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Topic: Light fixtures for studio - Which is best?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Question Light fixtures for studio - Which is best?

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    Thanks for reading~!
    As you may or may not know, I've been converting a space in our music store to use as a Pro Recording Studio. The discussion came up last night as to which type of lighting fixture would be best suited. The electrician would install whatever we need. However, my partner (who is footing the bill for renovation) insists on using 2' X 4" fluorescent T-8, two lamp fixtures affixed to the ceiling screwed through the drywall into the Joyce. My suggestion is to use low-voltage track lighting throughout.
    If this sounds as if I am confused ... YOU'RE RIGHT! From what I've read so far, using any type of fluorescent lighting would introduce problems. I would appreciate any of your professional suggestions, experience, and insight.
    Thanks again in advance.


  2. #2

    Re: Light fixtures for studio - Which is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Styxx
    My suggestion is to use low-voltage track lighting throughout.
    1. They use transformators which can hum acustically and produce an alternating magnetic field that could lead to inducted hum. So better place them far away.
    2. Additionally every normal AC wire produces a small alternating magnetic field which should be not too dangerous if you have well-shielded audio cables. But the more distance between the two wires (= pickup wires for the lamp system) the bigger the emanating field is. No, what really counts is the area between them times the current. Low voltage = high current ... baaaaddd ...

    I did not test this with audio but struggled this sort of problems during my physics time.

    Low-voltage and constant current would be great for that.

    Fluorescent lighting also produces hell of a field which is worsened often by bad starters. I had to ask the people in the other level to switch their light out during my measurements.

    The cheapest alternative are bulbs. Energy saving lamps made from curled fluorescent lamps should also be decent. Short ways -> short emitting antenna. High voltage -> low current. Goooddd.

    All your strings belong to me!

  3. #3

    Re: Light fixtures for studio - Which is best?

    Styxx, you're investing a lot of time and money in a room with all sorts of fancy electronics and stuff. Why not put that extra bit of effort into making it look and feel like a James Bond villain/ secret goverment committee sort of control room? Such places look best with minimal lighting, allowing the glow of the equipment to contibute a significant fraction of the overall light.

    You need some light to work. It's a well known trick in cinematography to always make the lighting a bit brighter on the star's face. In your case, you could wear an amulet - cool looking, of course - around your neck that hides an ultrasonic transmitter. Receptors on the walls could track that amulet and adjust the track lights so that whichever can is pointing at you is always brighter than the rest. With the correct balance between the background and highlight levels, the effect can be subtle, but enough to make you the most important person in the room.

    Use normal 120 volt incandescent track lights, but run them on DC to eliminate acoustic and electrical noise. The control system is more of a pain with DC, but since the overall lighting power will be fairly low, it's mostly a matter of putting big heat sinks on the transistors.

    The difficult part is the tracking sytem, but such technology exists elsewhere. If you can adapt someone's sensors to your needs, you may get by with an inexpensive card in a computer, intended for industrial process control, and some fairly simple programming. Since your partner is paying for this, you'll have to let him have his own amulet. However, if you hire the programmer, you could ensure that your amulet always gets a bit more candlepower than his.

    The benefits of this system would be substantial. Your enhanced importance would mean an enhanced hourly rate. You will bill more hours per client when the studio is a such a nifty place, and the clients will brag to their friends, so you won't have to advertise for very long. Finally, you'll have less trouble with delinquent accounts if clients suspect you could spawn a tornado and send it to their house.

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