Hey guys, I'm in the process of upgrading my lighting rig. I've owned and used the SlimPar Pro lights before and for the price I like the lights (mainly the housing). My main concern right now is choosing between the Hex and Quad fixtures. I offer full production services but we specialize in audio. When I need to do a larger show I rent additional lighting and hire an LD. I would like to purchase something that is still usable even though any real LD will balk at them, but my primary work is local city, blues jazz festivals. Sometimes we build a goal post in front of the stage and fly the PA and lights from it, or we'll do lights on tripods, or I'll rent Lekos and use the LED's as stage wash. Most of the smaller stages are 16x24. I've attached little bits of info about the two lights in question and I've already talked with a couple people. I'm merely looking for more opinions on these lights and possible suggestions on other lights, but for the money I don't think I can beat the build quality. Quad (RGBA) Beam Angle:16° Field Angle: 31° Illuminance: 5,690 lux @ 2 mHex (RGBAW+UV)Beam Angle:24° Field Angle: 41° Illuminance: 3,218 lux @ 2 mThanks in advance for any info.Mike
Mike -Like you we have small lights and hire a lighting company for anything more than a general stage wash.We had 8 SlimPar Pro RGBA which I liked well enough but we switched to an IP65 Blizzard WW-COB fixture. Rain proof was a big deal to me, and two of our SlimPars were damaged that way.Also the Blizzards do only white but it is a great looking white, unlike the SlimPars. I use the SlimPars now primarily upstage as decor or uplighting for corporate events.The Blizzard lights are also extremely bright and much wider so you can probably get away with using 4 or 6 instead of 8 on a smaller stage.Lastly, arent the SlimPars discontinued? At least that is what I was told. I still found some new on Ebay recently. Jason
I own/use a bunch of SlimParPro RGBA fixtures and like you I have gotten a lot of mileage out of them for the money. I looked at the Colordash quad and hex fixtures which are a little bit upmarket of the SlimParPros, but the same general technology. The Hex is going to have a wider color gamut than the quad, and the W emitter will help make natural whites compared to the RGBA. For smaller stages, the wider beam angle of the Hex may allow you to get enough light with fewer fixtures. The down side is more control channels to use all of those colors, and not all boards can handle color mixing of fixtures like that.For what it's worth, I ended up talking myself into the Colordashes since they were only slightly more expensive than the SlimPar Pros; immediately followed by talking myself into the Rogue R1 moving wash lights which were only slightly more expensive than the static Colordash pars; immediately followed by talking myself into the Rogue R2 moving wash lights which were only slightly more expensive than the Rogue R1 moving wash lights.I'm very happy with them, but they are 3 "slightly's" more expensive than what you're looking at.
This is another one of those "it depends" answers, and I totally understand where you're at with this. I'm also casually in the market for a few dozen of latest-generation LED Pars and it really comes down to what you want out of the lights and what you want to pay. Quantity versus quality! Also, I'm an LD and would definitely not balk at using SlimPars so long as they're used within their given scope of application. They're very hard to beat for the price.So as far as the colors go (Hex versus Quad), you can't deny that the more discrete colors you have, the more mixing options you get. As you point out though - are they the right discrete colors? The UV is really a wildcard. Very neat if your designs call for some more exotic colors but generally a waste if you're just going to mix soft facial light. Now here's where it gets interesting, and this is what I believe your question is getting at... Is it worth getting the SlimPar Pro Hex and having 6 in 1 LEDs, or instead getting RGBW or RGBA fixtures that have a lot more horsepower - something such as the Chauvet Colorado Solo or Elation Fuze Series. That's a tougher question, and one that I still need to answer for my own investment. You can't beat the price for the SlimPars, but at the same time if you don't need the precise color mixing, consistency, and beam control of an ETC Source 4 LED than you'd be paying good money for things you won't use. It's really a balance! I'm hoping to visit the Elation and Chauvet showrooms in the next few months to see side by side a Hex LED Par compared to a higher output COB Par. I get what TJ is saying too about always being able to go "another slight step up". At the same time, if all you're going to do is blast primary colors on a wall while a cover band is struggling to get through a song, you'd be wasting money to get something beyond a basic reliable fixture. Water resistance is another interesting point to consider. I'm on the fence with this too. Technically for outdoor use they should be IP65, but the question comes up as to how necessary that is. For permanent unattended installation - mandatory. However, per this article, apparently these lights are good enough to be used outdoors for American Ninja Warrior. I don't believe any fixtures on that inventory list are IP65. So...I guess it depends on how much you're willing to gamble! Good luck!
