JTL Superlights Are Hot

Incandescent hotlights providing continuous lighting for constant viewing of the subject with the effects of the lighting always visible are particularly popular for video and motion picture situations as well as still photography being done on black and white or tungsten-balanced color films. The JTL Superlight is a recently introduced light of this type that combines moderate price along with four versions accepting long-lived bulbs up to 1000w in intensity for brighter illumination when used inside a large softbox for soft, diffused lighting.

The incandescent JTL Superlight is a hotlight fixture intended primarily for working with tungsten-balanced color films or any black and white film. Although motion picture and videographers would probably use this type of light most, still photographers would also find it helpful in their studios when they need continuous light falling on the subject for a constant visualization of the lighting effect. As nice as electronic flash lighting is, especially when there is a modeling light, the final balance of all of the lighting being used is often difficult to determine. Of course, hotlights can also be used with daylight-balanced color material when the proper filter is placed on the camera lens.

Four Versions Offered
This type of light is frequently used inside a large softbox for soft, diffused lighting, so it is offered in four versions accepting bulbs up to 1000w in intensity. The elongated nickel-lined aluminum metal chassis looks deceptively like a monolight electronic flash, but it's not. The design is unlike any I have ever seen before. The long narrow 1000w quartz bulb protrudes from the front of the porcelain socket to emit bright light in all directions. The reflective sides of typical softboxes direct the light forward through a diffusion panel onto the subject to provide soft, wraparound lighting which is very flattering for glamour poses and female subjects of all ages, as well as many other types of commercial objects. Four versions of the JTL Superlight are offered with the number in the name indicating the wattage of the bulb. The models are: Superlight 1000; 500; 250; and 150. The bulbs can be interchanged whenever a different maximum intensity is needed, but a base adapter is required to change a 1000/500w unit to accept the smaller base of a 250/150w bulb. A built-in fan efficiently cools the lamp, keeping the metal body cool enough to touch even after it has been burning for many minutes. The fan cooling is particularly useful when the light is used inside a softbox when heat build-up often is a problem.

Light Modifiers
If direct light is desired, a long reflective neck can be placed over the bulb to completely enclose and protect it. There is an optional folding reflector at the front end which looks like a six-sided barn door. This hexagon turreted reflector produces typical flood lighting when the leaves are spread wide open. But, when they are folding in toward the bulb, the output pattern becomes similar to that of a focus-adjustable spotlight. Each reflector leaf has a heat-resistant coating inside and a non-reflective flat black finish outside.

The JTL Superlight comes complete with a carrying case having a handle and shoulder strap plus a three-way tilt, swivel, and turn device which is easily loosened with one knob for different adjustment modes somewhat similar to the type of control unit found on most tripod tilt-tops.

Sturdy, Yet Lightweight
It appears to be sturdily constructed for years of use yet is lightweight for portability. All of the operating controls are conveniently positioned on the rear of the cylinder. There is a power cord socket, two rocker on/off switches (with an indicator light directly above each), plus a continuously variable rotary switch to adjust the power level and light output from full down to off. The left switch is the primary power switch while the right one turns the built-in fan on or off.

Once the power is on, the rotary switch must be turned clockwise to turn on the bulb. As would be expected, when set for lower power levels the bulb visibly emits a warmer color balance than when set for half or full power. I imagine the color balance would be decidedly warmer when used at less than half brightness intensities, but I didn't have a color temperature meter to check this out.

Even Lighting
The light produced by the Superlight appears to be very even when lighting a plain white wall without any hot spots or edge falloff. When the optional hexagon reflector is added, the light pattern is noticeably altered from a broad even light to a concentrated spot. It is truly a multipurpose light.

One especially nice feature is the extremely long life quartz bulb with 2000 hour expected lifetime, so you should not be concerned about changing the bulb for a considerable length of time. With any quartz bulb, it is recommended that you do not touch it with bare fingers since they always contain oils, which can adversely affect the glass envelope and cut down on the normal life expectancy. You should first allow the bulb to cool then grasp it with a cloth whenever you must touch it.

Optional accessories include the hexagon reflector; two sizes of square softboxes; softbox louvers; softbox stripmasks; softbox circle masks; and a universal connector to use the Superlight with other brands of softboxes. Naturally, the different wattage bulbs and bulb adapters are also available. The reasonable price is one of its prime features. A 1000w JTL Superlight complete with tilting stand adapter lists for under $300.

To obtain more data on the JTL Superlight and a catalog showing the many other studio products available from this firm, contact JTL Corp., 14747 Artesia Blvd., La Mirada, CA 90638; (714) 670-6626; fax: (714) 670-8836; or web site at: www.corp.com.

Technical Specifications
Power Input:
110-125v, 50/60Hz
Fits On: 3/8 and 5/8" stud
Power Cable: Removable 16'
Cooling: Blast cooling with air
Color Temperature: 3200K
Wattage: 1000w, 500w, 250w, or 150w (depending upon model)
Fuse: 10amp, 5amp, or 3amp (depending upon model)
Power Setting: Continuous variable with detents
Lamp Style: Quartz-halogen, single screw base
Lamp Life: Consistent 2000 hours
Dimensions: 51/2" diameter, 9" long
Weight: 2.2 lbs
Finish: Electrophoresis coating
Materials: Primarily nickel-lined aluminum and steel