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Author Topic: What went wrong with my lighting plan??  (Read 2363 times)

TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: What went wrong with my lighting plan??
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2017, 08:13:55 am »

A lot of people do this, myself included.  Lighting doesn't have to be all LED or all halogen - a nice mix can work wonders.  My 250w Par 38s see the most use in this type of setting, though you have a number of good options.  A small ellipsoidal with a wide-angle lens will give you better beam control than a Par can but will cost a bit more.
Ellipsoidals don't blend very well.  If you need beam control they are the right tool, but even at full soft edge there are lines between fixtures.  They are also physically large and require lens tube changes for different beam angles.  Pars are the right choice for this, with barndoors if necessary.  The ETC S4 Par is IMO the best tool due to its small physical size as well as the set of lenses it comes with, so no need to swap the bulb to change the beam angle.
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Robert Lofgren

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Re: What went wrong with my lighting plan??
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2017, 09:07:26 am »

When I was working as a video photographer the camera was set to a fixed color temperature and this produced the beat result.
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Scott Hofmann

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Re: What went wrong with my lighting plan??
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2017, 11:29:18 am »

Ellipsoidals don't blend very well.  If you need beam control they are the right tool, but even at full soft edge there are lines between fixtures.  They are also physically large and require lens tube changes for different beam angles.  Pars are the right choice for this, with barndoors if necessary.  The ETC S4 Par is IMO the best tool due to its small physical size as well as the set of lenses it comes with, so no need to swap the bulb to change the beam angle.

I'll have to take issue with some of your statements.
1. If there are "lines between fixtures" in an ellipsoidal wash, why do theatres do this all the time from the FOH position? It is certainly possible to create an even ellipsoidal wash, it just takes a little more effort to soften the edges thru focus or diffusion filters. The ability to soften the edge does vary considerably between makes of fixtures. For example, easily done with an Altman Phoenix; not as easily done with a Source4.
2. If you have a fixture with a zoom lens, you don't need different lens tubes to change the spread.
3. The Source4 Jr. zoom is not a physically large fixture (although it is limited to a 575 watt lamp). But yes, ellipsoidals are larger than Pars.
4. The Altman StarPar also has interchangeable lenses, but may be slightly larger than the S4 Par.
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Scott Hofmann

Jeff Lelko

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Re: What went wrong with my lighting plan??
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2017, 05:34:50 pm »

Pars are the right choice for this, with barndoors if necessary.

I have to disagree with you on this one too.  I mean honestly either one will get the job done if deployed properly, but for front facial light I'd take the soft even beam of a Source 4 over a Par 64 any day.  The only exception would be when placing lights very close to the talent, in which case I'd opt for my halogen 38s or 64s.  If I read correctly that the OP is hanging the front fill lighting 20' out and 8-10' up, I'd grab an S4 if I can.

3. The Source4 Jr. zoom is not a physically large fixture (although it is limited to a 575 watt lamp). But yes, ellipsoidals are larger than Pars.
 
And this is the exact fixture I'd reach for if available.  They're not much bigger than a convention Par 64 yet the 575w lamp will provide plenty of output to get the job done.  A 50 degree beam angle is hard to beat, yet the ability to zoom and frame will give you some versatility for working different rooms and focus positions.  Yes, if hung/focused in a certain way you can get "lines" between fixtures just like you can get "blotches" with Par Cans...  Again, either one will work and I'm not necessarily saying one is better than the other...just that in this situation I'd be reaching for a compact ellipsoidal if possible. 
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: What went wrong with my lighting plan??
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2017, 10:24:12 pm »

I'll have to take issue with some of your statements.
1. If there are "lines between fixtures" in an ellipsoidal wash, why do theatres do this all the time from the FOH position? It is certainly possible to create an even ellipsoidal wash, it just takes a little more effort to soften the edges thru focus or diffusion filters. The ability to soften the edge does vary considerably between makes of fixtures. For example, easily done with an Altman Phoenix; not as easily done with a Source4.
2. If you have a fixture with a zoom lens, you don't need different lens tubes to change the spread.
3. The Source4 Jr. zoom is not a physically large fixture (although it is limited to a 575 watt lamp). But yes, ellipsoidals are larger than Pars.
4. The Altman StarPar also has interchangeable lenses, but may be slightly larger than the S4 Par.
Well, we'll have to agree to disagree, then.  I can get 8 S4 Pars in an Audiopile C003 case, as compared to 4 S4 lekos.  Zoom lekos are significantly bigger than regular lekos.

