ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 [2] 3   Go Down

Author Topic: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc  (Read 1452 times)

Caleb Dueck

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1305
Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2020, 02:59:03 pm »

Aren't most all of these lights manufactured in China?  Mono, Chauvet, ADJ and the eBay knockoffs?

Country of manufacture doesn't tell anything about quality.  How it's designed, how it's manufactured, how much oversight, what the tolerances (binning) are for design and production, how many are tested, how stringent are the tests, etc - that determines quality.  There are lots of junk lights designed/built to bottom of the line standards - in China and elsewhere.  There are also quality lights designed/built to high standards - in China and elsewhere.  China isn't the variable; the manufacturer is, and which line from that manufacturer. 

I agree with Jeff - different applications have different minimum thresholds. 

Your business plan also greatly affects this.  If your reputation is 'cheapest possible that outputs some sort of light, most of the time' - the cheapest lights from any manufacturer fits that best.  If you reputation is 'quality light, that works, wide color spectrum, smooth dimming, on faces' - that weeds out the cheapest options. 

Use CRI as one of the specs to compare lights, and use total price as a rough estimate of how tightly binned the components are.   
Logged
Experience is something you get right after you need it.

Debbie Dunkley

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 5376
  • Central North Carolina
Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2020, 05:19:14 pm »

I own and use regularly,  cheap Chinese fixtures as well as my Blizzard Quads.
The Quads are far better built than the cheap ones BUT they do not work any better nor is the dimming as smooth. Also although the cheap ones are plastic (hence the Blizzards are built better) this makes them a lot lighter to transport....
I have replaced 5 of the Chinese fixtures so far and even though I 'baby' them in transit, I just had one break this past weekend where the bracket meets the body - pulled right out,  the 3rd one to do that. They really have to be treated with kid gloves..... (I glued the broken fixture and it seems to be holding - we will see)
To be fair I have had one of the Blizzards go bad ( electrically) too in a similar time frame but they tend to be used less than the cheap ones.
So looking at it this way - I suppose if I had 5 fixtures fail over probably 6 years and they cost me around $40, then that ($200) is less than each Blizzard cost me new. I couldn't replace the Blizzard because they were already discontinued so I have an odd one on that light tree. That cost me $150. So in terms of cost, the cheaper ones win out.
I LOVE the weight of the cheapies and they perform flawlessly BUT they really are quite fragile and could not take being thrown around so consider how well the fixtures will hold up over time.
Logged
A young child says to his mother, "Mom, when I grow up I'm going to be a musician." She replies, "Well honey, you know you can't do both."

Scott Holtzman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6069
  • Ghost AV - Avon Lake, OH
    • Ghost Audio Visual Systems, LLC
Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2020, 06:09:36 pm »

I own and use regularly,  cheap Chinese fixtures as well as my Blizzard Quads.
The Quads are far better built than the cheap ones BUT they do not work any better nor is the dimming as smooth. Also although the cheap ones are plastic (hence the Blizzards are built better) this makes them a lot lighter to transport....
I have replaced 5 of the Chinese fixtures so far and even though I 'baby' them in transit, I just had one break this past weekend where the bracket meets the body - pulled right out,  the 3rd one to do that. They really have to be treated with kid gloves..... (I glued the broken fixture and it seems to be holding - we will see)
To be fair I have had one of the Blizzards go bad ( electrically) too in a similar time frame but they tend to be used less than the cheap ones.
So looking at it this way - I suppose if I had 5 fixtures fail over probably 6 years and they cost me around $40, then that ($200) is less than each Blizzard cost me new. I couldn't replace the Blizzard because they were already discontinued so I have an odd one on that light tree. That cost me $150. So in terms of cost, the cheaper ones win out.
I LOVE the weight of the cheapies and they perform flawlessly BUT they really are quite fragile and could not take being thrown around so consider how well the fixtures will hold up over time.


Are you using 8 bit or 16 bit dimming curves on the Quads?  I have not used the quads but have Hotbox EXA's and the difference in dimming between that and a cheap light is day and night.  I saw your quads and I the color mixing was excellent. 

Logged
Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
Cleveland OH
www.ghostav.rocks

Mark Scrivener

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 192
    • My Recording Studio
Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2020, 06:38:43 pm »

Thanks everyone, lots of good inputs. For main stage lights quality is important to me - I'd like photos to look decent, light to be uniform and smooth, failure during a show would be bad, etc. But for atmospheric lights placed around an event (up lighting), the cheap(er) stuff is probably OK.

