Hanging light bulbs?

Hello,

I'm not sure if any of you caught the royal variety performance the other night, but I thought the lighting effect used for Russell Watson's performance was stunning! I've thought about re-creating the hanging light bulb idea for ages now, but I've never really worked out how this would be possible. Any ideas?

I just want several light bulbs to hang from above the stage, adding a lovely effect to the scene? And if possible to hide them up again?

Thank you :D
 

Les

Well-Known Member
You could just use those paper "Chinese lanterns" but without the paper shade. Hang them from a utility batten and jump the power from an electric. You'd have to leave enough slack in the cord to be able to fly them above trim without the cord showing, which would be tricky. Also, care must be taken to not fly them too far in or out so as to avoid ripping everything down.

Edit: You could also look in to construction lights on a string, but good luck finding ones that aren't yellow, and you will probably want the bulbs hanging at different heights.
 
Last edited:

ship

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Sorry, missed it.

What type of hanging lamps are we talking about? Antique lamps, large globes or some version of lamp in general? Done a few for a few shows in the past - both safety coated lamp and otherwise, even studied into transport of such strings of lamps where it would too labor intensive to remove them for every locataion.
 

BillESC

Well-Known Member
This is the same effect, simply lose the paper lanterns.

proxy.php
 

chausman

Chase
Fight Leukemia
Little Off Topic, What was the big blue thing at the start of the video that went up as they started?
 

chausman

Chase
Fight Leukemia
Thought so. Just wasn't sure if it was or not.
 

kicknargel

Well-Known Member

I've used those for this very purpose. I used in-line crimps to attach to electrical cord, and a heat-skrink sleeve over the crimp to provide strain relief. Probably a code violation, though. You wouldn't want the risk of pulling the connection apart, say in case of a foul when flying these out. You could loom the cable to a line so the line would take the weight.
 

MarshallPope

Well-Known Member
I have used the $8 Wal-Mart clip-lights for this purpose, sans the clip and reflector, though I was warned by someone here that it should not be done as they are not rated to be hung that way. I personally do not see a problem with it, though, as there is just not much weight at all there. Thoughts?

You would want to check with someone in authority first, before using -any- homemade fixtures or something in a way not intended by the manufacturer.
 

Les

Well-Known Member
I have used the $8 Wal-Mart clip-lights for this purpose, sans the clip and reflector, though I was warned by someone here that it should not be done as they are not rated to be hung that way. I personally do not see a problem with it, though, as there is just not much weight at all there. Thoughts?

You would want to check with someone in authority first, before using -any- homemade fixtures or something in a way not intended by the manufacturer.

You can buy a "brooder heat lamp" from home improvement stores which are basically a heavy duty clip light with a porcelain socket and a suspension ring attached to the socket for hanging. They aren't much more expensive than a standard clip light.

Correction: I misspoke, the brooder heat lamps have a hanging ring integral to the reflector, not the socket. Also, the socket would have to be painted or BlackTak'd.

About the normal clip lights hanging by their cord: I don't really see an issue with this. Not much different than a hanging Star Strobe, really. The only potential problem I can imagine would be socket and cord deterioration using higher wattage (60w) lamps without the reflector acting as a heat shield. That may be negligible though -- I have seen many hanging lamps with inverted plastic sockets on the market.
 
Last edited:
A fly system would be a must for a project such as this. We recently used string lighting for the same effect at NCCC's theatre during a dance concert. Buy the Chinese hanging lanterns, as almost everyone else has suggested, and remove the paper shade. This should leave you with a bunch of hanging bulbs which have Edison plug ends. The next step would be to remove the Edison plug ends and replace them with either stage-pin or twist-lock plug ends, which ever counterpart your theatre uses. Once this is done you can simply hang the lights from various battens, being sure to leave enough slack for the trim, and patch them through some of the stage outlets. Fly them up and out of sight until needed, and bring them in at the appropriate time.

I believe the most time consuming /or tricky part of such a project would be replacing all of the Edison plug ends with their stage appropriate counterparts. A simple time and money saver, since such bulbs use a very small amount of electricity, would be to assign a power strip for Edison plugs to each batten that the bulbs hang from. You can simply replace the Edison plug end of the power strip with a twist-lock or stage-pin plug, and then plug all the bulbs for each batten into the power strip (instead of replacing each and every plug for the Chinese lanterns). Keep in mind, doing so would send each batten of bulbs to one channel, killing your ability to control each bulb individually.
 

Users who are viewing this thread