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Lamppost flicker / turn on


mbthegreat

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I'm lighting a production of The Lover in a couple of weeks, and the director has asked for a particular section to take place under a (suggested) lamppost. All fine and dandy, bit of Lee Yellow and we're away.

 

However I wanted to do something a bit different on top of simulating a sodium lamp. I'd like to achieve a flickering turn on effect (thinking along the lines of fluorescent tube with a slightly dodgy starter), to nicely delineate the start of the scene and set the tone a bit. I was thinking of doing this using a compact fluorescent tube in a standard d0mestic fitting, perhaps with a cinefoil top hat to give it a bit of direction. However I don't have any time in the space to try anything like this out, so I was looking for a couple of pieces of advice:

 

1.) Do you think this would work in achieving the effect that I'm looking for?

2.) Are there any small fluorescent fittings that flicker rather than warm up? (I know my bathroom light, sort of kinked tube style, use to?). Obviously a tube is going to look totally wrong.

3.) Is there a way of forcing a sustained flicker short of knackering a dimmer. Perhaps switching on and off over the start up (will be running this through a DMX switch probably).

 

Thanks.

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Program the flicker, its how it appears not how its actually created....

 

SOX, low pressure sodium actually starts red, its neon as a starter gas, then warms to yellow, mebbe could do something with couple of lanterns and a fade?

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Not too worried about the colour changing as it's just a short section. Do you think it would be possible to get a nice flicker from an incandescent source?

 

Basically the scene involves the two characters stepping "out" of their living room into a sexual fantasy (set in a park, but still in their living room if you get my drift) so I wanted a strobe like effect to really set it apart. I think maybe the rise / cool down on a generic could hamper this?

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I think if theres pre-heat on the dimmers and the desk programmed right it wont be perfect but it'll be good enough.

 

Shuttering a moving head would give you the instant flicker you want (and if CMY could fade redish to yellow on start up). but obviously relies on budget, available power, and sufficient strength and height of rigging...

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you could also try wiring up a flourescent starter in series with the incandescent lamp your using as this will make it randomly flicker in a similar way to the flourescent starting up and then you could swap to another lamp for when it has started up. obviously you should only do this if you are competent and make sure it is tested by yourself or someone who is....
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