Hey amigo, thanks for all the db updates you've been doing lately, everything's looking great so far. We've already talked a bit about the box a bit, and I'm new to this myself so my opinions should be taken with a grain of salt, or even better, completely ignored, but I'll get the ball rolling while we wait for the other experts to wake up (they're all crashed-out from working on photos all day):
First up: The desk lamps I bought say I shouldn't put in any bulbs higher than 60W. Should I heed this advice and try to find lamps that can handle 200W, or is this just the lamp manufacturer covering their ass?
I did a little digging around online trying to answer this, and I still don't know:http://articles.latimes.com/1996-09-15/ ... ttage-bulb
My sister happened to have a ceramic clamp light fixture that claims to be rated up to more than 600W, so I've been using that for my 200W. Why not head over to your local radio shack and see if they have a cheap fixture that's similarly rated? They do sell clamp fixtures at Target rated as high as 150W for about $6 each. Could you get away with using a 200W in a 150W fixture? Maybe, but I'm certainly not going to recommend it. Why risk it? If you're going for 3 lights and you need an extra clamp fixture anyway, probably best to look around for a heavy duty one. Some of the other experts will probably tell you that you don't need a 200W bulb, particularly if you're making a small box, but I couldn't imagine life with my mega-box without one.
Speaking of bulbs, the 200W GE Reveal bulb I bought is labeled as a "reader" light and is white instead of clear like the other two wattages. Should I look for a clear-glass 200W bulb, or will this be okay?
Mine is opaque, as well. Seems to work just fine. I believe that the opaque bulbs create more of a "soft" light, which is just groovy.
Thirdly: I bought a cheap 250 thread count bedsheet to cut up to diffuse the light from the lamps. Good idea? Bad idea? Is there a better kind of cloth I should use?
I'm sure it'll be fine, but I think you're a nut for not just scavenging something. Go raid your Aunt Petunia's crafts box and purloin some pretty satin, or silk, or something! Seriously, just about anything will probably do just fine. This guy
recommends just going to a crafts store and getting $4 worth of white muslin, or even cutting up an old T-shirt (he also leaves the rest of us penny-pinchers in the dust by using a skeevy old cardboard box he found behind the 7-11, which is just fine). The "professional" boxes are made from nylon. I used some sort of shiny satin stuff. So yeah, anything will probably work just swell, including your sheet, provided it's a good pure white and not sort of yellowish or stained with the remains of the chili you had for lunch. Do be aware that those bulbs get VERY HOT, and you definitely don't want them getting too close to the wrong kind of fabric.