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Effects Work with Kino Lights

written by: Andrea Smith•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 6/27/2011

Brief overview on working with Kino Lighting.

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    Why work with Kino lights?

    Kino lights are a type of fluorescent lighting. They are the go-to for blue screen and green screen work. They provide the best, brightest and most even saturation, necessary for green screen work. Kino lights require very low heat and cost savings are substantial because these don’t require the use of gels. The quality of the light is soft and it achieves a wide beam spread which can’t be achieved with hard lighting. So in a nutshell Kino is the best option for digital, blue screen and green screen projects.

    Here are some other key facts and benefits of Kino lights as opposed to standard tungsten light.

    Kino Flos put out 10 times as much light per watt as standard tungsten lights.

    Kino Flos wont change color temperature when you adjust light levels.

    Kino Flos are cooler, softer and more even in terms of the beam spread.

    Kino lights work great with blue screen and green screen work.

    However Kino is not ideal for hard lighting, which may be something you’ll need.

    What makes kino lighting different is the ease of use, which is why the system is so popular with both major and minor productions.

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    Examples of effects you can create

    Soft lighting


    Enhancing actor motion against green screen

    Kino lights against a blue or green screen sync up with video during editing (another great advantage), so you keep the look almost exactly as you shot it.

    With kino lights you'll also be able use the beams themselves to spread light evenly. Some directors have used this effect to create a whiteout, put actors in a different location digitally and much more.

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    Factors that will determine whether you use Kino lights or not

    Kino lights don’t run cheap, so you have to determine whether Kino lights will help or hinder your project.

    If the project requires quite a bit of green screen work, kino is for you. On the other hand if you only have a few scenes (one or two) gauge appropriately how much you think you need them. Kino lights are costly, and don’t pay for themselves if you use them improperly. Skill level also comes into play; how skilled are you with fluorescents? Saturation, gels, positioning; if none of these things are in your repertoire you should consider working with a less complicated system.