Crowdsourcing Lights for Plein-Air Nocturnes
Paul T Levin asks: "James, you did a video about plein air nocturnes a while back where you talked about good lights but I can’t find it. What do you recommend if I may ask?"
I answer: I don't know to be honest, since everything is changing so fast in the LED space. Anybody have a suggestion for good book light or headlamp with adjustable light levels?
Cleve Page answers: "I got a Lumecube 2.0. It has adjustable light levels and there are attachments like barn doors or snap-on color filters. It's an excellent product. It also has 1/4-20 threads so you can add it to a separate structure. It's more pricey than a headlamp, but it's much more capable."
Fiona Fleming adds: "I just purchased a Vekkia 19 LED Music Stand Light with a nice substantial clip, and a flexible arm…the light alters to warm, medium or cool and can be directed right onto the surface. I haven’t road tested it on the easel at night yet, but I might tonight! It charges with a USB cable."
J. Owens says: "(There are) a few different headlamps for camping and I believe most have adjustable levels. Mine is a PTEC, (Princeton Tec) it has three levels along with a red light."
- Drew Baker I've mused about putting something using srtip LEDs from Waveformlighting. My thinking is a very high CRI source would be a better approach than something with tunable temperature and questionable CRI.
- The issue with most lights is the bulb is exposed, which is blinding if you have an audience, this light has it in a recess so all the light is directed towards the paper. Prior to this I was setting up a hood.
Julie Bloch I got little clip on rechargeable LED lights that are tiny. I bought 2 for my plein-air backpack.
Damian Kinsella I try to limit the light as much as possible so these do well to not give me so much light that I lose the sense of what I'm looking at. Eric Merrell brought up the idea of taping a piece of vellum over them and that diffuses the light a bit more and warms it up slightly as well (depending on the vellum). They don't work well with my Yarka rig, but for a Gurney-style flip easel they're practically perfect.
Edgeprogear sells a light for their pochade boxes. It's essentially a Vidpro LED-230 on a gooseneck, with a bespoke mount for the Paintbook. (At least, that's what mine is.)
The last one I got is the best so far, its designed for musicians, its battery on bright lasts an entire session of 5 hours, and it goes from 4 to 3 on its power display, I have used it two sessions in a row without recharging.
(photos from Brian Meyer)
Vekkia clip-on book light.
- The kit I purchased can run off the included 12-hour lithium batteries so this would allow painting on location far away from any other electrical source for an extended period of time.
- Although I haven't used them for an en plein air nocturne, I do plein air oils and am always looking for an efficient means of transporting my gear. I can envision these old bones including such a light in an excursion. The kit essentially could be doing triple-duty (copywork, studio painting, and night painting on location) if I decide to try a nocturne. Their use in conjunction with polarizing filters on the lights and camera lens makes a remarkable improvement when copying art. Because of such versatility, they may be worth consideration.
- I paint at night, at concerts, etc. Basically I have bought every light you can get.The ones I prefer now are rechargeable, which can last 2-3 hours.
- The last one I got is the best so far, its designed for musicians, its battery on bright lasts an entire session of 5 hours, and it goes from 4 to 3 on its power display, I have used it two sessions in a row without recharging.
- Royal Super Bright 29 LED Music Stand Light, Clip On Orchestra Piano Lights, Infinite Levels Dimmable,
- Good for extra light, like on your palette and paint mixing areas, or as a backup main light. Its also better light, good for when recording with a GoPro.
Always plan on the batteries dying and have a spare.