I love the clamp light. They are dirt cheap, easy to use, your not heartbroken when you bash one up and they just plain work. Put a 250 watt bulb into one and you have a $20 light that can be used for Keylights or even fill lights. Better yet make a PVC stand for it and you have the ultimate cheap studio light.
First it is good to have a quick and dirty PVC stand so what you will need is:
- One 8′ section of 3/4″ PVC tubing
- Three 3/4″ ‘T’ fittings
- Four endcaps
All you have to do is cut one 4′ section of PVC, two 2″ sections and divide the rest of the PVC up into 4 equal lengths and dry fit the parts. You do not have to glue them together as you see below. The friction on the fittings is generally enough to hold the whole thing together, but if you want to you can glue the unit together. I prefer to leave things not glued so it can all be disassembled and packed away easily.
The #%@*!!!! Clamps do not always hold the way you want. Case in point, here is my clamp light making a pathetic attempt at clamping on to a PVC stand (Image 1 and 2). What a pain in the arse. I wanted to use it as a bounce light off the ceiling, but nooooo do you think I could get it to hold on to the stand nope!
So my first fix to this was to put the inside hoop of the clamp over the the PVC tube which worked well until it got bumped and the damn thing shimmied down the post.(Image 3)
So now what?!?! This is a easy fix and it makes for some better light stands in the end. Take a PVC cap and drill a hole in the top. Now get a 1/4×20 bolt and thread nut on the bolt until it is about 1/2 inch from the top, put the bolt through the hole drilled in the end cap and put another nut on the other side of the bolt inside of the cap and tighten it up so you have about 1/2 and inch of bolt head sticking up (Image 4) now transfer the light fixture to the head of the bolt by undoing the wing nut on the clamp light (Image 5 and 6)
There you have it a stable light fixture in a few minutes that pops on top of your PVC stand!