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Author Topic: Making a plan for a lighting upgrade  (Read 919 times)

BrianHenry

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Re: Making a plan for a lighting upgrade
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2017, 07:45:34 pm »

I made these road cases to hold t-bars.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 07:48:22 pm by BrianHenry »
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Jeremy Young

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Re: Making a plan for a lighting upgrade
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2017, 11:35:26 am »

I made these road cases to hold t-bars.


Nicely done Brian!  Looks great, wish I were that good at building things....
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Brown Bear Sound dot CA
Victoria BC Canada

Jeremy Young

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Re: Making a plan for a lighting upgrade
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2017, 11:36:10 am »

How long are the light bars? I have 4-light bars that I place in Keyboard bags for transport. It works great IMO.
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/road-runner-keyboard-bag/j23228000002004?cntry=us&source=3WWRWXGP&gclid=CjwKCAjw_8jNBRB-EiwA96Yp1jZ8m_pfzCqQSuivtgS3dhGwS5vT1wUr5cYfu4sCGaoj0oTvtFrKVBoCiroQAvD_BwE&kwid=productads-adid^156727059247-device^c-plaid^62390521681-sku^J23228000002004@ADL4MF-adType^PLA


51-1/2" x 6" x 18", so it looks like some of those 88-key keyboard cases might do the trick, thanks for the idea I never thought of that!  I've seen some of your posts, you've gotten some great light shows with some inexpensive fixtures in large quantities, keep up the great work!  What are you using for a controller?
« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 11:39:59 am by Jeremy Young »
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Brown Bear Sound dot CA
Victoria BC Canada

Jeremy Young

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Re: Making a plan for a lighting upgrade
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2017, 11:38:19 am »

Another thought for going with tungsten lighting for your front light.  Instead of using ERS (leko) spots, go with the classic fresnel.  In the US the frequent street price for the Altman 65Q is right at $50.  Gives you adjustable beam spread, no framing shutters like an ERS but you can use barndoors.  You can also use gels, for instance a very light cool from one side and a very light warm from the other.  That gives more depth. 
EDIT: Oh yeah that price is for used.


I had never really thought about (or used) a fresnel before but you're right they sure do cover a lot of area inexpensively.  I haven't played around with warm and cool lights yet, limited by the best "whites" my RGB fixtures can pull off now.  Thanks for the tip I'll add it to the experimentation list! 
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Brown Bear Sound dot CA
Victoria BC Canada

Jeff Lelko

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Re: Making a plan for a lighting upgrade
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2017, 12:25:34 pm »


I had never really thought about (or used) a fresnel before but you're right they sure do cover a lot of area inexpensively.  I haven't played around with warm and cool lights yet, limited by the best "whites" my RGB fixtures can pull off now.  Thanks for the tip I'll add it to the experimentation list!

You might also want to take a look at these.  I have a few dozen in my inventory and I believe Steve does too.  They don't have the beam control that you'll find on a fresnel, but they're small, cheap, and durable enough for mobile use.  The one nice thing about them is that you can use a wide variety of wattage lamps in them.  I run mine with 250w floods, but you can go way down to sub-100w and still get a nice beam.  The output is a little tight if comparing to a fresnel, but I like them and they're extremely economical.
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Jeremy Young

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Re: Making a plan for a lighting upgrade
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2017, 12:26:04 pm »

I'll refrain from "quoting" your whole post Jeff, but thanks again.  Great suggestions as always.  I had looked at those truss totems and considered them, but my fear was that they would be another one-trick pony.  At least with box truss lengths they can be connected into a larger design but those glow totems are what they are and no more.  Still, very compact and get the job done.  More to think about. 

I've starting doing more research into controllers, that M-touch does look like a handy tool.  I'll have to figure out what kind of workflow and features I'm going to want/need and start making some lists.

As for IP65, my buddy is doing a 3-day gig this weekend outdoors, and I'm watching the rain come down outside right now as I think about front lighting.  Is there a reasonably safe way to weatherproof a conventional light tree?  I'm imagining hi temperature clear plastic, but can't imagine it not affecting the optics.  Lekos, fresnels, par cans....someone must make one rated for outdoors, no?  I suppose in LED world there's the Ovation E-260WW IP but that comes with a price tag.