We're talking a basic band lighting wash here - I see absolutely no advantage to larger, more expensive harder to blend fixtures for this purpose.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: What went wrong with my lighting plan??
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2017, 10:25:12 pm »

I have to disagree with you on this one too.  I mean honestly either one will get the job done if deployed properly, but for front facial light I'd take the soft even beam of a Source 4 over a Par 64 any day.  The only exception would be when placing lights very close to the talent, in which case I'd opt for my halogen 38s or 64s.  If I read correctly that the OP is hanging the front fill lighting 20' out and 8-10' up, I'd grab an S4 if I can.
Well, see my post above - I think you're crazy, but we can still be friends.  :)
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Wes Garland

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Re: What went wrong with my lighting plan??
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2017, 09:55:30 am »

Hey, folks!

Thanks for the recommendations - looks like I still have some real learning to do in the world of lighting (no surprise there).

I think the takeaway is that my primary mistake was trying to use coloured lights to provide "seeing" light - I should have used these from behind/beside the group, and gotten more white  light on to the performers, in particular the front man.

Those ETC S4 Pars look interesting, albeit pricey for what I'm making.  I have also been thinking about Blizzard Hotboxes for some time, although price is again a consideration.

I've been afraid to invest in halogen fixtures due to the power requirements. At the level I'm working at, I frequently bump into issues with lack of knowledge re. venue power, and so tend to assume that I only have one circuit to work with....so I calculate lights, PA, instruments at a maximum of 115 * 12VA continuous to meet the lowest common denominator.  A couple of 500W bulbs will really put a dent in that.

I've got some larger floods leftover from some fixtures I built at work I'm tempted to press into use here; they are 30W and 60W white 120 degree LED floods, and quite compact.  It would be easy to add permanent bastard amber gel. I'm not crazy about the pattern, though, and they have mismatched colour temperatures (which is why they are spare).

BTW, do any of you guys have opinions about the Yorkville LP-LED4 as a source of front lights?  I've rented these for my rock band in the past, and while I never had the chance to play with them properly, I was pretty impressed.  These are $$$$ but sometimes come up used at reasonable prices.  Ditto their halogen fixtures, but again, I'm worried about power. Hmm.

A reasonably-priced solution might be a set of halogen PAR38s, and to move them closer to the performer. I'm always worried about putting lights too close to the performers, because they complain about their eyes.

For the sake of completeness: LED PAR38 bulbs are a waste of money?
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: What went wrong with my lighting plan??
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2017, 03:20:31 pm »

As with many things in this business, you get what you pay for.  Though there are a few exceptions to this, you generally pay a professional price for equipment that can play ball at the professional level.  The Chinese LED thread might help point you towards some cheaper LED lights that may work, but honestly if you're not able to drop in the $150-300 per fixture range, you're probably best off with a halogen Par 38 and trying to make that work within your power constraints.  Par 38s don't need 250w lamps to be effective.  In close range, there are acceptable lamp options that are under 100w. 

For the sake of completeness: LED PAR38 bulbs are a waste of money?

I have yet to find ones that I like.  In addition, many of them won't behave properly when used with a dimmer so you're back to square one again.  As I've said in other threads, LED lights aren't power free.  While they tend to draw less than their halogen equivalents they are not negligible in terms of power consumption.  If you really can't budget at least 2-300w for lighting at a minimum you might need to rethink your power allocation for other items in your system and/or downscale your rig giving, preference to facial fill lights over eye-candy lights. 
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Wes Garland

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Re: What went wrong with my lighting plan??
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2017, 10:39:51 am »

Thanks, Jeff.

I went through this set of lessons with PA equipment, and give that same advice myself these days..."Buy Once, Cry Once".  Lighting is a bit tougher, because I don't need it often....but I do need it.

I think I'm going to pick up 4xPAR 38 before my next show at this venue and put them on one of my spare lighting Ts.  Browsing Home Depot, I see lots of bulbs in the 100W neighbourhood.  I also see floods and spots.

