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Author Topic: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc  (Read 1451 times)

Mark Scrivener

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Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« on: June 17, 2020, 01:51:44 am »

I'm looking for basic lighting (LED Pars mainly) for various events. This would be mainly static lighting, front/side/back lights on a band, up lights on structures, wash lights, etc. Currently I have 4 Chauvet H6 LED Pars (RGBWAUV), but obviously need more lights and would like to do so without breaking the the bank.

Any brands I should be looking at? Are Monoprice any good or are they just junk? (the fixed power cables scream "stay away" to me). Anyone know about Gamma? They appear like they might be a slight step up from Chuavet but similar priced. Any suggestions on how to maximize my lighting dollars greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Mark

Scott Holtzman

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Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2020, 02:43:43 am »

I'm looking for basic lighting (LED Pars mainly) for various events. This would be mainly static lighting, front/side/back lights on a band, up lights on structures, wash lights, etc. Currently I have 4 Chauvet H6 LED Pars (RGBWAUV), but obviously need more lights and would like to do so without breaking the the bank.

Any brands I should be looking at? Are Monoprice any good or are they just junk? (the fixed power cables scream "stay away" to me). Anyone know about Gamma? They appear like they might be a slight step up from Chuavet but similar priced. Any suggestions on how to maximize my lighting dollars greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Mark


Blizzard is as low as I would go.  The bins of crappy Chinese fixtures I have sold for nothing or given away attest to buy once cry once applies to lights too. 
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2020, 07:58:13 am »

I use Martin Thrill Mini Pars for this sort of thing. They do the job. Reasonably bright, DMX, sound-to-light or IR remote controlled. I wouldn't say the "white" is particularly accurate, but that's not a huge concern for me.

I'd worked with higher-end Martin stuff before, and was pleased to find that their entry-level stuff is up to scratch.

Edit - seems they're discontinued, but still available from some outlets. YMMV.

Chris
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Steve Garris

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Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2020, 12:00:33 pm »

I'm looking for basic lighting (LED Pars mainly) for various events. This would be mainly static lighting, front/side/back lights on a band, up lights on structures, wash lights, etc. Currently I have 4 Chauvet H6 LED Pars (RGBWAUV), but obviously need more lights and would like to do so without breaking the the bank.

Any brands I should be looking at? Are Monoprice any good or are they just junk? (the fixed power cables scream "stay away" to me). Anyone know about Gamma? They appear like they might be a slight step up from Chuavet but similar priced. Any suggestions on how to maximize my lighting dollars greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Mark

I use Chinese lights purchased on Ebay with excellent results. As little as $40-100 each, they're disposable, but 4 years in none of mine have failed. They do what you are describing perfectly. I use the Donnar wireless units to eliminate cable runs between light trees.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2020, 12:15:03 pm »

If you go with no-name brand stuff and want your stuff to match, make sure you buy enough so that you've got a few spares.  Finding the same thing again in the future could prove next to impossible.

True quality of the lighting is hard to nearly impossible to judge by looking online.  Spec sheets, if provided, rarely will give you enough information to tell you how good a light is or isn't.  Price is potentially an indicator. The cheap stuff is cheap because corners were cut somewhere.  Sometimes the color matching between fixtures is way off.  Sometimes the color mixing results in blotchy colors.  Sometimes there is a flicker in the lights that will show up especially in pictures and videos. Very often, the CRI is horrible on cheaper lights, resulting in unexpected color reproduction. Depending on what your needs are, these things may or may not matter.
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Brian Jojade

Lou Kohley

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Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2020, 01:12:56 pm »

I agree better fixtures are worth it but if you just want to get spun up until you have more cash flow then cheap is fine.

I bought about 30-40 of the monoprice 9 leds round pars for around $40 a pop. I used them at a long term rental at a venue and they worked great. I had spares and maybe had a problem with 2 of them. One of which Monoprice replaced as it was DOA.
I've had these lights for 4 years now and the plastic yoke mount goes first.

If you time it right with one of their coupons you can get them very cheap. Buy spares.

LOU
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duane massey

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Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2020, 05:51:18 pm »

I installed 24 of the Monoprice fixtures in a horrendous environment (permanent install, outdoor stage, high humidity) and have yet to have a failure. The client also purchased what looked like an identical fixture from a local supplier having a clearance sale, but they did not fare nearly as well.
The fixtures we purchased from Monoprice had removable power cables.
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=612749&gclid=CjwKCAjwi6TYBRAYEiwAOeH7GVE1DOCa2NsnNDGG-2Yr2bdOl0267kDsG-PWCmH6haFtgkkaD-0WHBoCvIkQAvD_BwE
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Duane Massey
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Don T. Williams

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Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2020, 06:15:39 pm »

A word of caution, not about Monoprice lights, but about cables.  We rented about two dozen lights to a church for the Christmas season.  When they returned the lights, more than a half dozen of the cables were from Monoprice.  They looked just like the cables we sent out with the rig (black connectors/black cable) so my crew didn't discover that they were not the DMX cables we included with the rental.  Our next show, we had failures EVERYWHERE!  What the H___!  It took a while, but every single problem was a Monoprice cable.  Half had 2-3 pins cross-wired the rest had opens.  We went through our cable bins after the show and found several more Monoprice cables.  Not a single one worked.  I'm not sure if the church intentionally dumped the bad cables on us of if they just all looked so similar, but it was "interesting" that not a single Monoprice cable was good.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2020, 07:04:22 pm »

Hi Mark, here's my two cents...  This mostly hinges on what you consider "good" and "cheap".  I'm not a brand snob by any means, but my business model does not currently support stocking China-direct fixtures.  Chauvet DJ and American DJ are currently the lowest on the totem pole I'll go.  The potential uses you've listed aren't all necessarily compatible with the same fixture either. 

For instance, you can get away with much less fixture when employing uplighting or eye-candy effects.  I use the ADJ MegaPAR Hex for this purpose - cheap and semi-disposable yet sufficient for uplighting, truss warming, etc.  Their colors are okay, dimming leaves much to be desired, but silent and "good enough" to stock by the dozen and not think too hard about it. 

For front lighting and anything going on faces I'm much pickier with the fixtures to get good color.  Dimming also becomes much more important.  The ETC ColorSource Series is generally a minimal baseline with the Chauvet COLORdash and Elation SIX/SEVEN Pars being a close second.

Finally, anything that might be used alongside cameras should be flicker-free (i.e. have a refresh frequency high enough not to flicker on recorded video).  As Scott mentioned in the first post, you get what you pay for.  Hope this helps!
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Mark Norgren

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Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2020, 08:45:12 am »

Aren't most all of these lights manufactured in China?  Mono, Chauvet, ADJ and the eBay knockoffs?  With the current state of computer DMX software running lights, you can write fixture codes for most any light? 

For the OP question, which is pretty much how I use lights, the cheaper lights have been fine.  MHO
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2020, 08:45:12 am »


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