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Author Topic: Sizing audience Blinders  (Read 1022 times)

Joe Pieternella

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Sizing audience Blinders
« on: January 16, 2019, 06:34:29 am »

I'm looking to build upon/replace my current lighting gear. You may say that apart from stands, cabling and trussing I'm starting from scratch.
Apart from budget my main limitation is available power; I'm often lucky if I get a dedicated EU(230V) 16A circuit to run sound and light equipment from.

The current plan is to get 8-12 LED Washes, 2 Movers and later some color/white bars that may or may not double as blinders. 

I'm looking to get some audience blinders and am kinda stuck here.
I do prefer the way halogen bulbs fade but because of the power limitations don't consider them as an option.

Are there any rules of thumb for determining the amount of Lumens/Watts/blinders needed especially when Using LEDs?
At what kind of Lux do blinders go from blinders to just-a-bunch-of-lights?
Will 2-4 of these give a statisfactory effect at 15-20M or am I being very optimistic here?

https://www.cameolight.com/en/products/led-strobes/flash-bar-150-3-in-1-strobe-chase-and-blinder-effect-fixture/

I am open to other suggestions on light bars provided with a budget of max 250 per fixture, and want to have acceptable results with two fixtures so i can have breathing room until buying the other 2
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Taylor Hall

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Re: Sizing audience Blinders
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2019, 01:53:10 pm »

The great thing about LEDs is that they punch way above their weight when power draw is considered. Being in the UK also works in your favor with the higher voltage.

As far as lux is concerned, I'm not really sure where that target lies. Most small LED pars that aren't COB seem to sit around 900-1500lux depending on the qty and intensity of emitters they cram in there (lots of tiny emitters vs a few high output emitters).

I wouldn't discount the idea of getting a lot of "normal" LED pars that are used for impact effects only. Attached is a photo of what 10 LED pars from Parts Express do to a wall roughly 25m away and their output is on the lower end of the aforementioned range. We aimed them up over the heads of the audience because we found their output to be very dazzling even when they were lifted 7m above the stage. We rarely run them at full intensity unless we know the room will have ambient lighting during the show.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Sizing audience Blinders
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2019, 03:19:02 pm »

Hi Joe, a few thoughts...

I do prefer the way halogen bulbs fade but because of the power limitations don't consider them as an option.

LEDs have come a long ways in the past few years.  I've historically been in the anti-LED camp for many things, but there are a number of acceptable LED blinders on the market today - many of which emulate the halogen decay seen in conventional blinders.  As always, you get what you pay for. 

At what kind of Lux do blinders go from blinders to just-a-bunch-of-lights?

I'd argue that Lux doesn't apply here since you're not really illuminating a surface.  At what point a blinder shifts from making you see spots to just being another fixture varies, but from what you describe I don't think you need anything crazy.  Even cheap LED fixtures tend to look decently bright when staring straight into them, let alone dedicated blinders.  Seeing as you're spec'ing a very small system with a limited budget, I've vote to add 2-4 more of the washes you're planning to buy and just use them as blinders.  If your washes have white and amber in them that's even better.  I see that as added bang to buck since you'll benefit from additional flexibility and redundancy compared to spending the same $$$ on dedicated blinders.  Hope this helps!
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Jay Barracato

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Re: Sizing audience Blinders
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2019, 03:23:33 pm »

The great thing about LEDs is that they punch way above their weight when power draw is considered. Being in the UK also works in your favor with the higher voltage.

As far as lux is concerned, I'm not really sure where that target lies. Most small LED pars that aren't COB seem to sit around 900-1500lux depending on the qty and intensity of emitters they cram in there (lots of tiny emitters vs a few high output emitters).

I wouldn't discount the idea of getting a lot of "normal" LED pars that are used for impact effects only. Attached is a photo of what 10 LED pars from Parts Express do to a wall roughly 25m away and their output is on the lower end of the aforementioned range. We aimed them up over the heads of the audience because we found their output to be very dazzling even when they were lifted 7m above the stage. We rarely run them at full intensity unless we know the room will have ambient lighting during the show.
I'm looking to build upon/replace my current lighting gear. You may say that apart from stands, cabling and trussing I'm starting from scratch.
Apart from budget my main limitation is available power; I'm often lucky if I get a dedicated EU(230V) 16A circuit to run sound and light equipment from.

