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Author Topic: Lounge Level upgrade?  (Read 2143 times)

Callan Browne

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Lounge Level upgrade?
« on: October 07, 2018, 06:37:54 am »

Thinking out loud here - I might upgrade my lights over our Australia Summer.
At the moment, I'm running a total of 12 LED pars lights's behind our band, as 3 groups of 4.
I've also got 2 RGBA I mount on FOH to light up the faces of the lead singer(s).

Of the 12 LED's, they consist of:
4 X Chauvet T12's (12X3W each - 3,801 lux @ 2 m) on a K&M stand that goes to about 3 meters (no crank)
2 X Chautet 4bar LT (3X9W each - 2,053 lux @ 2 m), which is 4 LED's integrated to a single bar. The stand goes to about 2 meters or so.

Here's a pic from last weekend:


And one from earlier in the year:


Haze provided by an Antari Z350.

The 'need':
So the 4bar LT's are great, simple, lightweight, quick to setup, etc, but I just don't find them bright or the stands to go high enough.
if you see the second photo above, they are at the maximum height, sitting on the ground beside the stage.
They are a small stand, just bigger than a mic stand in thickness.

I often use just 1 when playing acoustic, but thinking of selling the other and putting $ towards another K&M stand with 4 individual LED pars.

I had a quick look over at the Chauvet page for options, and saw the Slimpar Pro Q (12X6W - 5,690 lux @ 2 m), for around about AUD$300 each. (exTax)
I was thinking of grabbing 4, and then having each of my K&M stands having 2 of my T12's and 2 ProQ's each, so in total going from 12 to 8 individual fixtures, but with an overall increase in output.
I'm not tied to these, just looked at them as an option as being a small level up from my existing lights.
Another option might be adding something like the Kinta FX, 1 or even 2 per side?

Any thoughts on this?
I don't have means to transport truss at this point, nor enough gigs to invest in a new method of transport.
Movers would also be nice, but for now I'm OK with fixed fixtures.

As an aside, I'm thinking of doubling up the hotbox's that live on my FOH too.

It's all run by DMXIS.

thanks for reading - what would you do?
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Lounge Level upgrade?
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2018, 01:20:45 pm »

Hi Callan, here are a few things to think about:

The 'need':
So the 4bar LT's are great, simple, lightweight, quick to setup, etc, but I just don't find them bright or the stands to go high enough.
if you see the second photo above, they are at the maximum height, sitting on the ground beside the stage.
They are a small stand, just bigger than a mic stand in thickness.

Getting taller stands is a purchase that I think you'll really appreciate.  I still use my decade old Global Truss ST-132s, but if I bought again today I'd go for a Duratruss offering which uses a geared lifting mechanism over a cable and winch.  Ultimate Support also makes some very nice products.  I've never used K&M myself but know they're also a strong contender.  Of course the larger you go the heavier they get (which is a good thing), so just make sure you don't buy something too big to manage.  While I can't comment from direct experience, I'm sure there's a way to secure the 4-Bar onto a larger stand or truss kit if that's the route you go.   

I don't have means to transport truss at this point, nor enough gigs to invest in a new method of transport.

There are a few products on the market that might be worth a look here such as the Global Truss Glow Totems.  The advantage is that these break down flat for easier transport than box truss, but conversely don't have the strength of box truss.  They require assembly on site and are a fixed height.  I'd still vote for a more capable tripod over this from a purely efficiency standpoint, but if it's a look that you desire it's definitely doable.

I had a quick look over at the Chauvet page for options, and saw the Slimpar Pro Q (12X6W - 5,690 lux @ 2 m), for around about AUD$300 each. (exTax)

Chauvet SlimPar Pros are still my favorite "budget" series of LED fixtures.  Beyond that, something like the Elation SevenPar or ETC Colorsource Par is where I'd be looking, albeit at a much higher pricepoint.  They offer far superior color mixing/rendering and dimming, but you'd have to ask yourself if you really need that and can justify paying for it. 

