Thanks for that. I could never remember what it was called. Draftsmen use a similar material in smaller sizes. I used that stuff a lot on location & in the studio. It was light, easy to carry, & you could vary the size of the light source just by moving the light closer or farther away.
Very true! About 30 years agon I bought some (very) cheap Spiralite strobes for about $20 apiece & ganged several of them together - figured that when they died I'd just throw them away & get new ones. Thing is, they didn't! Tested them last week and, after sitting around in a closet for the last 10 years, they STILL work! What a bargain!
When I had to travel I always had 2 Vivitar 283's in my bag. Set one on-cam as fill to match the room light & one at the side about +1/2 stop. It was "Quick & Dirty" lighting but worked well, especially with the 20mm lens which rapidly became one of the "Loves of my life"!
Point is, while you don't need elaborate, expensive stuff to take good pics, it does make life easier when the pressure is on. Only you can decide what is right for eash specific situation. Then there's the "client factor" - someone posted that he needed a hand held light meter 'cause it "looked more professional!" That might be important when you're just starting out.
I once had a client who complained that I was using quartz lighting instead of "professional" strobes. He was a real pain in the butt, so I fired him! But, that's just me!