How To DIY Bank Lighting For Filmmaking – Basic Filmmaker Ep 114

How To DIY Bank Lighting For Filmmaking – Basic Filmmaker Ep 114

Easiest DIY Project Ever! Here’s a light bulb. The source of light is the bulb, shooting
out, and as it gets further and wider, the light disperses. The brightest point from the center hits a
subject or screen with the most intensity, creating a hotspot. You can diffuse the light, which makes it
less harsh, and spreads the light more evenly, resulting in smoother distribution of the
light. But, you’ll still get uneven lighting from
falloff and a hotspot, just not as much. This not a bad thing, and in fact this creates
depth, moods and everything else you see when lighting a scene. But there are cases you don’t want that. If you try and do green screen work, hotspots
and uneven lighting are the enemy. That’s one reason Bank Lights, also known
as a light banks, or simply – banks, are used by pros when doing green screen work. A bank light is an array of lights that form
a single light source. Bank lights have long strips of light that
have minimal falloff and generate minimal hotspots. You’ll see why you need these in my next
episode, but just trust me when I say you’ll want a minimum of two, 4 foot or longer bank
lights, with 4 lights in each. Cool!!! Let’s go buy some bank lights! Here’s some FilmGear bank lights that are
almost $3,000! Maybe we can do better than that. Here’s some Kino Flo Bank lights that cost
just a bit over $1,000. It should be obvious these are Pro Lights
used on a pro set, either supplied by a lighting crew, already owned, or rented. They are pro gear, take abuse and have all
the goodies. But for those of you without an unlimited
budget, you need a better option. Now, you may thinking, “Hey! Those look
like fluorescent shop lights!” Pretty much. But fluorescent shop lights have problems. One, they flicker like a mo-fo on camera,
even though you can’t see it with your naked eye. Two: You have to hard wire them yourself to
an electrical source. Three: Fluorescent bulbs emit terrible light,
again, not seen with the naked eye. Four: You need to be able to mount these so
they are usable. And that’s where this DIY bank light comes
in. It’s an ultra-simple, 4-light, 4-foot-long
bank light, mounts on a light stand, can be built in about 5 minutes only a screwdriver,
and costs about $70. Problem One: Flickering. The electricity that flows into Fluorescent
lights varies, which make them flicker, only seen on camera. To solve that, these fluorescent lights have
an electronic ballast. The ballast is a fancy name for a thing that
regulates the current to the lamps, so they don’t flicker. Problem Two: Hard wiring them yourself. Not a big deal for those that are electrically
savvy, but these lights have a three-prong grounded plug, so you just plug them in and
turn them on. Problem Three: Terrible light. Shop lights rarely come with bulbs, which
in our case is a good thing. You can go out and buy any old fluorescent
lights and slap them in this fixture. What you’ll end up doing is chasing your
tail trying to figure out what’s wrong with your shot when in fact it’s because you
bought the wrong lights. I shoot here with lighting that’s about
5000k, so I want to match that so I’m not fighting with mismatched lights. I also want quality light. You’ll see this as a CRI value, known as
Color Rendering Index. I won’t get into the details, but anything
rated at 90+ will be legit. One solution is to buy these “pro” bulbs
– $38 apeice I need four so that’s $152, which over twice
the cost of building two of these DIY lights. Instead, I chose these Sylvania 5000K, CRI
90+, 48 inch long lights. They come in a two pack for $9 bucks. Problem Four: Mounting. Pretty simple. This bracket is perfect at about $3 bucks,
and I can attach it to the light, and drop it on a light stand. Let’s cost this out. Shop light with electronic ballast at $50
dollars. Four bulbs at $18 dollars. A mounting bracket for $3 dollars. Total cost is $71 dollars. The cool part is all I need is 5 minutes and
a screwdriver. Let’s take a look. Pull the light out of the box and lay it down. See this? That’s the electronic ballast. Turn it over and you’ll see a screw here
on the back that keeps the ballast secure. Remove the screw, place the bracket over the
hole, and replace the screw. Light stand mounting done. If you don’t have this on your light, just
drill a hole about a foot down from one side, and attach the bracket with a screw and nut. Next, turn the light over, tuck all these
wires in and screw the wire housing to the light housing. Now screw the ends of the light holder to
the housing. Do the same for the other side. Now place your four lights in the light holder. Plug it in and turn it on. Now repeat for the second light, or as many
as you are making. Finally, hang the bank light on a light stand
like this. DONE! OK, let’s be honest here. These are an ultra-cheap solution. They don’t have barn doors, aren’t black,
have no diffuser covers, no dimmers, and just hang on the light stands. Well get creative! Get some plastic or sheet metal and cut it
to size, get pop rivets and some hinges and you’ll have barn doors. Add rubber grommets or whatever to the lights
to make them stable on the stands. Add some dimmers, they should work with the
electronic ballasts. Paint them black if you like. Rig some sort of diffuser on them. Just get creative! Now you may be asking, “Why didn’t I do
this?” Because in my next episode, I wanted to show
you it isn’t necessary. What’s important is that you now have 4
foot of even lighting, that doesn’t create hot spots, and didn’t cost you thousands
of dollars. Would I use them on a real set or commercial? No, as I already have, or would rent, the
equipment needed. Could I use these on a real set or commercial? Yes, and I did once just to prove they would
work. If you’ve got the money, go get yourself
a bunch of real bank lights. If not, try out these low cost DIY Bank Lights
and let me know what you think. All the materials and links are in the description
below. I hope that helps, and thanks for watching. DIY episodeOh sh…… Don’t do that!

