ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down

Author Topic: Fixture Brands for Rave-ish install environment  (Read 1380 times)

Scotty Myers

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13
Fixture Brands for Rave-ish install environment
« on: February 19, 2019, 09:06:25 am »

I've got little experience with the various brands of DMX fixtures and have thus far only used 3 brands; ADJ, Chauvet & Martin.  This seems a VERY competitive market from a price point perspective.  I'm sure some brands have much better reputations than others throughout the various price point levels.

I'm at the point where I'm choosing more complex fixtures like moving head and multi-function fixtures, so several potential issues come to mind, which are:
  • Price VS longevity - We need to strike a balance with this.  These lights are going to get 30ish hours of work a week and we can't have them malfunctioning/dying in 2 years.  But perhaps going with the lower prices and just tossing the fixture is a better approach after a 3-4 year life, as then the lighting will naturally get a "refresh" every few years?
  • Maintenance - I've noted a manufacturers talk about cleaning the external optics and internal options after some number of days.  Seems like 20-40 days are number I've seen on some fixtures.  These fixtures are 22-25 feet in the air in a permanent installs.  Their facilities do have a hydraulic lift, but we'd like to minimize how often we have to go up there as someone gets paid to do this, so that is a cost we have to consider.
  • Factory support - No matter how good the fixture, things need maintenance after some time.  What brands offer good support in parts and support even after the fixture of 5+ years old.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 09:30:55 am by Scotty Myers »
Logged

David Allred

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1832
Re: Fixture Brands for Rave-ish install environment
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2019, 09:58:14 am »

I've got little experience with the various brands of DMX fixtures and have thus far only used 3 brands; ADJ, Chauvet & Martin.  This seems a VERY competitive market from a price point perspective.  I'm sure some brands have much better reputations than others throughout the various price point levels.

I'm at the point where I'm choosing more complex fixtures like moving head and multi-function fixtures, so several potential issues come to mind, which are:
  • Price VS longevity - We need to strike a balance with this.  These lights are going to get 30ish hours of work a week and we can't have them malfunctioning/dying in 2 years.  But perhaps going with the lower prices and just tossing the fixture is a better approach after a 3-4 year life, as then the lighting will naturally get a "refresh" every few years?
  • Maintenance - I've noted a manufacturers talk about cleaning the external optics and internal options after some number of days.  Seems like 20-40 days are number I've seen on some fixtures.  These fixtures are 22-25 feet in the air in a permanent installs.  Their facilities do have a hydraulic lift, but we'd like to minimize how often we have to go up there as someone gets paid to do this, so that is a cost we have to consider.
  • Factory support - No matter how good the fixture, things need maintenance after some time.  What brands offer good support in parts and support even after the fixture of 5+ years old.

Thanks!

Parts -  ADJ keeps a solid inventory for even discontinued fixtures.  Can't speak for the others but I  bet they are good as well.

Maint. - Gravity for particles, so any shrouding will help.  The further the dust hast to travel up and in, the better.  Haze and fog is another story though.  Positive (negative?) air flow may help to prevent settling.

Take reference picture to compare later to current light output.  Might save you from guessing if you need to clean them.  How you take that reference would be important.  It could be angular to the fixture, or of the cast image on a wall or floor.   Record exact conditions and camera settings, and always compare picture to picture (not picture to vision).
Logged

Scotty Myers

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13
Re: Fixture Brands for Rave-ish install environment
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2019, 10:40:32 am »

Take reference picture to compare later to current light output.  Might save you from guessing if you need to clean them... 

My question is a pre-purchase question from a design engineering standpoint for a fixed installation facility.  Sorry if that wasn't clear.  What you suggest is looking at something already installed to figure out how often to clean them.  We are designing and making purchasing decisions at this point that will affect several facilities.  So it's a purchase cost VS true cost of ownership analysis we are looking at.  When the fixtures are 20-30 feet in the air and you have to move things around in the room to get a hydraulic lift in there to clean them, it is a serious cost consideration.

We're not expecting any fixture to be completely maintenance free, especially moving fixtures, but we do need to consider maintenance costs up front as the lighting systems are designed.  If I can come up with lighting options that require a cleaning say every 500-1000 hours of operation VS 20-40 calendar days, that is a lot more palatable.  I know one cannot predict this as every facility is different.  I'm just wondering if some brands/designs have a better reputation as being more "dirt tolerant" or sealed than others but still don't break the bank.
Logged

Len Zenith Jr

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 347
Re: Fixture Brands for Rave-ish install environment
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2019, 11:38:22 am »

I'm just wondering if some brands/designs have a better reputation as being more "dirt tolerant" or sealed than others but still don't break the bank.

Try to get your fixtures fan-less. Where there is a fan, dust bunnies will clog the intake. How long that takes depends on the environment. They even make ip65 moving head fixtures that are dust proof.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 11:43:18 am by Len Zenith Jr »
Logged

Jeff Lelko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1442
  • Cape Canaveral, FL
Re: Fixture Brands for Rave-ish install environment
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2019, 05:14:41 pm »

I've got little experience with the various brands of DMX fixtures and have thus far only used 3 brands; ADJ, Chauvet & Martin.  This seems a VERY competitive market from a price point perspective.  I'm sure some brands have much better reputations than others throughout the various price point levels.

Hi Scotty, I tend to be brand agnostic and get what fits my needs and my budget.  I own everything from the ADJ/Eliminator level to Chauvet and Elation to Martin and High End, and many more.  While I have my favorites, no one brand stands out to me as terrible.  Almost everyone has made a lemon at one point or another.  Some companies such as ETC have legendary support and service, but so long as you buy from a reputable manufacturer I wouldn't base my purchase on the brand name alone.  What exactly are you looking to buy and how much do you have to spend?
Logged

Scotty Myers

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13
Re: Fixture Brands for Rave-ish install environment
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2019, 09:04:40 am »

...What exactly are you looking to buy and how much do you have to spend?

