Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

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Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

Postby Mark Hinkley » Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:09 am

The technical triumph of our Burn this year was a lighting trick that sounded too good to be true. But it worked beautifully and anyone who plays with uv light oughta be hepped to it.

There is a standard color of stage gel called "Congo Blue." These are those translucent filters that go over a spotlight to color its light. Congo Blue is the deepest, most saturated blue made and is really too dark for most applications.

But!

We were told that Congo Blue used over regular halogen lights produced light that not only did not wash out the bright glow of uv reactive paints, but actually gave them a kick. Given all the dough we have spent on black lights over the years, this just seemed too good to be true. But it was true, producing a faint moonlight glow that worked well with our jungle and making anything that already glowed, glow like crazy. We didn't try it on its own without uv and I suspect it would not be a substitute for actual black light, but as a supplement, this stuff was amazing.
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Cheap UV toys.

Postby slide » Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:23 am

I'm generally not a fan of UV lights or playing with flouro things in them. (My eyeballs seem to like laser/LED/big lights kinda stuff. Plus, UV makes my auto-tinting eyeglasses go fog-white. It's annoying. Walk into almost any club, and go blind.)

But playing with superbright flouroscent marking string in UV has to be one of the coolest things I've seen in a while. (Hey look, I'm playing with string! wee!) Get a good length between your fingers, twirl it like you're going to jump rope, and then set up mutliple oscillations. You know, like how you do with string? Ya give it a nudge, yeah? Harmonics. Get'cherself like three or four waves going in there. Lime/yellow does it for me. Haven't tried a braid of multiple colors or patterns yet.

I've also seen it wrapped/spiraled directly around UV tubes for great glow effects.

Come to think of it, I have seen cheesy kinetic blacklight string sculptures at those places where they sell that kind of useless crap, along with the whoopy cusions and tit-shaped beer helmets that say "Nipples!" on one side and "Beer!" on the other.

But it's just not the same as sittin' there playing with string.
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Yes! String!

Postby Mark Hinkley » Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:40 am

String of all things! But yup, it is rather compelling play. We have done a gimmick with a length of fluoro string tied to an overhead fan blade, spinning very fast and oscillating irregularly. We call it "plasma string" and it is visually arresting. Last year one of the camps around 3:00 - 4:00 had an arch in front with this effect spanning between two towers. Very fun to feast the peeps upon.
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Postby Zane5100 » Wed Sep 03, 2003 12:51 pm

As to UV sources, stick with 4' fluorescent lights. LEDs just don't cut it for wide area coverage.
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Postby Mark Hinkley » Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:59 pm

I see your point about uv leds for area light, but they do lend themselves to some things only they can do. I saw a bicycle (I think) with a dragon built on its frame. It had wire wing outlines and ribs, with net material between. At the end of each rib of the wings was one uv led shining inward, making the net and wing frames glow like mad. The total effect ran on a few batteries and was totally stunning.

I'd like to play with the directionality of the uv leds to add a shimmer to our jungle ceiling - but that would have to be on top of an overall background of uv light pumped out by those brittle, finicky, but irreplaceable 4' tubes.
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Lights to sew into fabrics: Sources?

Postby epiphany* » Mon Sep 08, 2003 3:52 pm

Any good sources for lighting that can be sewn into/onto clothing?
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zipper-foot el wire

Postby Tiara » Wed Sep 10, 2003 12:43 pm

There is a new version of el-wire that I have heard of. I think it's called "tail wire". Cool Neon stocks it, probably others do too. From what I've heard, it has some sort of stripping attached, so you can stitch it onto costumes using a sewing machine with a zipper foot attachment.
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Postby klao DNA » Tue Oct 14, 2003 10:30 pm

Does anyone know anything about sound-activated light?

To be more specific : I want to hook up EL-wire to be activated only when sound passes through a simple microphone. Since I know very little about electronics I am not sure that this is even possible to do with EL-wire.

Although I am beginning to research this on my own, I could REALLY use any help or suggestions you might have.

Thanks!
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Postby Alpha » Wed Oct 15, 2003 2:29 am

klao DNA wrote:Does anyone know anything about sound-activated light?


check out elwirecheap.com -- I'm pretty sure they have a sound module.
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Postby klao DNA » Wed Oct 15, 2003 5:33 pm

Thanks, Alpha !