100 thoughts on “How To DIY Bank Lighting For Filmmaking – Basic Filmmaker Ep 114

  1. Good episode. I was thinking of doing that kind of light when I saw it in indymogul. But I still haven't :p
    I suppose you will use it for keying. So question : did you know that Blackgmagic fusion 7 is now free ? 🙂

  2. Awesome that you did this just so to show it can be done.
    I guess next up will be the epic all-you-ever-need-to-do-for-good-green-screen-work-video you talked about earlier? You get some of the best results out there (seen a lot of folks ending up with soft edges… green spill, not good), so I'm happy to learn how you do it. As always: thanks for sharing!

  3. After fooling around with a few different clamp on work lights, this looks like the best solution for the type of videos I do, thanks for the "how to"!

  4. I have been using these LED lights from Costco for quite some time and have gotten awesome results (they are much cheaper in store, I think the high price is to pay for shipping, im not sure)

    let me know what you think, EK 

  5. Hey buddy,I love your stuff, just wondering if you see the two dots on your nose.. 🙂 Is that make-up's job to eliminate, or the lighting? Cheers..

  6. The DIY bank lights that I use have an additional switch allowing me to turn off half of the bulbs. I don't use this option as much as I expected. I tend to scrim them with window screen instead. Great episode as always.

  7. Excellent & interesting video. Although I don't intend to use them in near future but I can see amount of hard work and editing on this project, appreciated.  

  8. Great video. I used them and the video came out wonderful… But if I wanted to the fluorescent tubes as single light sources without the bank housing. Will the ballast still work effectively with extended wiring. Thanks

  9. I just purchased all the items in this video. FWIW as a "Prime" member the total came to $204.88 (for 2 lights)

  10. Hi, I have a question, would these lights from Costco work, they have led bulbs, here is the information for them:

     Tek Pro Black Ultimate Shop Light

    The Tek PRO delivers more lumens per watt than regular fluorescent lamps or incandescent bulbs!  High output, energy efficiency and quality of light make this the ultimate garage, shop, workbench or craft area light fixture.  T5 HO fixture with 4 lamps produces an amazing 20,000 lumens, while a standard 4 lamp T12 fluorescent fixture produces 11,800 lumens and a 200 watt incandescent standard household bulb only 3,900 lumens (varies by lamp type).  “Daylight” 6500˚ K lamp color makes them very pleasing to the eye.  They also feature a high color rendering index (CRI) of 84.  Tek PRO fixtures are made from rugged diamond plate aluminum and have a durable powder coated finish.  State-of-the-art reflectors are made from 95% reflective German aluminum.  This unique high-end embossed material offers unparalleled output, reflectivity and diffusion.  “Daisy chain” feature allows multiple fixtures to be plugged in together (not to exceed 12 amps).  120 volt/216 Watts/1.8 amps per fixture.  1 year warranty on ballast components. Made in the USA.

