1000w Lighting – Don’t try this at home

1000-watt-1K-video-light

You ever watch TV and there's a crazy bunch of guys who start stapling themselves in the you know whats....? They always have a disclaimer talking about 'Don't try this at home'. This is definitely one of those times where I want to share what i'm doing but have to lay down this disclaimer. I decided to test something out with an awesome set of 1000w quartz halogen lights. They are designed with a great looking metal housing along with a dimmable feature. My kit comes with two (2) 1000w light heads, (2) Softboxes and (2) lightstands. I've seen these things with just basic reflectors too, but the softboxes really help diffuse the powerful light output.

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Now these lights have been around for a while, but haven't really caught on to a whole lot of video use. Why? It's because they have built in fans, and quite noisy ones too. Once these things are powered on, a small fan inside the housing makes it unusable when working with audio. Otherwise they work great.

So here's where I took a chance (but not a completely thoughtless risk). I opened up the housing and disconnected the fan. It's quite easy with just four small screws on the back, you can disconnect the small red/black wiring with mini plug as seen in the image below.

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Now if you looked at the build on this light, the fan almost seems useless. Yeah i'm sure it throws a little bit of wind, but doesn't seem very effective to cool anything down. I've worked with 1000w halogen shop lights before and they seemed to last just fine without being 'fan cooled'. In fact you could pick up a cheap set of 1000w shop lights at Home Depot if you wanted to. Lots of people use those things for their DIY home studios and green screen stuff.

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(Above: 1000w light Head vs. 800w Red Head)

Of course I wanted to carry a light set that looked good, was dimmable, had soft boxes, and light stands. This 1000w video lighting kit is a bit more polished than just Home Depot shop lights, but are still very inexpensive for what you get. Sales on this light haven't really taken off, so you should be able to find them cheap. They are sold under different brands and painted differently, but all carry the same form factor. You'll often find them advertised as 'fan cooled', trying to throw in a feature above other lights, but seems to have backfired on them because of all the noise it makes.

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(Above: Comparing 1000w bulb against 800w Red Head lighting bulb)

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Looking at the photo (above), the bulb protrudes out past the housing giving it plenty of room to dissipate heat. Is it going to last without a fan? Considering the fan is placed inside the housing, I don't see why not. If you look at the bulb this light head uses, it's just about the same type that's found in the big 'non-Fan Cooled' fresnels. So this bulb doesn't require any type of Fan cooling, so long as it can naturally dissipate. This design with the protruding bulb seems to have a better heat dissipation advantage over the 3pc red head set I have too. I've been testing these 1000w lights on a couple of shoots, a few hours at a time to see if they really hold up and so far i've had no problems. Bulbs on this guy are fairly cheap if you need replacements - around $9.99 each (link below).

1000w-bulb
find-price-button 1000 Wat Bi-Pin Replacement Quartz Halogen Light Head Lamp 1000 Watts/120 Volt

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There is a Large outer softbox diffusion screen that can be used with or without the small internal diffuser.

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So, I have to leave you with the disclaimer 'Don't try this at Home'. In fact, if you don't care about the fan noise when shooting stuff like Music Videos, there's no need to even disconnect the fan. These are a great set of lights! Most people just don't use them because of the fan noise. You'll be surprised how many people return these lights after purchasing them only because of the fan noise. Be warned though, that you should have plenty of power available at your location. These are very bright. If you need to be concerned about power draw at your location, go with LED lighting. LED lighting require less voltage, but they obviously aren't as bright as these.

But.......If you do choose to follow my path, you can always disconnect the fan when you need it quiet, or even 're-attach' the fan - It's fairly quick to do. Hmm, maybe i'll make an external 'fan switch' to control the fan on and off?? Well people, so far so good (knock on wood) and it's been a few days with a few hours put on them. I think they'll be just fine.......


1000-watt-1K-video-light
find-price-button Photography Double 1000w Adjustment Quartz Halogen Continuous Studio Light Kit, total 2000 W output, Softbox Video Lighting kit with Carry Bag





24 thoughts on “1000w Lighting – Don’t try this at home

  1. Nice review :-) i have a couple of questions to make. Are they brighter than 800w redheads? And how about the degrees that they spread the light (with the standard reflector on)? Comparing to a redhead i mean.
    Thank you in advance.

  2. Emm

    Post author

    @ali al-ansari - I would look into LED Video lighting if you want to leave lights on for an entire wedding. Other lights may generate too much heat.

  3. ali al-ansari

    Hi i need help i am interested in 1000w video light to use continyou on in a hole for wedding videography.

    thanks and waiting for the replay.
    ali al-ansari

  4. Mitchell

    Hi, I was wondering why you think these lights still make a hum noise, with the fan disconnected? Is it coming from the dimmer? Can the dimmer be disconnected as well?

  5. Lekan

    Hi guys, I need a softbox for 3 800w redhead. My problem is that I dont know the speedring size that will fit on the redhead and the material that can resist heat on it. Please send me an ebay link where i can purchase the softbox and speed ring only.

    Thanks for all you information.

