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Author Topic: Upgrading from Par 46's to LED Pars. Need recommendations.  (Read 2110 times)

Bob Joseph-Kearns

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Upgrading from Par 46's to LED Pars. Need recommendations.
« on: March 31, 2017, 06:39:29 pm »

Hello I am looking to upgrade my Par 46's to LED Pars. I don't know much about LED lighting so I don't know which will best suit my needs. I book shows occasionally in a church with 250-300 capacity. I need around 6 of them and I've had my eye on the Chauvet Slim Par 56's cause its the cheapest non-china LED Par I could find. I don't have a huge budget so I'd like to keep it under $100 per fixture.I plan on completely eliminating the 46's out of my rig because they generate WAY too much heat on stage and I was told they're power suckers. Any info will help.Thanks in advance!

EDIT: These will be on a truss about 9'-12' above the back of the stage.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 06:53:55 pm by Bob Joseph-Kearns »
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duane massey

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Re: Upgrading from Par 46's to LED Pars. Need recommendations.
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2017, 08:19:52 pm »

Budget? Controller? Colors or white more important?
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Duane Massey
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Bob Joseph-Kearns

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Re: Upgrading from Par 46's to LED Pars. Need recommendations.
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2017, 08:48:21 am »

I only need 6 and I'd like to keep it under $100 per fixture so around $600. I am currently using Elation Scene Setter 48..I am in the process of getting a new controller also but don't know what would be best for my upgrade. Colors are more important.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Upgrading from Par 46's to LED Pars. Need recommendations.
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2017, 09:58:26 am »

I'd like to keep it under $100 per fixture so around $600.  Colors are more important.

Unfortunately that's not a great combination of needs.  You might want to check out the ebay Par 64 thread that keeps popping up every now and then.  Shopping even budget name brand fixtures, you don't really have many decent options until you're shopping in the $150-300/fixture price range.  The colors on the Chauvet SlimPar 56 are not good being that it's a very cheap RGB fixture and the dimming curves are poor.  At the very least you'd want an RGBA or RGBW fixture if colors are really that important.

I am currently using Elation Scene Setter 48..I am in the process of getting a new controller also but don't know what would be best for my upgrade.

Not a great board for this either.  Aside from it being very clunky to run LEDs on, talking six fixtures it's quite possible you'd run out of channels.  At the very least they'd take up half your board.  It'll work, but I'd definitely want to be looking at an upgrade.  How much are you looking to spend on a new board?  There is no shortage of threads here about help choosing a new controller, be it software or hardware.  Price ranges vary widely depending on what all you need - software can be had for sub-$100 if you have a laptop and don't need a wing...all the way up to several thousand dollars to really build out a PC-based console.  Barring a handful of exceptions, most hardware consoles worth their weight will run you over a thousand...most are several times that.  So...I'd suggest shopping some software.  It's much better bang to buck for the price range I presume you to be shopping in.  Hope this helps!
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Bob Joseph-Kearns

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Re: Upgrading from Par 46's to LED Pars. Need recommendations.
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2017, 11:46:57 am »

Unfortunately that's not a great combination of needs.  You might want to check out the ebay Par 64 thread that keeps popping up every now and then.  Shopping even budget name brand fixtures, you don't really have many decent options until you're shopping in the $150-300/fixture price range.  The colors on the Chauvet SlimPar 56 are not good being that it's a very cheap RGB fixture and the dimming curves are poor.  At the very least you'd want an RGBA or RGBW fixture if colors are really that important.

Not a great board for this either.  Aside from it being very clunky to run LEDs on, talking six fixtures it's quite possible you'd run out of channels.  At the very least they'd take up half your board.  It'll work, but I'd definitely want to be looking at an upgrade.  How much are you looking to spend on a new board?  There is no shortage of threads here about help choosing a new controller, be it software or hardware.  Price ranges vary widely depending on what all you need - software can be had for sub-$100 if you have a laptop and don't need a wing...all the way up to several thousand dollars to really build out a PC-based console.  Barring a handful of exceptions, most hardware consoles worth their weight will run you over a thousand...most are several times that.  So...I'd suggest shopping some software.  It's much better bang to buck for the price range I presume you to be shopping in.  Hope this helps!

I looked into an older thread and someone said the Chauvet Slim Par 56 and 64 will leave you wanting more. I'll up my budget to $150-$200 per fixture. I'm looking for something that is bright enough to light a 16' wide and 9' deep stage with just 6 fixtures.I don't have any other lights in my rig currently besides 6 of the 46's until I upgrade to LED. So it will be JUST the LED pars. 

I'm willing to spend up to $200 on a controller upgrade...I've had my eye on the Chauvet Obey 40 because it seems more basic and more appropriate for my rig. I'm open to suggestions.
Thanks for taking the time to reply.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Upgrading from Par 46's to LED Pars. Need recommendations.
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2017, 12:57:24 pm »

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

No worries, we're here to help as best we can.  Not only will the SlimPar 56/64s leave you wanting more, they'll leave you wanting "better".  Being only RGB fixtures, the quality of your mixed colors will be very spotty.  Your "whites" will have a pinkish/lavender hue to them, your yellows will tend to look like lime...  As I've said in other threads, if all you need to do is just blast random colors on the wall this might be okay, but generally speaking these types of lights won't really be acceptable for anything that needs decent fill and color.  RGBA, RGBW, or more will help keep your lights looking more natural and less cold/harsh, especially if used to light faces.