I could imagine picking up some conventional front wash lights first, even if they are just static for now, then a better controller, then some zoom wash movers to add to front or rear depending on the gig...  moving straight to the movers without a controller upgrade first would be a little awkward.  If only IP65 movers were cheaper!  I haven't defined a budget, but my comfort zone ends around the Chauvet Rogue 1 Wash / Elation Fuze Wash Z120 range if I'm picking up four with a road case, and that could buy a lot of conventional lights, or a TON of cheap LED slimpars that I replace if/when they fail. 

I mean, if American Ninja Warrior can pull it off.... lol.  I just don't want to be that guy with the failing LED flashing in everyone's eyes mid way through a show as it sputters it's last breath.  Then I'm known as the guy with the cheap gear.  Once the show starts I have very little time for adjustments or reconfiguration.  I'd probably want to triple the inventory for redundancy if I went cheap, then I'm really spending the same amount but packing more...I'd rather something that packs small with lots of punch, hence the appeal of the Sixpar IP style fixtures.  Proper whites and ambers are a must though for front wash.

Key points for me:  Will the gigs I do be photographed or filmed?  Absolutely yes.  I live in a capital city, there are a lot of government related gigs and a lot of local photography groups who attend gigs and take great photos.

Will I be cross renting my equipment to other companies / designers?  Perhaps a controller, but unlikely for the reasonable future that I would be supplying lighting-only since most of the big players around here already have warehouses of par cans and movers.  If I had a good controller and a big gig came in, I could see renting some of their kit to supplement mine but that's future talk. Brand pedigree is something I take seriously on major investments, mostly for future support and parts availability.  My sound rig includes brands most people haven't heard of (Danley, JTR) but I appreciate that they are small enough to offer personalized support if needed and the designs are high quality.  I'm certainly not planning on meeting any lighting riders anytime soon.  This is just to expand the production value of my sound gigs, and eventually offer as a standalone service when sound is already looked after by the band or venue.

How important is IP65 for me?  For front lighting, I'm settling on "very".  Which is my biggest tripping block to an otherwise very flexible and appealing moving zoom wash approach. 


I'm glad I came here!  thanks everyone. 
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Brown Bear Sound dot CA
Victoria BC Canada

Jeremy Young

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Re: Making a plan for a lighting upgrade
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2017, 12:35:05 pm »

You might also want to take a look at these.  I have a few dozen in my inventory and I believe Steve does too.  They don't have the beam control that you'll find on a fresnel, but they're small, cheap, and durable enough for mobile use.  The one nice thing about them is that you can use a wide variety of wattage lamps in them.  I run mine with 250w floods, but you can go way down to sub-100w and still get a nice beam.  The output is a little tight if comparing to a fresnel, but I like them and they're extremely economical.


Those are VERY economical.  Thanks for the link.  I suppose an appeal there would be that if I smash a bulb I could pick one up at a hardware store in a pinch. 


So, conventional lights like this, outdoors on a tree in front of the band (and therefore at risk for rainwater infiltration), outside of them shorting out and popping a breaker, are there shock risks present?  Would a 20A inline GFCI be enough to mitigate those risks?


I see a lot of people using par cans and lekos hung at the front of stages across the top or as side wash.... so am I making a big deal out of a little thing?  With LED I know you have electronics to worry about and the IP65 rating becomes even more important to the fixture's survival, but I still worry.   
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Brown Bear Sound dot CA
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Making a plan for a lighting upgrade
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2017, 09:16:16 pm »

Hey, sorry for the delay in getting back to you.  With the hurricane going on I was a little preoccupied!

Those are VERY economical.  Thanks for the link.  I suppose an appeal there would be that if I smash a bulb I could pick one up at a hardware store in a pinch. 

So, conventional lights like this, outdoors on a tree in front of the band (and therefore at risk for rainwater infiltration), outside of them shorting out and popping a breaker, are there shock risks present?  Would a 20A inline GFCI be enough to mitigate those risks?

