DIY China Balls for Under £20

There are many ways to light a scene. Whether it is a simple one person interview, a music video on set or a shooting a scene outdoors. There are also many factors to take in to account such as lens speed, natural light and the number of lights/ budget available to you.

At the moment I am planning the lighting for some live music sessions, they will be set in a warehouse with no power, so all power will come from generators outside. I want 6-8 china balls providing soft light from above the talent, it doesn’t matter if they are visible in shot because I feel they will contribute to the look and feel of the video. I want the videos to have a slight raw edge to them, they are shot and recorded in a warehouse after all. Each china ball will be home-made as the quality doesn’t need to be perfect and they aren’t going to be moving around. They are simply made up of a 16-30″ china lanterns, simple plug in lamp-holders and 40-50 watt  Fluorescent Bulbs. Each bulb will output between 150 – 200 watts of equivalent tungsten power. Which is great considering we could be running off a generator!

You can see basic results in the video. It’s a nice wrap around soft light source. Once i’ve got access to the space I’ll post more videos with the final results.

You can get the parts off Amazon at the links below, just slot them together.

Round Chinese Lantern – £6.99
UK Plug with Inline Switch and Lamp Holder – £5.14
40-50w Bulb – £6.99
Total Cost – £19.12

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