Adding moving lights or effect lights can help to add movement to your show, which is never a bad thing.  At the same time, I'd bucket that into the same discussion regarding fixture deployment.  The theatrical lighting designer in me is saying to first sort out your front fill.  You need to pull a few fixtures further forward to fill out your talent a little better.  At the same time, the logistics expert in me is questioning how to do that without creating a safety hazard when putting truss or tripods further out into the audience area.  Either way, once you find a solution to that (or not) it might open up some opportunities or positions for effect lights to be used.  You already have plenty going on behind your band, so if it were me I'd try to multipurpose your front fill positions for use with movers or effect lights.  Just my two cents of course.  Good luck! 

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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Lounge Level upgrade?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2018, 05:35:56 pm »

The SlimParPro Q fixtures are the best "bang for buck" I've found.  I don't know about Aus, but in the US the pricing is based on quantity. 

The 4-bar fixtures are quite weak.

It might make sense to sell all the fixtures you have to get matching, higher quantity SlimParPro Q's.

Sent from my VS980 4G using Tapatalk

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Callan Browne

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Re: Lounge Level upgrade?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2018, 07:11:24 pm »

Thanks Caleb and Jeff, some good things to consider there.
Good to see that the Pro Q's are somewhat liked on here and I didn't pick the Mackie thump of the lighting world (even if maybe I have them already)

"far superior color mixing/rendering and dimming"
This is not really a priority for me - but good to know what I might get by spending more.

Here's a pic I found from the same venue as my top pic, to give you an idea how close the stage is to the crowd.

As you can see, there is nearly 0 room between the stage and the crowd, so getting front lighting out further could be a real challenge. The other side of the room has no room either, so I can't 'throw' the light from the back of the room. (not that I have suitable fixtures anyway)
I really wouldn't want to put tripods out front, this group have decided it was OK (This was a sunday afternoon. We're normally there Saturday nights which get quite full - I use subs below the FOH, so less of a trip hazard.

But I'll take this advice on board - more lights on the talent. I agree, and my plan was to double up the HotBox's I have on FOH and try to light up a wider area. Hopefully this works well enough, without having to take up my floor space. Maybe I can also get the foh more in front of the stage to increase the angle.
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duane massey

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Re: Lounge Level upgrade?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2018, 09:33:52 pm »

I'm going to install 24 of these on a large stage in the next week. I bought one to demo, and they seem to be pretty cost-effective. I'll post my results after they are up.
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=612749&gclid=CjwKCAjwi6TYBRAYEiwAOeH7GVE1DOCa2NsnNDGG-2Yr2bdOl0267kDsG-PWCmH6haFtgkkaD-0WHBoCvIkQAvD_BwE
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Lounge Level upgrade?
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2018, 11:20:22 pm »

Thanks Caleb and Jeff, some good things to consider there.
Good to see that the Pro Q's are somewhat liked on here and I didn't pick the Mackie thump of the lighting world (even if maybe I have them already)

No worries!  I consider the SlimPar Pro Series to be one of the better bang to buck offerings out there right now and the bottom end of what's acceptable for professional use, though mileage will vary on what's considered "professional use".  Other members here have had good luck with lesser units, and there are a number of threads here that compare the Chinese no-name units to budget name brand. 

Here's a pic I found from the same venue as my top pic, to give you an idea how close the stage is to the crowd.
...
As you can see, there is nearly 0 room between the stage and the crowd, so getting front lighting out further could be a real challenge. The other side of the room has no room either, so I can't 'throw' the light from the back of the room. (not that I have suitable fixtures anyway)

That's a good picture to show the space you're working with.  I agree with everything you say about not wanted to put tripods out in the audience area.  Very tight spaces like this can be difficult.  While I'm usually not a fan of mounting lights to speakers, this case could be an exception.  Since real estate is such a premium here doing so will save you a tripod footprint, which might be a big deal.  You might also want to consider adding a few very wide angle fixtures here such as the ADJ COB Cannon Wash to help fill in the gaps.  It's not a terribly bright fixture, but you don't need that here.  Also, pulling your act upstage (even just a few feet) might make a world of difference.   

