Fluorescent lighting systems use special bulbs with a choice of daylight or tungsten color temperatures. These colors are much more exact than the common fluorescents you can buy at a hardware store. And therein lies one of the first great advantages of these units: they work both in daylight and tungsten environments, and all you have to do is switch out the bulbs to go from one color source to the other.
Don't even think about using fluorescent units outside, unless you're looking at a night-time close-up. That's my opinion at
7.14 Photo of two 200-watt Diva-Lites least. These units can have a beautiful quality, but they are just not bright enough to be very functional in an exterior daylight environment. Inside, though, is another story. Particularly in an interior with daylight color temperature, these units can work very well.
Several companies manufacture and market fluorescent units and systems, but I personally prefer Kino Flo (www.kinoflo.com). Some other sources are www.coollights.biz, www.videssence.tv, and Mole-Richardson Co. (www.mole.com). Although more expensive than most of the competition, Kino Flo products are designed by lighting people for lighting people, and at least for me, the research and design is always appreciated. They come in an enormous range of sizes, from the 9-inch Mini-Flo (a favorite of cinematographers to hide inside tight spaces
7.15 Two sisters lit by two 200-watt Diva-Lites. ISO 200, 1/30 second at f/3.5.
such as car interiors on night shoots), up to the 16-lamp 6-foot by 6-foot Blanket-Lite. Quite a range!
My particular favorite of the Kino Flo units for still as well as video and film is the Diva-Lite.
Available in a two-bulb 200-watt version and a four-bulb 400-watt version, the units are relatively lightweight, and contain built-in dimmers, barn doors, a diffusion skirt, a baffle, and a very good mounting system. I've used them alone, with strobes, with bright bulbs in Chinese lanterns, and with HMIs.
7.16 Lake girl. Lit by a 200-watt Diva-Lite from the right and filled with a Photek Softlighter II and Ranger RX-AS from camera left. ISO 200, 1/60 second at f/2.8.
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