Monday, June 30, 2008

The COOLEST upgrade I've made to my studio...

So I don't run a full both out of my home (apartment) anymore. I do so much work around town, that I can usually find a dedicated recording space with just a little heads up notice. I still do the odd recording at home from time to time, but the bulk of the work I do at home is editing.

I was really excited moving into our new place, as we now have central air, and my little workstation is kind of tucked away right under a vent. I'm a small guy, but I tend to overheat when sitting in the same spot for too long.

So imagine my dismay, when on my first editing job in the new place, I found myself sweating like a pig. With the AC set to 70 degrees. Mrs. Audio Guy turning blue...

Yesterday, I think I solved the problem.

I dismantled the lighting fixture above my head (low ceiling) to find two 120 watt light bulbs. It took the glass bowl about 45 minutes to cool down enough for me to un-screw it.

I popped in two CFL's, and I've drastically cut the temperature coming down on my head.

Maybe save a little power (and money) to boot!

Just a word of warning though. I don't know that I would recommend CFL's for actual booth set ups. CFL's do "hum", which could impact recordings. YMMV...

Picture courtesy of Brandeis University, which also has a handy little chart comparing the total cost of ownership between incandescent and CFL light bulbs.


  1. your solution works for the environment that you're currently in, but in a booth, I'd steer people towards lighting setups which use LEDs. I got on the kick after spending some time with the folks from the Discovery Channel, who had converted nearly everything in their recording studio to LEDs. Very little heat (if any), no noise, and better use of electricity.

    I've since converted most of the lighting in my recording areas and control booth to LED based lighting, with more than a bit of positive opinion from folks who have used the studio for their own projects.

    Just tossing out another opinion, for what it's worth.

  2. LED's are a GREAT IDEA!
    Next booth set up I do, I'm totally going over to LED.

    Thanks Greg!

  3. NP, it why I'm here.

    Depending on how you approach it, it can get pricey pretty quick, BUT a good LED book light can attach to a music/copy stand, be totally silent, use regular or rechargable batteries, and cost you less than $20 (less than $10 if you look around).

    On the flip side, a 6-LED, stand light with gooseneck, dimmer, XLR-compatible light, such as the ones used by the Discovery Channel at their in-house studio will run you ~$300. Work great, but pricey.

  4. I've already swapped out the book lamps I use to LED. The little incandescents got hot when you ran them too long.

    The 6-LED sounds expensive, but considering how little juice it'll use, and how long it should last, I'm sure the break even point isn't TOO far out...