I see a lot of people using par cans and lekos hung at the front of stages across the top or as side wash.... so am I making a big deal out of a little thing?  With LED I know you have electronics to worry about and the IP65 rating becomes even more important to the fixture's survival, but I still worry.

Yes, these $20 Pars are nothing more than a flood lamp socket in a metal can.  Note that the lamp isn't included with that specific kit, so depending on your selection all said and done they're closer to $35-50/ea. to deploy.  Still amazing bang to buck.  Yep, you can use Home Depot bulbs in these either as an emergency option or as your default option. 

As far as weather goes, they are grounded.  I've never been shocked by them either.  The only thing you have to watch for is something like a sudden cold downpour thermally-shocking the lamp and causing it to fail.  This has only happened to me exactly once in the past 15-20 years or so I've been doing this (on a Par 64), and I still can't definitively say that the rain caused the problem.  Most of these lamps are indoor/outdoor use, so they're pretty robust.  The bigger catch is that while these and most other conventional fixtures are very weather resistant, the dimmers you'll need aren't.  They need to be kept dry.  The most "weather-proof" way to do this is run a line of Soca to your trees and park the dimmers under the stage or in a place where they won't get wet.  Soca isn't cheap though and it's pretty heavy, so maybe more fuss than what you really want.

As for IP65, my buddy is doing a 3-day gig this weekend outdoors, and I'm watching the rain come down outside right now as I think about front lighting.  Is there a reasonably safe way to weatherproof a conventional light tree?  I'm imagining hi temperature clear plastic, but can't imagine it not affecting the optics.  Lekos, fresnels, par cans....someone must make one rated for outdoors, no?  I suppose in LED world there's the Ovation E-260WW IP but that comes with a price tag.
 
I've seen covers, enclosures, and "dog houses" made for this but it can be a bit trickier than you might think at first glace.  Optics aside, the issue is controlling the temperature inside the box.  Any piece of equipment with a circuit board will list a "maximum ambient operating temperature".  If you go the route of an enclosure you need to make it so that it never exceeds the maximum ambient operating temperature of the least robust fixture in the group.  If anything halogen or discharge is in there this can be very hard to do.  Even some LEDs give off a fair amount of heat.  Moving light globes like what Tempest offers have environmental control built-in.  As you can imagine, these aren't cheap and most likely overkill for a non-fixed installation.  I've debated building little sheet metal roofs or bonnets for my trees, but in Florida where it rains sideways I'm not sure how useful these would actually be in practice. 

I mean, if American Ninja Warrior can pull it off.... lol.  I just don't want to be that guy with the failing LED flashing in everyone's eyes mid way through a show as it sputters it's last breath.  Then I'm known as the guy with the cheap gear.  Once the show starts I have very little time for adjustments or reconfiguration.  I'd probably want to triple the inventory for redundancy if I went cheap, then I'm really spending the same amount but packing more...I'd rather something that packs small with lots of punch, hence the appeal of the Sixpar IP style fixtures.  Proper whites and ambers are a must though for front wash.

I totally get what you mean.  The reason I bring up American Ninja Warrior is that it shows you don't need world-class fixtures to work on big-name productions.  Here is where it opens a can of worms though...  Do you need an entire system that is listed for "wet location use"?  The answer to that is "maybe", "maybe", and "it depends"...as usual.  Fixtures like SlimPars are not listed for wet location use.  Technically most conventional lights aren't either, yet you seem them used outdoors all the time.  So does that mean all the amphitheater and stadium shows need to be shut down because most of their rig is intended for "indoor use only"?  Not necessarily, and to be honest this is about where my knowledge and experience hits the limit of what useful advice I can offer.  Maybe someone else can chime in to fill in the gaps, but my experience is that if you're doing a fixed or semi-permanent installation outdoors then all your equipment must be listed for wet location use (IP65 or similar) or provisions in place to make it so, such as a Tempest enclosure...and this extends beyond just the fixtures.  The electrical components of the installation must meet the same requirement, which gets expensive - fast.  In your case, maybe you buy some SixPar IPs and have wet location use fixtures, but that only carries you to what they plug in to.  Is your distro listed for wet location use?  How about your controller?  See where I'm going with this?  To be 100% wet location use things can get extremely expensive and much further down the rabbit hole than you're looking to go.  Here's the caveat though - as a mobile operator you're not confined to the same rules as for a fixed installation.   

