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Any good reason to not just use some shoplights that take two T8 bulbs?
I was thinking about doing something similar but just buy some shoplights and bulbs and put them on light stands.
Shop lights will work provided that they have an ELECTRONIC ballast. The downside with shop lights is that they will be missing a efficient polished aluminum reflector. Florescent bulbs do not have much output, and without a good reflector your will be wasting a lot of light and bumping your ISO up. Another big downside is the weight, my version is like the real KINO system - the the fixture is on corex and only have the wiring contained making it extremely light. Since the reflector is aluminum, and I have it bolted on to the corex using some washers, the actual fixture is very rigid, and the folding barn doors provide protection for the tubes and reflector when not in use.
When building these, my goals were:
1 - See if I can make the system almost identical to the Kino for a fraction of the price.
2 - See if i can create a remote ballast to remove weight from the fixture.
Again, you could make this system any way you want. You can wire your ballast to the actual fixture and be done with the build much quicker and spend less for parts.
All in all, the most important aspects of a DIY fluorescent setup for photography boil down to BULBS and BALLASTS.
You want bulbs that are color balanced for daylight with a high color rendering index (CRI) to prevent the green tint you usually get from fluorescent lighting (All the samples posted above are auto white balance). I found the Philips TL950 T8 are EXCELLENT for this application. I would also suggest using a T8 system because of this bulb and because T8 is actually more efficient and has more output than the older style T12 system. It also reduced weight because T8 requires smaller and lighter ballasts, reflectors and bulbs.
For a ballast, you MUST make sure it is ELECTRONIC, otherwise you will be getting flicker and your exposure will vary frame to frame. The electronic ballast will let you use any shutter speed without a hint of flicker.