As you know, I just shot an independent short where I used the Coollights CL-455 and it was a great asset. I’ve come to realize that a strong artificial daylight source is very useful when taking advantage of natural sunlight. It is much more efficient to work with the sun instead of fight against it. I hate wasteful tungsten fixtures that heat up the set and risk blowing circuit breakers so I have been experimenting with daylight fluorescents. I knew I wouldn’t have time to play with lights on this shoot so we ordered the CL-455. It arrived over on Maui in just a few days. As I hoped, it was bright enough to fill in an area that is side or partially back lit by the sun which everyone knows is often a challenge. I liked that it is cool enough to pick up and move any time. It’s design also made it easy to get light where I wanted it which was critical as I also needed to operate the camera.
For those who don’t know, the CL-455 uses bright 55W daylight-balanced PL55 tubes in either 3200K or daylight color. The ballast is flicker-free and silent. There was some confusion about installing the bulbs so be careful with them as it is easy to get excited when a new “toy” arrives. I recommend reading the manual if you haven’t used these type of lamps before. The case is sturdy metal and the yoke keeps the light balanced on the stand and is easy to adjust. I was skeptical about mirrored barn doors, but I found them to be very useful. The doors can be positioned to act as a reflector to bring up the light when a bright window is causing a back lit situation. In other shots, I bounced the direct light off a wall or the ceiling and I used one of the barn doors to reflect some light straight at the talent. This made the CL-455 effectively into two lights at the same time. When needed the barn doors still perform their classic job of keeping light off certain areas. At the end of the shoot, the barn doors close to protect the lamps and the already cool light can be put away immediately.
A single fixture like the CL-455 that is economical, fast to set up and re-locate, cool to the touch, energy efficient, and can allow me to take advantage of natural sunlight is a real time saver and a pleasure to use. I can’t imagine wrestling all the hot tungsten it would require to fight the sun as I needed to spend most of my time behind the camera. Instead, in most shots I worked with the sun and used the lights to fill in and add accents where necessary. In other shots, I faked the look of the mixed sunlight shots by using the CL-455 as the key.
I would also like to thank you for your quick shipping and prompt customer service. This shoot was much easier due to the timely arrival your light.
Camera Operator, Gaffer