Gear Review: ARRI Light Kit
There are two main companies I know of that have been name-brand film lights forever. Mole-Richardson is one of them, and a couple DPs have told me they are the best, but quite expensive. The other is ARRI. An ARRI light kit comes stocked with multiple lights (ours comes with 4) – typically of varying wattage. Usually you can get away with having either a 750W or 1K in a kit, with a smattering of either 650s, 300s, or 150s. Us at SFP always find use for 650s, usually find use for a 1k, typically use a 300 as a hair light (but we cut it down substantially with scrims – which are included in the kit), and only wish to have some 150s when we are lighting a large set with lots of details.
The ARRI kit itself not only comes with lights, but also 4 light stands, gloves (because the lights get super hot), scrims (circular ones that drop into the lights themselves), and occasionally we go ahead and stock ours with some black-wrap, gel, and diffusion. All of this fits into a hard case on wheels that can be easily transported in a small SUV (one of our past producers was able to fit it in her tiny car trunk).
There are some things to think about when utilizing an ARRI kit on set:
- Decide whether to use a regular light stand, or a C-stand depending on your need. C-stands are much easier to steady with sandbags, but the regular light stand does well to a certain height.
- Experiment with the scrims to get the right output you want.
- ARRI lights are fresnels (pronounced FRA-NELL), which means they can either be flooded or spotted by turning a dial on the back.
- The lights themselves become extremely hot after a while. Make sure to use gloves when handling them, and make sure to cut them off first when tearing down your set so they cool down enough (to the touch) before putting them back in their cases.
- Barn doors exist on each light so you can focus the light how you need.