Set Lighting Technician’s Handbook: Film Lighting Equipment, Practice, and Electrical Distribution

Amazon Price: $55.95 $41.71 You save: $14.24 (25%). (as of November 1, 2017 3:33 AM – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Comprehensive. Detailed. Practical. Set Lighting Technician's Handbook, Fourth Edition, is a friendly, hands-on manual covering the day-to-day practices, equipment, and tricks of the trade essential to anyone doing motion picture lighting, including the lamp operator, rigging crew, gaffer, best boy, or director of photography. This handbook offers a wealth of practical technical information, useful techniques, as well as aesthetic discussions.
The Set Lighting Technician's Handbook focuses on what is important when working on-set: trouble-shooting, teamwork, set protocol, and safety. It describes tricks and techniques for operating a vast array of lighting equipment including LEDs, xenons, camera synchronous strobes, black lights, underwater units, lighting effects units, and many others. Since its first edition, this handy on-set reference continues to be widely adopted as a training and reference manual by union training programs as well as top university film production programs.
New to the fourth edition:
* More coverage of the aesthetics of lighting
* Detailed information on LED technology and gear
* Material is harmonized with industry safety and skills training curriculum
* More coverage than ever before about setting up and running DMX512 networks and DMX512 enabled devices, including wireless DMX512 networks
* Completely revised and updated sections of HMIs, tungsten light fixtures, and fluorescent technologies
* Additional information on dealing with current harmonics, working with portable generators.
* New section on using 480V power
* In addition to previsualization software, new material provides a primer on creating professional light plots and using computer aided design software
* New additions to the arsenal of electrical distribution equipment that make our sets safer and easier to power
* More rigging tricks and techniques
* Written in the same friendly, easy-to-read style that has made this book so popular
* Companion Web site contains exclusive articles written by the author, illustrations, and an indispensable resource center with key industry links. Please visit

Product Details

  • Paperback: 616 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 4 edition (August 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240810759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240810751
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds

Customer Reviews

Thorough and authoritative

3 people found this helpful.
 on May 2, 2017
By LingoSlinger
I have written, produced, or directed nearly 300 corporate videos, and though I’m functional at the aesthetics of lighting a set, I’m woefully ignorant about watts, volts, amperage, foot candles, and most of the electrical side of lighting. I had the privilege of working a shoot with the gaffer who lit the TV show Northern Exposure for four years, so I asked him how I should go about learning the electrical side. He enthusiastically cited this book, and said, “If you read it and actually master it, it will be as though you have five years experience as a gaffer.” Though he now has 30 years of experience lighting, he told me he keeps this book on his Kindle to this day in order to refer to all the comprehensive tables in it.

THIS is the edition to get!

One person found this helpful.
 on January 26, 2016
By Jerry
This edition includes lots of information on legacy systems and stuff that will be on Union tests that is not in the later editions, and is MAYBE available on the website, but as of my last checking, it wasn’t, so this is your only source for some of that. If you are studying for a test you should probably get this version AND the latest version since the new version probably includes some stuff about more recent equipment that this version may not have.

Great Book – An essential reference guide for the library.

2 people found this helpful.
 on May 4, 2013
By finaldraft151
This book covers so much detail of the lighting aspect of film that it’s no wonder most refer to it as the must have ‘bible’ for filmmakers. It’s loaded with tons of info, but the downside is that it is not exactly an introduction guide to basic lighting 101; Rather, it is definitely a professional guide and reference tool for folks who already have a clear understanding of lighting, aperture, ISO, shutter speed and the electrical aspect of this craft.

An incomparable reference.

One person found this helpful.
 on June 16, 2016
By Scott
I own the original and it has been an invaluable reference over the years. I decided to upgrade and wasn’t sure what to expect, whether it would be worth the price or not. I’m so glad I did. The new book is twice the size of the old one. Harry Box really went all out with this upgrade. It’s packed full of useful information and it’s going to take me a good while to study it all. I’m grateful to have a book like this. It contains things that would take years to learn on the job.

Should be on every grip truck.

 on November 13, 2013
By Stephen L.
This book is absolutely necessary reading for anyone on grip or electric crew, and it probably wouldn’t hurt for everyone else to read too. However, if you can find a used copy of the 3rd edition, I’d suggest getting it, possibly in addition to the newest edition. The 3rd has a “Bible” size, that easily fits into a grip bag or even a big pocket–the 4th edition I have is much more like a “textbook” in its size and layout.

Five Stars

 on September 15, 2017
By Brian Dwight
Great Product – Fast Delivery

Most things are learnt better actually handling the equipment and using the book as …

 on December 4, 2016
By Cliente Amazon
Really really complete (everything you’ll ever need to know is in the book) but a bit too dense to read by itself.

Four Stars

 on March 28, 2017
By Stretch
A very thorough book, and to the point.

A must have for anyone looking to get into the biz

One person found this helpful.
 on January 4, 2016
By John
Covers very in depth lighting equipment and techniques. Definitely a must have for any electrician, grip, AC, DP, pretty much anyone in the industry.

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