What is a Monolight?

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by antonio_carusone, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. Is it basically a kit with one light?

    Im new to this flash stuff so please bare with me. Im looking to buy some sort of strobe kit
    and I keep seeing these "MONOLIGHT" ones for real cheap. Also do these monolight use a
    powerpack or are they battery powered?
  2. A monolight is a single strobe in which everything is contained in the same unit, i.e. all the 'works' are included along with the flash tube.

    A powerpack, or generator pack, is completely different, all the 'works' are in a separate floor-mounted unit, connected by cable to a lamphead that contains only the flash tube, modelling lamp and (sometimes) a cooling fan. Scroll down and look at this week's Weekly Lighting Theme.
  3. I skimmed thru it really quick but its a great read. I have to sit down tonight and read the
    whole thing.

    So let me get this straight, a monolight does not need a powerpack or batteries to run? Its
    all contained inside the head? If so then do you just plug it in? Im not fully understanding
    this. If I were to use a monolight outdoors how would I power it?
  4. See http://webs.lanset.com/rcochran/flash/monolight.html for a somewhat detailed look at one brand of monolight.
    Also do these monolight use a powerpack or are they battery powered?
    Neither. They plug into the wall via a standard AC power cord. The equivalent of a pack/head system's powerpack is built into the unit.
  5. Thanks for the link.

    Ok so what if I have a monolight and I want to use it outdoors where I wouldnt have access
    to an AC outlet?

    Im basically looking for a beginner kit that I can carry around with me and learn how to
    use. Then eventually I will invest in a good professional kit. Any recommendations?
  6. A monolight is a good kit to start with. What do you do that requires that kind of setup?

  7. Mono's as opposed to "pack & head" sets,have all the components needed to work within a single(mono) housing.Pack & head kits are just that,seperate power with the heads containing only the light producing parts(bulbs).There are avantages/disadvantages to both.Try doing a search,there reams of 411 on this stuff.
  8. Well I mostly do shoots for independent muscians in the NYC area. I was looking for a
    decent lighting setup so I can get use to using a strobe.

    Is this a decent setup? Its a 320ws monolight with a stand and a softbox for $270.
  9. If you need to use monolights outdoors with no power source, the White Lightning/ Alien Bees lights have a battery pack available to plug in up to 10 of their lights! The Vagabond power units make these lights very desirable in my eyes! Versatility is big in my view, and these do it!
  10. What David said.

    I have three of the Alien Bees myself, 2 800's and a 1600 (love them), but not the battery pack. I think it sounds like a good idea for your puposes.
  11. Mark, I checked out the Bees and Im sold. The only thing Im not too sure on is the power.
    Should I go for the extra light in the 1600 or will the 800 be enough? Also, I dont know
    whether to get an umbrella or a softbox.
  12. Anotonio,

    800 should be fine for your purposes. The 1600 would be too bright for most of what I

    A Softbox is not tryly portable. An Umbrella is VERY portable. A Shoot Through Umbrella
    (Brolly Box) might be the best of both worlds for you. Not as diffused as a softbox, but
    sets up really fast.

    If you look in my Portfolio, the shot of Heny Rollins is a Brolly with an Alien Bees 800.

  13. Thanks John. I never saw your work before, I really like it man. Great stuff!
  14. If you are shooting outdoors, the Alien Bees might not be strong enough to overwhelm sunlight. More powerful monolights such as the Elinchrom RX1200 might be the best option. If you are shooting indoors, the Alien Bees will work great. This Los Angeles lighting store has a good selection of monolights and flash units.

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