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Author Topic: Need advice on a simple portable stage lighting kit  (Read 672 times)

Jeff Lelko

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Re: Need advice on a simple portable stage lighting kit
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2018, 02:54:15 pm »

Again Jeff, incredibly helpful. We've got a good play and good actors, but we have little experience with proper stage lighting. I'll let you know how we do.

No worries!  I'm happy to hear my advice is useful!

Jeff, one more question. I went looking for the Sylvania 250W halogen and you're right - they are hard to find. But I found a Sylvania LED 250W which they tout as a subsitute. What do you think? It says dimmable.

https://www.amazon.com/SYLVANIA-Equivalent-Replacement-Halogen-Dimmable/dp/B01B0M9T44/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1537034443&sr=8-3&keywords=250+Watt+-+PAR38+halogen

It's really hard to say.  LEDs dim differently than halogen lamps, which is why dimmers that are intended for use with halogen stage lights generally don't work too well with the LED variety (it's a different type of circuit you're creating).  Additionally, the product page for the LED lamp says dimmable to 10%, and while that's acceptable for home use, it's not for stage use.  Your lights will fade out to a point and then just "snap" off.  Having the lights pop on and off is less than ideal, and I can't really comment about additional artifacts from dimming these such as flickering.  Halogen lights will dim completely on and off.  These particular lights will also have a much "colder" look to them (lower color temperature) when compared to a normal "warmer" halogen stage light.  Maybe a few other members will chime in with more input, but never having used this particular product that's about the most I can say for it!

It looks like BulbAmerica has the GE near-equivalent for the 250w lamp I mentioned if that's the direction you're looking to go (link).  The specs are similar between this and the Sylvania lamp - I don't think you'd notice a 500 lumen difference in real-world applications.  Again, pretty much any (halogen) flood lamp will work, but it's hard to beat the usefulness of 3000+ lumens and a 30 degree beam angle, which is what this would give you. 

Just as an aside, the benefits of using LED come down to less power consumption, full color mixing (on applicable units), less heat radiating, and (usually) longer life.  This comes at the expense of smooth dimming and lower color rendering index among other things.  As you spend more on fixtures these differences become less apparent, but now you're buying a $2000 fixture to do essentially the same thing a $20 conventional fixture can.  When fitting larger venues with lighting equipment there's more to consider in the trade space such as the cost of electrical infrastructure to power the hundreds of fixtures, HVAC to keep the auditorium from getting too hot during a 3hr musical, etc., but for small portable use it's really a matter of how much you want to spend and if you're able to afford LED lights that do "well enough" for your intended application.  If not, it's halogen all the way, and many of us (myself included) often use a hybrid system of LED for color and CYC lighting but conventional halogen for facial lighting.  It gets you the best of both worlds without breaking the bank!     
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Steve Garris

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Re: Need advice on a simple portable stage lighting kit
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2018, 02:54:51 pm »

Jeff, one more question. I went looking for the Sylvania 250W halogen and you're right - they are hard to find. But I found a Sylvania LED 250W which they tout as a subsitute. What do you think? It says dimmable.

https://www.amazon.com/SYLVANIA-Equivalent-Replacement-Halogen-Dimmable/dp/B01B0M9T44/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1537034443&sr=8-3&keywords=250+Watt+-+PAR38+halogen

You won't be happy with the dimming curve of that LED. I use the same lights as Jeff and recommend them for front spots / band lighting. Mine have only a 90W halogen bulb in them, and look great on the small stages I typically work with. Get Halogen bulbs for smooth dimming.

For the T-Bars I can recommend this ADJ unit made by Accu-Stand. It has a full 12' height, is super light weight, and the pole moves smoothly and clamps well. You leave off the little angle supports as they're not needed. I leave my lights attached to the bars and just plop them on the tripod. I love how light weight these are compared to my other light stands.

https://goo.gl/X1RJfw
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Need advice on a simple portable stage lighting kit
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2018, 05:13:14 pm »

"Dimmable" LED's typically do a poor job, Google for an hour for the specifics. If you're just looking for color par can style fixtures, Chauvet SlimParPro Q fixtures are just over $200 each in quantity.  No dimmers, no lamps, color mixing, DMX control, and good dimming curve. 

If you can get par cans, "dimmable" color LED bulbs, dimmer, and factor in bulb changes - that have decent warranty support and a few years of life, for significantly less per light - I'll be surprised.  And you'll still have a lower quality light. 

I've seen one dimmable LED bulb, warm white only, that dimmed nicely.  It was also around $400.   

Sent from my VS980 4G using Tapatalk

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Stan Freeman

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Re: Need advice on a simple portable stage lighting kit
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2018, 05:36:52 pm »

Jeff, Caleb and Steve - Thanks so much. Lighting was our major obstacle to mounting a decent production because collectively we knew so little of the reality of different bulbs, lamps and setups. So again, thanks.
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