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I heard that I need to leave two feet of space between studio lights and the ceiling. My ceiling is only 10 feet high. Can I leave one foot or even half a foot?

I need to light the space for videos and photography.

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I can think of two reasons to keep some distance between studio lights and a ceiling:

  1. Reflection, if the studio lights have so much spread that the light reflects against the ceiling, this can cause problems. Solution: use some frame to reflect the light, of change the direction of the lights more downward.

  2. Fire hazards .. studio lights can get very hot and if the ceiling is from a material that heats up, you can imagine what might happen.

So probably you can leave less, but take the two above things into account.

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  • Thank you so much for your feedback. I think I will 3/4ft plus the light will hang on a clamp which should give 1/2ft more. – Aamir Oct 19 '19 at 12:08
  • Ok sounds also like a good solution; if my answer helped you, consider upvoting and/or accepting as the correct answer. – Michel Keijzers Oct 19 '19 at 12:12
  • Also on problem #1: you may consider painting the ceiling matte black, or installing black or dark gray tiles. – Please Read My Profile Oct 20 '19 at 0:33
  • Thank you for your reply. I think I didn't phrase the question properly. I am putting a studio grid on and people say leave a gap of 2ft and then install the grid. I want to install the grid at a gap of 1/2ft so I can have more height. – Aamir Oct 20 '19 at 6:11
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English is not my native language... But "I need to leave two feet" is a bit "ambiguous"

Is this a recommendation, a law; you should or you should not. Do you have a gas pipe on the ceiling, wooden materials or some other flammable thing on the top floor? Is there any regulation on the place you live in? I could go on.

Are you using a rig mounted on the ceiling or you are using light stands on the floor?

  1. If you are using a rig on the celing this could (besides the 1 and 2 provided by @Michel Keijzers it could be for mobility, this way you have some room to rotate the lights and move them around

As for reason Number 2, modern led lights are way cooler than old tungsten based lamps. You could also have some nice air circulation to keep the top region of air fresh.

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  • Thank you for your reply. I think I didn't phrase the question properly. I am putting a studio grid on and people say leave a gap of 2ft and then install the grid. I want to install the grid at a gap of 1/2ft so I can have more height. – Aamir Oct 20 '19 at 6:10
  • @Aamir Who are 'people'? Would it solve your problem if 'people' here tells you that there is usually no need to leave so much room above the lights? Perhaps the two feet are an old rule of thumb from the era of incandescent lighting? I am not sure, but old studio lights did indeed get very hot and needed some distance above them to not burn whatever is there. Modern, LED based studio lights are running much cooler and are easier to handle. – jarnbjo Oct 20 '19 at 14:05

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