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Studio Lights

Now that my son has moved into his own place I'd like to convert his bedroom into my studio. Unfortunately the "popcorn" textured ceiling has asbestos in it and we're not permitted to drill into it. Is there another way to set up my lighting? The room faces east, has a large, wall-to-wall window and three walls that are painted a dark greyish blue color. It doesn't get the bright, natural light that my southern exposed room gets where I'm painting now. That also happens to be our dining area, so I can't stay there forever.
Would love some ideas!


  • I made a tripod out of 1" firing strips. Put a ceramic screw in light fixture at top with a cord to plug in. Then used one of the 85W bulbs Mark recommends that are balance 5000K. Attached a pic of one when I was first setting up studio. I have a high ceiling but the principal will work anywhere. Follow Marks video for placement behind you at 35 degrees I believe. :)
    1.JPG 739.5K
  • I might say that I painted the wood black. Also painted studio.
  • That looks cool but what are firing strips? Was there a reason you painted the tripod black? Also, the bulb is totally exposed. Is it super bright and does it get hot?
  • Furring strips (also spelled firring) are merely 1x2s (actual dimension is usually 3/4" x 1 1/2" x various lengths) of inexpensive wood such as pine. The term "furring" presupposes a common end use in construction which is to act as a spacer and to also serve as a strip to which sheathing or paneling can be fastened.
  • Thanks CharleyBoy. I can see that the 1x2's have been used in gfish's tripod configuration, but I'm not sure I would know how to put it all together securely. Looks like it might bee a bit clumsy in the space that I have. Any other ways to get the bulb situated @ 35 degrees?
  • gfishgfish -
    edited August 2013
    Thanks for input Charlie. I am sure there are many ideas out there. You could mount a light fixture socket like mine high on a wall and set you easel at 35 degree in front of it. Then drape black cloth on the wall to eliminate reflection off the wall if you do not want to paint it dark or black. The tripod set up I have can take up some space. The one in the pic is larger because it is almost 12 feet tall. I have added more cross strips on the front legs and they make great drying racks for paintings. The cross strips hold the front legs at a given distance. It is all put together with utility screws also called drywall screws. A bolt through the top where the 3 pieces come together holds it all securely. It is basically just like an inexpensive tripod easel. Also the fish tasted great, lol
  • Great idea, that is something I'd never considered, a moveable light, thanks so much for that!
  • edited August 2013
    I made 2 light stands. One for the easel and one for the light box. I made the base out of 1 x 3 pine and the uprights out of 2 1/2 x 1/2 (thick) inch plywood strips. I put the 3 strips together and left the middle one about 8 inches shorter than the outsides. You need room to pivot it up and down. I cut another strip to go into the center slot created and put a carriage bolt through the hole with a wing nut. The height of the center mast is almost 6 feet tall and the boom arm about 3 1/2 feet. It is light, movable, adjustable and stable too. I spray painted it flat black. You want it black so as not to reflect light and color. It really is great at the light box making adjustments very easy. I can't take full credit for the design. I copied it off a picture on the old forum from either Gary or Garry Kravit. The light fixture is just a clip on work light from a home improvement store. It doesn't fully support itself in any position but if you manipulate the wire and the ball socket on the fixture it works. I had first purchased an expensive daylight easel light on a flexible arm. It was way too heavy for the easel I had which was already shaky. The other problem was balancing the light between the easel/pallet and the light box. I gave it to my mother for her quilting table and she loves it. I'm such a good son. :D
  • escmcnally can you screw a cup hook into the ceiling ? I screwed two cup hooks ...they look like a question mark ,into the ceiling,quite close together. I plugged my light into a socket in the wall and hooked it tying a knot in the flex, over the hook and repeated it with the second hook in case the first hook comes out of the ceiling. I will replace the cup hook with a plaster board fixing soon. Could you use the light fixture you already have, and attach your new light to it and then place your easel in the correct position ? hope you get this resolved . :-?
  • newb, nice light. I have one almost identical to it that I use when working at my table easel.
  • Sometimes I use a light weight ladder to attach my light to so I can move it around since I don't presently have a permanent space to work in. When I had a room setup for a studio I did what Marieb does with the hooks.
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