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Need to build a light box for a T.V. Studio Set

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by gafftaper, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    The campus video guy just scraped together a chunk of change from the end of the year "use or lose" pile and he asked me to build him a new TV studio. Should be a fun little summer project.

    He wants a light box that he can hang titles of shows on. I've never actually seen anything like it up close so I'm not sure how to design it. I'm thinking a 1x6 box with a sheet of 1/4" white plastic on top.

    Is there a particular type of light source I should use? I was thinking of just wiring up a string of those little cheap porcelain bases. But I'm worried about the heat it will generate. Is heat a problem if I use a low enough wattage lamp? Should I go with fluorescent instead?

    Help!
     
  2. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Light boxes would normally fall on the lighting part of the forum.

    Initially you are correct except translucient as opposed to opeg plastic and think more doctor's X-Ray clip up thingie in style of lighting what is cliped up to it and an even lighting of it verses bunch of cheap individual sources = fluorescent lamp tubes. Lamp source normally at least "cool white" 4,1K or above up to 6,5K in color temperature.
     
  3. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    I've built various different light boxes for the Pageant including an Earth and a moon. I'll pm you with details when I have a little more time.
     
  4. loki

    loki Member

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    We recently used a light box as part of a lit up picture.

    It was just a 500x500x100mm box with standard 75w incandecent fixtures. As for the image, we printed it onto transparent paper.

    Worked fine for the whole season (at about 30%.) At that intencity heat did not seem to be a problem

    Oh, and the back of the box was lined with reflective foil.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. FatherMurphy

    FatherMurphy Active Member

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    Is this something to be seen on-camera as part of a set? Or more of a marquee to hang outside?

    If you're worried about heat, you might look for an LED solution. There's a number of products using LEDs mounted in flexible strips, or closely spaced modules, that are intended by the sign industry to replace neon and fluorescents in lighted signs (Might be a little pricey, though). There's also LED screw-in lightbulbs.
     
  6. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Thanks for your thoughts so far.

    Yes this will be seen on camera. They have two or three different series of lecture interviews they film on this set. So each will have it's on title that gets dropped in the light box.

    So if the box is 2' H x 3' W would a 36" fluorescent tube top and bottom do the trick? Do I need another one in the middle to even it out? Paint the inside white? No frost of any kind on the plexiglass?
     
  7. FatherMurphy

    FatherMurphy Active Member

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    The translucent white plexiglass is usually referred to as 'milk white', and has good transmission in the thinner thicknesses. Alternately, clear plexi or glass with a heavy frost gel is an option. I've seen T5 slimline 8" long string-along flourescent fixtures available, intended for use underneath kitchen cabinets, you might consider ringing the box with those (they are also good as worklights inside cases and racks).

    The obvious problems are that the edge might appear brighter than the middle, and that the camera may see that difference more than the human eye. The times I've done light boxes, I've just painted the inside white, and recessed the lamps back a few inches from the edge of the viewing area, and it's balanced out ok for theater uses.

    Just for comparison, lighted displays are available ready-made:

    Light Boxes : These Light Boxes are Thin Poster Displays. Shop over one million in-stock Products at Displays2go!

    Ordering something pre-made isn't as fun as building your own, but the 'real' ones might be smaller/thinner/brighter than a homebrew, or might just free up your time for something else.
     
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Thank you Father... I feel like I'm back in Catholic School. ;)

    I'll try to go with smaller fluro tubes and recess them a bit. Seems like the white plexi would help with hiding where the light sources are.

    We'll take a look at the premade ones. Unfortunately, I spent about $300 more at Ikea on furnishings yesterday than planned. So, I may have already blown the cushion in my budget.
     

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