I found it here :

http://elwirecheap.com/new12volinwi.html

This is EXACTLY what I am looking for ;) I'll just have to place the driver close to my microphone's speaker :)
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Postby robotland » Tue Nov 04, 2003 10:02 am

There are also lots of cheesy but adaptable sound-driven blinkythings in the automotive section of your local bigbox store- EL wire, cute little neon tubes and such...they're designed to key on your obnoxiously thumpy car stereo, and can be adjusted for sensitivity or bypassed altogether. Moop Boys Automotive Superstores has a pretty display with samples of their blinkies and everything sorted by color!
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Blinky Things

Postby robotland » Thu Feb 12, 2004 8:42 am

Well, I figured HERE was as good as ANYWHERE.....

What have you tried and liked/disliked, want to try, etc...

LED's, ELwire, Tiki Torches, Solar, what-have-you.....

-I just bought some of the LED automotive clusters designed to replace regular 12V bulbs- little cluster of 10 diodes, and BRIGHT....a cluster of 3 or 4 pointed radially would make a dandy beacon!

Okay, your turn.
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Postby PurpleKoosh » Thu Feb 12, 2004 12:45 pm

We did the solar thing last year, and were quite pleased (apart from the one that didn't work when we took it out of the package). We had two staked lights at the front of our shade structure, two of the little tabletop lights at the centerpoint, and two hanging lanterns (one of those was the b0rken one) where the shade overlapped the front of our tent.

The nice thing about the hanging lantern was it fit on the hook over the pottie doors. Much nicer at 2am than trying to fumble around with just a MiniMag for illumination....
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Postby robotland » Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:00 pm

Lovin' those cheap solar lights....I made Japanese lanterns with the tops from Malibu solars screwed to about a foot of dryer-vent tubing and a PVC cap on the end. Pretty! Hushville's sign was made in a similar way with big translucent plastic jugs, each with one letter in black. Great effect!
You can make fun lanterns by screwing a Malibu to the opening of those plastic jack-o-lantern candy buckets, too. (If you cut out the bottom of the jack-bucket, you can use them as pathway illumination lights AND have easy access to the batteries should you need to cheat and stick 'em in a charger.....
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Postby Bob » Fri Feb 13, 2004 10:44 pm

Try variations of a flashlight under a bottle of Gatorade?
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Postby robotland » Mon Feb 16, 2004 6:50 am

That would make a nice effect!

I keep an empty catlitter jug in the dome to stick whatever flashlight I'm carrying in- It creates a nice, diffuse light in addition to being an empty jug for catching rainwater or "whatever".....
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Postby theBrooke » Wed Feb 18, 2004 12:08 pm

what works:

Innova - microlights... these rock, bright little leds that actually have an on/off switch. No blinking either, I don't know about you but having something tied around my neck blinking 160 times a minute is a bit distracting. These are great clip one to the camelback and you are visible up to a couple of miles. About $7 a piece (various colors), but worth it.

what didn't:

Cheap little blinky led things from blinkycrap.com. Well that's not the url, but last year I spent about $80 on inexpensive blinky things to gift to non illuminated types. About half of them either didn't work, or did for a very short time. I guess you get what you pay for? I will be using the innova leds only this time around... gift or not.

my $.02
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Postby robotland » Thu Feb 19, 2004 7:42 am

I just discovered some nifty blinkytoys in the automotive dept. at Walmart- (yeah, I know.) They're designed to spiff up your windshield washer squirters, and have a blue diode AND a strobe in each. Although designed for 12V they'll go from a 9V battery although the strobe gets tired over time.....The best part is that you can run a tube through them for a mister, maybe from a Camelback reservoir. I'm deciding whether to make a Mister Blinky Helmet, or wrist-firing blinky misters a'la' Spiderman.......they had blinky skulls and dragon heads too, as well as 7-color blinky squirters that looked intriguing.....
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Postby terdbird » Thu Feb 19, 2004 11:57 am

how much are those walmart blinky things?
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Postby robotland » Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:23 pm

