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Outdoor show lighting


#1

Hi all,

I have recently applied, and hope to be accepted into, a local show
in a lovely outdoor setting with no electricity. Unfortunately, there
seems to be no cell service there, either, so I’ll have to process
charges at home in the evening, but that’s another issue.

Now, I’ve done just one outdoor show before, last year, and
eventhough it was a stunningly bright day, it still only gets so
bright in the booth. I’ve been to this other show I hope to do later
this year (and I know I will be doing at least one other one outside
as well), and the site has some very shady areas, so even if it’s
bright, the booths can be very dimly lit. For some media that’s not
as big of an issue, but I’m used to my pieces sparkling in the light
of an indoor booth & I’m wondering how to get power so I can bring my
lights. I have visted this same show on previous years & remember
seeing lights, but I didn’t think to ask about them at the time. Is
there some sort of marine battery or such that one can get?

Thanks!

Lisa
Designs by Lisa Gallagher
www.designsbylisag.com


#2

How many watts of lighting would you use? You would need a lot of
battery capacity, with an inverter to convert the battery DC to 110
volt AC. Personally, I would use my nice, quiet, Honda generator, but
you may not want to invest that much for a couple of shows.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#3
I have visted this same show on previous years & remember seeing
lights, but I didn't think to ask about them at the time. Is there
some sort of marine battery or such that one can get? 

A marine battery and a power inverter (try Harbor Freight) will
allow light outdoors-- and the batteries are enormously heavy, so
you can use 'em to anchor your booth-- no kidding. Be sure to take a
dolly, cuz you don’t want to carry them! You’ll also need a battery
charger to power the batteries back up. I suggest you experiment
ahead of time to make sure they’ll run your lights for a whole
weekend.

Noel


#4

Lisa - there are two things to think about for outdoor show
lighting. Batteries and lights.

The battery that I like the best is a deep cycle marine battery from
Cabelas, a sporting goods supplier. The item I use is Cabelas
Advanced Angler AGM Battery Item XG-016446.

This is a sealed battery that you can deep cycle many times. It
seems to last a lot longer than an Optima battery, which is also a
sealed battery used in automobiles.

I have two sets of lights for my cases - halogen for indoor use and
bright LEDs for outdoors. My experimentation with halogens is that
you can power four 20 watt 12 volt lights for 5 hours on a battery.
Or you can run every LED strip you can stuff in your cases for days
on a single battery charge.

None of this stuff is easy to buy off the shelf. Eclectic lighting
has some battery powered lights, but not for case lighting. As far as
I know now, no supplier offers ready made led strips for their cases.
I had mine custom made and they were expensive.

The easiest solution for off the shelf is halogen - and just run
them when it is cloudy.

Judy Hoch


#5

Hi Judy,

The item I use is Cabelas Advanced Angler AGM Battery Item
XG-016446 

Thanks so much for the suggestions. There is a Cabelas in this
general area, so perhaps I will pay them a visit. So, here is my
ignorance showing… I realize that I also have NO idea how this
setup works. Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I’ve just never
had to do this. What connects the battery to the lights, is there
something that they can plug into? And how do I recharge the battery?
Regarding the lights, I don’t have lights in my cases, I have
halogen track lights on cross bars along the “ceiling” of my booth.
The bulbs are 45W 120V halogen floods, I use 5 of them. I also have
50W bulbs if the wattage allowance allows for that much, but actually
the 45s seem to do a fine job, so I don’t bother switching them out.
Are there LED options for overhead stuff, since they use so little
power? And is there any reason why you don’t use the LEDs inside,
too, since they are so power-friendly? I’ve seen ads for Eclectic
Lighting, perhaps I’ll give them a look-see to see what options they
offer. If it would make sense to get different lighting for outside,
I do hope to do a few outdoor shows in a year, so I don’t mind
spending some money on a second set of lights, but I can’t break the
budget on it, I have other things I need to get too. Thanks!

Lisa
Designs by Lisa Gallagher
www.designsbylisag.com


#6

Hi Lisa,

I was presented with this problem recently as well. My first juried
show is this summer and my cases are all hooked for electric light. I
searched high and low online for battery powered lights that would
clip on to my cases or mount underneath and didn’t find anything that
was going to work. So there I am standing in Home Depot on the phone
with my hubby asking him about a set up with a regular car battery or
what not…come to find out its complicated to set up and
expensive… lo and behold I look over to my left in the lightbulb
department and my eye catches these battery powered flourescent
units. They are about 12" and take 8 AA batteries but if you buy
recharchables your all set. They mount from the top just like a
regular flourescent light but you could use them on the sides or
bottoms of your cases too depending on your set up. So for the
investment of the units themselves ($10 Each) the rechargable
batteries and the chargers (recharge each night in your hotel) you
can have light in your cases and never pay a show for electricity
again.

