How to keep your gels from burning out too quickly


Active Member
Mar 1, 2004
Melbourne, Australia
I think that we all just have to face up to it, that it is a fact of lighting. It can be worked around but its just one of those things...


Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2004
Milwaukee, WI
just take a razor and cut 1" slits in the middle. thats what we do for our scoops and cycs, we also use lee ht in them.


Aug 26, 2004

I used pounce wheel from the costume shop to aerate the gels once and it seemed to work fairly well.

For me, the biggest baking problem I have is with my Altman Sky cycs, largely because I run 1500's in them and have teenaged lighting technicians.

They seem to follow the "This is Spinal Tap" method of assigning intensities.

And yes, if it were possible they would make the board exceed one hundred percent.

But they also like using the bump buttons for dance concerts so...they then realize that if the cyc is already at 100 percent the bump button does absolutely nothing.

I have been trying to get them to realize that the "keep the lights at 80 percent" is a good idea, as the director will undoubtedly ask for more light constantly if you have them all at one hundred percent, yet never if you are at 80 percent.

Oh and BTW I use sky silks in the Altmans so the diffusion probably doesn't help the early burnout I (I mean my gels) experience.

Big Gorilla


Active Member
May 2, 2006
New York
Have u tried the Appolo ones? I have never used them. Lee and Rosco are big in this area. They are great. I personaly am a Lee fan.
Apollo Gel shield works really well, our school just got about 12 apollo smart color scrollers and the scrollers are all equipped with the gel shield (standard). It really does help the gels last longer


Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Sep 23, 2005
Fort Wayne IN, USA
While it's true that the larger the airspace, the better the ventilation. But- many modern lighting fixtures (the Source Four comes to mind) have two color frame slots at the end of the barrel, intended to place a Gel Shield (or cheaper heat shield) in the nearer slot with the gel transmission in the farthest slot.
Color extenders will improve the ventilation, but you'll add $20-$25 for each fixture to get this extension. It all depends upon the budget and difficulty of replacing the faded gel.

As the previous scroller buyer indicated, Apollo installs a dichroic coated polyester Gel Shield on each Smart Color scroller to lengthen the life by an average of 7x over the normal gelstring life. When the Gel Shield is used by itself with a gel in the color frame, it too will extend the life of the gel substantially.

Traditional heat shield, on the other hand, is just a layer of clear gel that provides a little relief by acting as a barrier. It's cheaper than Gel Shield, but the results are less dramatic.