New K5600 Ballast is Shooter's Dream Come True

MIRAMAR, FLA.—During the past couple of years I've been asked to relate my experiences with the K5600 Joker 800 watt HMI light, and most recently I was asked to share my thoughts about their new weatherproof lamp ballast product.

K5600’s waterproof bllasts This turned out to be perfect timing, as I had just put in a very long day at Hollywood Beach, Fla. for Bloomberg Television.

As we all know, Florida is known for its bright sun and great weather, but this can change on a dime, so I had no trepidations about using K5600's new ballast product. These lights ran for just about 12 hours, as in this two-camera shoot, the ocean served as the backdrop for the guest, and a large white building with the swimming pool was behind the reporter. So you can only imagine what we found ourselves up against, especially since the shoot lasted from early morning until late evening.


The new ballasts are really nice, as they're very compact and streamlined when compared to the older models. A power button located on the side of the ballast prevents any accidental powering down, which is also a nice bonus. And thanks to a conservative design, the ballasts never got that hot at all during our full day on the beach. The new ballasts also have a 110/220 Volt auto-voltage select function, which means you don't have to remember to make changes when you switch power sources.

For a long time there was only one company that claimed to offer a weatherproof HMI kit. I own one of those kits, but I really don't use it anymore. I prefer my Jokers for many reasons, and now with the new option for so many different weather conditions is there even a choice?

There's also another item associated with the new ballasts that I need to mention—they come with screw holes to allow them to be used with a Maffer clamp for securing them to lighting stands. This is very convenient when you want to keep your ballasts off the ground.


I also need to praise K5600's customer service department. If it weren't for the great people at K5600 I wouldn't be where I am today.

Whenever I have a question or am in need of some help with something—be it a small crack in a fixture or an item that the airlines have "misplaced," the K5600 folks are jumping through hoops to get me the answers, replacements or whatever else it is I need to keep my clients happy.

Brent Cohen is the director of photography for BC Video Productions. He may be contacted through

For additional information, contact K5600 at 818-762-5756 or visit