Cinematography Mailing List - CML

Dedo Lights

Hi there,

I have been fantasizing about getting rid of my smaller Lowell units and repIacing them with some Dedo units for awhile. I just borrowed a Dedo DP master lighting kit from our local rental house and tested it out over the weekend- this was the first time I really got to experiment with these units and I absolutely love them. Now I want to purchase a kit for myself to replace some of my existing units.

I have read the Dedo Lights thread on the CML website that discusses these units. Thanks to everyone who posted there- the information is very helpful. I would like to get some more input as to the pros and cons for the single power supply units that Dedo makes versus the DLHM4-300 Light heads with built in electronic transformers. Do you prefer one system over the other, and why?

I think that I would like to purchase the K24M-master kit which includes the DT24-3. However, I have one concern: I often have to fly to shoot interviews on a fairly regular basis. I am worried that if the power supply unit were mishandled by TSA or if the case it is housed in took are hard hit in transit, or anything else that could potentially cause the unit to fail, then I would be SOL for the shoot.

Do you find Dedo lighting units and electronic power supplies to be robust? How would you safeguard yourself in this situation? Take a few extra lights that power themselves independent from the Dedo power supply? I have some Lowell Pro lights that I could take as back-up . . .Take DLHM4-300 units instead?

Thanks for your input,

Joseph Brunette
Portland, Maine

I would recommend the dedolights with a self contained ballast/dimmer. I think they are part number DLHM4300E.

Erik Messerschmidt


The differences between central supply and individual dimmer/transformer is simple :

-Central supply is much heavier.
-Central supply isn't really dimmable.
-Central supply promotes cable proliferation.
-Central supply will give you a little more output at full dimmer.
-Central supply is more dependable.
-Central supply is cheaper.

Anything made by Dedo is very robust, if housed in a pelican case it is virtually indestructible.

These are the variables, you choose. Since you travel a lot I'd go for the individual transformers/dimmers.

Victor Lefelman/Gaffer.

>> Do you find Dedo lighting units and electronic power supplies to be >>robust? How would you safeguard yourself in this situation?

I haven't had any trouble with my in-line dedo transformer but of course these are single voltage only and hence don't work in countries incompatible with your own - I use it allot but only at home when need a dim. I use other methods of decreasing the light normally so as not to change the colour temp. I dismissed the large transformer because if you lose it you lose the lot. Instead I built two transformers with a torroidal transformer in each...this transformer had two inputs at 120v each and two outputs at 24v each. I have a switch that allows me to flick between the two voltages when I travel. I had the transformer wound down for the decreased voltage require for the lamps. The 3200 degree Kelvin output is achieved by sending less than 24v to the head and so the lamps last longer.

I think originally the lamps were designed for theatre instruments that usually work out at 2900 degrees fully powered. In Australia the two transformers cost me $500 to build and I have four outputs for three lamps allowing me a spare should one of the transformers fail. The other advantage of having two transformers is that you can place lamps more spread apart. It isn't a good idea to extend the cable runs over a standard dedo cable run due to line voltage drop which is more easily seen in lower voltage lamps in colour temp changes.

Nick Paton
DP Brisbane Australia

Nick Paton wrote :

>>It isn't a good idea to extend the cable runs over a standard dedo cable >>run due to line voltage drop which is more easily seen in lower voltage >>lamps in colour temp

Most Dedo kits come with a light head cable and an extension cable for each unit. By 'standard Dedo cable' do you mean voltage drop can occur if more than both of these cables are used, or voltage drop can occur when any extension cable is used beyond the light head cable itself?

Thanks for your input,

Joseph Brunette

With lower voltages the voltage drop will be higher as the internal resistance of the copper wire itself plays a larger part due to a larger current. One of the reasons why electricity is usually distributed around the country at 150000V then converted to 10000 to neighbourhood substations and then down to 240V (or 110 in the US) for normal use.

Some calculations P =VxA

current for 150W at 240V = 0.625A
current for 150W at 110V = 1.363A
current for 150W at 24V = 6.25A

To keep the voltage drop at a minimum your cable thickness needs to be dramatically larger, but with dedokits this is not really what you want if you want to stay flexible hence longer (thinner)cable runs have a more pronounced voltage drop.

Werner van Peppen
techie bod.
Newbury, UK

There is also the third option of using the inline individual dimmer DT24-1 instead of the DLHM4-300 self-contained head or the DT24-3 ballast.

I bought my Dedolight kit more than 10 years ago and I have hauled it around the world several times to some pretty remote places. And it still works great. It takes more than a careless TSA employee to break those lights.

I recently had a chance to test out the DT24-1 inline dimmer/power supply. It's 24V vs. their previous inline power supply/dimmer that was 12V. It also comes in 3 different voltages so if you get a job in Europe or somewhere the voltage is not 120V you can get a few extra DT-24-1s with the right voltage, but still use your heads with the same bulbs.

If I was in the market for a new kit I would prioritize like this:

Lots of travel - DT24-1s for power/dimming
Lots of travel to countries with different voltage - multiple DT-24-1s or maybe DT-24-3
Staying in one place - DLHM4-300s


Aasulv Wolf Austad, fnf
DP, Los Angeles based

You will NEVER go wrong with owning a Dedo kit!

I got mine from Roy Wagner, ASC in trade for a non-functioning B&H 2709....

I once joked to my favorite AC [who was getting pissed at having it always in the camera truck] that my biggest chore with the Dedo Kit was "wiping the MONEY off it's lens!"

Jeff Barklage, s.o.c.
view reel on web :
USA based DP

Just wanted to thank everyone for their input about Dedos . . . very useful information.

all the best,

Joseph Brunette

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