The Triolet is pretty amazing as a durable “do-all” as a basic lighting fixture. It has the ability to use three different styles of bulb, to offer you a tool that can work with a wide range of wattages and bulb shapes.
Natively, it has a E39 Mogul Screw base – this is a common bulb base for basic lighting fixtures, with primarily clear bulbs from 500W to 1500W in 120V and 220V versions.
Included with the Triolet is a Mogul to Edison E26 reducer, that lets you use screw-in lightbulbs that you’d use in a household lamp. These bulbs are also commonly referred to as practical bulbs, as they’re often used in the “practical” fixtures (i.e. a lamp, seen in the shot) for set lighting. Since its easily one of the most common bulb types you can use anything from traditional photoflood lamps to bulbs you can find at a local hardware store!
Optionally available is what we call the Two Pin adapter or reducer, part number 99304000. This converts the E39 Mogul base to a two-pin GY9.5 base – which is a significantly smaller bulb. We designed this to be a great counterpart to the frosted Triolet dome (#9965), giving you a frosted omni-directional light that is beautiful in a lightbank. Below is a list of bulbs that we’ve tested to work sucessfully, in a range of wattages.
The majority of these bulb bases offer bulbs that are tungsten halogen balanced, at 3200K. For daylight (5600K or so) balanced bulbs, we’ve used a range of options. There’s a great variety of E26 Edison CFL’s or compact fluorescents, available in the daylight spectrum. There are a few quality LED bulb options as well, but none that we’ve rigorously tested for color quality and brightness.
A few industrial-application E39 mogul base fluorescents also exist, outputting the equivalent brightness of a 300 or 400W tungsten bulb but also in a 5500-6500K temperature range.
Almost as hotly contested as the pronunciation of “Chimera,” is how one says “Triolet.
Officially: TREE-oh-lay, with the last T being fancy and silent.
That being said, as long as you’re making beautiful light you can call it however you’d like to.
The two most popular light fixtures Chimera product manufacturers are the Triolet and the Socket Ring (#9830), and if you’re looking for a solid, well built light – the two offer some great advantages.
The Socket Ring, AKA mogul socket, or mogul ring is a fairly basic piece of kit. Simply, a ceramic E39 mogul bulb base, with 4-pole sockets to accept most Video Pro lightbanks and Lanterns. Built as a simple problem solver, the Socket Ring puts a light into a lightbank without much fuss. A brass 3/8″ stud and the included Single Axis Stand Adapter let you put it on a stand, and a small thumbscrew allows you to rotate the lightbank, or not. Available in 120 and 220 version, with an inline switch on the attached power cable.
The Triolet (TREE-oh-lay) is more of a system. At the heart, a durable metal-bodied mogul base lamp socket, and a 5/8″ male stud. Included at purchase is a single-axis stand adapter and a E39 Mogul to E26 Edison reducer/adapter. You can order the Triolet in either 120 or 220V with US or Euro plugs. More so, you can decide whether you’d like it to come with a 4-pole Chimera Quick Release ring, or an 8-pole OctaPlus ring.
The Triolet can be further outfitted with the optional 9965 Frosted Dome and Two-Pin bulb adapter/reducer. This gives you an omni-directional light that is beautiful when used with a lightbank.
The Triolet is one of the lighting professionals most useful tools. We understand that the need for daylight balanced light comes up, and there are definitely a range of options!
– High Output Compact Fluorescent: A number of high output Compact Fluorescent (or CFL) bulbs have reached the market that provide the equivalent output of 400-600W halogen bulbs. Available in both Edison (E26) and Mogul (E39) sockets, these bulbs are 5000-6000 kelvin output. When shopping for these bulbs, be aware that a number of these bulbs come in 277 volt, while the US version of the Triolet is rated for 120V operation.
– LED Bulbs: Because the Triolet can be converted to E39 or E26 (commonly known as Mogul or Edison screw base), the are compatible with a growing selection of LED bulbs. We have successfully used man CREE and Zuma brand LED bulbs that offer output in the 100-300W equivalent range. One key consideration is selecting a bulb that is A-Line shaped or frosted dome, meaning that the bulb produces omnidirectional light to best fill a lightbank. Common reflector-style or PAR-style LED bulbs do not produce the ideal quality of light for use with a lightbank.
– Color Conversion Gel: The most common tool in lighting kits, Color Temperature Blue or CTB gel provides the simplest option of converting tungsten light to daylight. Chimera Lightbanks feature a deep front recess, that allows users to install our range of custom-cut color-correction front screens, or use clothespins / binder clips to clip on a cut of gel.
We’ve tested standard and narrow reflectors, as well as metal beauty dishes to be used with the Triolet Profoto adapter.
Metal reflectors primarily are suitable for use with the adapter, as non high-heat lightbanks may be damaged by the heat output of the Triolet.
You can use Chimera’s Video Pro lightbanks on Chimera’s Profoto Aluminum, OctaPlus, or Quick Release speed rings. We do not recommend using the polycarbonate Profoto Speed Ring as it is not designed for high heat output.
The Triolet Profoto adapter attaches to the modifier mount of the Triolet and provides an attachment point compatible with Profoto reflectors. The shape of the adapter retains fore-aft adjustability of both the reflector as well as on the Triolet body, providing a small amount of adjustment for spot/flood in the reflector.
As always when using hot continuous lights, careful monitoring of the light is critical to maintain a safe operation and avoiding damage.
Chimera’s Triolet is loosely named after a mountain in France (see the link below). There is a long history of mountain climbing at Chimera. Several of the founders and designers were enthusiastic and famous mountain climbers, so the word Triolet is partially in honor of that as well as a reference to the three types of lamps (Mogul, Edison and G9.5 Symmetrical lamps) that can be used on one simple, affordable fixture.
Yes and no. The Triolet does not have any integrated dimmer, only the inline on/off switch. While it can be plugged into a dimmer with Edison or Schuko in/outs (based on if you hav the US or EU version), dimming is based purely on the bulb that is used.
If you’re using the Triolet with a Tungsten Mogul bulb, Edison, or GY9.5 via adapters, these bulbs can be successfully used on a dimmer or variac of the appropriate wattage and voltage (again dependent on the bulb used). We’d recommend a 1,000W dimmer, as this is the maximum wattage of the Triolet, and lower wattage bulbs can be used safely as well. However a 300W or 600W dimmer with a 1,000W bulb is a major electrical hazard. Keep in mind that dimming a tungsten bulb also decreases the color temperature, resulting in a warmer light.
When using the Triolet with Fluorescent bulbs, unless the bulb is specified to be suitable for operation on a dimmer, the bulb may begin to flicker or buzz as a result of receiving insufficient power. Likewise, many LED bulbs filcker when dimmed, though a number of newer LED bulbs have been engineered to dim for a portion of its output.