The strobeysquirtyneonglow widgets were 13 bucks for the pair-not bad! You can buy pairs of just-plain-strobes for about that much, too. EL-wire 5' kits with boxy little drivers and a 12V auto plug run about 20 bucks. Neon tubes run 15-30 bucks, and LED tubes a little more. I've taken to checking the auto section for clearance items wherever I'm somewhere that HAS an auto section. The style award goes to Pep Boys, though- they're smart enough to organize their blinky displays BY COLOR (!!!).
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Postby alienfry » Fri Feb 20, 2004 12:46 pm

tiki torches blow.

really they blow out.

this year i'm going to try to find street lanterns or the like. and put lavalier candles in them. i figure there's the fuel, and wind protection.

i like the flicker of fire.
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Postby robotland » Mon Feb 23, 2004 7:38 am

You should be able to find those Chinese versions of the oldtimey railroad lanterns at KMart, WalMart, Big Lots and other Usual Suspects....I always see them at flea markets, too. Should be 3 to 5 bucks, and are relatively durable but the weakest links seem to be the wick adjuster and fuel cap so check before buying...take 'em out EMPTY and drain 'em before taking 'em back....Kero stank on a long haul is nasty and dangerous, and you may want to buy some premium lamp oil for near camp enclosures.
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Postby Martiansky » Mon Feb 23, 2004 9:08 am

The local Dollar Store near me carries small oil lamps or candle lanterns with glass shades(windproof) whichever you prefer and multi colored for your color coordinated camp!
Maybe try looking at some dollar places near you!
Are there restrictions to what you can have in/near your camps as to oil or candle light?
I haven't been to BurningMan YET so I don't know what's allowed.
So the theme this year is like a giant camp out in the desert? With people bringing lots of shit from all over? uh.. -Marscrumbs
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Postby robotland » Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:11 am

I believe that any enclosed, reasonably safe lamp/torch is allowable. Tiki torches probably need to be braced, especially if where they could fall over and ignite someone's shelter. I enjoy the quality of fuel-fed lights, but fear the consequences of spilled fuel and possibility of misc. burns.
Kudos to the makers of the 3000 lb. candle!
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Postby Dork » Mon Feb 23, 2004 11:34 am

Tiki torches are evil, evil things. Do not bring them.

Oil lamps and candles are not restricted. I use one all the time in my tent and have used them in common areas. The wind is USUALLY not that bad at night so they tend to work fine.

With all of the massive fire cannons and such nobody is going to worry about a little candle unless you use 50 of them to light up your antique TNT collection.
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Postby robotland » Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:12 am

I don't personally care for tikis either- They're messy even if they aren't leaking, which they usually are. I just don't think they're prohibited, is all.
I like electrics for around the camp, and BIG flames to enjoy elsewhere.
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Postby robotland » Thu Feb 26, 2004 10:37 am

Just came back from Target, with an armload of clearanced blinkies....pairs of 3" neon tubes, a 12" cold-cathode tube (bright!), little color-changing LED "flippers",and some EL wire. They keep a fair selection of goodies, in the automotive and camping sections. There's sort of a separate "flashlight section" with some good stuff too. This stuff is designed for 12V, but will run at diminished brightness from a single 9V.
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Postby Martiansky » Thu Feb 26, 2004 12:31 pm

I've been thinking about the oil (for lamps) and the propane tanks for the portable camp stoves people bring with to Bman. I will be traveling about 2000 miles one way and I wonder how safe it is to drive with oil/propane in the back of a pickup with the (possibly high) heat? :? I suppose candles might/will melt? The other choice would be battery operated lights? That still leaves the question of the propane for the stove.
Anyone have any input or share my concern on this?

Thanks!!
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Postby robotland » Thu Feb 26, 2004 12:50 pm

You can count on being able to purchase various fuels in Winnemucca or even closer. I get paranoid when I have to transport a jerrycan of gas for the mower between the farm co-op store and home, and that's only two miles! I'm sure there's a Blue Rhino dealer in WMucc. I forget which thread it was in that I read someone's account of propane tanks venting (!) as the altitude changed- I'd rather be a Burner than a Burnee!
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Postby unjonharley » Thu Feb 26, 2004 4:11 pm

It isn't the full ones you have to look out for. It's the mostly empty ones that build a fine mist in the open area of the can. Bump and go boom. When full the liquid has a much higher flash temp. Pick up what you need near BM. Then dump the cans after. Empty can go boom nice too.
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