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Author Topic: What's a wattage minimum for a moving head to produce a constant beam?  (Read 1140 times)

Eric Lambert

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I recently bought a pair Chauvet Intimidator Spot Duo 155s that are rated @ 32W per bulb. I'm debating on taking them back because they do not throw a constant beam. Is there a general wattage minimum in order to achieve this?

I'll be running one on each side along with 4 LED Pars. I suppose I could purchase a faze machine to help but i'm worried most venues my band plays will not allow smoke or faze.
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Dennis Wiggins

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Re: What's a wattage minimum for a moving head to produce a constant beam?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2020, 06:04:28 am »

...i'm worried most venues my band plays will not allow smoke or faze.


I have not used any fog or haze effects since the smoking ban in January 1, 2008. I find it pretentious to try convince bars or banquet facilities, let alone the patrons,  that I should be able to create "mist for effect" when finally the air is clear.

Back in the day, I did love lighting up a good smokey bar.  I definitely don't miss it now.

I would be interested to hear how fog/haze is being implemented in the non-touring/stage world, not the least of which is the interaction with smoke detectors and sprinkler systems.

Today, I light up "things" (walls, floor, ceiling) but longer try to light the atmosphere.

-Dennis
« Last Edit: January 18, 2020, 06:09:59 am by Dennis Wiggins »
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: What's a wattage minimum for a moving head to produce a constant beam?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2020, 07:05:19 am »

Hi Eric, this question is a bit tricky to answer.  Assuming that you mean “produce a beam that’s persistent enough to be visible and impressive on top of any additional stage or ambient light in the venue”, that will depend on many factors.  This is similar to asking how many watts of sound system do I need to play venue xyz - wattage doesn’t correlate to properly sizing a sound system.

As Dennis has already mentioned, you’re going to need some type of atmosphere enhancement to give the light something to hit and be seen.  In terms of the fixtures themselves, their output should be determined based on the size of your venue, the desired effect, additional stage and ambient light they need to compete with, and any logistical concerns (power/weight/etc.).

The type of fixture and the associated optics play a large roll in perceived brightness as well.  While it’s impossible to give you an actual number, I can say that the fixtures you bought will only really work in a dark smokey venue with little ambient light.  You’d probably be best served by returning these and getting something much more capable or switching to an entirely different fixture type based on your concern about using fog/haze.  Hope this helps!
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: What's a wattage minimum for a moving head to produce a constant beam?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2020, 07:08:45 am »

I would be interested to hear how fog/haze is being implemented in the non-touring/stage world, not the least of which is the interaction with smoke detectors and sprinkler systems.

You’re fine on sprinklers, but just the other week I was working a job where the venue’s fire alarm didn’t like the Radiance hazers being used.  That’s why you get a tech/rehearsal day and the show went on with the local fire department providing fire watch while the system was disabled.  So in other words, nothing has changed!
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David Allred

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Re: What's a wattage minimum for a moving head to produce a constant beam?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2020, 11:10:37 am »



I have not used any fog or haze effects since the smoking ban in January 1, 2008. I find it pretentious to try convince bars or banquet facilities, let alone the patrons,  that I should be able to create "mist for effect" when finally the air is clear.

Back in the day, I did love lighting up a good smokey bar.  I definitely don't miss it now.

I would be interested to hear how fog/haze is being implemented in the non-touring/stage world, not the least of which is the interaction with smoke detectors and sprinkler systems.

Today, I light up "things" (walls, floor, ceiling) but longer try to light the atmosphere.

-Dennis

If venues would opt for the temp rise style instead of photo switch style the problem would fix itself.
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: What's a wattage minimum for a moving head to produce a constant beam?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2020, 05:59:26 pm »

To follow up on what Jeff said, there are ways to get an idea of how much illumination a given ligthing fixture will produce, and how it will look.  Look for the "photometric" specifications for the fixture. Compare the beam (in degrees) with the field numbers. The closer they are, the less "spill" of light outside the concentrated beam there will be.  Also look at the illumination (in lux or foot-candles) at a given distance. The narrower the beam angle, the more illumination for a given light source.  The closer the light to the surface being lit the greater the illumination, too. It is the inverse square law at work.

How much is enough is a different question, but you can at least get a sense of the magnitude of intensity from the specs. You can always dim a light that is too bright.
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: What's a wattage minimum for a moving head to produce a constant beam?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2020, 08:53:34 pm »

I recently bought a pair Chauvet Intimidator Spot Duo 155s that are rated @ 32W per bulb. I'm debating on taking them back because they do not throw a constant beam. Is there a general wattage minimum in order to achieve this?

No, unless there is something in the air for the light beam to reflect off(dust, moisture, fog/haze) then the beam won't be visible no matter how powerful the fixture is.
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Steve-White

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Re: What's a wattage minimum for a moving head to produce a constant beam?
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2020, 01:03:22 am »

No, unless there is something in the air for the light beam to reflect off(dust, moisture, fog/haze) then the beam won't be visible no matter how powerful the fixture is.

