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Author Topic: What went wrong with my lighting plan??  (Read 2361 times)

Steve Garris

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Re: What went wrong with my lighting plan??
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2017, 03:25:29 pm »

The Par 38's that Jeff recommended are the same as mine. I use them with 90W halogen bulbs that were given to me (3 boxes worth). I use a Rosco Rose filter, and mount 1 light per side on my PA mains. I'm still looking for an LED solution but so far, I really like the way these have worked. The only downside is they have a slightly narrow beam that I wish was a few degrees wider, and the power cords on these are really short. The build and especially the bracket are excellent IMO.


Speaker mounted Par 38:
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Wes Garland

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Re: What went wrong with my lighting plan??
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2017, 10:19:52 am »

Jeff -- thanks for the fixture link.  The price is certainly right!

Here's a question for you -- can I light a guy standing in front of the band from both sides of his face, at 90 degrees, and have that light bounce to the audience?  I guess the question is ... is skin like a mirror, or does it scatter?  I'm trying to figure out if there is a better place for these fixtures given the constraints of that particular room.

Steve -- that's an interesting way to run those!  I hadn't thought of that.  I should see if my NX55Ps have a similarly-suitable fly point; if so, I'll get myself some knurled bolts to fit.  It would be a good way to mount single fixtures when I have my Ts deployed on lighting stands.

When I mount to speakers, I am currently using adapter plates I made that terminate in a 1"  ID iron pipe flange.  I can get pipe nipples of various lengths, although I usually use 8" nipples, then I slide Yorkville lighting Ts on top.  This gets me good height, if the ceiling is high enough, and I can get four fixtures up there if needed.

Now I just gotta wait for payday. :)   I have a line on some used 8' aluminium K&M stands as well.

Oh, Steve - your bulbs, do the boxes say "Floodlight", or "Spotlight"?  I'm trying to get the lie of the land as to what manufacturers consider what.   I'm guessing that boxes that say "Spotlight" are around 30 degress and that boxes that say "Floodlight" are at least 90. Does the PAR38 can typically limit the beam?

Anybody here ever used power distro with built-in ammeter?  I just found a 1U power bar with one in my garage.  Thinking about making it the central point of plugging in gigs at with limited power...but I have my doubts about the utility of such a device, given that my concern is primarily with the transient peaks.

Wes
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: What went wrong with my lighting plan??
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2017, 03:21:14 pm »

Jeff -- thanks for the fixture link.  The price is certainly right!

Here's a question for you -- can I light a guy standing in front of the band from both sides of his face, at 90 degrees, and have that light bounce to the audience?  I guess the question is ... is skin like a mirror, or does it scatter?  I'm trying to figure out if there is a better place for these fixtures given the constraints of that particular room.

...

Anybody here ever used power distro with built-in ammeter?  I just found a 1U power bar with one in my garage.  Thinking about making it the central point of plugging in gigs at with limited power...but I have my doubts about the utility of such a device, given that my concern is primarily with the transient peaks.

Yes, for the price you can't beat them.  To elaborate a little on my previous "built cheap and sell cheap" comment, the Can and Bracket are both very substantial.  At least on the product run I got, the included gel frames are paper-thin and have the rigidity of a disposable casserole dish.  They work, but they're just very cheap and minimal.  I've also had issues with both the cord/strain relief and the socket coming loose (which just requires screwing back in).  Not deal breakers by any means especially for the price, but reflective of where costs were cut to keep the price affordable. 

Skin is not reflective like a mirror, no.  Lighting the talent head-on versus 90 degrees from the side won't really yield a difference in terms of blinding the audience.  Blinding the talent is another story though.  Generally speaking, 45 degrees out and up is a good starting point for generic wash lights, especially if you can only have one position.  Shooting head-on will light the face very well with minimal shadow, but you'll lose all your facial dimension and the talent will look flat.  Too far from the sides will cause shadow and darkness in the middle of the face.  Too far up will yield shadow under the eyes, nose, and chin...too far down (think uplighting) will do the opposite.  This is why you see so many lights in different positions in a theater.  Varying both intensity and color from different positions allows me to not only light the talent adequately, but more importantly make subtle adjustments so that the lighting fits the mood and emotion on stage without excessive darkness or shadow (unless desired).  Back to your comment about mirrors, yes, I've lit a musical (A Chorus Line) where the entire cyc was covered in mirrors.  Several moving set pieces also had mirrors.  That was a trick...