My understanding of the topic and thus how I've always operated for mobile outdoor shows is that so long as your equipment is under constant supervision when energized, you have a comprehensive weather plan in place, and you have the ability to safely remove power both during AND after inclement weather has occurred...you're okay running non-outdoor equipment outdoors.  Unfortunately I can't cite a source for this.  I only mention it because it's how outdoor productions running conventional lights, non-IP movers, and non-IP LEDs can operate without being shut down...so long as the electrical infrastructure is up to code for wet location use.  You're obviously voiding your warranty and not using the equipment as listed when doing this, but that's the decision you have to make.  I believe Altman offers a few outdoor conventionals as do a few others.  IP movers are few and expensive. 

That's why you have to decide if it's worth it to buy the IP fixtures anyways to have the warm fuzzy feeling that you'll be okay in the rain (until your tent dumps water into your console or laptop), or is it more economical to buy cheaper, more common lights in higher quantity, understanding that one or two might fail in poor weather...or just on their own.  Go to a few outdoor concerts and you'll see the model that the industry at large follows...   ;)

If it's worth the extra cost of IP to you just to have one less thing to worry about in the rain then I'd say go for it!  It's a direction that I'm strongly considering going myself for my next LED purchase...not that I've had bad luck in the rain and need a better solution - more so that I can just sit back and not worry about it!  Tarp the light board and let it rain!

All that aside, if you're doing higher profile shows that will be filmed you'll want a higher quality light anyways.  Cheap LEDs can do weird things on cameras, especially when operating at lower intensities.  Either way, try to get a demo of what you're interested in to be sure you like the output, and maybe consult with an electrician in your area about wet location use power.  They'll be able to help you out on the infrastructure side of things if you have any compliance questions.  Best of luck with the purchase!   

*Edited for typos and clarity         
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 07:28:44 pm by Jeff Lelko »
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Jeremy Young

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Re: Making a plan for a lighting upgrade
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2017, 08:59:08 pm »

Jeff, don't apologize.  Stay safe out there, I'm not on a tight timeline and you've been very generous with your time already.  If you ever find yourself in Victoria I think I owe you a beer or two! 

I'm on the fence between some Altman 65Q-type fresnels with barn doors (simple, flexible, semi-controllable stage wash) or maybe an ETC parnel; or going LED with a Colorado M Solo or similar (variable colour temp, IP65, homogenized beam face, motorized zoom).  Both have pros and cons.  Maybe a combination wouldn't be a bad thing.  Still thinking two per side on tree's and hoping that'll get me some reasonable face coverage.

I do think that I'm going to put off the movers for now, since that will also give me time to settle on a controller upgrade.  I've also come to terms with the fact that I don't have the pack space nor the time to focus something like a Leko to do it justice.  I'll stick to soft-edge washes for now.  If I go IP65 LED, I'll convert my cables to powercon true1 and that'll at least get me some reasonable protection up until my tarped, non-wet-location distro.

You've made some excellent points, I've gotta do some more thinking/budget analysis and see if I can get myself a demo locally on any of this.

I will definitely be picking up some 88-key keyboard cases for my upstage t-bars though, very happy about that concept!



I'll update this thread as my rig expands.  Thanks again everyone!
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Brown Bear Sound dot CA
Victoria BC Canada

Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Making a plan for a lighting upgrade
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2017, 11:44:19 pm »

Mixing and matching different brands of LED fixtures may give you less than satisfactory results if you want to match color washes. The RGBA+Lime ETC fixtures don't have the same color rendering as the Chauvet Pro fixtures (as an example). If you aren't doing theater it may not matter, but buyers should be aware that there are differences.
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