White Lightning Flash Heads Quick Guide

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A proficiency test is required to check this equipment out.


  • To avoid potentially lethal conditions, this unit must be connected to a 3-wire grounded outlet.
  • Do not operate with two-wire extension cords or use an adapter to connect to ungrounded outlets.
  • This unit contains high voltages and internal components, which can store dangerous voltages even when unit is unplugged. The use of water around this equipment is not recommended.
  • The flash-tube and modeling lamp can get extremely hot. Do not allow finger oils to contact the lamps as this can cause excess heating and premature lamp failure.
  • Do not attempt to change flash bulbs or disassemble the units. Please bring it back to Media Loan for maintenance.
  • Before attempting to operate the unit, ensure that it is securely mounted to a light stand.
  • Do not allow unattended children around studio flash equipment as potentially dangerous conditions may result. These dangers may include burns and electrical shock hazards as well as the possibility of falling equipment if cords are tripped over.

Setting Flash Power:

Ultra units allow continuous variable flash power over a 5 f-stop range from Full to 1/32 power. To adjust the flash power simply set the Flash Power control to the desired position, reading either the lower F scale or the upper “fractional increment” scale. When adjusting flash power upward, the green Ready LED will go off momentarily, then return on when the capacitors have been charged to the new, higher power setting.

Relative Model Switch

The three-position slide marked Relative Model is used to establish the desired maximum modeling intensity and lamp life. It is also used to establish accurate model-to flash ratios when Ultra 600, 1200 & 1800 units are mixed, or when Ultra units are used with other White Lightning units. The function on the relative model switch is as follows:

  1. The “0” Position: The model lamp produces a full intensity of 8000 lumens at 300 degrees Kelvin, and can be expected to burn after 3-4 hours of full intensity operation. In comparison to a 100-watt tungsten this position provided approximately 5 times as much light (500W effective).
  2. The “-1” position: The lamp produces 5000 lumens at 3150 degrees Kelvin and will burn for about 50 hours. This position produces 300 watts worth of effective light.
  3. The “-2” position: The lamp produces 2500 lumens of light at 2800 degrees Kelvin and burns for about 1000 hours, relating to the output and life of a 150 watt standard lamp.


The rear panel sync jack provides a connection point for hard-wired sync to the camera via cords supplied. If using a Canon Rebel or other DSLR a safe sync adapter is required.

Model Lamp Modes

The three-position toggle marked MODEL allows the use of any of three basic model lamp modes.
Off position, the model lamp remains extinguished at all times. The Off position can be selected when multiple flash exposures must be taken in a dark room with the camera lens left open.
Full position the lamp is set to be full-on regardless of the selected flash-power (but as determined by the position of the Relative Model switch). The Full position may be useful for critical focusing.
Tracking position, the model lamp will be dimmed in proportion to the selected flash power (and still affected by the position of the Relative Model switch). For most work it is recommended the MODEL switch be left in the Tracking position at all times to assure accurate modeling.

Model/Ready Switch

The push-button switch labeled Model/Ready allows the modeling lamp to indicate Ready/Recycle status. When this button is pressed in, the modeling lamp will flash. It will return on when the unit recycled and ready for another shot. In addition to providing visual confidence of flash and recycle this mode reduces the amount of current drawn from the power line during recycle...an important consideration when a number of units are being operated from marginal power lines, particularly in older buildings. Placing the Model/Ready switch in the Out position will defeat this function and allow the modeling lamp to remain on during recycle.

Built-in Slave Tripper

The slave cell which is seen on the rear panel is quite sensitive to pulses of light produced by other electronic flash units, and is relatively non directional, seeing approximately 180 degrees. In normal studio usage this slave will reliably trip the unit from light bouncing from the walls and ceilings of the shooting area. ===Test/Dump Button: The red Test/Dump button is used whenever it is desired to flash the unit for testing. This button is momentary acting, and should fire the unit whenever pressed. Dumping is important if the charge in the capacitors exceeds the setting of the Flash power control by over 1/4f, the red Dump LED will be lighted, indicating the need to test-flash the unit to eliminate the unwanted power. (The Dump LED will normally come on only following a reduction in Flash power). If the excess power is not dumped then the next shot taken will have too much Flash power, possibly over-exposing the image.

Power Switch

The toggle switch serves to completely turn the unit on or off, without regard to the settings of the other controls. For the sake of safety, to service personnel, the unit should flash whenever the Power Switch is turned off, thus discharging the internal capacitors. It is suggested the Power Switch be turned off when the unit is not in use.

Reflector Mounting

To remove reflectors, loosen the four thumbscrews located around the front of the unit, releasing the reflector from the four associated “claw grips” which hold the reflector from the inside. To install reflector, make sure the thumbscrews are first loosened, then place the reflector on the unit and tighten the thumbscrews using only light finger pressure.

NOTE: Installation and removal of reflectors should be done only with the back panel Power Switch in the Off position.