Now seeing a better picture I'd say moving lights would be a complete waste here.  The venue is just too small for them to really be effective, and there's nowhere for them to shoot without blinding your audience.  If it were me I'd focus on the walls behind you and the ceiling.  Depending on the look you wish to achieve, maybe try some creative uplighting, pixel bars (such as a few Blizzard Pixellicious on sticks), or some various effects aimed on the ceiling.  Lots of options to consider should you go that route, and since they'd live either behind or to the sides of you they won't crowd the audience too much.  Hope this helps! 
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Taylor Hall

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Re: Lounge Level upgrade?
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2018, 11:52:18 am »

We have a couple dozen of these from parts express that have been workhorses for us for going on three years now: https://www.parts-express.com/talent-bl63-10-led-baby-bar-dmx-rgb-mini-linear-up-light-fixture--244-514

We primarily use them for uplighting walls which I think would help liven up some of your spaces until you can get into movers. Great intensity, lightweight and robust. They also work well on truss/stands and throw out a surprising amount of light. We've only ever had one go bad and PE let us keep it and sent a new one the same day. The only downside is they use IEC for in and out, so you'd need some male/female IEC cables if you wanted to daisy chain them with other fixtures.
I attached a pic of what 10 of them do to a wall just over 90' away, that's full tilt and we normally keep them around 70% to keep from dazzling crowds.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Lounge Level upgrade?
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2018, 12:33:37 pm »

If this is a venue you do regularly, you might consider asking the venue to install a simple lighting bar or two on the ceiling.
At one small venue, I went so far as to sell them some lights too!
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Steve Garris

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Re: Lounge Level upgrade?
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2018, 01:40:54 pm »

I'm going to install 24 of these on a large stage in the next week. I bought one to demo, and they seem to be pretty cost-effective. I'll post my results after they are up.
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=612749&gclid=CjwKCAjwi6TYBRAYEiwAOeH7GVE1DOCa2NsnNDGG-2Yr2bdOl0267kDsG-PWCmH6haFtgkkaD-0WHBoCvIkQAvD_BwE

I was in Cabo, Mexico earlier this year and everyone was using those Chinese lights!
Here they are on ebay:
https://goo.gl/Xt3Ap2
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Steve Garris

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Re: Lounge Level upgrade?
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2018, 02:27:30 pm »

Your show looks very good - better than most. I would get rid of the 4-bars and replace with more T-12's, on taller stands.

For the illusion of movement, program your scenes so that some of the lights actually go off. This is how we did it with our old, fixed color pars. I've been programming more scenes like this and liking the results.

I agree that you could have better front lighting. I too tried lighting faces with a Hotbox5, and did not like the results, as the beam was too narrow and the light was harsh. I ended up using Par 38 cans with a 90W flood bulb - sometimes with gels. I also use speaker-mounted front spots almost everywhere, due to the same concerns. I had a shop weld up some brackets that I designed and they fit all of my speakers using the fly-points. Below is a pic from a gig earlier this year at a private event.

I've looked at a lot of COB lights but they don't have good spec's for brightness due to their wide spread. In addition, many of them are just RBG, which is horrible for lighting faces.

I have a couple of these $60 Chinese movers that are actually pretty cool. They can run on an "auto" program if you don't have a software based controller. They also look cool on fixed colors but with no movement. I program the scenes so that the light will move to a certain point as the scene changes, but stays at that point until the next scene is triggered.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LEYM5ZS/?coliid=I18D0QY764JH2&colid=1ZA0LKMGHFMHQ&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

I mix a bunch of tribute bands at a local venue. We use large numbers of the cheap, $40 Chinese leds for great effect. We have (2) MarQ movers, (6) of the cheap movers linked above, and about 16 Chinese pars, combined with the club's house pars which are also some old, Chinese lights with fixed-color led's. See the bottom pic. Almost everything there is a $40 Chinese light.
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