+1

Do you use DMX control or just free run the 155’s?
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Eric Lambert

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Re: What's a wattage minimum for a moving head to produce a constant beam?
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2020, 05:15:38 am »

+1

Do you use DMX control or just free run the 155’s?

Yes, i've been using DMXIS and just recently upgraded to Show Buddy.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: What's a wattage minimum for a moving head to produce a constant beam?
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2020, 06:24:23 am »

A 32 watt LED mover isn't very bright. :(
How much you need depends on the beam angle, the 'throw' required, and as stated, any haze.
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Steve-White

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Re: What's a wattage minimum for a moving head to produce a constant beam?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2020, 11:56:39 am »

Yes, i've been using DMXIS and just recently upgraded to Show Buddy.

I just had a look at the specs for the Chauvet 155's.  Not bad for size/price.  17 degree rated beam angle is probably good for what you are looking for, not saying they (the 155's) are.  But, 17 degrees is a pretty tight beam angle.  I have a pair of Intimidator 260's and a pair of 375's in a DJ system I'm putting together.  Also have something called ADJ Inno Pocket Z4's which are also movers.  They have zoom and beam angle that will zoom from 10-60 degrees so they are versatile.

You are asking questions within the realm of lighting design.  Good, good, good.  Suggest you read some books on basic theatre lighting techniques.  Learn the 45 degree up and out, rim/halo, back lights, footlights and so on and how/why they are used.  Look at some dance lighting and of course concert lighting.

Since you are running DMX, I would keep the 155's - in the end they should serve you well.  Figure out what you want to do, maybe you can't get there within your budget and logistics, power demands, etc.  Maybe you can get there, or maybe you just need to tweak concept a bit.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2020, 12:08:55 pm by Steven A. White »
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: What's a wattage minimum for a moving head to produce a constant beam?
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2020, 11:36:37 pm »

Any thoughts Eric?  We’ve given you some good advice - sharing more details about your desired application can help us recommend something that might work better for you, especially if using fog isn’t an option.

No, unless there is something in the air for the light beam to reflect off(dust, moisture, fog/haze) then the beam won't be visible no matter how powerful the fixture is.

Just for the sake of discussion, unless we’re lighting an ISO 1 cleanroom there will always be a fair amount of dust in the air.  From experience, a 10w green laser beam will generally be faintly visible in a dim room with no haze (assuming no scanning).  My Elation Sniper Pros (14R beam light) are a small step behind that but benefit from having a fatter beam, as would any high-output beam fixture.  None of this yields an impressive effect still nor takes the place of using haze or fog, nor would I find any of these fixtures appropriate to use in a bar band setting...     
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Dave Guilford

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Re: What's a wattage minimum for a moving head to produce a constant beam?
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2020, 10:12:13 pm »

Intimidator 260s are solid.  If you’re ok with scammers- intim scan 305 is sharp too.  I wouldn’t get  anything dimmer than those. I think they are 60w LED
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: What's a wattage minimum for a moving head to produce a constant beam?
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2020, 08:42:06 pm »

I recently bought a pair Chauvet Intimidator Spot Duo 155s that are rated @ 32W per bulb. I'm debating on taking them back because they do not throw a constant beam. Is there a general wattage minimum in order to achieve this?

I'll be running one on each side along with 4 LED Pars. I suppose I could purchase a faze machine to help but i'm worried most venues my band plays will not allow smoke or faze.

Faze? What's that?  Haze?  Not sure where you're located but in my locale the venues don't care unless it sets off the fire alarms.  Some venues specify that only water-based hazers are used (no DF-50 oil crackers) and others only allow oil crackers.  Go figure...

What do you mean by "constant beam", shafts of light?  Well there has to be something for those beam shafts to illuminate, and that's particles in the air - and that requires haze or other 'atmospherics' since cigarette smoking is largely banned indoors these days.  Going to brighter lights will not fix this.
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Steve-White

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Re: What's a wattage minimum for a moving head to produce a constant beam?
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2020, 08:47:17 pm »

Fogger + Hazer = Fazer.  Could have something to do with water/glycol vs oil based fluid.

Some kind of BS marketing crap - they all shit suspended atmospheric particles out - some use pressure, some heat, some both, some use even more heat.  :)
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David Allred

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Re: What's a wattage minimum for a moving head to produce a constant beam?
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2020, 09:24:36 am »

Fogger + Hazer = Fazer.  Could have something to do with water/glycol vs oil based fluid.

Some kind of BS marketing crap - they all shit suspended atmospheric particles out - some use pressure, some heat, some both, some use even more heat.  :)

Frazer uses the same heating principle as foggers to atomize the glycol, but at a constant low (suttle) rate, instead of a cloud plume. 
Hazers pop air by making bubbles.
Foggers/fazers pop water by heating.
Oil particles weigh less tha glycol particles, so oil hangs hangs longer in the air. 
Credit Big Clive for the simple  difference breakdown.
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Re: What's a wattage minimum for a moving head to produce a constant beam?
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2020, 09:24:36 am »


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