Does it make sense to put the four PAR38s where I had the pink lights (stage right, forward), wash the band with floods, and light the front man with a spot?  (see diagram bottom of page 1) .... is that going to cast a shadow on the left side of his face?  Maybe I should put a spot on him from stage left also?

I *might* get PAR56 instead of PAR38 IFF I spot some of the Yorkville stuff for sale on the used market.  LP-302 or LP-304. I passed on some last year, I shouldn't have. Their stuff is generally high-quality, and we are in Yorkville country here.  Plus their light bars come with integrated dimmers.  When they say, "Quartz bulbs", they mean the usual halogen stuff, right?  Can I get PAR56 bulbs with the same pattern as PAR38?  (I guess I could put PAR38 in a PAR56 fixture if that was appropriate)

Your point about power allocation is well-taken - my entire light rig consumes around 100W, though - that's one incandescent bulb. The sound load for this group, at least, is gentle. Another 600W for speakers and 120W for the bass and guitar amps, I'm at, what, 820W.  I have about 600W to play with for additional lighting.

Wes
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: What went wrong with my lighting plan??
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2017, 11:18:43 am »

I went through this set of lessons with PA equipment, and give that same advice myself these days..."Buy Once, Cry Once".  Lighting is a bit tougher, because I don't need it often....but I do need it.

Yep, and that's where the whole business discussion comes into play.  Is it worth spending the cash on fixtures that are above entry level, or will your clientele be more than satisfied with the generic ebay/Amazon lights for the few times a year you need them, knowing that you might run into flickering and color issues such as what's seen in your video.  That's really up to you knowing your market and client expectations.

I think I'm going to pick up 4xPAR 38 before my next show at this venue and put them on one of my spare lighting Ts.  Browsing Home Depot, I see lots of bulbs in the 100W neighbourhood.  I also see floods and spots.

That's probably a safe decision.  These are the ones I use.  They're built cheap and sell cheap, but the three dozen I have in inventory have held up well enough over the years to be easily worth their expense and still see regular use.  The one-piece can makes socket replacement tricky, but it's manageable.  The 250w capacity is also nice if you ever need it.

Does it make sense to put the four PAR38s where I had the pink lights (stage right, forward), wash the band with floods, and light the front man with a spot?  (see diagram bottom of page 1) .... is that going to cast a shadow on the left side of his face?  Maybe I should put a spot on him from stage left also?

Generally you want to balance things out.  Sometimes a slight lack of symmetry can do interesting things with negative space, but yes, I would try to light from both sides.  You might be surprised though - you may not need 4 fixtures per side running at the same time to get good results.

I *might* get PAR56 instead of PAR38 IFF I spot some of the Yorkville stuff for sale on the used market.  LP-302 or LP-304. I passed on some last year, I shouldn't have. Their stuff is generally high-quality, and we are in Yorkville country here.  Plus their light bars come with integrated dimmers.  When they say, "Quartz bulbs", they mean the usual halogen stuff, right?  Can I get PAR56 bulbs with the same pattern as PAR38?  (I guess I could put PAR38 in a PAR56 fixture if that was appropriate)

Yeah, nothing wrong with the Yorkville product either if you can find it and it does what you want.  In this specific example, yes, "Quartz" and "Halogen" are interchangeable for product advertising.  In truth, the "Quartz" refers to the material of the bulb itself.  This is used because it can withstand the higher temperatures and pressures seen with halogen lamps (as well as metal halide lamps).  The "Halogen" refers to the gas cocktail inside the bulb that allows the Halogen Cycle to work. 

As far as beam properties go, it'll vary.  At least in my experience, the screw-in variety tend to project a fairly even circular beam, while the two-pin variety seen in sealed-beam Par 46/56/64s tend to project more of an oval beam.  You probably won't be able to put a Par 38 lamp in a Par 56 fixture without modification to the Par 56.  This is one of the reasons for my comment about beam control further up, and in Par Can fixtures you have very little of it short of lamp/lens selection and barn doors.  You're just going to get blotches of light.  Using all of the same fixture type can help minimize inconsistency between fixtures, but I've mixed and matched Par 38s, Par 64s, Source 4s, and moving wash lights all on the same stage with no problems.  It just takes a little practice to get your desired result. 

I think 600w for lighting is reasonable.  Like many of us here, just scale down as possible when faced with a tighter power constraint.  Hope all this helps! 

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