A budget of $150-200 will open up a lot more choices for you.  Several units in the Chauvet SlimPar Pro series are now an option (especially if you shop around and request quotes from a dealer), as are the ADJ and Blizzard equivalents.  Any of those should do the job nicely for the stage you're lighting.  The two recent threads about the SlimPar Pro and Front Lighting discuss a lot of options that might work well for you.  Flip side, I know there are some very acceptable Chinese lights that offer unbeatable bang to buck.  Given my lack of long-term use/ownership of any I can't make a specific recommendation, but it's something to consider.

I'm willing to spend up to $200 on a controller upgrade...I've had my eye on the Chauvet Obey 40 because it seems more basic and more appropriate for my rig. I'm open to suggestions.

For $200, it's software all the way on this unless you want to shop the market for something like a used Elation Show Designer.  While I personally don't have much experience with the Show Designer, I know there are a number of members here that use and like it for what it is.  I do however have experience with the Obey 40 (not by choice) and don't care for it.  If all you want to do is make a few basic scenes or chases and just play them back without ever needing to change them it might be okay...otherwise it's a very limited board for anything more.  A PC-based solution will really let you take advantage of the full capabilities of your new lights and will give you plenty of room to grow as your system expands.  I'm sure others will chime in, but I'd look very closely at the MagicQ PC software as well as Martin's M-PC software.  Both can be up and running for under $200 with cash to spare.  Good luck! 
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Rob Gow

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Re: Upgrading from Par 46's to LED Pars. Need recommendations.
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2017, 01:49:30 pm »

The more I see the ADJ Dotz Pars, the more I like them. That is, with the diffusion lens on. The whole lens lights up like a traditional bulb. They seem to run about $160USD per fixture. When it comes time to replace my LED wash lights (Blizzard 3NX's) I think I'll go with a COB fixture. They seem to have nice color mixing as well.  A bit wider wash with the diffusion lens on, but if that's what you are going for, all the better.

The lite-brite look of the slimpar's is pretty old technology these days, I'd avoid them if you can.

For a controller I started with an Obey70 and it's pretty clunky. I needed to get my light setup moving and programmed by NYE the year I got it all together. I went with Enttec's DMXIS software/hardware combination and it's worked out really well especially with movers but even with just the wash lights. You can do some nice programming with it and it's easy to use. You can control it with either an iPad or a MIDI foot controller. I use a Behringrr FCB1010, which I found impossible to make work with the obey 70. That's the reason I went with DMXIS.

I needed it to work, the free software looked pretty difficult to use for a non-light guy. 

Here's a quick video...

https://youtu.be/3Hlfh-1lxEA
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Steve Garris

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Re: Upgrading from Par 46's to LED Pars. Need recommendations.
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2017, 04:15:16 pm »

The more I see the ADJ Dotz Pars, the more I like them. That is, with the diffusion lens on. The whole lens lights up like a traditional bulb. They seem to run about $160USD per fixture. When it comes time to replace my LED wash lights (Blizzard 3NX's) I think I'll go with a COB fixture. They seem to have nice color mixing as well.  A bit wider wash with the diffusion lens on, but if that's what you are going for, all the better.

The lite-brite look of the slimpar's is pretty old technology these days, I'd avoid them if you can.

For a controller I started with an Obey70 and it's pretty clunky. I needed to get my light setup moving and programmed by NYE the year I got it all together. I went with Enttec's DMXIS software/hardware combination and it's worked out really well especially with movers but even with just the wash lights. You can do some nice programming with it and it's easy to use. You can control it with either an iPad or a MIDI foot controller. I use a Behringrr FCB1010, which I found impossible to make work with the obey 70. That's the reason I went with DMXIS.

I needed it to work, the free software looked pretty difficult to use for a non-light guy. 

Here's a quick video...

https://youtu.be/3Hlfh-1lxEA

Be careful when looking at online light video's. Those 40 W cob fixtures are very dim compared to the Blizzards and other muli-LED's. Look at Chauvet's data on brightness. They are also only RBG, so you are not going to have a warm white or amber from them. Dotz also has a 100 W fixture, for a good bit more money. Chauvet has an 80 W unit, the Core Par 80, but still only RBG. You need to spend a lot more if you want brighter and more colors. Here is a cob light that would be great, but again it's expensive:
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/COBCanWash?adpos=1o1&creative=55686349801&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&product_id=COBCanWash&gclid=Cj0KEQjwn_3GBRDc8rCnup-1x8wBEiQAdw3OAREuqvgXRxK-pT2YykdLZf2KHURsJZoWHoX-cw0Uq0caAqWP8P8HAQ

Yes, stay away from the dated "Lite Brite" looking fixtures.

All of the sub $200 boards are really bad IMO. I was lucky, and found a Magic 260 used for $180. I like this $600 board (now discontinued) but agree that with your budget you should be looking at a software-dongle-laptop solution.



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Mike Pyle

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Re: Upgrading from Par 46's to LED Pars. Need recommendations.
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2017, 04:44:34 pm »

I still have some new (now discontinued) Blizzard Q12W on the shelf that would do a much better job front lighting than the Slimpar 56. They cost a bit more but you wouldn't need as many.
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duane massey

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Re: Upgrading from Par 46's to LED Pars. Need recommendations.
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2017, 12:40:59 am »

Mega Lite Baby Color (or the Blizzard equivalent) would be the minimum I would suggest. You will definitely need more than RGB for the look you are hoping for.
I'm not a big software guy (I am a big fan of the Showdesigner 1/2) but it is probably your best choice. Even the ADJ/Elation or Chauvet will be more than adequate for your situation.
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Duane Massey
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Houston, Texas

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Upgrading from Par 46's to LED Pars. Need recommendations.
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2017, 12:40:59 am »


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