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Author Topic: Should I switch to LED?  (Read 968 times)

John Woodfield

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Should I switch to LED?
« on: December 10, 2012, 10:15:42 pm »

I am currently lighting my church stage with a combination of Par64 floods and Par56 spots. 16 total.

I would like more of a wash for the most part. The stage is so wide that when the presenters begin walking around I have many dark areas.

Would it be a solution to consider LED panels? I'm running the current lights at about 60% brightness during programs so I can afford to lose a little. I would like to see consistency across the stage.

Also, what should I look at the light up the back walls placing lights on the floor and shooting them up? Preferably something I can change by a DMX controller.

I'm thinking a combination of LED panels in addition to some LED floods should wash the stage better but I'm not a lighting guy...

Thanks in advance.
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duane massey

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Re: Should I switch to LED?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2012, 12:48:53 am »

What is your budget? Do you want color-mixing or just white? What lamps are you currently using? What ceiling height and what size stage?
If you are currently using narrow PAR lamps, going to a wider pattern may fix the specific problem, especially if the existing lamps are NSP or similar narrow patterns. Possibly a WFL pattern (if these are 500w Par 64's) might suit your needs.
If you are seriously considering panels or cans, make certain you compare the beam coverage. This can vary from 25 to 40 degrees, and some manufactures either don't supply these specs or they are not particularly accurate.
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Duane Massey
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Randall Hyde

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Re: Should I switch to LED?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2012, 01:16:43 am »

I am currently lighting my church stage with a combination of Par64 floods and Par56 spots. 16 total.

I would like more of a wash for the most part. The stage is so wide that when the presenters begin walking around I have many dark areas.
If you switch to LEDs, make sure you buy fixtures with a wide coverage (e.g.,40 degress). You may find that the typical 11-25 degree makes the problem worse for you.

Quote
Would it be a solution to consider LED panels? I'm running the current lights at about 60% brightness during programs so I can afford to lose a little. I would like to see consistency across the stage.
Coverage angle is the key here.


Blizzard makes some nice fixtures that have 40-degree coverage.
They've also got focusable fixtures.
Prices are typically in the $300-$500 range for fixtures with decent output.

Be careful about sub-$200 fixtures. I think you'll be sorely disappointed with those if PAR 64 washes are what you're replacing (unless you use real dark gels on the PAR64 cans).
Cheers,
Randy Hyde
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Josh Daws

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Re: Should I switch to LED?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2012, 09:13:35 am »

im not going to tell you to switch to LED YET.

the trick is more or less to use the RIGHT fixtures or the RIGHT job. Par cans are great for just a flood of light, but lack greatly in control of your beam (aside from rotating the lamp to change the ellipse position). for front washing you should use a mixture (or all) profile fixtures (for example ETC Source 4) and also some fresnel fixtures (Altman or ETC for example).

the unfortunate thing with LED is that they don't have enough of a throw distance and the color temperature difference is horrible to look at (unless you know the approx RGB values or you get a RGBA fixture). now using LED for color washes and effects, uplighting, go for it. they are fanstastic for that.

now in saying what i have, and its going to sound like im contradicting myself a little, but i have been seeing a few new LED fixtures coming out in which the throw distances vs output are quite phenomenal, but you will be talking $400 and upwards per fixture, and im talking for chauvet product too.

moving to LED is just one of those things that you just cannot cheap out on for the sake of being cheap, or that the budget doesn't allow. its something that if you are going to do that you MUST do it right. and its an expensive thing UPFRONT to do it right.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Should I switch to LED?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2012, 12:25:11 pm »

I am currently lighting my church stage with a combination of Par64 floods and Par56 spots. 16 total.

I would like more of a wash for the most part. The stage is so wide that when the presenters begin walking around I have many dark areas.

Would it be a solution to consider LED panels? I'm running the current lights at about 60% brightness during programs so I can afford to lose a little. I would like to see consistency across the stage.

Also, what should I look at the light up the back walls placing lights on the floor and shooting them up? Preferably something I can change by a DMX controller.

I'm thinking a combination of LED panels in addition to some LED floods should wash the stage better but I'm not a lighting guy...

Thanks in advance.
If you're looking for a warm white "tungsten" wash, then LEDs aren't your friend, at least at any reasonable price level.  The color isn't that great, and since the energy savings usually associated with LED fixtures comes from very narrow-band output - blue, green, red, etc., a reasonably full-spectrum white light isn't as impressive, as you have to make light at a bunch of wavelengths to get reasonable CRI.

If you're looking for a color wash, then yes - LEDs have arrived and are ready for prime time.

You can improve your beam evenness by switching to soft focused leko-type fixtures or fresnels, and possibly increasing fixture count.

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Scott Hofmann

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Re: Should I switch to LED?
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2012, 08:18:35 pm »

One of the keys to a smooth front wash is consistency. Your mixture of PAR64 floods and PAR56 spots, as other people have alluded to, has too many variables: flood vs. spot, 1000/500 watt vs. 300watt. Depending on throw distance and the width of your stage, I would consistently use one type of fixture, wattage, and beamspread, ie. PAR64 MFL 500 watt and have some overlap in area coverage.
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Scott Hofmann
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