The current plan is to get 8-12 LED Washes, 2 Movers and later some color/white bars that may or may not double as blinders. 

I'm looking to get some audience blinders and am kinda stuck here.
I do prefer the way halogen bulbs fade but because of the power limitations don't consider them as an option.

Are there any rules of thumb for determining the amount of Lumens/Watts/blinders needed especially when Using LEDs?
At what kind of Lux do blinders go from blinders to just-a-bunch-of-lights?
Will 2-4 of these give a statisfactory effect at 15-20M or am I being very optimistic here?

https://www.cameolight.com/en/products/led-strobes/flash-bar-150-3-in-1-strobe-chase-and-blinder-effect-fixture/

I am open to other suggestions on light bars provided with a budget of max 250 per fixture, and want to have acceptable results with two fixtures so i can have breathing room until buying the other 2
Blizzard snowblind was what I ended up with.

https://www.blizzardpro.com/products/snowblind

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk

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Jay Barracato

Tim Weaver

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Re: Sizing audience Blinders
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2019, 01:23:06 pm »

If you get a COB led blinder in warm white and with the "fade" effect which mimics a filamient fading out you basically can't tell the difference between those and a real blinder like a molefay.

Something along these lines...
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1387912-REG/american_dj_encore_burst_200.html/?ap=y&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIvdzqmbf13wIVzbbACh1mJwB8EAQYAyABEgKAY_D_BwE&lsft=BI%3A514&smp=Y


The dim to warm effect means it gets warmer as it fades out to mimic a filament light. Just about everybody makes a light like this and believe me they are bright enough!
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Joe Pieternella

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Re: Sizing audience Blinders
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2019, 07:02:00 am »

Being in the UK also works in your favor with the higher voltage.

I wouldn't discount the idea of getting a lot of "normal" LED pars that are used for impact effects only. Attached is a photo of what 10 LED pars from Parts Express do to a wall roughly 25m away and their output is on the lower end of the aforementioned range.
Actually from the Netherlands. The higher power draw available per circuit is a double edged sword; great when you can get a dedicated circuit, but because there is so much available a lot of low end venues don't install a dedicated circuit.

Blizzard snowblind was what I ended up with.

Those Blizzard fixtures look nice, unfortunately I didn't see them for sale in europe and they don't seem to take 230V anyway.

I've vote to add 2-4 more of the washes you're planning to buy and just use them as blinders.  If your washes have white and amber in them that's even better.  I see that as added bang to buck since you'll benefit from additional flexibility and redundancy compared to spending the same $$$ on dedicated blinders.  Hope this helps!
I'll Look into this option  although I'd rather get something that is/looks bigger than two PARs on a truss

@Tim
Thanks,although the ADJ one is a little over budget for me. I believe renting something similar totest is in order here.


For now apart from the colour temperature I am pretty confident the fixture I linked in the first post or similar should fit the bill. Maybe even several like the Blizzard Snowblind
However If there is anyone that might wanna share how they determine how much is enough/needed  apart from maybe coverage angles or if everybody is just adding blinders until they run out of fixtures/Truss/Power that would still be of great help.
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Sizing audience Blinders
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2019, 02:07:08 pm »

Actually from the Netherlands. The higher power draw available per circuit is a double edged sword; great when you can get a dedicated circuit, but because there is so much available a lot of low end venues don't install a dedicated circuit.
Those Blizzard fixtures look nice, unfortunately I didn't see them for sale in europe and they don't seem to take 230V anyway.
I'll Look into this option  although I'd rather get something that is/looks bigger than two PARs on a truss

@Tim
Thanks,although the ADJ one is a little over budget for me. I believe renting something similar totest is in order here.


For now apart from the colour temperature I am pretty confident the fixture I linked in the first post or similar should fit the bill. Maybe even several like the Blizzard Snowblind
However If there is anyone that might wanna share how they determine how much is enough/needed  apart from maybe coverage angles or if everybody is just adding blinders until they run out of fixtures/Truss/Power that would still be of great help.

What size venue will you be using these in? I tried some of the snowblind fixtures and in smaller spaces they worked fine, but in large venues or outdoors they just looked like more twinkly lights. Not really blinders..
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Sizing audience Blinders
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2019, 05:30:52 pm »

I'll Look into this option  although I'd rather get something that is/looks bigger than two PARs on a truss

...

