A Lantern: It's a Beautiful Thing!

How do you light product videos for stainless steel fireplaces, which have (a) reflective glass, and (b) stainless steel on the interior and exterior, both of which indirectly reflect light sources from a multitude of angles?? This little tool has become a favourite solution for us: the Chimera lantern.

Traditional lighting tends to be unidirectional and narrow in focus; Chimera’s lanterns allow overhead light to act as a traditional hair light, or even a fill light – filling in shadows with its large, diffuse light source. For shooting fireplaces, its perfect because the raised height of the lantern keeps it out of the reflective scope on both the fireplace’s front glass and its stainless steel surface (which is also specular).

The pancake lantern we use also benefits from being narrow in height: its compact form making it usable in places where ceilings are standard height. It comes with Chimera’s 500 or 1000watt tungsten fixture, but you can also use speed rings to attach the lantern to a variety of lights.

A favourite of ours is a K5600 Joker Bug HMI light, in either 400 or 800 watt varieties.

HMI lights achieve 4 to 5 times the output as traditional lights with the same wattage: so, an 800 watt Joker puts out the same or more output than a conventional 3.2 kilowatt fixture – but it can achieve that off of a regular household circuit (rated for only 1.8 kilowatts, for example). Without an HMI fixture, if you needed 3.2 kilowatts of light, you’re forced to use a generator. With the HMI’s, you can theoretically get two Joker 800’s on a single household circuit (around 6.4 kilowatts of traditional output) while drawing only 1.6 kw from the circuit – and without fear of tripping the breaker.

And, as the company name implies, their HMI's have a colour temperature of 5600 Kelvin -- a good 'average' daylight colour temp.

The Jokers add one more usability feature: you can operate them facing downward. Most lights can’t. The heat that emanates upward from the lamp bulb burns out the fixture above quickly, but the Joker can be placed at virtually any angle; it’s perfect for a lantern.

We’ve used the Chimera for almost all our product shoots for Regency Fireplaces (search "Regency Fireplaces" on Youtube to get to their corporate channel -- or watch one of our product videos for them here), and we’ve also used it for our shoots for Aroma Crystal Therapy, Wahl Canada, and for Coast Spas. It’s a great overhead soft source of light – and general lighting problem-solver!


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