    They cost $149.99 each
    I am thinking about purchasing them, thanks for you help.

  11. Hi!I'm Davide from Milan (Italy). I'm watching your tuts with enthusiasm as I'm approaching DIY green screen film-making for fun and a commercial project for myself. Congrats on the whole youtube project, very well done, instructive and entertaining!

    I gave up DIYing the green screen and the 3 points lighting system as in Italy it's way cheaper to buy them on Amazon, but the light banks are on the way as per your tutorial. However, I'm finding difficult, very difficult, to find the right flo bulbs and the housing hosting 4 bulbs. So the question is: 

    1) Would one 150cm housing per side hosting 2 52W bulbs at 4000K / 82or85 CRI do the trick? My hair color is blond and I read that a CRI below 90 could render yellowish halos around the talent and cause problems with the edges and hair of the subject filmed. However at the same time I also read that a CRI of 82 is already in the range of white /sun light. Unfortuately in Italy flo-bulbs can either be found at 4000K or 6700K and online no one is offering differently…

    2) I would be filmino in a small environment on a 3 meters wide green screen, and therefore the banks would be very next to the green screen. With such lighing setup, would the floor banks also be needed if I want to shoot head to feet?

    I thank you in advance.


  12. I apologize if you've already answered this question, and I just can't find it anywhere, but what kind of light stands are those and how much do they hold? I'm able to make these bank lights with the links you provided but I'm scared to buy light stands that can't support them. Thanks!

  13. Nice video! I work with a Lowel DV Creator 55 Kit to light my subject and these lights are Tungsten 3200K. Would i get in trouble if i would use your DIY fluorescent lights to light the Green screen?
    Cause somebody once told me to not mix light sources.
    Hope you can help
    Greetz lenny

  14. Hello, Basic Film Maker 🙂 your videos look great from Romania and I've learned a lot from them. Thank you for that. Now I have a question: I want to do the project using a led light 1,7 metter long, 7350 lumeni, but with a CRI of 83. Do you think its a good idea? In the video you mention CRI over 90 plus. Thank you

  15. There is a pro commercial light that uses 4x 55W "U" shape 2 foot tubes.Costs a fortune. I found a unit in the (hum) "hydroponic industry" that was about £80. For the stand mount, I used a device that has a VESA monitor mount to 35mm speaker pole fitting, so the angle of the light can be changed. Barn doors from sheet alum, covered on one side with plastic imitation leather (leatherette). Total cost about £100, so saved several Grand. (I put all the details into a PDF)

  16. I purchased 5 Neewer 160 LED lights. I plan on using two to light the green screen. If I cannot get good coverage with the LED's would this DIY work with the Neewer 160 LED's if I used 3 for Fill, Key, and Hair light? The LED's are rated 5400K temperature. The two light kit for the LED's were $122.

  17. So, how did you locate these? Amazon lists them as out of stock. A Google search shows possible replacements, but they do not list an electronic ballast. That's the problem with cheap off-brand gear. It comes and goes.

  18. Hey, thanks for the help! I put together a low budget green screen and lighting setup with help from your ideas! Check out my channel to see the videos we made

  19. hey the link for the bulbs doesnt work..i went to lowes here in maple ontario canada and couldnt find any of these types of lights with cri higher than 90plus. im pretty sure the light holder with ballast is there though from what i found. let me know if u can on the bulbs cuz i dont want to wait for delivery..thx ur videos are great..much needed help.

  20. Hi, thanks again for this DIY bank lights video and the other one on green screen. I got the Lowes shop lights (T8) you suggested, but they have only 4100K or 6500K T8 tubes available, and their CRI is in the low 80's range. The lighting set I am using uses 5500K CFL bulbs. Should I get the 4100K or 6500K tubes for the bank lights? Thanks!

  21. I see they make LED replacements for fluorescents, no ballast . I don't see a CRI. Whadya think?

  22. Going on 2yrs since this video, technology offers a few new choices in lights, here's my attempt at doing your basic design. I'm sure there's many other choices

    I'm pretty happy the lights, but I'm missing barn doors; I haven't figured out and easy way to add them.

