I've been contacted by a lighting design company who want photographs of some new designs they have, against a white background in a studio. These are lights that would normally be fitted to ceiling-mounted light fittings, but presumably they would need to be powered from the mains and suspended from some sort of frame if shot in a studio.

Is there a specific type of equipment that can be used for this type of photography please? I'm assuming something similar must be used in department store lighting departments?

  • Build a box out of 2x4 material, big enough to fit the largest design+50%. Line it with white material. Take pictures. Note, I have no expertise in this area. But this is what I would try first.
    – dpollitt
    Feb 11, 2013 at 18:33
  • Thanks - but I'm more concerned about powering the lights than about suspending them. I was wondering if there was a special, dedicate piece of kit for displaying light fittings on some sort of portable frame. Information I've heard from elsewhere suggests there isn't such a thing.
    – user456
    Feb 11, 2013 at 21:50
  • 1
    i wonder if the lightning design company doesn't already have some fixture to set up their products. I think that they have to display them somehow and so probably have already faced some similar issue....
    – Francesco
    Feb 12, 2013 at 8:16
  • @Francesco I'm hoping they do - that's what I've asked them.
    – user456
    Feb 12, 2013 at 8:32

1 Answer 1


If you just need to power a light that's normally intended for a permanent installation, there's not much too it.

For ease of use, I'd just recommend some wire-nuts:
enter image description here

And a cut-up three-prong extension cord.

The actual wiring depends a lot on where you are located. I can tell you the color-coding for USA wiring off the top of my head, but I don't know UK wiring codes.

What I can say is that the ground connection is almost universally green, and should always be connected.

enter image description here

I don't even know if wire-nuts are available in europe. I know that I have seen some posts on the Electrical Engineering stack-exchange indicating they're not really available there.

Wire-nuts are a nice way for joining wiring safely for either temporary exposed wiring (like you're doing), or permanent wiring if it's contained in an enclosure. They're nice because they're fairly safe, and easily removable/reuseable.

The nice thing about just chopping up an extension cord as a power-source is that you can be absolutely sure the system is safe by just unplugging the cord.

The most important thing I can think of is to be careful. Always be sure everything is unplugged before working on the wiring. A non-contact voltage detector is a cheap ($20-$50) safety precaution, and could save your life.

  • Thanks for the suggestions; ideally I'm looking for some sort of standard kit for this sort of thing, rather than a DIY solution, but it looks increasingly likely that such equipment doesn't exist.
    – user456
    Feb 12, 2013 at 8:03
  • @NickMiners - There is no "standard kit" for lighting intended to be permanently installed (excepts perhaps an electrician). Any permanent lighting isn't going to have a plug or a similar connector on it. It's going to basically just terminate to bare-wiring, or (perhaps) screw terminals intended to accept bare wiring.
    – Fake Name
    Feb 12, 2013 at 8:04
  • Basically, since most permanent lighting is going to be installed exactly once, there is no motivation to put a power connector on it. It's just doesn't make sense financially.
    – Fake Name
    Feb 12, 2013 at 8:06
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    I'm going to accept this answer as, short of the client having something already set up, DIY looks to be the only option if anyone else has a similar issue. Thanks for your contribution, Fake Name (if that IS your real name, which I doubt...)
    – user456
    Feb 12, 2013 at 9:51
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    @NickMiners - It's not my real name, but it is the most honest pseudonym out there!
    – Fake Name
    Feb 12, 2013 at 22:02

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