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Forums Lighting Design recommend a small, low powered, daylight spot for podium?

  • recommend a small, low powered, daylight spot for podium?

     Mark Suszko updated 5 years, 5 months ago 4 Members · 7 Posts
  • Tim Neighbors

    September 14, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    I’m looking for a low-powered spotlight to hang from a ceiling permanently that can be aimed at a podium from about 20 feet away. Since there will be a projection screen next to it and I believe it’s color temp is daylight-ish, the spot should probably be daylight color temp. Also, I have to keep it very dark in the room since there will be some dark powerpoint slides (astronomy pics), so the light has to be dimmable and focused with little/no spill. The dimmer could be (and probably should be) a separate unit that can be mounted on a wall so the light can be controlled without having to get a ladder.

    Can anyone recommend a light for this purpose? Everything I’m finding is big and expensive. It’s ok if I have to spend some money on it, but I just don’t want to break the bank for something that is overkill. …also I’m a little outside of my realm of expertise.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.


  • john sharaf

    September 14, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    A good choice is a ETC Source Four with a Joker Bug adapter for a 400 Joker HMI
    You might even need to use some ND gel to balance it correctly.
    The shutters in the Source Four will let you “shape” the light to be just where you want it, and obviously you should position it to throw the shadow away from the screen.


  • Todd Terry

    September 14, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    John’s advice is almost always exactly right, and yes an ETC Source Four is precisely what you need, it was made just for that.

    BUT… I honestly think you just need a Source Four, that you probably don’t need the Joker Bug adapter (what that does is let you use the Source Four housing and lenses with a daylight-balanced Joker Bug HMI instrument).

    Here’s why you might want to skip that…

    For one, a Source Four is a very affordable instrument… you can buy one for a couple of hundred bucks on eBay, if you want to go that route. Adding the Joker Bug to it is going to add to the cost. A LOT. I’m talking thousands (I haven’t looked in ages but I think a 800w Joker is about six grand).

    Secondly, you probably don’t actually need for it to be daylight balanced. Well, you do if you are photographing or shooting video of this whole thing, but I got the impression that this was just for a live audience’s benefit. If that’s the case, don’t bother with daylight balancing. Unlike film or camera sensors, people’s eyeballs adapt easily and mix light temperatures with no problem. In your living room at home right now is probably a television set (daylight) in a room full of tungsten lighting. You never think “Wow the TV is so blue” or look at your spouse and think “Wow they are so orange,” because in a live situation like that your brain instantly adapts. If the difference is just too stark, add some CTB gel to the source four (you might only need a little to make it pleasant looking, say 1/4), and save yourself enough money to buy a fairly nice motorcycle.

    Thirdly, you said you need “dimmability,” but you won’t be able to appreciably dim the Joker, what you get is (mostly) what you get. With a tungsten Source Four you can put it on a dimmer and dial in exactly how much you need, even low levels.

    But yep, a Source Four is what you need. Since you said you needed low light levels, even a Source Four Mini might be more than enough. Tiny and cheap.


    Todd Terry
    Creative Director
    Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

  • Tim Neighbors

    September 14, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    Thanks for your response. I guess I forgot to mention, the purpose of lighting the podium is for regularly videotaping the presentations. Is there any LED spotlight solution? …I think spending thousands of dollars is going to be out of the question. …maybe $1000, but beyond that and the client will probably throw their shoe at me.

    What about this light?

  • Mark Suszko

    September 15, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    The Source 4 Leko now also comes in an LED version/conversion… But I agree with Todd and John that a new or used standard ETC Source Four Junior, perhaps with a correction gel insert, will do this job well, because it was designed for pretty much exactly this kind of application.

    If you can find 2 used ones in your budget, buy two, and use the second one to project a pattern slide onto the curtain, stage, ceiling, video screen, or podium: it could project your logo or some text. Getting a size M metal gobo insert cut to order from Rosco used to be about fifty bucks and they’ll last forever. Put it on a dimmer as a sort of “screen saver” for the room, and make a very snazzy look overall.

  • Todd Terry

    September 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    What Mark said…

    Personally, I’d also add a backlight, too, if practical.


    Todd Terry
    Creative Director
    Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

  • Mark Suszko

    September 15, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Two of the S4juniors sell for less than the one instrument in the B&H link. Not that that isn’t also a cool instrument, but you said you were on a budget. Also, for 50-70 dollars, a gobo projection of a starfield or nebula or even actual constellations softly accenting the room before you transition to presentations… would make that room KICK-ASS! 🙂

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