Cheapo Lighting Cases…That work
I’m not really one who skimps much on gear, but I do like to get the most value possible, whenever I can. Some people think that means getting the cheapest version of a piece of gear rather than paying for a name brand product. I like to help the little guy whenever I can, but sometimes it just doesn’t pay off. I’ve seen tons of knock gear that looks just like it’s name band alternative, but just doesn’t measure up. So specifically, when if comes to my lights, I try not to cut corners.
Well some corners I don’t mind cutting. The cases dedicated to lighting are often heavy and very expensive. Since I’m often lugging around the gear by myself and I’m not getting paid for quality of my cases, I had to find an alternative that was efficient, sturdy, and affordable. Several years ago I found these very light and sturdy foot lookers by Conoco. You can find them for around $30 at places like Lowes, The Container Store and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
The 23 gallon storage locker is made of durable plastic, with a hinged lid and wheel to aid in transport. I have several of the cases, but regularly carry two with me. One for my Diva lights and another for my small tungsten lights. The Diva case is great. Its the perfect size to carry:
- 1 Diva 400
- 1 Diva 200
- a 5 tube lamp case
- a 7 tube lamp case
- 2-15′ extension cords.
This package is very light weigh and perfect for air travel. Sometimes when I’m traveling very light, I’ll pull one of the tube cases to make room for 2 or 3 Manfrotto kit stands. Even with three kits, the whole package is just under the 50lb. weight limit that most airlines impose.
The Tungsten kit required a little more work. (At least for me. I need a certain amount organization). I use some foam padding, Corrugated Plastic and a rivet gun to create some compartments inside the case. I divided it in to 4 sections. Three square areas for lights and a large rectangular area for kit stands. I even added some criss crosses of thin bungie cord to the lid to hold diffusion, gels and and bounce card. I built this case about 8 years ago and its still working great.
This configuration typically carries:
- 2 Arri 300 fresnels
- 1 Arri 150 fresnel
- 2 LTM Pepper 100 fresnels
- 5 Kit stands
- 3 15′ extension cords
- a small B/W show card (folded)
- a collection of diffusion and gels.
The Tungsten kit doesn’t quite make it under the airline weight limit anymore, but it’s still great for running around town. I really like how well the two cases stack on my Rock-n-Roller cart. The shallow feet of the top case rest quite securely on the small recesses in the lid of the bottom case. I stack ‘em 2 high on my cart everyday and I’ve never had mis-hap. This is maybe not the most techie post, but I hope you find some value in it.