April 15, 2016 at 5:22PM

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China Balls: So Many Options?

Long time reader, first time poster. I'm looking at making a cheap investment of one of my favorite lighting instruments but I haven't yet because I'm very confused about them. Are paper or silks lanterns better? What is the max wattage bulb you should use with them? I've been doing some research but I can't seem to find any good information. Also, would it be a good idea to use a lower wattage LED corn bulb with the equivalent wattage of a tungsten bulb?

7 Comments

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April 16, 2016 at 5:59AM

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nandhu manoj
director,cinematographer
101

What does this have to do with the question?

April 25, 2016 at 6:43PM

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David Gurney
DP
1794

Sadly, I don't have much help here. I'm sure you have already seen it, but film riot did a brief episode on them. (I can't find the specific episode right now, but it's out there.)

April 17, 2016 at 4:04PM, Edited April 17, 4:13PM

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Paul Goodyear
Director/ DP / Writer
166

You should be able to check on the laterns themselves to see what they recommend as far as wattage and heat tolerance, but it usually goes fairly high. When I was moving out of my college apartment I was using a paper lantern from Ikea with a 200 watt bulb as a work light, and left it sitting on my carpet like a reeeeeeal idiot. Burned a hole in the carpet straight through to the concrete, but didn't burn the paper. On shoots I've used 600 watt bulbs with those same lanterns and never had a problem, though I did have to buy special chords with ceramic light sockets for those. This was back before LEDs were really a thing, and if that's an option for you now, I'd say go with it, just check for flicker first.

April 18, 2016 at 10:32AM, Edited April 18, 10:34AM

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Zachary Sigelko
Director, Editor
96

Wow, I'm pretty impressed by that. I have a few 150-watt halogen bulbs sitting around that I usually use for practical lighting. I'll give those a shot. If they don't work out, I'll look into some new bulbs. Thanks!

April 19, 2016 at 1:13PM, Edited April 19, 1:13PM

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Jon Cibella
Director/Director of Photography
198

I know from experience, just don't go with paper unless your using LEDs. They will definitely light on fire or get destroyed in inclement weather. The silks will handle that better.

April 26, 2016 at 6:02PM

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Can these be used portably with a LED light array? Does something larger than a lightbulb usually fit through the hole?

July 21, 2016 at 12:33AM, Edited July 21, 12:33AM

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Steven Ponec
Student
86

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