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Author Topic: Replacing Halogens with LEDs  (Read 476 times)

Josh Duewall

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Replacing Halogens with LEDs
« on: June 12, 2018, 11:49:19 am »

Currently in my church we have up to 10-year old halogens and dimmer packs, as well as an old AMX lighting console. So, I was wondering what would be required to upgrade this entire system to a software DMX controller with LEDs?

I have a very basic knowledge of DMX, and as far as I know, I don't need dimmer packs for dimmable LEDs. However, I'm also wondering what fixture I would need for the LEDs to be able to dim them with a DMX controller?

And lastly, is there any way we could do this ourselves with our maintenance staff? Or would I need to hire a local lighting company to do this for us?

Any help is much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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John L Nobile

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Re: Replacing Halogens with LEDs
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2018, 12:27:05 pm »

Depends on what fixtures you're wanting to replace. It get's expensive to replace 1k Leko or Par64 fixtures with LED's that will do the same job.

Can you post a list of equipment that you'd like to replace?

And I would highly recommend a good lighting designer to design, hang, focus, program and train. You'll need a new lighting board as well.

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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Replacing Halogens with LEDs
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2018, 01:42:07 pm »

Currently in my church we have up to 10-year old halogens and dimmer packs, as well as an old AMX lighting console. So, I was wondering what would be required to upgrade this entire system to a software DMX controller with LEDs?

I have a very basic knowledge of DMX, and as far as I know, I don't need dimmer packs for dimmable LEDs. However, I'm also wondering what fixture I would need for the LEDs to be able to dim them with a DMX controller?

And lastly, is there any way we could do this ourselves with our maintenance staff? Or would I need to hire a local lighting company to do this for us?

Any help is much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Are you talking house lights or stage lights? If stage lights, there may be some choices.  If house lights, you will likely find it’s not practical.  LED fixtures with reasonable dimming require non-dimmed power and a data connection to each fixture.  You can’t just put LED bulbs in existing fixtures, and even “dimmable LED fixtures” which do exist have cruddy dimming.

More information about what you-re trying to do would be helpful - i.e. are you looking for just white light?  Do you have 8 fixtures?  50?  Do you have any fixed infrastructure - architectural dimmers, etc.?
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Replacing Halogens with LEDs
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2018, 04:23:26 pm »

Hi Josh.  In addition to the questions already asked, what's your budget for the whole project? 

Per your question, what is "required" versus what is "desired" can be two very different things.  The new light console you'll need is a great example - you could spend $100, $1000, or $10,000 on one.  The same goes for fixture selection, and often you get what you pay for. 

Knowing nothing else but having a decent guess at what'd this cost to do right, if your venue is anything bigger than an outlet mall HOW I'd suggest at least consulting with a lighting professional in your area if not outright hiring a qualified firm to do the design and install.  That way you don't spend thousands of dollars (at least) and end up with something that doesn't work correctly or meet expectations.  Good luck and hope this helps!
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Replacing Halogens with LEDs
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2018, 11:44:23 pm »

Josh,

LED lighting comes in a couple of varieties. The first is a lamp ("bulb") that replaces an incandesent bulb. The packaging might say that they are dimmable.  Those replacement lamps will need to be connected to a dimmer circuit. You can use your existing dimmer control device with those replacement lamps.  How good it looks is an open question, but it might meet your needs.

Theatrical type LED lighting fixtures have built-in electronic dimming. That dimming (plus color changes and other effects) is controlled via DMX. DMX is typically communicated by data cables, although there are wireless transmit and receive units to send DMX signals. In addition, the lighting fixture will need mains power that NOT run through a dimmer.  (Many LED fixtures that run through a dimmer, even at 100%, will do flaky and random things sometimes.  Don't ask how I know this.)

I think that most folks are assuming that you are looking for theater-quality lights to replace existing theater type lighting instruments. If so, then the design and budget questions are significant. But if you are just replacing bulbs, the cost of experimenting can be pretty modest (and perhaps pretty disappointing, too.)

Best wishes, and good luck.
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