My Eaton UPS has realtime wattage consumption readout, but that's only for consoles and other FOH equipment.  Sound can be a little tricky to meter, but lighting is pretty simple.  A basic Kill-A-Watt meter will let you measure the load you're pulling on a circuit.  I'll let others with more knowledge speak about the best technique to measure the sound gear, but trial and error works too in a practice environment. 

   
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Steve Garris

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Re: What went wrong with my lighting plan??
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2017, 06:12:26 pm »


Steve -- that's an interesting way to run those!  I hadn't thought of that.  I should see if my NX55Ps have a similarly-suitable fly point; if so, I'll get myself some knurled bolts to fit.  It would be a good way to mount single fixtures when I have my Ts deployed on lighting stands.


Oh, Steve - your bulbs, do the boxes say "Floodlight", or "Spotlight"?  I'm trying to get the lie of the land as to what manufacturers consider what.   I'm guessing that boxes that say "Spotlight" are around 30 degress and that boxes that say "Floodlight" are at least 90. Does the PAR38 can typically limit the beam?


Wes

According to the spec's, there are (2) 1/4-20 fly points on the top of your speaker cabinets.

The bulbs I have are Phillips Halogen flood 90W, 1340 Lumens. These are discontinued, but according to the spec's they have a 25 deg beam angle. I'm pretty sure whatever you place in that can will be restricted in beam width due to the recess in the can. I'm always surprised though of how effective these cheap lights are. The placement on the speakers is not ideal. A little further out would be much better (45 deg out) but in order to avoid light stands out in front of everything, the trade-off is worth it. I'm going to fabricate some steel mounts that will allow me to place (2) of these on each speaker, and give it a try. If it works out, I'll probably pick up a small dmx dimmer pack for these. I currently just plug them in and run them full on.

BTW, the new replacement for these Phillips bulbs is only 70W, and it's brighter:
http://www.lightbulbmarket.com/product/921306_70-Watt-PAR38-Philips-Halogen-Energy-Advantage-IR-Flood-Light-Bulb

I never have power problems BTW - can run everything I have - PA, lights, back-line off one regular 15 amp circuit. I have (3) tree's of led backlighting, and use both jbl PRX and SRXp systems.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2017, 06:17:09 pm by Steve Garris »
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Wes Garland

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Re: What went wrong with my lighting plan??
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2017, 09:06:16 am »

Well, I grabbed those stands last night - they weren't K&M like I thought, but Sunn.  Sunn!!!  They look nearly new, but they must be as old as my kids!   Anyhow -- they go up a hair over nine feet, when I order my PAR38s I should be able to get them up nice and high.

Steve -- what I'm worried about w.r.t the NX55P fly points is that I think the top of the speaker is curved.  I'll have to go out to the van and look. :)    I recall having some kind of issue with speaker shape when I built my iron pipe adapters.  Those stay permanently mounted to two of them, which I usually select as my FOH speakers unless I'm renting something bigger.

Thanks for the specs on your bulbs and the power consumption info. Now I have some targets.  I budget my amplifier loads at 1/8 of max output, which I think is correct for "music".  Your experience suggests that it is in the ballpark.  (are you running subs?  I love those 618S-XLFs! How many monitors?)

I've been hunting around and reading bulb specs on line.  It seem those Phillips "infra-red" bulbs are about twice as expensive as other bulbs, but put out 30% more light for the same power.  That seems like an excellent value.  I've also learned that "spot" means about 12 degrees, "flood" means 25-30 degress, and "wide flood" means 40-50 degrees, depending on manufacturer.  It might be useful to have a few of each..

This might be a dumb question, but what happens to light that hits the side of the PAR can before leaving the fixture?  I guess it is just absorbed as heat?  Why don't they paint the insides silver?