Thanks Jeff,

I've learned quite a bit over the last couple of days.  Specifically, light output levels need to be known on the fixtures and it seems that manufacturers don't publish this information on many fixtures on their websites.  So if may be a cool effect fixture, but it has to have the appropriate LUX output level to work in the installation.

I decided to just demo some fixtures to do some comparison.  I stopped by a supplier and grabbed 10 or so fixtures and took them to the facility I'm working on.  What I learned is that many of the fixtures are what I'd call "wedding DJ" fixtures; that is, their power levels are not even close to what I'm looking for.  They are meant for being up close to a small dance floor or similar.  I had 6 ADJ fixtures.  Of these, only ONE had the light output (LUX, lumens) required.  None of the "Startec" series came even close. I had a Stinger II, Stinger Gobo, Rayzer and Boom Box FX2.   I had a Quad Phase HP "moonflower" fixture that was appropriate in light output level.  I also noted that the build quality on that fixture was at a different level than any of the Startec fixtures.  Unfortunately, it seems that these manufacturers don't seem to give you light output figures on their websites.  (some do)

A discharge lamp scanner fixture was plenty bright of course.

So I'm realizing that these "multi-function" fixtures have a certain market in mind and are NOT appropriate for a club install.  I'm going to have to go up the food chain a bit for fixtures that will give the light output required.

In showing the owner the demo, he also has realized that his budget numbers have gave to me are just a tad low... well, not even close to what he's going to have to spend.  He had done some "research" himself and and saw those ADJ fixtures and thought he had it figured out... which is why I demo'd them.
Logged

Bob Stone

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 178
Re: Fixture Brands for Rave-ish install environment
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2019, 11:33:46 am »

Parts -  ADJ keeps a solid inventory for even discontinued fixtures.  Can't speak for the others but I  bet they are good as well.

Maint. - Gravity for particles, so any shrouding will help.  The further the dust hast to travel up and in, the better.  Haze and fog is another story though.  Positive (negative?) air flow may help to prevent settling.

Take reference picture to compare later to current light output.  Might save you from guessing if you need to clean them.  How you take that reference would be important.  It could be angular to the fixture, or of the cast image on a wall or floor.   Record exact conditions and camera settings, and always compare picture to picture (not picture to vision).

A lot of cell phones have simple LUX meters built in now with a simple app you can get the numbers. If you just setup a "calibration" scene in your controller and picked fixed spots to measure, would be really simple to take measurements.
Logged

Jeff Lelko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1442
  • Cape Canaveral, FL
Re: Fixture Brands for Rave-ish install environment
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2019, 05:03:41 pm »

So I'm realizing that these "multi-function" fixtures have a certain market in mind and are NOT appropriate for a club install.  I'm going to have to go up the food chain a bit for fixtures that will give the light output required.

In showing the owner the demo, he also has realized that his budget numbers have gave to me are just a tad low... well, not even close to what he's going to have to spend.  He had done some "research" himself and and saw those ADJ fixtures and thought he had it figured out... which is why I demo'd them.

Yep, and you were smart to have a demo before spending any money.  Most people expect the $100 DJ lights you buy at Guitar Center to have the horsepower to light up a football field, but sadly that isn't the case.  They look great in the pictures though! 

So often there's a bit of cross-pollination between moving lights and what are called effect lights (aka DJ lights or disco lights), but if it's a true effect light you're looking for then yes, the industry as a whole doesn't offer a ton at the moment for high-output units.  Due in part to this I keep an inventory of such lights that actually see quite a bit of use, some of which include Elation Sniper Pros, ADJ Ninja 5RXs, various Martin Mania units, ADJ Tempest 250s, and even older units like the Martin SynchroZap.  All these effects have discharge lamps in them and can easily take on almost any club, and the 14R lamp in the Sniper Pro can do arena-sized jobs.  The catch is, every single fixture I just named is discontinued - some for over a decade now.  If you want some you'll probably have to dig for them, but the LED stuff on the market right now just can't hold a candle to any of it.  Of course, all the units I just names also cost upwards of $1000 each or more, give or take if bought new.  In other words, you get what you pay for, and it can get rather expensive if you want at least a half-dozen of them.   

Alternatively, buying a dozen or so of small(ish) moving heads that fit the room can look good with tasteful programming.  Pros and cons to both approaches!
Logged

Taylor Hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 842
Re: Fixture Brands for Rave-ish install environment
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2019, 05:21:01 pm »

Also, a wee bit of haze/fog can go a long way, even in a dark club setting.
Logged
There are two ways to do anything:
1) Do it right
2) Do it over until you do it right

Dave Garoutte

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2117
  • San Rafael, CA
Re: Fixture Brands for Rave-ish install environment
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2019, 10:50:07 pm »

Also, a wee bit of haze/fog can go a long way, even in a dark club setting.

But will require more fixture cleaning.

Chauvet publishes lux at 2meters and 5meters depending on the fixture.
Remember that a wider beam angle translates into lower lux for a given output.
You need to look at your required throw and beam angle to get the coverage you want.
You may end up with more, narrower beam fixtures.
Logged
Nothing can be made idiot-proof; only idiot resistant.

Events.  Stage, PA, Lighting and Backline rentals.
Chauvet dealer.  Home of the Angler.
Inventor.

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Fixture Brands for Rave-ish install environment
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2019, 10:50:07 pm »


Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
 



Page created in 0.089 seconds with 24 queries.