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Author Topic: LED Lighting Power  (Read 18486 times)

Mike Sokol

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LED Lighting Power
« on: December 28, 2013, 01:15:49 pm »

I just did a little theater gig with a bunch of Chauvet SlimPAR-64 floodlights, and I was amazed at how simple the power hookup turned out. Each of the light fixtures had a Euro power input with an Edison out, so you could daisy chain power from light-to-light. Same for the 3-pin DMX control, which had XLR jacks with a pass-through for daisy-chaining the control. I was doing a guesstimate that I could easily hook all 8 fixtures together via a single power cord, when my high-school assistant checked out the online specs from the Chauvet site and announced that they were rated to daisy-chain 40 of these fixtures together on 120-volts, and up to 60 of them on 240-volts. Say what??? Did he say 240-volts? Yup, these LED light fixtures have auto-switching power supplies and will automatically run on anything from 90 to 250 volts, or you can plug in a 12-volt DC line from a battery if you're on a real remote gig. Since each fixture has red, blue and green LEDs, there's built-in dimmer control and color mixing from a simple desktop controller. Cool...

This is just SO much easier than the old days of 500 and 1,000 watt PARs with huge power cables and racks of buzzing dimmers. Plus I didn't have to worry about burning the ceiling tiles or setting off any sprinklers from the heat of tungsten lighting (been there, done that).

While these are just basic DJ lights, and I know that the pro LED lighting will cost much more initialy, I'm wondering why more facilities aren't just putting in LED lighting for their performance theaters and stages. Seems like a no-brainer for new facilities, yet I'm still seeing a lot of tungsten lighting in relatively new churches and conference rooms. Is this due to fear of LEDs? Higher initial price? Inability to calculate the ROI based on less power usage and lower HVAC load? Poor video color rendition? What?   

This is a game changer, but I'm not seeing much of this LED technology at my gigs.   
« Last Edit: December 28, 2013, 03:08:10 pm by Mike Sokol »
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Mike Sokol
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Ned Ward

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Re: LED Lighting Power
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2013, 02:00:40 pm »

The local venue near us changed to LED lighting. Same colors, but now performers aren't frying onstage. We are much happier playing there now.

Have to imagine the A/C cost difference for some clubs could also add up...
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Jamin Lynch

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Re: LED Lighting Power
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2013, 02:11:26 pm »

Most of the LED fixtures that have "desirable white light", 3200 Kelvin or so, are still pretty expensive.
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Steve M Smith

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Re: LED Lighting Power
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2013, 02:21:25 pm »

Off topic:  I have the PCB from one of those lights (51 leds each of R, G and B) in my photographic enlarger. Varying green and blue ratio works great with variable contrast paper.

Back on topic:  I originally wondered why you would have a euro power input but Edison output, thinking that a female and male euro connector would make more sense as they could be daisy chained with the type of cable which links PCs to their monitors but I suppose your Edison connector is closer in size to the euro than our 13A plug (which is how I envisaged a UK version appearing).  The euro - Edison method also means that all cables are the same regardless of position.


Steve.
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Mike Sokol

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Re: LED Lighting Power
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2013, 02:21:55 pm »

The local venue near us changed to LED lighting. Same colors, but now performers aren't frying onstage.

Yeah, the fry factor is important too. When I was in glam-rock band in the 70s (don't judge) my lighting guy put a 1,000 watt PAR about 3 ft above my head just to light up my chrome jump suit (please don't judge). I can remember feeling like my hair was going to catch on fire. Yes, that would have only added to the light show, I suppose.

It's been a while since I've done the calculations, but a quick thought tells me 100KW of lighting costs about $10 per hour to run (at 10 cents per KWH) and I'm guessing the HVAC power would cost about the same to get that heat out of the room. Plus your HVAC tonnage now has to be sized large to handle the full 100KW lighting heat, plus the people load, plus the wall heat transmission, etc...  That's a lot of electrical power to pay for per hour especially considering that most of these venues will be lit up for at least a dozen or more hours per week.
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Steve M Smith

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Re: LED Lighting Power
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2013, 02:26:10 pm »

Poor video color rendition?

Something I have noticed at events with a video screen at the side of the stage is that the video image looks very good when the stage is lit with LEDs - even when the stage isn't particularly bright compared with what I would expect from tungsten.