Now as far as overhead lighting for the entire booth…if your
outside then it should be enough. My feeling is as long as my
spotlights are in the cases and the jewelry itself can be seen well
from inside and outside the booth then I shouldn’t need track
lighting or spotlights elswhere. we’ll see…Hopefully this system
will work out well. It certainly beats paying an extra $100 to be
inside where the elctricity is available and then an additional
$30-$50 for said juice.

Good luck this summer…hope everything works out.

Shauna
www.DesignsbyGilardi.com


#7

Lisa; There are several ways none of which are perfect, one is the
deep cycle marine batteries the problem here is you have to lug the
things back to your motel every night to recharge. Honda makes a
small, quiet 1,000 watt generator. Some places you can use it some
you can’t check with the promoter you need a 100 ft. extension and a
place away from people and booths. Although it is fairly quiet it
still makes noise and puts out fumes. Next option if you are in a
store area talk to a store owner about hooking into their electric. I
will offer them 50 bucks. One sale will pay for it.Have duct tape in
case you can’t run it overhead and have to tape to the sidewalk. One
last thought, some of the canopies available come with a
semi-transparent panel in the roof as an option which really help but
you have to be in the sun.

Dave Owen


#8
The battery that I like the best is a deep cycle marine battery
from Cabelas, a sporting goods supplier. The item I use is Cabelas
Advanced Angler AGM Battery Item XG-016446. 

Better yet, do what RVers who need lots of battery capacity do. Get
two six volt golf car batteries and wire them in series. You get
significantly more capacity for the money.

This is a sealed battery that you can deep cycle many times. It
seems to last a lot longer than an Optima battery, which is also a
sealed battery used in automobiles. 

Optimas have advantages, but they have lower capacity than
conventional lead-acid batteries.

I have two sets of lights for my cases - halogen for indoor use
and bright LEDs for outdoors. My experimentation with halogens is
that you can power four 20 watt 12 volt lights for 5 hours on a
battery. Or you can run every LED strip you can stuff in your cases
for days on a single battery charge. 
 None of this stuff is easy to buy off the shelf. Eclectic
lighting has some battery powered lights, but not for case
lighting. As far as I know now, no supplier offers ready made led
strips for their = cases. I had mine custom made and they were
expensive. 

Again, I would look to the RV supply places. A wide variety of 12
volt lights is available.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#9

Thanks to everyone who’s replied regarding my lighting query. I’ve
gotten some feedback so far regarding getting LED lights to connect
to a marine battery, because they will use a LOT less power & the
battery will last longer. I was also told to check out the lighting
options at Eclectic Lighting, and also the “connect to the battery"
options at Radio Shack. Well, when I tried Eclectic’s website I got a
page that said it was under construction, and when I called my local
RS they didn’t seem to think they’d have what I needed to get the
battery connected to any lighting, as that sort of battery is much
more powerful than their usual lot of AAs and watch batteries. So, I
ended up surfing a bit more on “LED” lights, and somewhere in a
previous Orchid listing I saw something about clip-on lights for
something else, and I thought, hmmm, maybe I could get some sort of
battery-operated clip-on that could clip onto the back edge of the
top of my case and shine down into the case, even if I need two per
case. So, I found this site listing & I thought I’d get opnions on
it. What do you think? It seems it could be a decent amount of
lighting help, and not as pricey or “difficult” as a battery hook-up
with other new lights. I currently have 5 cases, ecah 18” wide, so
even if I had two per case that’d be $100. Not super cheap, to be
sure, but not terrible, either. So, here’s the link:

http://www.mylight.com/tasklights_cliplight.htm.

Thoughts?

Thanks again,

Lisa
Designs by Lisa Gallagher
www.designsbylisag.com


#10

Hi Lisa,

I don’t know where you are located but I am pretty sure I saw this
light or one very similar at a Staples - mind you at the time I was
not thinking in terms of using one to light display cases and of
course I was looking at it in a well lit store, but you might want to
check it out before buying several over the internet. Just a
thought…

Grace


#11
So, I found this site listing & I thought I'd get opnions on it.
What do you think?
http://www.mylight.com/tasklights_cliplight.htm

I don’t want to belabor this, having mentioned it before, but I
bought some lights along these lines with the idea of using them to
highlight areas in my cases. I found the light to be totally the
wrong color-- far too blue. I’m not sure how you make sure about
color of light before you buy, but I’d worry about LEDs for jewelry.

