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Author Topic: LEDs for permanent install  (Read 6116 times)

TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: LEDs for permanent install
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2013, 11:14:42 pm »

I think that putting blizzard/American Dj/lightronics in an install is a poor choice. The long term performance of the product is at best untested, and the brand reliability is not stellar. 

I think $5000 a year is a reasonable rental budget to rent the lights you need for 2 weeks and a production company to install them competently.
While it would be wonderful if every church had $50K+ for lighting, that's just not the reality.  I've had fine luck with my Chauvets, and if they fail, they can be easily replaced.  I would love to get something like that for my church - $2000 Seladors, while nice, aren't 5X as nice as my Chauvets for what we do.

It would be good to figure out a way to switch power to the fixtures so they're not on 24X7 - that would extend their life.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: LEDs for permanent install
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2013, 11:15:49 pm »

Tom, not to ask stupid questions, but what do you mean by trim height?

I know the budget may not be enough-it was given as a designated gift, so we need to spend it on lighting-but right now don't have a lot to go with it.  If we were in this to make $$$ we would sell tickets and base their price on the budget, still we want to do the best we can with what we have.  We can rent a controller for a reasonable cost for 2 weeks-rest of the year we should be able to get by with a basic controller.  Not the best scenario-but may be necessary.

I can get whatever power I need where we need it-but that obviously is a big part of my headache and LED vs incandescent makes a big difference.  Even if we have to do this in steps to make the money work it would be nice to know where we are going from that standpoint.

Any reason not to mix LEDs with incadescent?  The locations we might put incandescent are different than what I am thinking for the main stage wash-so infrastructure wise it makes sense to me to make that split. Given timing we may rent/buy what we have used in the past-and wait until spring to do LEDs. 

Thanks for many helpful comments!

Steve Swaffer
There's no reason to not mix incandescent and LED if they do what you want - it's done all the time. 
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duane massey

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Re: LEDs for permanent install
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2013, 11:16:35 pm »

Hate to disagree, but the ADJ Flat Par series has held up quite well in the cub environments I have used them in, which are much more demanding than than the intermittent use here. Moving fixtures, maybe not so much.
Certainly could mix incandescents and LED's, and it is quite common around here due to budgets and availability. Used PARs can be found for under $20 w/ lamps, and 4-channel packs for under $100. Ellipsoidals might be hard to squeeze in unless you could find some used.
You will need some type of control, even if you use some of the freeware out there on a PC, or pick up a used Show Designer ($200 on Ebay) to get you by until you can grow into a better system.
$5000 won't get you a perfect system, but it should get you enough to function and add on as you can. Rent for one year, and you have nothing to show for it.
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Duane Massey
Technician, musician, stubborn old guy
Houston, Texas

Cailen Waddell

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Re: LEDs for permanent install
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2013, 11:19:23 pm »

I think Chauvet makes a fine product. They meet a very specific price performance ratio. I have used them many times. I didn't include them in my list of install fixtures to avoid BUT it is difficult, to impossible, to get a good white out of them with a high CRI that looks ok on skin.

The OP implies that white light is required 50 weeks of the year.

I also agree everyone can't have a 50k budget. The trick is not to try to stretch the budget too much.  If you can only afford 8 good fixtures, the get 8 and make do until you can get more.  Don't get 12 marginal fixtures that don't meet your needs.

One last word of note, LEDs output degrades over time.  Try to buy whole system at a time, like all your downlight, so their performances degrades together.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: LEDs for permanent install
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2013, 08:45:31 am »

I think Chauvet makes a fine product. They meet a very specific price performance ratio. I have used them many times. I didn't include them in my list of install fixtures to avoid BUT it is difficult, to impossible, to get a good white out of them with a high CRI that looks ok on skin.

The OP implies that white light is required 50 weeks of the year.
For those 50 weeks, as Duane mentioned, 8 conventional pars and two dimmer packs will set the OP back about $500, leaving the bulk for control and a few LEDs to at least get started.  They may find that once they have the capability, color gets used more often than just for this one event.
I also agree everyone can't have a 50k budget. The trick is not to try to stretch the budget too much.  If you can only afford 8 good fixtures, the get 8 and make do until you can get more.  Don't get 12 marginal fixtures that don't meet your needs.

One last word of note, LEDs output degrades over time.  Try to buy whole system at a time, like all your downlight, so their performances degrades together.
The sweet spot seems to be $350 - $500/fixture.  Cheaper than that gets iffy, more expensive is probably overkill.  Even assuming they get used for 3 hours every week, that's only 160 hours of runtime per year.  Loss of brightness won't be an issue, but color temperature of one batch to another may be slightly different.
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: LEDs for permanent install
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2013, 09:16:56 pm »

I would be hard pressed to find a reliable dimmer pack for $300. But then again when I buy equipment I purchase for a 10 year life minimum.  Dimmer should have a 15 to 20 year lifespan.  I'm sure some crap dimmer can be had for far less with shitty dimming curves and non UL listed and you can run 8 300w par 56s on two of them. I'm just not sure that is going to meet the OPs needs.
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duane massey

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Re: LEDs for permanent install
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2013, 02:22:38 am »

I've got several NSI/Leviton dimmer packs that were far less than $300, and they still work after 10 years. Other than a few fuses have had no issues, and had the same luck at several installs with Elation/ADJ dimmer packs. We're talking 5-6 nights per week. Is the dimming curve as accurate as a $1000 big guy? Probably not, but a budget is a budget, and compromise is not a bad thing. Since they have been using rental systems with dimmer packs on trees, I have a hunch his specific needs are nowhere near as demanding as yours.
Cheap/inexpensive stuff can work and be very cost-effective for some of us.
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Duane Massey
Technician, musician, stubborn old guy
Houston, Texas

Stephen Swaffer

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Re: LEDs for permanent install
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2013, 11:01:55 pm »

I think I have a better handle on our options, it seems like we may go with incandescent for now-and maybe add LED's later-perhaps in spring. Just pushing the envelope a bit to get install done for a Dec 14th showing.

I do appreciate the input-and patience of those of you with much more experience.

I also appreciate the safety concerns.  Happen to have a man in the church that builds overhead conveyors for the meat packing industry-using 1.5" pipe for the track.  I am thinking if it they handle a dynamic load like that overhead more than likely we can safely build something that will handle a static light load.

Steve Swaffer
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Steve Swaffer

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: LEDs for permanent install
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2013, 11:01:55 pm »


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