  23. Are phillips lights at cri 82 just as good? I cant seem to find any of the ones you recommended anywhere.

  24. If you have a second, does this look like a decent purchase? Been having a hard time tracking down the right bulbs otherwise and this is roughly going to cost the same in the end.

  25. Please DO NOT DIM FLUORESCENT lights. This can fry your bulbs or your ballast, and in some cases can even be a fire risk. Most fluorescents and ballasts are not dimmable unless explicitly indicated that they are.

  26. I just invested in everything on the list….Lowes only had 6500K but that's cool (pun intended). I have both lights about 10 feet away from the green screen and I'm still getting two big hot spots. I'll have to get creative with diffusing I guess

  27. Is it possible to get an updated links for lights? Those lights are no longer available.

  28. I was wondering if I can have your input on lighting, can I use this
    for my lighting, if yes, how many 3 or 5

  29. Trying to find the lights but nothing on Amazon or Lowes. Would these suffice?

  30. you are amazing man, i just discovered you last night after searching for better tips on green screen. I had a pretty decent set up for my first try but after experiments and trying new things i realized it wasn't going to cut it…i spent time cleaning some space in the garage today where i work and finally set it up to where i can stretched the green screen…i have been wanting to do this for some time but my space has a lot of clutter. I was really impressed last night with your studio space and how clean and well managed it is, i have been wanting to do this for some time now and i really want a nice set up like you have. i am new to all this and learning so many things and really happy i found you. so my next search today was the lighting you mentioned in your other video and i really like this idea and will be doing this next
    i need a little more work cleaning so i can make room for them but i will manage it. i have bigger plans after april when i get time to make a cleaner nicer space that i feel i want now but didn't really want when i started, i didn't think i would like this as much as i do. so for now i will take the first advice and work with the green screen than move on to learning everything you have to share. really appreciate you.

  31. Great video thank you so much. Unfortunately the top 2 links for the lights are no longer valid. Could you add a new link?

  32. @Basic Filmmaker how about these:

  33. This may be a silly question. Can I use LED light tubes or do they have to be the same type of light that you showed in the video? Greetings.

  34. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ve been searching for these DIY lights for a while. Now back to the green screen video tutorial! You got yourself a thumbs up and a new subscriber.

  35. You produce fun, highly informative videos. Just what a newbie needs. This was my 2nd of your channel, I will be watching a bunch more! Thumbs up and subscribed…

  36. Great, funny, informative video. In the UK we don't have access to 4 light fixtures. Would you recommend anything else? Thank you

  37. Very nicely done. Thank you! Is there a reason you use fluorescent rather tian led lights? Seems to me led 's would be easier to build into a bank?

  38. Are there any cheaper options than Kinos in 2019, besides building them? I guess what I'm saying is I'm not too cheap to buy decent lights, but Kinos are too much for me. I'd love something cheaper than Kinos, but that I don't have to put together, and with a built-in dimmer and barn doors.

  39. I'm going to try making some of these. I changed my garage lights over to LED a while back and put the old lights in the storage shed, guess I should head to the hardware store and get some better bulbs.

  40. Awesome DIY lighing video. I wonder if these LED lights would work they are 5000K and put out 4500 Lumen and only cost $34.88 at Sams Club.

  41. Hi Basic Filmmaker, just came across this video from your Green Light Basics. NO wonder my Adobe editing skills get inundated with extra work, I wasn't lighting up my subject and green screen properly! Your video is a few years old but I know you come out here on the regular to post comment replies. Do you have any updates on equipment picks? Some of your links don't work and Lowes's says its unavailable… Please help! Mainly the shop light.

  42. So I went to Home Depot to check out thier shop lights. 89 bucks for a 4 footer and the fluorescent tubes are thin. UT it does hold 4 of them. But, while there they also sell the led shop lights. Not made of many tiny LEDs. Rather. It's one large flat panel LED. VERY large. Yet cheaper than the fluorescent unit by almost half. What say you about that?