Jeff -- thanks for the info re. lighting talent. I've learned more in this thread than I've learned in two years of googling.  One issue I frequently have is that I just can't get the lights into ideal places to light the faces from the front without blinding the performer -- 45 degrees out just doesn't work when the stage ends with walls on each side and a dance floor in the front.   What you're telling me is that if I can get decent light on the faces at 60 or even 70 degrees -- from both sides -- that the performers should still be reasonably well-lit. Especially if I have a bit of something to fill from the front/top. I would still try for 45 degrees vertically, and I never light faces from below.  Don't want to scare the kids. :)

Good reminder re. Kill-a-Watt BTW. I think I have a couple of those kicking around here, too.  I think they will even record peak usage.

Wes
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Scott Hofmann

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Re: What went wrong with my lighting plan??
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2017, 10:15:43 am »

Well, I grabbed those stands last night - they weren't K&M like I thought, but Sunn.  Sunn!!!  They look nearly new, but they must be as old as my kids!   Anyhow -- they go up a hair over nine feet, when I order my PAR38s I should be able to get them up nice and high.

Steve -- what I'm worried about w.r.t the NX55P fly points is that I think the top of the speaker is curved.  I'll have to go out to the van and look. :)    I recall having some kind of issue with speaker shape when I built my iron pipe adapters.  Those stay permanently mounted to two of them, which I usually select as my FOH speakers unless I'm renting something bigger.

Thanks for the specs on your bulbs and the power consumption info. Now I have some targets.  I budget my amplifier loads at 1/8 of max output, which I think is correct for "music".  Your experience suggests that it is in the ballpark.  (are you running subs?  I love those 618S-XLFs! How many monitors?)

I've been hunting around and reading bulb specs on line.  It seem those Phillips "infra-red" bulbs are about twice as expensive as other bulbs, but put out 30% more light for the same power.  That seems like an excellent value.  I've also learned that "spot" means about 12 degrees, "flood" means 25-30 degress, and "wide flood" means 40-50 degrees, depending on manufacturer.  It might be useful to have a few of each..

This might be a dumb question, but what happens to light that hits the side of the PAR can before leaving the fixture?  I guess it is just absorbed as heat?  Why don't they paint the insides silver?

Jeff -- thanks for the info re. lighting talent. I've learned more in this thread than I've learned in two years of googling.  One issue I frequently have is that I just can't get the lights into ideal places to light the faces from the front without blinding the performer -- 45 degrees out just doesn't work when the stage ends with walls on each side and a dance floor in the front.   What you're telling me is that if I can get decent light on the faces at 60 or even 70 degrees -- from both sides -- that the performers should still be reasonably well-lit. Especially if I have a bit of something to fill from the front/top. I would still try for 45 degrees vertically, and I never light faces from below.  Don't want to scare the kids. :)

Good reminder re. Kill-a-Watt BTW. I think I have a couple of those kicking around here, too.  I think they will even record peak usage.

Wes

Be careful about reading specs on line. The "infra-red" lamps you may be looking at could easily be heat lamps like used for food warming, not lighting people!!
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Scott Hofmann

Wes Garland

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Re: What went wrong with my lighting plan??
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2017, 11:03:25 am »

Be careful about reading specs on line. The "infra-red" lamps you may be looking at could easily be heat lamps like used for food warming, not lighting people!!

These ones? http://www.bulbs.com/product/70PAR38-IRC-PLUS-FL25-120V
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: What went wrong with my lighting plan??
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2017, 07:12:56 pm »

I've been hunting around and reading bulb specs on line.  It seem those Phillips "infra-red" bulbs are about twice as expensive as other bulbs, but put out 30% more light for the same power.  That seems like an excellent value.  I've also learned that "spot" means about 12 degrees, "flood" means 25-30 degress, and "wide flood" means 40-50 degrees, depending on manufacturer.  It might be useful to have a few of each..

You can swap lamps around if you really want to, but there are other tricks you can use as well that are a little easier.  Moving hot lamps around isn't much fun either.  Assuming you don't go the route of a zooming ellipsoidal or using barn doors, diffusion is a standard technique for widening and softening your beam.  If you want something with a higher light transmittance, you can use this, but it's not cheap. 