It probably has something to do with the red, green and blue LEDs matching the RGB sensors in the video cameras.

This is just a guess and I have no facts to base this on.  Just an observation.


Steve.
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Mike Sokol

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Re: LED Lighting Power
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2013, 02:28:11 pm »

I originally wondered why you would have a euro power input but Edison output, thinking that a female and male euro connector would make more sense as they could be daisy chained with the type of cable which links PCs to their monitors but I suppose your Edison connector is closer in size to the euro than our 13A plug (which is how I envisaged a UK version appearing).  The euro - Edison method also means that all cables are the same regardless of position.

I think that most Americans are scared when they see a Euro output connector. We used to have them on the original IBM PC's to power the computer monitor screen, but that's the last I've seen them in USA circulation. I've done a lot of sound work for MHA Audio here in the states, and most of their gear used to be British with 230-volt power and all sorts of Euro-to Euro extension cords and British plugboards. And yeah, the British owner complained about our Edison power stuff all the time too. 
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Cailen Waddell

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LED Lighting Power
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2013, 02:33:46 pm »

Yeah, the fry factor is important too. When I was in glam-rock band in the 70s (don't judge) my lighting guy put a 1,000 watt PAR about 3 ft above my head just to light up my chrome jump suit (please don't judge). I can remember feeling like my hair was going to catch on fire. Yes, that would have only added to the light show, I suppose.

It's been a while since I've done the calculations, but a quick thought tells me 100KW of lighting costs about $10 per hour to run (at 10 cents per KWH) and I'm guessing the HVAC power would cost about the same to get that heat out of the room. Plus your HVAC tonnage now has to be sized large to handle the full 100KW lighting heat, plus the people load, plus the wall heat transmission, etc...  That's a lot of electrical power to pay for per hour especially considering that most of these venues will be lit up for at least a dozen or more hours per week.

I am just finishing up a new venue (200 pax) that will be all LED, house lights, aisle lights, everything. 20 led s4 ellipsoidals, 20 etc desire pars, 1 doz each of Chauvet qspot 560 and qwash 560z. Venue will do movies, theater, and music acts. Yes, fixtures that simulate incandescent are more expensive but the cost savings in electrical and HVAC still out weighs it.  We ran the math, and the reduced HVAC infrastructure and electrical reduced project costs (after fixture purchase) by 100k. Also, electrical savings on fixtures alone, not HVAC, based on 2000 hour usage a year will result in about another 150k savings.

More people aren't doing LEDs because a lot of integrators don't understand them or how to plan for their needs in terms of control and data.  Some do - not all, but at LDI last year, I was amazed at how many people didn't understand LEDs or how to use them effectively.

Edit: I'll add that my integrators and consultants were very helpful and knew what to do, but that doesn't mean all do....
« Last Edit: December 28, 2013, 02:47:49 pm by Cailen Waddell »
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Steve M Smith

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Re: LED Lighting Power
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2013, 02:39:14 pm »

On the subject of LED lights in general, I think they are going to be the dominant lighting in most domestic and commercial premises soon.

Our local authority is currently replacing our sodium street lighting with LEDs.  This gives white light instead of orange and is going to significantly reduce the orange glow light pollution we get over larger towns.

The company I work for makes flexible circuits with LEDs on.  We have made circuits for this company who make architectural and display LED lighting products:  http://designledproducts.com/


Steve.
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Mike Sokol

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Re: LED Lighting Power
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2013, 03:14:48 pm »

Something I have noticed at events with a video screen at the side of the stage is that the video image looks very good when the stage is lit with LEDs - even when the stage isn't particularly bright compared with what I would expect from tungsten.

I noticed the exact same effect for digital cameras taking still shots of this LED lit play. Even though it looked reasonably bright to the naked eye, once it was captured by the digital camera it looked VERY bright. I do think that you're possibly correct. Since the Red, Green, Blue colors of the LEDs are narrow band and match the capture frequencies of the digital camera, it really lit up. I think our own eyes do more averaging of wider bands of light color frequencies, so we're physically looking for and integrating "average power" while a digital camera (still or video) is looking at "peak power" in very narrow capture bands. But that's something more to study...
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 01:40:44 pm by Mike Sokol »
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Mike Sokol
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Re: LED Lighting Power
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2013, 03:14:48 pm »


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