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MR16 Bulb Adapter

Published : 9th April 2005

Friend of mine recalls an $11 adapter that lets you mount a MR16 bulb on the adapter and the adapter into a stinger. I think this would make a perfect eyelight source for something I'm shooting soon. Convenient too if all I have to do is plug and play.

Stephen Lighthill, ASC has a battery operated MR16 rig that he often see’s for eyelights. I would eventually like to build one of these, but for now, an AC-powered unit would suit me just fine.

I called a ELS - Entertainment Lighting Services and the Glendale Home Depot and so far, it seems more of a rumour than an actual item.

Yet my friend swears a crew she worked with earlier this summer used them.

Anyone got a lead on what these items are called and better yet, where I can find a few dozen of them in Hollywood?

Thanks,
Christopher Lockett
DP LA


Christopher,

It's called an MR-16 ejector socket, and it can be had from Visions in Color in Burbank, CA. Mole Richardson probably sells them too, as well as TMB associates. It's just a porcelain socket with a metal frame to hold the globe, and a lever to push the globe out of the socket, hence the name.

It's meant to be used in another fixture, but it can be used by itself as all you need to do is attach a cord and plug and some kind of mounting device. I'd recommend making sure that you attach a ground wire to it as well. I myself made a 'ring light' out of a number of these - it is actually rectangular and mounts directly on an Arri or Panavision mattebox via the eyebrow posts.

I made a diffuser out of foam core as well, and it's light enough to hand hold the camera while it's mounted. It's AC powered, but it could easily be wired to go 12 volt, although then it would consume a lot of power.

Ted Hayash
CLT
Los Angeles, CA


You can buy MR-16 bulbs that are rated for 120v instead of 12v. I think the selection is fairly limited, but I seem to recall a 75w 120v bulb being available, perhaps from Ushio.

Just make sure not to confuse them!

Mitch Gross
NYC DP


Chris,

There is a MR16 that comes in a standard screw base 110 volt (standard light bulb base) .You could use a standard socket to Edison adapter (Home Depot) plug it into an extension cord or zip cord and your set. Careful the socket adapter doesn’t have a ground. You should be able to find the bulb at Bulbtronics in Hollywood and they might have the adapter also.

Have a good shoot

Mike Franz
Gaffer


You can buy MR-16 bulbs that are rated for 120v instead of 12v. ... Just make sure not to confuse them!

The 120v MR16's I have are two types - one type has a porcelain medium screw base that goes right into a normal socket and the other type has pins that are slightly different than the 12v ones, presumably so you can't mix them up

Mark H. Weingartner
LA based but in BC


Mitch Gross writes :

>You can buy MR-16 bulbs that are rated for 120v instead of 12v. I think >the selection is fairly limited, but I seem to recall a 75w 120v bulb being >available, perhaps from Ushio.

I've been using 120V 100-watt MR16s that come with an Edison Screw base.

Ushio brand -- from B&H and also Adorama. I'm building a set of ultra-ultra-ultra compact lights around these bulbs. They're fantastic.

Dan Drasin


Dan Drasin writes :

>I've been using 120V 100-watt MR16s that come with an Edison Screw >base.

Things to bear in mind... The failure mode of these lamps can be quite dramatic, particularly if you use cheap brands.

In the UK where we have the same in 240V 50W versions, the light output has a poor colour temperature and the efficiency is very low. The larger filament are also creates a fairly wide beam angle.

With your lower mains voltage in America you probably have a higher efficiency, but I doubt it's anywhere near a 12V lamp. Why not just use some electronic transformers and enjoy the high colour temperature and long life of the standard 12V MR16's?

Clive Mitchell
http://www.bigclive.com


Clive

I do not know who is making your MR16s but the ones we use here are all very accurate CT including 5500k versions and very stable. Average life is 3000 hours in most. I have two MR16 sunguns that I've banged dropped and hit against door frames, and in how many years can't remember ever needing to change a lamp.

In commercial lighting designs I still use the fixtures in many hard to reach places for their easy maintenance and sturdy life.

Walter Graff
Producer, Director, Creative Director, Cinematographer
BlueSky Sports and Entertainment Marketing, LLC
HellGate Pictures, Inc.
www.film-and-video.com


Walter Graff writes :

>Clive I do not know who is making your MR16s but the ones we use >here are all very accurate CT including 5500k versions and very stable.

Are you talking low voltage lamps or mains lamps?

Bear in mind that here in the UK we have a trade off between efficiency and filament robustness in mains lamps. A 240V filament has to be much thinner than a 120V filament, so to get a relatively robust lamp with a modestly long operating life we tend to lose efficiency and colour temperature. A 240V MR16 is definitely a much lower colour temperature than a 12V MR16.

Now I _DO_ like 12V MR16's. Crisp colour, long life and good variety of beam angles.

Here's a bit of interesting trivia... The fairground industry uses a lot of the sealed front 12V MR16's because they happily tolerate the violent jarring and vibration they get on the average ride.

Clive Mitchell
http://www.bigclive.com


>Bear in mind that here in the UK we have a trade off between efficiency >and filament robustness in mains lamps.

Thanks for the info. I never considered that. Good to know!

Walter Graff
Producer, Director, Creative Director, Cinematographer


Clive Mitchell writes:

>A 240V filament has to be much thinner than a 120V filament, so to get >a relatively robust lamp with a modestly long operating life we tend to >lose efficiency and colour temperature.

Thanks for pointing that out, Clive.

I'm designing some very compact lights for an upcoming UK shoot, which can use either 240v or 2X120v Edison-base bulbs in series.

Think I'll stick to the 2X120V arrangement.

Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA


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