Won’t hot lights melt a foamcore softbox?

Josh wrote:

Hello,

I have been looking for an inexpensive lighting solution. I came across an article demonstrating the use of 500 watt work lights, adding barn doors, and using them for DV lighting. I have modified a few of them now, and seem to be getting great results (haven’t put them to the true test yet) Before this next shoot I also wanted to put a soft box on them & see if it works.

So this question really is directed at the Softbox article I found on this site:

With lights as powerful as 500 watts, isn’t the tape going to melt? and the foam core catch on fire? (friend of mine had a pro chimera that lite on fire)

Also I am trying to locate some of that Nylon Diffuser Material, know a good web site for ordering? is there a common application where I might adapt the material from?

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One thought on “Won’t hot lights melt a foamcore softbox?

  1. StudioLighting.netStudioLighting.net Post author

    Josh,

    The foam core softbox featured on this site was used with a professional photographic bulb which extended into the softbox center. The bulb never touched the foam core and the light was not used for long sessions to avoid heat build up. When I replaced the bulb with a 1000 watt bulb, the heat was beginning to melt the tape that held the foam core together. I removed the 1000 watt bulb after noticing that!

    From my experience with work lights, they generate a tremendous amount of heat. Even the casing can get quite hot. If this type of light is in constant contact with the foam core, I would suggest that the risk of fire is very high. You should be looking for a way to mount the light as to avoid contact with any material.

    An alternative would be to use a large sheet hanging from above, or diffusion panel, in front of the light. This would have a similar softening effect without some of the risks. There may be a need to restrict the stray light with foam core bookends in this setup as there will be light spilling from the work lamp.

    Also, I purchased the nylon at a local fabric store. I believe it was liner material.


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