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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2012
We bought a few of the "non" premium sockets and they are cheap and "plasticky." One lasted less than one shoot. So we bought some of these and they are the ones to get. Just make sure you tighten the screws holding the ceramic socket in, or better, take the whole thing apart and put a lock washer or locktite on the threads. The thermal expansion loosens them in short-order and you'll lose the screws if you don't. Other than that, especially for the price, these are a very good socket at a great price.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2013
These work well with umbrellas, but can NOT be easily adapted to any other kind of reflector. But hey, for 10 smackers what more can you ask? The problem is that I wouldn't use them with an umbrella larger than 24 or 26 inches. It's all plastic construction and pretty lightly made at that.

They get pretty hot using a 250 Watt incandescent photo bulb, so I've stayed with fluorescents instead. As another reviewer suggested, 23 Watt household compact fluorescent bulbs provide very little usable photo light. Go for at least 85 Watts and more if you can afford. One great advantage of photographic compact fluorescents is that their life is considerably longer than conventional bulbs. Sure, you run across to an occasional dud, but when they work, they work a long, long time.

For about a bit more money than this you can get a very similar product, but in a style that take a variety of reflectors. Some of these models are easily recognised by a wooden handle that stick out the back. Worth a few dollars, imho.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2011
These units are light weight and pretty sturdy. I use them with a 85w CFL and an umbrella and it seems to have no problem holding that. The power wire that holds them is pretty light weight and flimsy, but it seems to work ok.

These units have a ceramic socket and that helps to make it a reasonable strong socket for large lamps.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
My studio never has enough lights, so I have a box of E26 bulb holders for rim, hair and background lights. I bought all of them on Amazon and they're cheaply made and look exactly the same, albeit sold under different names. This Cowboy Studio fixture bucks that trend with an original design and more durable construction. Plus it's the only single bulb fixture I've found with a ceramic heat shield. Most of them attach the metal socket directly to the plastic case. I've used 85 and 105 watt CFLs in this fixture all day with no problems whatsoever.

POWER SWITCH is on the case but isn't as convenient as having one on the power cord. Why? Smaller lights are often mounted above the set and a cord switch is easier to get to when it's outside the softbox.

UMBRELLA HOLDER: One knob is used for torquing both the mount and angle, making adjustment awkward and the rig tipsy once on the stand. These two adjustments should be separated. The integral umbrella holder works okay if you forget to bring a bracket, but a dedicated bracket with independent angle adjustment is preferable and what I use.

STRANGE MOUNT: The mount is an odd if not original design. I was puzzled initially with the tiny mount hole. I knew it was supposed to fit 5/8" tips but it wouldn't go in. I eventually realized the adjustment knob needs to be loose enough that the mount housing splits open at the seams, allowing the hole to enlarge enough for the stand tip to slip in. Once inside, snug up the knob and the mount is impressively solid and secure--more secure than the standard thumbscrew secured mount. After using for a few weeks this oddball mount grew on me and I prefer it to the standard T-screw variety: faster setup/teardown and doesn't chew up mic stand threads and baby studs.

LAST BLURB: Nevertheless, the bottom-line is this Cowboy Studio light is well made and does what it's designed to do: mount securely on a light stand, hold an umbrella and powers high watt CFLs.
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on July 25, 2013
With CowboyStudio items, you have to take them with a grain of salt. While their products tend to be on the cheap side (quality-wise), they are also very cheap price-wise and therefore the quality-to-price ratio is pretty good for the DIY crowd. This item is no different.

It's a basic setup: one socket, on/off switch, cord, umbrella holder, and a single dial to both secure itself to your light stand and set the angle. The umbrella holder feels solid and will keep your brolly secure at any angle. The socket seems solid enough, but I treat it delicately anyway because I'm sure the soldering is shoddy based on prior experience with this brand. The light stand part feels like it could break easily even though I have no evidence that it WILL. It's basically an all-plastic clamp that seems like it was built to fit the abstract concept of a light stand, not an actual light stand. What I'm saying is it fits a bit wonky and doesn't give me any confidence in the product's long-term reliability.

But it's only $14.

Fine, you get four stars. Until you break.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2014
Doesn't have a standard mounting. The one control knob is used to open the hole to get it over a 5/8 stud a well as to position the light.
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on January 17, 2013
Really hoped that a "premium" unit would work on the spot. Two problems:

1) The umbrella hole is very tight. Part of the rotating core of the body sticks out inside the hole. My first one, it stuck so much and no matter how hard I pushed, the umbrella pole will not go in. I had to return it.

2) The second one came, and the hole is still very tight because of something sticks out in the middle. But with a real push, I could get the umbrella inside. Once inside, it is wedged pretty tight - a good thing, I suppose.

3) The light almost did not work. I had to screw it in much tighter than I normally would for a table lamp ... and with that tightness, it worked. I always worry that when you do that, you risk shatter and damage the bulb.

But, after much searching on amazon, this seems to be the only choice. (The $6 cheaper one by another brand did not work at all. Don't bother.)
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on March 23, 2013
I bought two of them to start out with a small studio area. I'm no where near professional, but want to start taking better pictures.

I'd been using one in an umbrella setup for a few shots, and it works just fine. I had to find on a different website how to mount it; there are no instructions included, and as an inexperienced user, had no idea how to mount. As another reviewer mentioned, the umbrella holder hole is small and short; I was worried the umbrella would fall out, but it holds fine.

The second one had sat in a box until a week ago, waiting for use...and it was DOA. Of course it was; the return period expired two weeks prior. Extremely disappointing...lesson learned, test IMMEDIATELY.

I'm not certain if I'd trust another item from CowboyStudio. I'm contacting them for a replacement; depending on their customer service.
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on February 12, 2013
I don't know, but I got both my stand and this socket/cord set from CowboyStudio thinking they would be compatible. I got all the items I ordered on time and everything seemed to be in good shape, but the unit I got was missing the nuts that hold it to the stand. I might just be naive as this is the first stand set I have purchased, but I had to find a 1/4 nut and take the set apart then tighten this set around the nut so that I can actually get the thing to screw onto the stand. That is kind of an important detail... No one else has mentioned it, so I am assuming I am either inexperienced (I am) and should know that I would need an adapter or that my shipment was missing these components. After finding a semi-close to fitting nut the thing works great for how cheap it is.
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on October 18, 2013
Well, they are built cheap, plastic all around (except for the socket itself of course which I believe is made of porcelain.)

However, it's a good hard plastic, pretty durable. I also love the built-in umbrella holder. Once to add an umbrella with this light, it looks very professional.

It you have considered using canned lights(those cheapy metal "dish" lights with flimsy spring handles), then these will be a real treat! don't buy canned lights, buy this and pair it with a simple umbrella, you will be much happier that you did.

but ultimately, you're only buying these if you are on a tight budget.
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