Sakar Quartz-Halogen Video Lights

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find-price-button Sakar 150 watt & 300 watt Video Lights

Some people just want to stick with AC powered Hot Lights. No worries about flickering, multi-shadows, green casts, or batteries dimming down. In a smaller package Quartz-Halogen lights can throw further and output several times the amount of LED light and can be used with Gels and Diffusers without as much loss in light output. We're talking about enough light to use outdoors during the day for that extra fill. Here's one that's been popping up just about everywhere, going by the name Sakar. There's two flavors to these Sakar Quartz-Halogen lights found in 150 watt and 300 watt versions. Very similar bulbs to the popular PAG lights from back in the day (loved those lights). I'm not sure, but I have a feeling the 300 watt version might be too much for it's little housing and may suffer from premature bulb life. For a traveling light, 300 watts will probably blow a fuse in your location. The 150 watt version might fair better, and i'm interested in seeing how they work out.

This is not a battery powered light, as it can only be powered through a 120V-120V AC outlet but comes with a 9 foot power cord. It is also not setup to be dimmable (although you can probably run an inline dimmer using a simple Router Speed Controller). The front portion of the housing is all metal with a glass cover. The rear of the housing is mostly plastic. I left the unit on for about 10 minutes and didn't notice the rear housing being overheated, but the front metal and glass elements were pretty hot. There was a bit of smoke coming off the barndoors (cheap paint?) but stopped after a short while. I've seen this on other cheap lights before, and always has to do with the high heat and cheap paint combination. Luckily they cool down pretty fast when not in use.

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(Above: Lighting Completely Dark Room)

It can be mounted via Hot-Shoe or through a 1/4 x 20 threaded light stand. There's an umbrella holder spot in the middle of the light to use as a diffuser or bounce. The two front barn doors are pretty much useless and don't serve any purpose in controlling the light output. Although the Barn Doors work well to pack the light up and protect the front glass lens. One thing this Sakar 'can do' is put out lots of light. Since it's using a quartz-halogen bulb the light output is not as yellow as tungsten. The unit is small, and it would be great to put together a traveling kit that has a crap load of light output in such small form factors for dirt dirt cheap.

Arri has a nice 150 watt Fresnel 3 piece kit (also not dimmable), but a bit out of my budget.
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find-price-button Arri Three-Light 150 watt Fresnel Kit with Stands and Hard Case

Will it hold up though? One common mistake people make about these types of bulbs is that they might only be rated for 50 hours of use. You'll see many reviews talking about consistent bulb failures, but what they don't realize is this is not the type of light to use for feature length films. These lights aren't as efficient as LED bulbs, but they'll work hard in giving you tons of light in a small form factor and then die young. If you're not using them everyday, they could last you several months. It's a great idea to buy spare bulbs, which should only run you about $5-10 dollars each. I'm planning on putting it through it's paces in the next few days.

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find-price-button Sakar 150 watt & 300 watt Video Lights



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15 thoughts on “Sakar Quartz-Halogen Video Lights

  1. I have two of these lights and they burn so hot that they burn the paint off the barn doors. The fumes are horrific and you will not be able to use these in an indoor shoot. I left them turned on outside for about 30 minutes to try to burn all the paint off. One of the bulbs burned out before the 30 minutes was up. The other light may have burned off most of the paint. We'll see when I try to use it tonight if it is going to stink up the studio.

  2. Emm

    Post author

    @Alex - Someone else pointed those out, they look pretty good for small lights. Let me know if you decide to try them out.

  3. Hay Emm thanks for this i needed a little light kit for interviews think i will pick up a few of these just wondering if you have any recommendation on bags for 2 or 3 of these with some light stands and gels?

    Alex

  4. Emm

    Post author

    @Randy - Yeah they are great for little lights, but sometimes several little lights are better than one big light. Several lights can helps you shape the way the lights hit the subject. The only problem with these are they are not dimmable, but that router speed controller should work great. I left it on for 3 hours yesterday and had no issues.

  5. Randy

    That light has great output for dirt cheap. Can't wait to see your review, Emm. These are small and portable too. With a dslr like my T2i the 150 watt version looks like it is putting out enough light for a close interview.

    @Casey -- Thanks for posting the interview. It helps people see what the light can do.

  6. I have the 150 watt. I found it on amazon about a year ago. I think I am going to investigate the router speed control for dimming, I'm tired of burning myself messing with diffusion and gels.

  7. Emm

    Post author

    @Casey - Yes they would work perfect for a background and hair / rim light. With a small umbrella and dimmers on these little guys, it's possible to use them for a full three piece kit. Is yours 150 watt or 300 watt?

  8. Emm

    Post author

    @Hristijan - Redheads are brighter, have barndoors, sometimes softboxes, and already come dimmable. This is just a really good small light if you have to travel. Arri has some nice small 150 watt Fresnels, but those run about $250 each.

  9. I've had one of these lights now for about a year, I use it as a small kicker for background lighting. I absolutely love it because it works great for video. Back when I was shooting on tape I used it a lot more. Mine has been beaten, dropped, dragged, fallen over, still on the original bulb and still going strong. I'd say I have about 75 hours of use on it, but I never run it more than 45 minutes at a time, if there is one thing that it is good at, that would be putting out heat. I've burnt myself several times on this little guy. Also, I read somewhere that Sakar was the same company that owns Vivitar now.

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