  43. Yep, this is some of the best info out there, and I could watch/listen to you all day.
    Thanks for the amazing tips!!

  44. Awesome video thanks man! Has anyone tried this with 4000K LED lights? I’m wondering if I should return them and get 5000K lights instead or if I should just try with these…

  45. Hi, great video very useful. Would this work with LED fluorescent lights? Looking at the spec it states no flicker although the output rated at daylight is 6500.

  46. I have to say, I stumbled across this channel on complete accident while watching some of Peter McKinnon's videos about photography and editing. I started looking at different camera work and sound design and your video showed up in the recommended feed. I forgot which one it was because after I saw that particular one, I fell down the rabbit hole of YouTube and started watching everything that I can find with basic filmmaker. I really enjoy how simple and to the point you are. I love how you don't bullshit around and try to sell the product but more or less educate and try to point people in the right direction. As someone with a low budget myself I could really appreciate when I feel like somebody's trying to teach me about things rather than push a sale on me. Keep doing what you do and you will have a subscriber in me for life.

  47. Brilliant! Thank you!
    Unfortunately the links don't appear to be working.. plus I'm in the UK so could do with finding a local source.
    Is there anyway you could post links to the actual products used so that I can search our local retailers?

    I did a search on "Sylvania Full Spectrum 5000k tube" but I have no idea if anything that comes up matches.

    Many thanks
    I've subscribed!

  48. Brilliant video. I have tried an arrangement of Fluorescent lighting and should be able now to spell fluorescent with my eyes shut lol I have started a different set up of lighting the green screen. I have a large wall which was painted for green screen, My earlier videos were not that great where green screen was concerned. But something I do want to warn others who are getting into the LED market. My advice is purchase the LED lighting units with the LED Tubes. Unless you really know what your doing in bypassing the older Fluorescent lighting to accomodate LED Tubes one must do some reading before taking on this process. You could find yourself out of pocket or worse electrocuted. Ebay there are sellers on there who will sell you cheap LED lighting most of these tubes and lighting units are made in China.
    It would be unfair of me to say that all sellers are selling Chinese crap. I still have two 6ft LED tubes that are useless not fit for the purpose both never worked and one blew the mains. It was absolutely nothing to do with my wiring after rechecking it all again.
    Taking one tube apart i noted that a positive wire had broken away and was touching against the neutral hence the short and very loud bang.
    After a lengthy debate I finally got the refund of which the seller told me to keep the tubes so I will at some point rewire them with a new set of LED's for another project.

    There was also a problem with the second set from another seller, The tombstones at each end of the light were made of very brittle plastic, both broke! on inspection of the lighting tubes a cap at one end on each of the tubes had popped out so i had to lock both back in after inspection of the wiring.
    Both lights are working really well and light the Green screen perfectly.
    Anyone who is getting into LED Tubes make sure that you fit the tube taking note at which end recieves the live feed there should be a label on the tube or the ligting unit if purchased with the lighting unit.
    If you are changing the tubes In your older Fluorecsent lighting unit for LED you will have to change the small starter if there is one for an LED starter.
    If in doubt about any of what is written scour the internet for the answers to your questions, make sure you read as much as possible but also be aware of LED lighting on Ebay or even Amazon as the sellers are on there also. Long I know but necessary and Yes LED is perfect for green screen, Just depends on the size of the screen to how many units you need, Mine is adequate with two 5ft LED lighting units lighting the screen and two box lights lighting the subject. Camera settings as the producer has pointed out here are also very important and sure thing the monitor turn the color off, Like i said brilliant video and i really enjoyed your presentation. Still awake?

  49. Do you think this sort of thing could work as well as this? Cheaper and less energy to run! And it’s pre built!

  50. Hi Kevin, thanks again for this great content. I bought a pair of shoplights. They include an electronic certified ballast. I shouldn’t need a new one, right?

  51. Simply amazing stuff. I'm scrambling trying to catch up on all the lost years of not knowing about your channel! Thank you!

  52. Another rock'in episode! You gotta love DIY. Starting to run basic greenscreen (not too fancy) and just needed to control the hotspots. Your video is the best few minutes I have spent in a while. Keep it up.

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