 footcandles 4.3 ft in diameter @ full spot, from a distance of 10 ft. It will provide a beam of 100 footcandles, 14 ft diameter @ full flood, from the same distance.


Arri Softkey

Number of lights: 3
Light intensity: 2x650W (Fresnel), 1000W (Softbox)
Accessories: Barndoors, Stands, Scrims, Fresnel Lenses

This kit includes two 650W Fresnel lights and one 1000W Softbox. The 650W Fresnel lights have a focusable spotlight which can be adjusted via a knob on the back of the light ("spot" for a narrowly focused beam, or "flood" for a wide beam). The beam angle in the flood position is 52 degrees, and a narrow 14.5 degrees in the spot position. The 650W in this kit has a 4.3" low expansion, borosillicate fresnel lens which casts a soft, even illumination across the beam.

The small size and light weight of the 1000W Softbox make it an excellent solution for a soft fill or key. The Softbox has a narrow profile of only 5.5" deep, in which the light bounces off a reflector in the back of the instrument for indirect, even, soft light.



Lowel Caselite

Number of lights: 1
Light intensity: 55W/bulb, 110W total
Accessories: Barndoors, Stand, Cord, Eggcrate, Stand Arm, Stand Mount

Lowel Caselites are designed to offer beautiful, soft, easy to use fluorescents in a compact, location-friendly system. The current popularity of fluorescent lights in film & video production is well deserved. They offer soft and efficient light at several times the output of incandescent halogen sources. These lights are ideal for interviews.

Caselites are compact, lightweight, rugged and completely self-contained without sacrificing output or light quality. The all-in-one Caselite is both light and case combined, and each one comes with a stand, eggcraft, cord, arm, and stand mount bracket. APS carries both 5300K (daylight) and 3000K (tungsten) compact fluorescent lamps. Additional lamps can be checked out separately.


Number of Lights: 1
Light Intensity: (see chart)
Accessories available: barndoor, light cover, stand, diffusion kit.

The Dracast LED is an ideal choice for location work, interviews and small sets where color accuracy, control and flicker-free output are of major importance. Variable color temperature from 3,200K-5,600K means that you can quickly match the prevailing ambient or artificial light balance with a simple twist of a knob. Dimming is equally convenient via another knob that adjusts the light intensity from 100-0% with negligible color shift. This light has a low electricity draw of 60W.


Lighting accessories in APS include:

  • Light Stands (single & baby stand kits)
  • Gels: Color and diffusion kits
  • Bounce Discs
  • Clothes Pins (C-47's): Used to attach gels to lights

Bounce Discs

5-in-one 42 " Bounce Disk

The 42" 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector Disc from Raya is a versatile light modification tool than can find uses in the studio and on location. This disc provides white, silver, gold, and black surfaces as well as a one stop translucent diffusion panel. The tool allows you to quickly and easily make adjustments to your lighting in order to get the look you want. Also, the disc is able to fold down to 1/3 its size and be stored inside the included carrying bag.

  • White provides a neutral soft reflection useful for fill light
  • Silver offers a neutral color balance similar to the white but with a higher contrast, increasing specular highlights
  • Gold reflects a warmer light onto a subject, useful to enhancing skin tones or balancing a cool scene
  • Black will block unwanted reflections and eliminate spill
  • The translucent diffuser lessens light power by 1 stop and will help create a broader, softer light source that will wrap around your subject


C-Stands and Gobo arms

C-Stand with Gobo Arm

A C-stand is primarily used to position light modifiers, such as silks, nets, or flags, in front of light sources. The stand is constructed of metal and consists of a collapsible base, two riser columns, and a baby pin on top. In addition, a C-stand includes a gobo head and a gobo arm, which provide the ability to articulate a light modifier without moving the stand itself. The legs of C stands are designed to be nested, so many stands can be placed around a light source.


Flags are used for controlling a lighting instrument. Flags are mounted onto C-Stands and placed in front of lights.

Single flags available for checkout at APS include:

  • Cutter (Black flag): This completely blocks lighting. Used for intentionally shaping light.
  • Single Scrim (Green): Reduces the amount of light produced from an instrument by half of a stop.
  • Double Scrim (Red): Reduces the amount of by one full stop.
  • Silk (Yellow): Diffuses and greatly reduces the amount of light.
  • Wooden Cucoloris (Cookie): Creates patterns by cutting shapes into it. Used to create background foliage, etc.
  • Cello Cucoloris (Cookie): Diffuses light and creates shapes. More subtle effects than the wooden cookie.

Flag Kits (Lighting Control Kits)

There are also flag kits available at APS. These come with a cutter, single scrim, double scrim, and silk in a transportable bag.

Additional Grip Gear

  • Apple Boxes: Used for propping various objects and subjects
  • Gloves: Wear when handling hot lighting equipment, or changing bulbs
  • Clamps: Used for various reasons, such as to attach gear to C-Stands