Jeff you really hit the nail on the head with this post. Literally everything that you're saying has been a thought in my mind. I've got access to a demo of most of the Chauvet lights so I'll be going next week to check some of those out. I'm hoping that it's a no brainer after switching them on. Since my original post I've heard that the UV section isn't really worth it's weight in the SPP H. When trying to blend the UV with other colors the rest of the colors are over powering. Which reduces the overall output even more than the SPP Q to gain that larger color palette. It's making the quad look much better, but everything could change once I see those lights in person.
This has been a good thread for me. I've been searching for a low cost (150ish) light, for speaker mounting as a front wash. I want about a 30 deg beam angle, and it must have amber. I like the look of the COB's, but the ones with amber are expensive.After looking at all of these lights I stumbled across the ADJ Hex 5. A 30 deg beam, with RBGAWU, for $135 (B stock). Probably not the brightest in this style, but I don't need it to be.
I have found this thread to be very interesting. I had 24 Slim Par Pro Quad's on the upstage truss (replacing 60 1K Pars) and my LD wanted something with "richer" colors. There were some shades of color using gels on 1K pars that she just couldn't duplicate with the leds. The Slim pars looked good and were plenty bright, but . . .
I have one other interesting finding. The 12 X 10W (or 12W or 15W) leds were actually be to bright on my rig. We always have to dim them down...
Yeah, that's been quite the trick - finding something with decent colors and output that also isn't too expensive to be practical. If I read correctly from the Front Lighting thread that you're only running 70w lamps in your 38s, I would think the ADJ Hex 5 would be a pretty reasonable match. The photometrics aren't too impressive, but from your pictures you probably wouldn't need much more. Two things come to mind - I'm not sure if these have fans (if that's a big deal for you), and they use IEC power linking. The SlimPar Pros have Edison outs, which I find nice so that you won't have to stock the extra type of cable. Do the 24 Slim Par Pro Quads really replace your 60 1k Pars (honest question), and if so, in which colors? I'd think your LEDs will match or excel at the deeper colors, but would be really surprised if they could top the 1k Pars in light yellows and ambers. How wide of a beam angle did those pars have? I haven't A/B'd the lights you have against anything in my inventory, but just looking at the numbers I'd expect output closer to my 250w Par 38s. Interesting point though, and I'm hoping to bring a 250w Par with me when I visit a few showrooms later this year.And that's a whole other point that has yet to come up in this thread. From my point of view, I don't mind dimming fill light as necessary to achieve the design I'm trying to create. As long as the LED Pars have decent dimming characteristics, going darker isn't a problem. When you spin the units around to blast the audience with eye candy effects, it's another story. I think it's pointless to buy lights for that specific application that will always have to be dimmed...which is why I'm gravitating to the idea of getting 3-4 dozen of the smaller, lower-end (but decently professional) Pars like the SlimPar Pros or SIXPAR 100s for generic applications and then maybe 1-2 dozen of much higher output units for larger scale front fill when the time and cost effectiveness are right. Fun stuff!