  6. Eric

    I disconnected the fans in my set up as well mostly to reduce the noise for video and found they overheat and shut down after running for a short while.. the housings get killer hot and when they heat up they start to flicker before shutting down.. and the bulbs themselves still make a horrible humm noise ..

  7. I just received my second pair of Fancier Studio 1,000 watt (tungsten equiv.) CFL softboxes. I liked the first set so much, I got a second set. YES, they're flimsy. YES, I've had to solder one switch connection, sew a small fix on a softbox, and had to have them send me a new light stand because of a broken part. YES, they take a long time to set up and take down/store (especially compared to pro studio flashes for stills). At $140 per 2,000W pair, I think they're great (and cool). I just noticed they're no longer available on Amazon. Hopefully they'll resurface.

  8. sidney

    I hear you all talk about these lights how they can blow the fuses and I do alot of interviews,and product stuff so I would like to know if any one has some suggestions for lights that I can use and I am looking to spend no more then $300?

  9. matt

    one tip to not blow halogen bulbs. Before your first time to turn them on for they day, fade them on to about 30% and let them sit there for a min. Then go about your business. I'm big into stage lighting, this is a rule with my rig.

  10. Emm

    Post author

    @Daniel S. - The softboxes aren't so quick just like any other softbox. Other than that it's just throwing it on a light stand. You cannot use them without a softbox due to the way the light bulb is used.

  11. Daniel S.

    I have a question!! are these lights easy to break down and set up? and by that, I will explain that I am looking for a set of lights that I can take to gigs (interviews, events etc) and take them up to the gig, and set them up quite fast. I was thinking the 500 or 600 LED light panels, maybe going to the 1000, but if I can start with these, I will spend the rest of the money on some lenses! thanks for your response!

    cheesycam rules!

  12. I've used the high watt halogens in the past, but heat, and chance of throwing a breaker at a client site, make them less than appealing. I switched to a Britek, with multiple fluorescent switchable lamps, and like them much better. A big plus in my opinion is that I can load 5500K bulbs, and will match sunlight.

  13. Emm,

    I meant to ask if they are the regular 80mm or 120mm computer fan? because if they are, I had great luck with these Enermax Marathon fan, they have magnetic bearing so it's detachable for cleaning and the fans are actually whispering quiet, I can't even hear it! and this was after using them for a year of using them daily without cleaning them

    http://bit.ly/fzIhfh

    Would it work?

  14. I saw the picture of the lights and immediately recognized them... I have the three point light system sold by a reseller out of Vegas. I also opened them up and disconnected the fans. One note, I've noticed that the bulbs themselves give off a bit of a buzz. (Which honestly I expect with this cheaper bulb and dimmer combo) Not as loud as the fans, but enough so that I still repair all of the audio for my clips. But that's working with shotgun mics. Definitely wouldn't be audible when working with lapels. The other thing I've found is that you definitely need to use a softbox or an umbrella with them. Otherwise the beam has some nasty bright spots.

    The big plus to these guys are all the extras they 'throw-in'... mine came with barn doors, softboxes and umbrellas.
    Nothing is super high-quality but I wouldn't describe it as 'low-quality'... really a great value.

    I've used them for over six months without the fans, no bulbs replaced thus far... I'm guessing conservatively they probably have about 100 hrs on them? As with any light I let them cool down before packing them up. No complaints thus far.

  15. Emm

    Post author

    @YiowMade - yeah just a two wire fan like in computers. was usingthem again today, they work great and very well diffused because of the type of bulb with softbox.

  16. Emm, what kind of fan are inside these lights, are they the standard 80mm computer fans with 2 prong power adapter? or something unique to themselves?

  17. Emm

    Post author

    @Ben - so with the fan connectted, about how many hours have you used them? and have you burned through any bulbs? I keep hearing how well these lights work, except for the fan noise.

  18. I have the same set of lights in a three point light kit. And must say they are great. I also have the Red Head that I use as a Rim/Hair Light. The fan noise has never been an issue to me as I use wireless mics that are placed close to the subject. You might experience the noise with a boom mic over head. I will be disconnecting the fan if it ever becomes an issue. Great review!

  19. Emm

    Post author

    @Brett - Agreed. I highly doubt this is a cowboy product though. They seem to be just resellers of the same lights from one manufacturer. This single light is coming from somewhere and being sold by many.. Here's another one different seller 1000w Continuous Video Lighting Head

  20. Brett

    I am not a fan of the Cowboy studio stuff, but especially not a fan of their continuous lighting. In my experience their quality control leaves alot to be desired, and for safety sake I would definately not try this at home. Good disclaimer...

    ...I would think twice before dropping $250 on Cowboy studio

    My 2c

  21. Emm

    Post author

    @Harlan - Yeah I have several different sets of lighting depending on the 'mood'..haha. I needed something a bit brighter than my 800's and these looked good. Working great. Glad to hear you have these too...

  22. Harlan

    Thanks Emm,
    I have 2 of these exact lights and they are good but bear in mind you might need to upgrade your circuit because 2X1000 can pop a breaker pretty easily. Thats why I prefer the LEDS you suggested.

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