light diffusing material that can take heat

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by matteusclement, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. matteusclement macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    I can't afford those super nice LED lights so in the meantime I am using 500/1000watt halogen work lights.

    I am curious to know if I can get a diffuser that can stand the heat of those things?

    I was hoping for something like this but a little bigger

    I have something like that already but my guess is that the material will melt or burn.
  2. catonfire macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2013
    Diffusion for home depot specials

    That diffuser is fine. Just maintain a minimum 6 inch air gap and there should be little chance of burning. But the further away it is, the better, since you won't have the hot spot.


    1. Lee Diffusions Filters w/high heat or Flame Retardents: If they sell in sheets, affordable, if rolls, not so much unless you can find leftovers at expendables stores or studios.


    261-265 TOUGH SPUN FR

    269 HEAT SHIELD: You can place it between lights and your diffuser to protect it.


    I frequently just clip or paper tape tracing paper to the halogen light handle bars, arch the paper in a semicircle and clip it at the bottom so there is a 4 inch airgap. That suffices. Sometimes the paper slackens and it will start to smoke so you should keep an eye on it. If you leave the safety grate on it, it also helps to maintain the air gap.

    I use the Manfrotto double clip. $12.00 and a 1 ft x 1ft. swatch of tracing paper or grid cloth, etc.

    Impact also makes a $40 Universal Filter Holder: clip on fold out 1 ft. x 1 ft. diffusion frame holder. It is for light stands but can probably be rigged to a halogen.


    Halogens are so bright, you can also just bounce it into a big foamcore/white artboard, diffuser screen. Then you get a big flattering soft source for portraits rather than a small spot light, however diffused. But I suppose it depends on the effect you are looking for.

    4. CHEAP LEDs?

    Big Box hardware stores do have LED worklights. More expensive than halogens but cheaper than film LEDs.


    I tried making a diffusion frame from PVC but it kept collapsing so it was not worth it. Any fabric is fine in front of the halogens so long as you can maintain that airgap. You're better off with the photo gear. Is there anything more embarrassing than wrestling with your homemade PVC diffusion frame while clients just look at their watches and laugh at you and wonder why they hired you?

    Maybe burning down their set is more embarassing.

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