I currently have some Chauvet H6 Pars (DJ line, not the pro stuff, but fine for my needs thus far). I've been doing some digging into Gamma LED Vision (https://gammaledvision.com/) and just emailed them for pricing on some of their LED PARs. From what I can tell the quality looks like a significant step up from my Chauvet lights and the pricing was slightly less than what I can get the Chauvet's for. I'm in the process of ordering a few and will report back once they arrive and I can evaluate them. The units I'm ordering are https://gammaledvision.com/product/starburst-7x10-rgbw/

Debbie Dunkley

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 5376
  • Central North Carolina
Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2020, 08:59:46 pm »


Are you using 8 bit or 16 bit dimming curves on the Quads?  I have not used the quads but have Hotbox EXA's and the difference in dimming between that and a cheap light is day and night.  I saw your quads and I the color mixing was excellent.

The color blends are nice Scott but side by side they don't dim as smoothly as the cheapos do - it is a subtle but noticeable difference. 
Not sure where I'd find the info on 'dimming curves'.
Logged
A young child says to his mother, "Mom, when I grow up I'm going to be a musician." She replies, "Well honey, you know you can't do both."

Scott Holtzman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6069
  • Ghost AV - Avon Lake, OH
    • Ghost Audio Visual Systems, LLC
Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2020, 04:02:16 am »

The color blends are nice Scott but side by side they don't dim as smoothly as the cheapos do - it is a subtle but noticeable difference. 
Not sure where I'd find the info on 'dimming curves'.


I don't know what I was thinking and I am not sure why nobody corrected me.  I meant 8 or 16 bit DMX control.  16bt allows much finer resolution.





Logged
Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
Cleveland OH
www.ghostav.rocks

Debbie Dunkley

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 5376
  • Central North Carolina
Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2020, 09:16:48 am »


I don't know what I was thinking and I am not sure why nobody corrected me.  I meant 8 or 16 bit DMX control.  16bt allows much finer resolution.

I run Luminair which is 64 bit if that is what you are referring to??

Edit: Just found that Luminair works on 8 bit resolution for DMX control.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 09:18:57 am by Debbie Dunkley »
Logged
A young child says to his mother, "Mom, when I grow up I'm going to be a musician." She replies, "Well honey, you know you can't do both."

Steve Garris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1443
Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2020, 12:34:32 pm »

I own and use regularly,  cheap Chinese fixtures as well as my Blizzard Quads.
The Quads are far better built than the cheap ones BUT they do not work any better nor is the dimming as smooth. Also although the cheap ones are plastic (hence the Blizzards are built better) this makes them a lot lighter to transport....


To Debbie's point, I have (4) of these plastic lights mounted on each T-Bar. They are ultra-light, and very easy to raise or hang and transport. This is huge for me. Because they are so light, I've got the time & energy to hang more of them, provided there is enough space.

I have not had to replace any of mine, and I'm surprised to hear of the housing failure. I've got ton's of shows on mine, and I don't even have them in cases.
Logged

Mark Scrivener

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 192
    • My Recording Studio
Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2020, 01:28:05 pm »

I run Luminair which is 64 bit if that is what you are referring to??

Edit: Just found that Luminair works on 8 bit resolution for DMX control.

DMX is an 8 bit protocol. As far as I can tell, there is no way to change that - that is how the physical layer of the network is setup. What you can do, if you are designing a light, is control how those 256 levels map to intensities so that it appears smoother. I guess it might also be possible to design a light where there were two channels used for each color, giving you 512 levels or 65,536 levels depending on how you combine the two channels. But the 8 bits per channel is hard baked into DMX.

Don T. Williams

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 854
  • Midas Pro 1 & 2, M32, dbTech T12, T8, S30, DM12
    • Q Systems Music & Sound
Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2020, 03:17:59 pm »

To address Scott's question, most "higher quality" lights have 8 bit or 16 bit control modes.  It is true that DMX is an 8 bit protocol for each control channel (512 channels in a DMX universe) so the 16 bit mode require two DMX control channels.  Many lights have several "modes" that require different numbers of DMX channels for those "modes".  For an "XXX RGBAW" light this might be a 5 channel mode with one control channel for each color, a 7 channel mode that adds 16 bit fading and a master control channel, and an 8 channel mode which has 16 bit fading, a master control channel, and a channel to control internal effect macros.   For "movers"  the difference between 8 bit (single control channel) movement and 16 bit (two control channel) movement is very noticeable. Its jerky verses smooth movement.  The same can be true for smoothness of dimming for the 16 bit (using two control channels) mode.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 03:38:00 pm by Don T. Williams »
Logged

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Good cheap lights for bands, smaller events, weddings, etc
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2020, 03:17:59 pm »


Pages: 1 [2] 3   Go Up
 



Page created in 0.114 seconds with 22 queries.