However If there is anyone that might wanna share how they determine how much is enough/needed  apart from maybe coverage angles or if everybody is just adding blinders until they run out of fixtures/Truss/Power that would still be of great help.

That's a fair statement, though your budget might restrict you here.  The Chauvet Strike 4 has much more of a traditional blinder look, but is far beyond your budget.  Out of curiosity, why not try to find a halogen blinder that fits within your wattage range?  They're dirt cheap these days, and if the rest of your rig is only at most a dozen LED Pars and 2 moving lights I'd have to think you won't need that much. 

How much is needed depends on a few variables - mostly what the artistic look of the lighting design calls for, and if you just want added light for emphasis/excitement or if it needs to be bright enough to make everyone see spots.  I usually demo the fixtures I'm interested in.  Also, depending on the desired effect you want to take the output of the rest of your lighting into consideration too.  A 300w blinder looks great in a small venue, but not buried next to a bunch of Mac 2Ks in an outdoor amphitheater! 
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Sizing audience Blinders
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2019, 02:10:26 am »

I have some pulse 16x3w fixtures that are very similar to the Snowblinds.  10 of them made an ok blinder effect for about 3000 on an ampitheater gig.  I Will find some video from FOH that was about 150ft from stage and post.

IMHO the Blizzard Solar cell is more similar to the Chauvet and more expensive!

You can get decent. 4 x 100w COB generic fixtures for aboit $200.00

Here you go,  you can see the blinders used in these video's https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2107783575930275&id=100000959604738

Sent from my VS996 using Tapatalk

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Tim Weaver

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Re: Sizing audience Blinders
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2019, 08:19:44 am »

I have some pulse 16x3w fixtures that are very similar to the Snowblinds.  10 of them made an ok blinder effect for about 3000 on an ampitheater gig.  I Will find some video from FOH that was about 150ft from stage and post.

IMHO the Blizzard Solar cell is more similar to the Chauvet and more expensive!

You can get decent. 4 x 100w COB generic fixtures for aboit $200.00

Here you go,  you can see the blinders used in these video's https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2107783575930275&id=100000959604738

Sent from my VS996 using Tapatalk

For the other side of the coin, we had 4 of the Dual 100 watt COB fixtures like the ADJ I linked to above. Ours were generic chinese versions and are unfortunately discontinued now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVDVELcrMo0

The blinders are located at the top of the towers, one per tower. The movers on the towers are Chauvet Legend 412's, and the rear truss had platinum 5R fixtures. I think they were the 5R spots iirc.
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Joe Pieternella

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Re: Sizing audience Blinders
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2019, 02:05:05 pm »

Hope I don't forget anything/one.
I forgot to mention that crowds don't often go above 300 people. And when they do I often partner with a budding company for lighting. This is more for the smaller shows. These fixtures would cover pretty much 80-90% of my work. For the rest I'm happy to call our friends over there.

Please read this paragraph carefully.
No offense but I believe this post is getting all PSW, LEDs are specified and I feel like I clearly specified why. What I really wanted to know was how others determine how much power/light they need to blind a certain crowd size or if y'all are just bringing all you have or can fit on your truss/power. I wasn't kidding in the OP, I often deal with between 8 and 11 people on stage at once. And they need/want 7 to 10 monitors on stage, backline, and somehow always need to charge their phones/pads to update social media and/or read scores to play off.
On top of this I also need to get the PA, FOH and often (my) DJ equipment going on the same circuit. Imagine having all of this and finding out the hard way that you are sharing power with a microwave in the kitchen. This can eat the roughly 3600w/16a very quickly. Believe me I recently tripped a breaker for a first time and am trying to keep it these way. I was pushing around 800 watt of total light output at that time. That's why I wanted to know whether 180w on blinders would do me a favor or if it would just give people the idea that I wanted to have some but couldn't really do it right
Having said all that I understand that it is often hard/impossible to judge over the interweb how much I know and what kind of considerations I have or haven't taken. I can be guilty of this my self but I try to avoid it.


@Jeff
The reason I don't want halogen blinders is simple power draw, If I wasn't concerned about this I would simply repurpose the 300/500w halogens I have as blinders.

They are mostly there to add emphasis on certain parts of certain songs. Blinders are kind of a "new" concept in the style of music I provide for the most.

