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Vintage Lighting Vintage Lighting Rental Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Biancabelle, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. Biancabelle

    Biancabelle New Member

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    Location:
    Hudson Valley NY
    Hi! I'm the props designer for a production at my college. The show is set in 1927 and we've got the whole play-within-a-play thing going on. I'm looking to potentially rent some vintage lighting equipment (either working or just for show), but the only rental places I've found online are in England, which doesn't help much (I'm in semi-upstate NY, about 1-2 hours from NYC). Does anyone know of somewhere in the New York area that does this?

    Thanks a lot!
  2. avkid

    avkid Not a New User

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    Occupation:
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    Exactly how vintage?
    I have some late 50's to Early 60's fixtures.
  3. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Obviously me... (shipping would be a killer for the deal) as with rental price that would probably be over budget and I only have 16x dating between 1910 and say 1930 so far. Fresnels and Leko’s were not invented yet by the way.

    There must be some places like studio prop houses that have them if even prop lights for the period TV/Movie industry. No idea of what condition they would be in.

    As another idea, Fuch's 1929 "Stage Lighting" lists a very good chapter on "home built equipment" and goes into specific detail about what was around back than. That as with the Frank Adam and Chicago Stage lighting catalogues in the Wiiki Links section. If you can inter-library loan or find a copy of “Stage Lighting”, or do so on-line, don't know what your show within a show needs for prop lights, but wooden lights was a very valid concept back than and be more economical. I can say they are just as antique and work just as well - made two so far from the book. Fuch’s goes into detail about fixture design from scale drawings down to venting etc. Obviously the asbestos padding is out but there is very expensive ceramic padding to replace it. In lower wattage, you probably don't even need to use it - high temp. paint should be sufficient.

    So if prop light and it only needs to glow... it's more about making the box to the light persay out of wood and installing a say 25w incandescent lamp inside of it. Box spot, strip lights, boarder, bunch and Olivalittes are fairly easy to make out of lumber. PC fixtures on the other hand would be a much harder skill level and take a bit more time... could be done assuming a bit more time but might be easier out of metal. I can provide detail photos and measurements of anything you might want from the period.

    For wood construction, say 1/2" plywood overall for anything on the top or sides, 3/4" for the front and rear. For all intensive purposes, that's all it is no matter the shape - this other than angles of lumber cut, a yoke and mounting plate. If way down in wattage or low voltage in also low wattage, you don't have to worry about heat shielding - just reproducing venting holes as easily drilled in so as to reproduce the look. My last Oak box spot made obviously has ceramic padding for heat sink and is designed and built as per a period fixture right down to the screws fastening it.

    Don't know the application, but I would think it out of budget to rent for a production actual antiques especially if in bulk that if you have time and inexpensive labor, you can make up for the other part money in making your own that will work just as well if not better for your purposes. Bit harder to make a working PC fixture, but cheaper in renting I would think with the effort. Plus back than if date accurate, it was still a question of PC verses carbon arc and probably a mixture of each dependant on the need.

    Research the Iriquois Fire for an accurate inventory of what was approximate to that date - though by 1929 potentially more incandescent than carbon arc that you simply won't find bulk in these days either of. Persay no carbon arcs.

    Another option is to go low voltage MR-16 type lamps as the source should you need a more powerful beam of light that will still run fairly cool. For lenses, what ever you have laying about or can borrow from other gear normally will work.

    Details.. details... details in hopefully me not killing off the conversation. Thinking more economic would be to build them as per a prop. Lamp them down enough and no special heat sinks would be needed. No different than making a chair. Need to work as a light, obvious wiring necessities are needed but I'm sure the school could supervise in doing so. Use the props for effect but light the scene with normal lighting.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  4. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I would definitely check film industry sources - prop houses, film lighting companies, &c.
  5. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    if your college has a metal workshop then just make some rectangular boxes to fit around some modern fittings, it is unlikely your show will be visited by a vintage lighting expert and early lights were pretty basic, I have some but the freight from Australia may be a little too much.
  6. mattyo81

    mattyo81 New Member

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    Location:
    Cocoa, Florida, United States
    You should check out the vintage inspired porcelain lights at Barn Light Electric. They're based on the originals from the early to mid 1900's and were used on the HBO series, Boardwalk Empire. They don't rent but have some great prices

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