Homebrew lamp heads


Type 1
  • Compatible with White Lightning / Balcar accessories.
  • Uses 1200Ws pyrex flash tube
  • Accepts E27 modelling light bulbs, available to 250W
  • Fits on standard light stands
  • Centered umbrella mount
  • Cooling fan
Type 2
  • Compatible with Profoto accessories.
  • Uses 2400Ws quartz flash tube
  • Accepts modelling light bulbs up to to 250W
  • Fits on standard light stands
  • Centered umbrella mount
  • Cooling fan

These are the heads I use with my homebrew lighting system. Both types have identical cabling and connect to any of the generators.


Close-up on a type 1 head

Type 1 is built from 110mm tubing and has a special method for holding reflectors and other light shapers. Accessories are placed around the four black knobs on the faceplate, and by turning two of the bolts placed just behing the rim of the faceplate using a hex key, the knobs move outward is a vise-like fashion, holding accessories in a firm grip. I have three of these.

Type 2 is similar to an Acute head, and is built from aluminium. They have quartz flash tubes that can handle energies over 2400Ws (in anticipation of a new generator currently in the concept phase). These heads enable use of the full range of Profoto accessories, many of which have the possibility of variable focus of the beam spread. I have four heads of type 2.


Battery-powered version of the Type 2 head.

I have built two additional units of a simpler version of the type 2 head. These have 1200Ws tubes (just as Type 1) and a shorter body. 12V modelling bulbs (available up to 100W) are used in order that battery-powered modelling light can be used when shooting on-location. Of course, these also have fan cooling and an umbrella tube. The cabling is wired so that the modelling light becomes disconnected if the battery-powered head is used with a mains-powered generator.

Two heads, each with a 5m cable, fit nicely into a general purpose camera gear bag.

Warning! Flash circuits are very, very dangerous! Never attempt a project similar to this one if you do not have the right experience and equipment. If you just want to get a flash unit at low cost, there are plenty on the second-hand market.


(c) Marcus Gunnarsson 2005-2008


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