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Where to get an Infrared Gel

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by cutlunch, May 11, 2005.

  1. cutlunch

    cutlunch Active Member

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    Hi.
    Does anyone know if and where you could get a Gel that will provide a source of Infrared illumination. It is to illuminate a stage during blackouts so the video camera can still be used. The camera is Infrared sensitive. Preferably a catalog number and manufacturer if possible. Thanks.
     
  2. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    This question has been asked before, here and on stagecraft, lighting network and pro sound/lighting. There was some good concepts presented that might work really well in addition to manufactured lighting equipment designed to supplement this.

    UV gel has also been discussed on the four websites in the past. It don't exist. You can come close to simulating it's effects for stage but remember that a filament based lamp is extremely low in UV-A output. Thus any gel placed in front of that light will block out not only visible light but also from what's left of the UV-A, very little will be transmitted. In other words, from say a 10Kw lighting fixture, you might get about as much UV light as a 9v compact fluorescent black light. Rough figures here.

    Remember also that black light is something that's not visible. The black light blue fluorescent lamps you buy at a hardware store are both UV and blue in color spectrum. This as opposed to a true black light lamp also available that won't have any visible light coming out of it other than what phosphors or is seen by the camera. The 75w incandescent "party bulb" that's a black light bulb is color corrected to simulate black light also but in fact has very little UV output.


    This given UV output and not IR output. I'm not sure of any lamps that specialize in the IR spectrum other than a space heater. IR is heat for the most part not light. Thus any lamp produces heat.

    Any help?
     
  3. BNBSound

    BNBSound Active Member

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    I'm curious about the camera? Could you replace it? I know there's several brands of home security type cameras, both in color and b/w that have their own IR illuminators. Although from my experience, they're not very effective past about 10 feet. The one that I have was $100, has a b/w monitor with sound and came with one wireless cam (up to 4 possible).

    The other option would be to simply get what they call a warming lamp or two from your local hardware and stick them in clamp lights and clip them to say, the 2nd electric. They're typically used over holding areas for food at restaurants and in bathroom fixtures so you don't get a chill after you shower. Because those are the typical applications, it doesn't matter that they emit some red light as well. You could correct for this with a blue gel.

    You'd also be saving a lot of wattage. Instead of trying to gel a leko for IR (not sure such a thing even exists) at 575w. You could have two or three warming lamps at 100w or 150 and leave them on all the time.
     
  4. propmonkey

    propmonkey Well-Known Member

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    i looked some IR immitors not too long ago. kinda on the expensive side.
     
  5. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Jaycar sell the LED floodlight kits that are designed for use with such cameras. Essentially they are rectangular circuit boards with lots of IR LED's

    I know some hospitals use these in conjunction with their cameras to monitor certain patients over night, without having to wake them up by turning on the lights or using a flash light. From all accounts - they work pretty well and there is no visible light output.
     
  6. cutlunch

    cutlunch Active Member

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    Thanks everyone for your help.

    I had a feeling you wouldn't be able to get easily a Gel.

    The heat lamp is an idea I hadn't thought of.

    Mayhem as it happens I have started working part-time for Jaycar's so I am considering the IR LED's. Only trouble is the stage is about 12m by 10m so I haven't worked out how many units I would need. Any suggestions?

    BNBSound the camera hasn't been picked yet I am still deciding on the best one to use. I am probably going for one with low light capabilities and with an auto iris lens. I'll probably go for a lens with 110 degrees of view. Anyone got a suggestion for a good model of camera.
     
  7. JahJahwarrior

    JahJahwarrior Active Member

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    also remember that given your own experience level in electronics, you could concievebly purchase the LED's yourself and build your own light. This way you could design it into the body of a scoop or something, if you wanted, and say make four of them, and hang them at various points around the stage. The only advantage is it's customizable, it would probably be about the same price, and more work.
     
  8. BNBSound

    BNBSound Active Member

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    There was a PAC I used to work in that had a cam in the booth of each space that even from as far away as 300 feet (100m) would pick up an actor in pitch black, just from the IR emissions from their body heat. We're talking about some pretty expensive units though.

    There might be another way to get an LED solution going. There's similar panels for use with assistive listening devices. You see them high up in theatres. 6" by 12" panels with hundreds of LEDs in them. You might find one of those used or on the bench at a supply shop and mod it to fit your needs. Just figure out what the trip voltage is and supply it.
     
  9. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Unfortunately the short answer is "not really"

    The hospital room that I saw was only for a short period of time whilst giving a demonstration to a local hospital. The room was a standard size single room (perhaps 4m x 5m) and there was a single LED panel (approximately 10cm x 20cm). I only noticed it when glancing about the room and did not pay all that much attention to it.

    Since you are in Jaycar (I’ll try not to hold that against you or as a gauge of your ability and knowledge :) ) can you not get some additional information form the kits? I would imagine that they would provide some indication as to the area of coverage. Also, the camera might shed some light onto this problem as I would guess that each would have its own level of light output (some I have seen with built in LEDs) and sensitivity.

    Sorry that I could not be more helpful.
     
  10. rapscaLLion

    rapscaLLion Active Member

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    Ya, I say definately go with LED's.
    You'll need a good number of them to illuminate the
    entire stage, but it's probably worth it. Many companies (not just theatrical lighting companies) are starting to explore LED lighting systems, and would be glad to custom make you a few strips. It shouldn't really cost that much to get it custom made, because the boards are common and can be ordered for cheap afaik.
    You'll still want to get the camera as close to the stage is is possible, because the closer it is the less LEDs you have to buy :D
     
  11. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Rather than paying a company to do this, I would simply suggest buying the LEDs in bulk and then using what we call 'bread board' which is essentially circuit boards with parallel copper tracks.

    All you need to do is drop in the LEDs so that all the anodes link on one track and the cathodes on another for each row. Link all annodes and then all cathodes and apply power to each and vola!

    If you have an IR camera you can test to see if it works. I notice that the TV remote LED was picked up by the camera. Could also put a low intensity normal LED on each row just to ensure that you have power connected correctly for each row.
     
  12. JahJahwarrior

    JahJahwarrior Active Member

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    Mayhem, are you sure it's that good of an idea to permanently install a breadboard? I dunno, I guess with LED's it might be ok, but also remember that you are gonna be running a fair amount of power to it too, because of the large amount of LED's.

    I just think it'd be better to PCB it...granted, a huge pain in the butt......
     
  13. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Well perhaps the term bread board is slightly different between here and in the US. Essentially it is the same composition as a PCB. Also, you are going to be using DC power and the voltage wouldn't be all that much. I would imaging that you would be building several small units as opposed to one huge one.
     
  14. rapscaLLion

    rapscaLLion Active Member

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    Now that I think about it, aren't all CCD cameras sensative to infrared light? Every digital video and or still camera I've ever seen was...
     
  15. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Quite possibly - to be honest, I dont really know.

    I have a question to post at this point in time:

    Who can tell me what the power consumption (and therefore required power source) required to build such a IR LED light panel that has 200 IR LEDs in total. Lets say that this panel is made up of 5 rows of 40 LEDs arranged as follows:

    + --------------------------
    o o o o o o --> to 40
    - --------------------------
    o o o o o o --> to 40
    + --------------------------
    o o o o o o --> to 40
    - --------------------------
    o o o o o o --> to 40
    + --------------------------
    o o o o o o --> to 40
    - --------------------------

    hope this "diagram" make sense!
     
  16. propmonkey

    propmonkey Well-Known Member

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    most cameras all have a special ir filter lense, because without it you can see through thin layers of clothes. you can take the filter out but then the camera will be just for that.
     

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