This might be a dumb question, but what happens to light that hits the side of the PAR can before leaving the fixture?  I guess it is just absorbed as heat?  Why don't they paint the insides silver?

A little bit of both.  Some lights actually do have mirror tubes in them, but not very many.  It all comes down to the desired optics and how you wish to best utilize your photons!  I've never given it that much though, but my GUESS as to what the result would be if you made the inside of a light fixture silver would be very poor beam control, as in the light would glare out into places you don't want it - for the exact same reason (but opposite application) why you find black felt inside many camera accessories - essentially zero glare/reflection. 

Jeff -- thanks for the info re. lighting talent. I've learned more in this thread than I've learned in two years of googling.  One issue I frequently have is that I just can't get the lights into ideal places to light the faces from the front without blinding the performer -- 45 degrees out just doesn't work when the stage ends with walls on each side and a dance floor in the front.   What you're telling me is that if I can get decent light on the faces at 60 or even 70 degrees -- from both sides -- that the performers should still be reasonably well-lit. Especially if I have a bit of something to fill from the front/top. I would still try for 45 degrees vertically, and I never light faces from below.  Don't want to scare the kids. :)

No worries, and I'm glad that you're finding this discussion useful.  Lighting design is as much an art as it is a skill, especially in live theater.  Though anyone can just turn lights on, it takes time and practice to learn the techniques of painting with light, much like how any artist evolves with time and practice.  Some of it's learning how to use the tools, but even more of it is learning how to leverage the tools to achieve you vision.

A lot of times form has to fit function especially as a mobile operator, so just do your best to hit the best angles you can.  I'm faced with the same situation quite often too.  Yeah, getting about 60 degrees to either side can work well enough.  A center fill will help with any darkness or lack of balance you might encounter on the middle of the face.  In such situations I light 80% from the sides and supplement just enough from the front to light the face but not so much as to lose definition.  Honestly, the best advice I can give you is just to set your rig up on a slow weekday night and play with it.  Move things around and watch what it does to your subject (be it a chair, plant, person, etc.).  A few hours of practical experience is far more valuable than anything I could ever say!  Here's an interesting video that Chauvet put together to illustrate some of the points I'm making.  While I wish they used a different subject to light such as a mannequin, you'll still see some examples of how blending colors, textures, and angles can produce some tasteful results.     
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Wes Garland

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Re: What went wrong with my lighting plan??
« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2017, 12:09:55 pm »

Hey, this is a quick follow-up to say, "thanks!".   I lit my rock band last night, using many of the principles I learned in this thread, and the difference in our appearance vs. previous shows was stunning.  And nobody complained that I was blinding them. :)

The Sunn poles I picked up turned out to be 1 1/2" instead of 1 3/8", so they are currently topped with fence pole adapters, secured from popping off with a #8 self-tapping screw.  These poles go up really high, which is great.  The only problem, of course, is that they are tripods and so can be bumped by drunken patrons.  Oh well; what can you do?

I bought some ADJ PAR 38 fixtures locally.  I elected to go with those because once I factored in shipping and customs brokerage they were roughly half the price of the fixtures suggested above.  I ran them with the bare 100W bulb that came with the fixture.  I was going to use bastard amber gels, but I seem to have misplaced my gels. Whoops.

I mounted two fixtures each atop speaker pole adapters, the kind you bolt to wooden speakers without holes.  This worked pretty well, it's compact and looks good, but I was limited to about a 45 degree down angle due to hitting.  I'm going to try shaving the front of the adapters down with my chop saw so that I can aim "more down" if necessary in the future.

I put my LEDs in the back of the band, and just left them on "music" mode, with the sensitivity knob turned so far down they didn't change much.



One of the band wives took a great picture of the lead singer, too.  At that point in the evening, the sun was still out, so my lights were mostly just getting rid of shadows.  But the backlighting from the LEDs really worked in the picture!



It's funny how the selfie age has altered how I think of lighting.  I used to just be happy if people could see the band.  Now I want to make sure the band looks great when pictures inevitably make their way to social media.

Wes
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