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What is a Monolight?

Antonio Carusone , Jul 19, 2004; 10:05 a.m.

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?


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Garry Edwards , Jul 19, 2004; 10:16 a.m.

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.

Antonio Carusone , Jul 19, 2004; 10:54 a.m.

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?

Richard Cochran , Jul 19, 2004; 10:55 a.m.

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.

Antonio Carusone , Jul 19, 2004; 11:05 a.m.

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?

Sean Leslie , Jul 19, 2004; 01:04 p.m.

A monolight is a good kit to start with. What do you do that requires that kind of setup?


Steve Levine , Jul 19, 2004; 01:53 p.m.

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.

Antonio Carusone , Jul 19, 2004; 01:56 p.m.

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.

David Prouty , Jul 19, 2004; 02:57 p.m.

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!

Mark Luinenburg , Jul 19, 2004; 04:39 p.m.

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.

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