I also wondered whether the blinders wouldn't seem wimpy next to the other fixtures. However it seems like.I won't be getting anything over 30-40 watt total output for the PARs. I was eyeing some 70watt fixtures though but am afraid of.this very problem so will probably stick with these. The higher output ones are a slightly less known brand though. So a little wary about these and I feel harder to justify than the major brands.

@Scott
Quick maths gives me almost 500w of power draw for those. They look great but 500w is too much for me... I can get away with less though because i'm mostly indoors.

@tim
Mostly the same as what I said to Scott only your pushing even more watts.

For now I believe this thread can close

Edit: I'm not kaf or anything, and is maybe a little overboard. But I am pretty confident now in the fixtures I mentioned in the OP and this is mainly because of this thread.
If anyone feels like telling me how they size there rigs or has other fixture suggestions then please do share. But please keep.in mind... Im not plugging into nuclear powerplants quite the opposite

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« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 03:36:10 pm by Joe Pieternella »
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Sizing audience Blinders
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2019, 02:18:10 pm »



@tim
Mostly the same as what I said to Scott only your pushing even more watts.

For now I believe this thread can close

Verstuurd vanaf mijn LG-H635 met Tapatalk

I get where you're coming from. And I'm really not trying to "push" anything. I'm just trying to show you the difference between the little twinkly strobe type blinders and a bigger COB unit.

The COB units look and perform like the real deal, but at 200 watts versus 1200 watts for a halogen option. Also 2 of the COB units would outperform 4 or more of the snowblind type blinders.

The Snowblind type does work much better as a strobe though. That's something the COB lights don't do well because they have a built in "dimmer curve".


Good Luck!
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Sizing audience Blinders
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2019, 05:05:03 pm »

The most useful thing I posted is the link to the Pulse fixtures.  They have about the same output aa the Blizzard Snowblind and integrate into your power budget,

Speaking of power,  if you are amping up production at venues on town get them to put more power in.  They will push back at first but most capitulate.  A very popular Cleveland area bar with musicians had awful power.  It took public shaming but there are now 6 hospital grade (unbreakable) 15amps for the punters and two 50 amp 240 for full production acts.

Back on topic.  To me the most important aesthetic of a blinder is the warm light and slow filament decay.  One of the other shops on town has 12 panels of blinders that have aircaft style lights on them.  I think they doubled as snow removal gear because you can feel the heat from 100' back when they hit thoar nad boys and the filamenta glow for an eternity.  Wicked cool.

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Joe Pieternella

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Re: Sizing audience Blinders
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2019, 04:26:28 pm »

I get where you're coming from. And I'm really not trying to "push" anything. I'm just trying to show you the difference between the little twinkly strobe type blinders and a bigger COB unit.

...

Good Luck!

I'm afraid I didn't really make myself clear. what I meant was that apart from the wattage difference between your rig and Scott's my response to the both of you would be the same.  Only reservation for the COB blinders then is their small size relative to the stage.
In audio some people listen with their eyes. Maybe this metafor isn't applicable to lighting

Scott,
Those Pulse fixtures do indeed look great and I can see variations on the theme for sale here in europe, they are seriously getting added to my shortlist.
Great point about venue power I always try to express my reservations to what seems to be the most appropiate venue employee at that time. Outright dangerous situations are rare. The situation I mentioned above is what I can ( and often do) encounter at venues where they just hand whoever rented the venue the keys and come back the next day for inspection.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Sizing audience Blinders
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2019, 04:36:04 pm »

I'm afraid I didn't really make myself clear. what I meant was that apart from the wattage difference between your rig and Scott's my response to the both of you would be the same.  Only reservation for the COB blinders then is their small size relative to the stage.
In audio some people listen with their eyes. Maybe this metafor isn't applicable to lighting

Scott,
Those Pulse fixtures do indeed look great and I can see variations on the theme for sale here in europe, they are seriously getting added to my shortlist.
Great point about venue power I always try to express my reservations to what seems to be the most appropiate venue employee at that time. Outright dangerous situations are rare. The situation I mentioned above is what I can ( and often do) encounter at venues where they just hand whoever rented the venue the keys and come back the next day for inspection.

My point is I think the Pulse's are about the same as the Snowblind, just trying to get you a comparison.  I don't think the Pulse's are made anymore.

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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