Faster and more nimble with LED hot lamps.
This week we received new LED hot lamps for one of our 360 product rigs. This is a major change from our usual method of operation. For over 20 years, we have been using strobe photography to generate our 360 views, but the times are changing and we thought that we should try some new technology.
Always being frugal around PhotoSpherix, we started out on Amazon looking at some of our options. We settled on the Neewer NL480 LED hot lamps. These seemed to have the functionality that we needed along with a cost that we could not pass up. These lamps came with their own stands and had enough output to light the area and products in our application. With this being only a 12-inch rig, we did not need to light a large area. Additionally, with this rig setup being built for high throughput, we wanted to be able to see what the camera sees at all times.
So we order in these LED hot lamps and didn’t know what to expect. Once they came in, we got everything up and running and off the bat, we knew that they would take up less space. The old strobes that we used on this rig made the full area around the rig almost 10 feet. Once we added the led lamps, we have gotten the floor space down to 5 feet. That is a great saving in space as we are planning on having 5 of the rig, side by side.
With digital cameras, it is easy to adjust for lighting in your settings, but you must use the same temperature lights all around. You cannot mix light and ever get the shot that you want. That was one of the shortcomings of these lamps. Although they have the ability to adjust the white point of the LED hot lamps, it is an analog dial to set them in, not a digital readout. After a little bit of tinkering with the settings, and about 15 minutes, we had the lighting dialed right in.
After shooting about 50 products on the rig, we then reworked and adjusted the lighting setup so that we no longer needed the stands, and the lamps are now mounted on the rig itself, but other than that, it was pretty much plug and go. It is amazing how much technology can make life easier and cooler. The first hot lamps that we used would raise the temp in the room by as much as 15 degrees and the power bill would always reflect the busy weeks in the studio. This setup can be run off of a 12volt battery for most of the day and then recharge overnight. With the addition of mounting the lighting on the rig and the rig having wheels, we are now able to roll our 12-inch rig through a warehouse and photograph at the same time.