Long Lamp Life
In order to appreciate the advantages and the advancements of VistaBeam technology, one has to compare the VistaBeam to other
studio softlight sources.
Tungsten-based softlights like “chicken coop” or “space light” style fixtures have common operating characteristics. First, they are
power guzzlers that can draw from 32 to 50 Amps at 120 VAC and only produce as much light as a VistaBeam 610 that uses barely
10 Amps of power. Further, tungsten globes have a 200-hour life. Or less. This means that a production can expect to change globes every 16 to 20 days of shooting. By contrast, the T7 True Match lamps in a VistaBeam are rated for more than 10,000 hours under
normal operating conditions. A VistaBeam takes six T7 lamps. A 6K chicken coop takes six 1,000 Watt bulbs, each costing 20%
per bulb. The cost savings over tungsten bulb replacements is huge.
There is an important practical advantage to the long lived lamps as well. Once a fixture is rigged high up in the studio grid, it can be
very difficult to maintain the fixture once the set is built below. As a result, fewer lamp replacements in a hard-to-reach location translate into lower labor costs. And by simply mixing True Match® KF55 and KF32 lamps in the VistaBeam, lighting designers can produce a range of color temperatures using the remote DMX protocol without sending crew members to change out color gels. In addition, each VistaBeam 610 and 310 have an "Auto Terminate" feature. The last fixture that does not have an XLR cable attached to the DMX "Out" Port will automatically terminate.
Heat Management Design
The excessive heat produced by tungsten bulbs causes other problems. For example, running at more than 600° Celsius, there is
danger of a faulty lamp exploding and the resulting hot shards of glass damaging the set or injuring personnel under the lights.
By contrast, the VistaBeam operates coolly, at about 70° Celsius. The T7 lamps don’t explode like a tungsten bulb. Not to mention
that the low operating temperature of a VistaBeam affords substantially lower air-conditioning costs.
Softlights radiate light in a broad field. Flags, cutters, skirts or louvers are needed to concentrate the light into specific areas.
The VistaBeam optical reflector drives the light out in a lateral beam. The beam is focused at about six meters. This highly efficient reflector maximizes the light output and concentrates it where it is needed most. To achieve a broad distribution of light, diffusion gels
can be used to break the optical characteristics of the fixture.
Center Mount, Yoke Mount and Pole-Op
The Center Mount allows the fixture to spin 360 degrees to produce a wide range of desired beam angles.
For further control, the center mount can also rotate at 90° stops. The fixture can be used on a stand with the Junior Stand Adapter (MTP-V63JR) included with the Center Mount. The Yoke can attach to stands or studio grid hardware via a standard junior pin or Junior Pin Assembly
(MTP-I80- sold separately). The Pole-Op Yoke includes an attached junior pin and offers an advantage of lighting from a grid and eliminating the need for ladder access or costly automated rigging and hoist systems.
Multi-Use – Blue & Green Screen Lighting, Location Fill/Soft Key, Studio Soft Light
Blue and green screen lighting applications will also benefit from the optical design of the VistaBeam. The units
can be positioned closer
to the screen at a sharper angle than the popular Image 80 and Image 85 series cyc lighting fixtures. The result is higher light levels
using fewer fixtures.
As a soft light instrument, the VistaBeam has a high potential for use on film and TV production sets. All set lighting rental operations profit from equipment that is in steady use. The less time it sits on the shelf, the more profit it generates. The VistaBeam series will not only be a popular location or studio soft key light, but can be used in place of more traditional single application instruments such as those discussed above.
Cost savings attributed to fluorescents cover a broad range of concerns:
- Low energy costs
- Less heat so lower air-conditioning expenses
- No gel replacements because of low heat
- Fewer lamp replacements due to longer lamp life
- Lamp replacement labor reduced by a factor of 10
Energy Savings Calculations
With the push for reducing fossil fuel consumption, TV studios are looking at cooler more efficient lighting systems to reduce costs and save energy. Part of this process involves generating energy values to determine savings.
One of the most important values is Btu/kWh.
British Thermal Units per Kilowatt Hour
Any light generates a percentage of usable light and the rest in heat.
For example, a standard incandescent light bulb converts only 11 percent of its electrical input into visible light, while the rest is dissipated directly as heat. There are energy costs involved in cooling the studio environment. The measure of Btu/kWh is a means of calculating the thermal loads related to operating lighting.
Use the following information to calculate Btu/kWh:
Watts to Btu
1 kWh = 3413 Btu/Hr.
1 Watt = 3.413 Btu/Hr.
3.413 Btu per Watt-hour