We've all done it, be it blow drying our hair or plugging too many things into one socket. At some point in your life you've tripped a breaker. Now, imagine doing just that but you're in the middle of a shoot. Not only does it throw off your entire shoot, but it's embarrassing and can make you look unprofessional. Thankfully our friends over at Story & Heart have put together a helpful infographic to avoid this exact scenario.
Understanding the Basics
What does this mean exactly? First one has to understand how circuit breakers work, and there is some math involved. Most standard wall sockets in the United States are fixed 120V outlets. It goes without saying that this varies throughout the world, so be mindful of where you are shooting and adjust your numbers accordingly. Once you are able to identify what outlets are on the same breaker it's time to do some recon. Story & Heart states, "If you look at a breaker that protects the circuit of the outlets in the room that you're filming in and it says 15 Amps, you now have all of the information you need."
Now that we have all of the info we need let's look at our equation Power = Voltage x Current. 120(voltage) x 15(amp) = 1800W. The next step is to compare your lights and see what their wattage, for example say your lights are 400W, 400 x 3 = 1200W. This is less than 1800 which means you will not blow the fuse.
Try to keep this in mind when you are shooting your next project. Remember that you can unplug anything that is not being used as well, but just make sure you put it back how you found it. Have any other tips on how to not blow a fuse, let us know? Feel free to check out Story & Heart for other film related tips as well.