For what it is worth, batteries aren’t complicated to use-- you need
a power inverter, which has alligator clips that go on the battery,
and an outlet on the unit. You plug into that. An ordinary car
battery charger recharges it. But this stuff all adds up. And I
haven’t used mine for lights, only for a fan during heat waves (keeps
me alive, and keeps customers in the booth to enjoy the breeze).

Noel


#12

Hi Lisa

I’m no expert at shows or the amount of light needed. I do, however,
have some knowledge of various lightsources. LED lights are smart
and energyefficient but- does have a low output. I checked the
mylight link and that specific “lamp” and they state 8000 mCd as
output (also=8 Cd). If this is per LED or for the entire unit isn’t
clear to me. I also looked up a traditional halogen 30 W 12 V bulb i
my Philips handbook and (luckily they also use Cd as lightoutput
unit) varies from 1600 Cd for a 36 flood to 11 000 CD for a 8
pinspot. You might need a lot of LED lights. Start out by buying just
one to see how “it feels”

While on the subject of light. Still refering to my Philips and
Osram catalogues for data, a typical incandesent bulb has a lightflow
of 10-15 lumen/watt, a CLB around 65 lm/W and fluorecent 80-105 lm/W.

Both CLBs and fluorecent tubes contain mercury and should be treated
as dangerous waste.

michaela


#13

While compact fluorescent lamps seem to be a no brainer choice,
there are a few facts worth mentioning about them

CFL’s color temperature, in general, is cooler than daylight. At
lower output levels, the light is not as “pleasing” to the eye. Thus,
larger wattage CFL seem to look better. Also, in cool areas, they
are harder to “start”. Fluorescent lamps also flicker at the rate of
the AC line voltage where you live. In the USA that is 60 cycles per
second. Flickering may be more obvious when the lamp is older, and
near the end of it’s life cycle. It is possible that some rotating
machinery may appear to be motionless if the speed of rotation is in
sync with the 60 cycle line voltage.

All common fluorescent lamps work by passing a current thorough a
mixture of mercury vapor and other gasses or elements, making a
plasma discharge. This plasma gives off ultra violet light. This
ultraviolet light causes the lamp’s interior coating to fluoresce -
in other words… give off light. The newer generation of CFL contain
less mercury than the older type lamps, but they still contain
mercury.

If you have CFL on your bench or anywhere, and break one, be
careful. Don 't use the vacuum cleaner to clean up the mess. You
would disperse micro drops of mercury everywhere. Probably the best
thing to do is carefully pick up the larger bits and slowly wipe up
the “dust” (from the tube’s interior coating) with a wet disposable
rag. The older the lamp, the more mercury is going to be located in
the phosphor coating “dust”. I wouldn’t even begin to tell you where
to dispose of it.

On the plus side of CFL, more electrical energy is turned into light
than with incandescent lamps. Interestingly enough, coal used in
powerplants gives off a bit of mercury vapor.

Just my .02 worth
with a nice green patina.
steve


#14

Hi Lisa and others

This was discussed a year or two ago and is in the archives as well.
My electrician husband designed a wonderful setup for me that you
could sit on top of. If you would like pictures and directions please
email me directly.

Regards
Karen Bahr - Karen’s Artworx
Calgary, Alberta, Canada


#15
Australia, and, I think, California, are going to make
incandescents illegal for most consumer and business uses. 

And the UK. I’m surprised that no one seems to have raised the
question of the increased problems and costs involved in disposing
of CFL lamps safely and the increased risks to workers making them
and to consumers who break them. After all, they do contain
phosphorus and mercury - both of which are considered to be
environmental and personal hazards…

I’m also intrigued by your comment that, as they are lower wattage,
(and presumably also because of the ‘warm-up’ time) users may be
inclined to leave them on when not needed. I’ll bet the politicians
never thought of that!

In reality, I suspect that this is more of a political move than
anything else - lighting demand is only a fraction of total
electricity usage but it will be interesting to see if there is a
noticeable effect in any of the countries involved. One thing that
will probably happen, of course, is that, if the power companies get
a lower demand, they will put up their prices to make sure their
profits stay the same! There will also be a worldwide effect in that
most of the UK’s incandescent bulbs come from Poland I think while
the CFLs will be made in China and so there will be economic and
work effects in both areas.

