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Author Topic: info/advice on LED theater spotlights / fresnels / pc's  (Read 885 times)

Andrea Litti

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info/advice on LED theater spotlights / fresnels / pc's
« on: February 09, 2018, 09:41:34 am »

Hello, I have some theater and musical type shows coming, where I should rent some halogen theater spotlights plus dimmer to do the job (I mainly own rgb led pars, led movers and similar "live music" lighting stuff). I'm thinking about buying new fixtures (led) instead of renting if those type of shows keep coming, so I'm collecting some info and useful advice about this kind of products.
I'd buy 4/6 fixtures, maximum budget would be around 300/350 euros each, they would be used indoor in small to medium venues (from 100 to 700 seats). The ADJ Encore Fr50z and the Varytec LED theater spot  100 are two fixtures that caught my attention. Opinions? Questions? Advice? Thank you in advance!
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: info/advice on LED theater spotlights / fresnels / pc's
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2018, 04:59:20 pm »

Hi Andrea,

When you say spotlight, do you mean followspot, ellipsoidal/leko, Fresnel, etc.?  I would have guessed one of the first two, but the products you mention are of the Fresnel variety.  All three have very different but equally important roles in theater.  Which is it that you truly need?

Honestly, in my own strict opinion, for the money you have - keep renting.  Alternatively, you can outright buy pretty much any halogen fixture you need for that same amount of money, and probably much less.  Either way, it's crucial to demo each fixture before buying here as the demands of a theatrical setting are much higher than a club/bar setting.  Fixture noise, output, and low-level performance are critical here.  A 50w LED won't be impressive...100w is getting better, but the quality of output is also very important.  If it were me I wouldn't be looking at anything less than the Chauvet Ovation offerings.  Good luck!

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Andrea Litti

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Re: info/advice on LED theater spotlights / fresnels / pc's
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2018, 10:48:30 am »

Hi Jeff,

thanks a lot for the useful reply. I'll take some time to think about it and have a clearer view before I decide to buy stuff.

Thanks again
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: info/advice on LED theater spotlights / fresnels / pc's
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2018, 06:29:01 pm »

I was also confused by your use of the term "spotlight". That term means (to me) a high-powered lighting fixture that has a live operator, who aims the light at the featured artist, and can follow her or him when the artist moves around on the stage. That is usually called a follow spot. Most follow spots use a dowser rather than a dimmer. There usually is also an adjustable iris to tighten or enlarge the pool of light, a focus (for a hard or soft beam edge), a shutter, and often a set of movable arms ("boomarangs") to add colored gel to the light beam.

A follow spot is very different than a "leko" or "ERS" (elipsoidal reflector surface) light. An ERS is what I usually think of as the classic theater light fixture that can be dimmed, focused, and has internal shutters to shape the light beam. They serve to light a specific area, rather than act as a general wash light. The ETC "Source 4" is a classic example of an ERS fixture.
 

A venue where I worked recently bought a bunch of the Chauvet Pro Ovation LED fixtures (an ERS style light), with RGBAW Lime for full color mixing. They work well for us, both from FOH as well as from overhead and from dance booms.  We also bought some ETC S4 LED fixtures, which also work well, but don't quite match the rest of our Chauvet lights.

They are priced higher than your budget, but well worth looking into.
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"Good tools are expensive, but cheap tools are damned expensive."

Cailen Waddell

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Re: info/advice on LED theater spotlights / fresnels / pc's
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2018, 06:33:20 pm »

In europe they have lovely soft edged spots call PC spots.  The Lens is Plano convex.  Closest comparison is a fresnel, but the beam has a different quality of light with more Controlled fall off.  Anyway, a rig of 2k PC spots doing a down or back wash is a lovey thing.  A shame they havenít made it over here...  just to clarify some of the OPs terminology.


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Jeff Lelko

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Re: info/advice on LED theater spotlights / fresnels / pc's
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2018, 10:32:28 pm »

In europe they have lovely soft edged spots call PC spots.
... 
A shame they havenít made it over here...

I agree, a nice tool indeed.  I still have a healthy inventory of High End Studio Beams which use a Pebble Convex lens.  Combined with zoom, frost, and a lenticular glass wheel these dinosaurs can still pull off looks that most modern LED washes can't! 
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: info/advice on LED theater spotlights / fresnels / pc's
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2018, 12:11:39 am »

In europe they have lovely soft edged spots call PC spots.  The Lens is Plano convex.  Closest comparison is a fresnel, but the beam has a different quality of light with more Controlled fall off.  Anyway, a rig of 2k PC spots doing a down or back wash is a lovey thing.  A shame they havenít made it over here...  just to clarify some of the OPs terminology.


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Thank you for adding to my knowledge of fixture types!  I learn something new every day.
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Andrea Litti

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Re: info/advice on LED theater spotlights / fresnels / pc's
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2018, 05:50:17 am »

In europe they have lovely soft edged spots call PC spots.  The Lens is Plano convex.  Closest comparison is a fresnel, but the beam has a different quality of light with more Controlled fall off.  Anyway, a rig of 2k PC spots doing a down or back wash is a lovey thing.  A shame they havenít made it over here...  just to clarify some of the OPs terminology.


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Being from Italy doesn't help my poor attempt at technical terminology indeed! 😀 I'm actually looking for plano-convex lens type fixtures, Iknow fresnels are different but they are also apparently more available, and the search for "pc fixtures", "pc theater light" and the likes got me poor results, while looking for "spotlight" brought me to this well known German online store where I found the two fixtures mentioned in my first post.
Anyway thanks everybody for the replies!
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