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A Cheap, Bright Light

A Cheap One

Do you want to do some still life or portrait photography?

But, don't want to invest a lot of money in lighting equipment that you may rarely use?

Get a cheap, bright, light.

I like the Smith-Victor light fixture:


Use it with an EBW photo light bulb:


The cost for the above fixture and bulb is about $38 plus tax and shipping.

Similar fixtures are available from other camera stores and from some hardware stores.

However, if you purchase a light other than the Smith-Victor above, make sure that the light socket is made of porcelain, not plastic.

Use the automatic or daylight white balance setting.

Or, you can set a custom white balance setting.

Not As Cheap

If you'll be using a light more than occasionally, you may want to purchase a more sophisticated light.

Here are two examples.

The Lowel Tota-Light is compact and portable.


Be sure to get a stand for the light that's sturdy and easy to setup.

Lights are often sold in kits with stands and umbrellas. If you buy a kit, make sure the stands are not flimsy and hard to set up.

Also, consider getting a clamp that you can use to attach the light to a shelf or to the top of a door.

Don't need a compact and portable light?

Have a look at the Lowel Omni-Light or similar lights.


Lighting Safety Tips

• Because the photography bulb is hot, you may want to use oven mitts.

• Never leave the light on when you're not present.

• Children and pets should not be present or nearby.

• Make sure the light is not placed near anything that may catch fire.

• Do not place anything on the light, such as a filter, unless the attachment is made specifically for that usage.

• Do not use the photography bulbs in a non-photographic fixture.

• Do not leave the bulb with conventional light bulbs.

• Tape the cords to the floor to prevent knocking the light fixture down Use gaffer tape—not duct tape.

• Use a heavy-duty extension cord.