Best wishes,
Ian
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK


#16

Hello Karen,

I would be interested to see pictures and directions.

Thank you!
Pam
Newburyport, MA


#17

OK, here’s what I know about led lights for use outdoors.

I chose bright Leds to use outdoors because they use very little
power. The new bright Leds are 5800 degrees Kelvin and are the
closest frequency to natural daylight. Because individual leds don’t
put out much light, they are used in groups or strings. Leds are cool
and don’t seem to burn out. Most are rated at 100,000 hours - longer
than I want to be in a booth! Because there are many of them in your
case, everything sparkles with all the reflections.

In searching the web, I’ve found the following sources for 110 volt,
in case applications. What they all sell is multiples of 12 inch
lengths or custom lengths. The going rate seems to be about $175US
per foot.

http://www.mkdigitaldirect.com
http://www.kassoy.com
http://www.geiswein.com

To power these lights, you would use a sealed battery, such as one
from Cabelas sporting goods or an Optima battery. Talk to your
battery supplier about your use - you don’t need cranking amps like
you would use to start a car. What you are looking for is a battery
that will withstand multiple cycles of use where you draw the battery
way down (deep cycle). You would clip leads to the battery terminal
and input the 12Vdc power to an inverter that makes the direct
current into 110 ac, just like you have at home. Most of the
inverters have a cigarette lighter input for dc power, and you can
purchase that connection at radio shack or from you local auto
supply store. You do also need a battery charger like you have for
your car battery. When I set up 5 cases, all with led light strips, I
can do a 3 day show on one battery charge. With halogens I can get
about 5 hours running 6 - 20 watt bulbs.

Be aware that there are leds, and bright leds, and super bright
leds. Brighter costs more. The original leds are like you have in
your tv to tell you it has power. The newer brighter ones are
expensive, but very effective. I had hoped that the price would have
decreased this year, but it is about the same as last year.

I’m curious - how many Orchid folks are doing outside shows where
electricity is not available? What kind of cases or displays do you
use? What do you do for lights now?

Judy Hoch


#18

Hi Gang

Australia, and, I think, California, are going to make
incandescents illegal for most consumer and business uses. 

When I was in school I had to have specially tinted glasses to read
as the spectrum given of by fluorescents triggered migraines for me.
In my late teens my eye site improved enough that, I no longer needed
glasses for reading.

Now that I am past 40 my eyes are slowly degrading again and I must
use reading glasses from Costco for close-up jewellery work but do
not use fluorescents except for daylight ones. Have started to get
migraines again so have switched back to incandescent. Not a great
change except that I get headaches that are noticeable earlier so I
take medication to ward off migraines.

I am not getting them as much now. If I go shopping (which I do
seldom as I hate it) and am under store fluorescents for more than 4
hours will get at least a headache. Of course it can be hard to tell
because here in Calgary is Chinook central and these trigger at least
a background headache.

Regards
Karen Bahr - Karen’s Artworx
Calgary, Alberta, Canada


#19

Ian

And the UK. I'm surprised that no one seems to have raised the
question of the increased problems and costs involved in disposing
of CFL lamps safely and the increased risks to workers making them
and to consumers who break them. After all, they do contain
phosphorus and mercury - both of which are considered to be
environmental and personal hazards.. 

I have been wondering the same thing. I use them and like them, but
I wonder if I am doing anyone or future generations any favors by
filling the environment with more toxins to save a few bucks. Pretty
convincing getting 150 watts worth of light for the cost of 37 watts,
and your right, I do leave them on more, at 1/5 the cost of
operation. Cold environments will actually destroy them I have
replaced 3 in the garage had to go back to incandescent lights in the
winter. I have not seen any collection points in Colorado so I guess
they just go into the trash, it’s probably the same in other areas.
In the house they are great, I have replaced all the ones I could
especially in the shop, I haven’t lost any there or the lamps.

As far as the cost of a KW, it varies with fuel price and cost of
operation, but in our area, the cost has exceeded inflation by about
14%.

Terry


#20

The Wikipedia article on CFLs says that some manufacturers such as
Philips and GE make CFLs with very low mercury content, and they say
that recycling facilities can recover the mercury.

CFLs don’t actually contain phosphorous, but do have phosphors,
which oddly enough, are usually not phosphorus compounds. Most
phosphors used currently are not toxic.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