Jeff, to answer your question, the 24 LED upstage light rig we use really has replaced the 60 1KPar64's, but as is the case with many things on this forum, it depends. No, they can't look exactly like the 1K VNSP's and NSP's that were part of the "standard" regional lighting tech rider. That rider usually ask for 60 1k's narrow's upstage and 60 1K's downstage, usually with MFL's in 3 or 4 colors and a mix of some narrow no-colors. Just so you will know our LED front truss has 16 RGBA's and 8 AW's. In terms of output I think the LED's are equal to 1K's with typical gels. There are some colors that look better, and some as stated, that are harder to reproduce. With the 1K Pars, usually only about 1/4 to 1/3 were ever on in a scene, again usually with 2 to 4 colors maximum. With LEDs, because any instrument can be any color for any scene there are things that can be done that could never have been done with just 60 par cans. It's not a copy of a conventional light plot, but has so far been acceptable and equivalent. Like other thing in our industry, lighting has changed with the advent of new technology. We have had to add a dozen (or two) movers to keep current, but you would probably need these with a conventional rig too.I'm certain there may be band LD's that will not accept my LED rig, but I haven't had to use my 120K Par can rig in 5 or 6 years. The LED's are acceptable and I could not be happier. I am working the same size regional shows and level of acts that I have for more that 15 years (and yes I'm happy doing this level work).I think you are on the right track with your plans. Keep the forum informed on what you find that works well for you.Don
Great information Don, thanks! Yeah, I know it's never going to be a 1:1 equivalent - I just don't want to take a step backwards and compromise an "industry standard" rig for something that doesn't match up to what most are expecting, especially in output. On the other side, as you mentioned, LEDs let us do various effects and looks that aren't easily possible with conventional lighting. Back to what TJ said though, it's a question of where do you draw the line then? Can I just be happy with a basic light, or for a little bit more I can have a zoom model, and for a little bit more I can have a moving wash... I'll certainly follow up with my eventual purchase (probably closer to the autumn/winter timeframe given the other irons in the fire right now), but it's definitely a good discussion and food for thought!
I'm asking Jeff and others on this thread. Has a combination of intelligent profile spots and moving zoom wash lights become the "new standard" regional lighting rig? Say about 10 of each with some "beam" lights for aerial effects thrown in? Or, are band LD's bringing in their on "floor" package of movers (or asking the local vendor to supply them) and dealing with whatever else the local vendor might have for wash lighting?The other trend I see for regional companies is a lot more bands without a LD and minimal lighting requirements. I've stated on the forum before, my company is doing a lot more "racks and stacks" type audio gigs because of technology changes. These acts usually depend on locally provided general lighting. Physically small but powerful digital consoles and IEM systems that take up very little trailer (or bus) space have me leaving my consoles and wedges at home more and more. Maybe it's just the size of the events I'm servicing, but this is the trend I'm seeing. Anyone else experiencing this?
Take a look at some ETC color source pars. ETC looks like they are trying to hit the lower end side of products for small gigs/companies/churches. They are "budget friendly" and as we all know, etc makes some great stuff. These color source pars are quad (RGBL [lime]) which they claim to have a better color gamut compared to LED fixtures with A or W.
Oh, I've taken a look at them (ETC Colorsource) and walked away every time. For what they are, I would certainly not consider them to be budget friendly and while their colors are better than the generic LED Par, I don't feel they're a strong contender as a replacement or even really an upgrade in this case. They have a use, and while I can't speak for Don or Michael, I can't see adding those into my system just yet. Kind of like what I mentioned further up, if all I need to do is blast colors on a wall, build a pixel grid, or uplight a truss, these would be a waste to spend the extra money on. A basic SlimPar would do the job nicely. Case in point - even the light rig used during the Super Bowl Halftime Show this year had some Chauvet and ADJ sprinkled in with the larger Clay Paky and Vari-lite product! It's all about using the right tool for the job. At the same time, ColorSource Pars are not the direction I want to go for higher output front light (I want better beam control). I also wouldn't want to take them outside. For a small to medium sized indoor venue with the budget for nicer equipment I'd say they'd be a contender, but not for a generic multipurpose LED Par Can.
We all know a mover doesn't have to move to be a usable light.
I went from the Slimpar pros to the Colordash quad7 and hex7 for my events.Improved quality of colors and higher frequency dimming has made my video folks happier.They're smaller too.I'm getting ready to try the Colorado Solo1 because of its zooming.
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