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Author Topic: LED PAR CAN Fixture - Diffuser or Diffusing  (Read 670 times)

Richard Ed

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LED PAR CAN Fixture - Diffuser or Diffusing
« on: February 10, 2021, 04:19:56 pm »

Hi there,

This forum has got some really valuable information and than you all for the contributions...

This is my first question and would really appreciate some help.

We have a stage that is 10m wide x 5m deep. we have about 17 PAR LEDs lighting up the stage.

What we are noticing is that the lights are too bright at certain spots and quite dull in other spots and also shadows. I have attached a picture for reference.

We had few options in mind and wonder which ones would be suitable. I have listed them in the order of our preference.

1. Install acrylic sheets to the lights to diffuse the lights. Then Shuffle the lights that we have, so that we have some lighting from sides and back
2. Add more lights from other angles to improve the spread of light

Any thoughts on the effectiveness of option 1? Have people added acrylic sheets to the LED par cans to diffuse and get a wider spread? Any thoughts on this would be very much appreciated.


 
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John Hiemburg

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Re: LED PAR CAN Fixture - Diffuser or Diffusing
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2021, 05:54:34 pm »

Richard,


In regards to option 1 - what you will discover is that while you *will* get some diffusion, you will lose quite a large amount of your light because the diffusion scatters it too much. Experimenting with various sheets like this my guess is that at least 1/2 of your light energy will be headed toward the ceiling, floor, or sides.


So while the light is softer, it is also much weaker.


I would recommend:
  -Move the lights further away from the stage if possible - this will give you a wider beam spread without as much light loss as the diffusers.
  -Add fixtures to fill in the gaps
  -Try lighting with angles rather than straight on: If you can aim your lights across the stage more than pointing them directly at the performers, you may be able to achieve a more even look without adding any fixtures.
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Joel T. Glaser

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Re: LED PAR CAN Fixture - Diffuser or Diffusing
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2021, 11:56:39 am »

Richard,


In regards to option 1 - what you will discover is that while you *will* get some diffusion, you will lose quite a large amount of your light because the diffusion scatters it too much. Experimenting with various sheets like this my guess is that at least 1/2 of your light energy will be headed toward the ceiling, floor, or sides.


So while the light is softer, it is also much weaker.


I would recommend:
  -Move the lights further away from the stage if possible - this will give you a wider beam spread without as much light loss as the diffusers.
  -Add fixtures to fill in the gaps
  -Try lighting with angles rather than straight on: If you can aim your lights across the stage more than pointing them directly at the performers, you may be able to achieve a more even look without adding any fixtures.

Excellent advice John. I was about to give the same.

Richard, without knowing the specs on your wash lights, I'm going to venture a guess that you could use more wash PARs for a stage that size. Especially if you're thinking of positioning some on the sides and behind your artists.
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John Fruits

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Re: LED PAR CAN Fixture - Diffuser or Diffusing
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2021, 11:57:38 am »

Something you might consider is Rosco Opti-sculpt.  Rather spendy but has it's advantages.
https://us.rosco.com/en/product/opti-sculpt

Here are some prices:
https://shop.bmisupply.com/color-gobos/rosco-opti-sculpt

What brand and model of LED pars are you using, do they have or accept color frames?

EDIT:  There is another company which has been making a similar product for a longer time.
https://www.luminitco.com/
Also the ETC Colorsource pars can be used with ETC filters which are similar to the above items.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2021, 12:14:55 pm by John Fruits »
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Luke Geis

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Re: LED PAR CAN Fixture - Diffuser or Diffusing
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2021, 02:16:12 pm »

Diffusion is good for softening the light source and spreading it out, but will not address shadows. You will want to follow the practices of lighting where you always have three sources of light. You want a source from each side in front and one behind to reduce shadows and light the entirety of the person or thing. This is why shooting across the stage at angles helps. The obtuse light angles add light to the back of another focal point reducing the need for additional lights placed physically behind the focal points. I think it is always smart to have uplights or at least some sort of lighting that is behind the performers and shooting at the scenery. It again reduces shadows, creates contrast, and helps make things pop.

Lights shooting straight down also do little to help. It creates shadows on the face of your focal points. Having the lights further out front lights more of what your interested in and eliminates shadows on the faces. The downside to that is it creates harder shadows behind the subject. This is why you want more rear lighting to eliminate those shadows. With 17 lights, I think you could move some around and even the light energy out so that you have good front and rear light coverage.
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Richard Ed

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Re: LED PAR CAN Fixture - Diffuser or Diffusing
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2021, 06:21:43 pm »

Richard,


In regards to option 1 - what you will discover is that while you *will* get some diffusion, you will lose quite a large amount of your light because the diffusion scatters it too much. Experimenting with various sheets like this my guess is that at least 1/2 of your light energy will be headed toward the ceiling, floor, or sides.


So while the light is softer, it is also much weaker.


I would recommend:
  -Move the lights further away from the stage if possible - this will give you a wider beam spread without as much light loss as the diffusers.
  -Add fixtures to fill in the gaps
  -Try lighting with angles rather than straight on: If you can aim your lights across the stage more than pointing them directly at the performers, you may be able to achieve a more even look without adding any fixtures.

Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, the light mounting is going to make it difficult to move the lights further away.
Did some testing over the weekend and agreed, there is some light loss due to the diffusers but somewhat softer and spread out. Thinking of doing a combination. Add diffusers, and then adjust light angles as you suggested and then add more fixtures.
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Richard Ed

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Re: LED PAR CAN Fixture - Diffuser or Diffusing
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2021, 06:22:37 pm »

Excellent advice John. I was about to give the same.

Richard, without knowing the specs on your wash lights, I'm going to venture a guess that you could use more wash PARs for a stage that size. Especially if you're thinking of positioning some on the sides and behind your artists.

Thanks for the advice!

Yes, I was going to do the same. Add some more fixtures, after adding diffusers to see how the light spread is.
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Richard Ed

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Re: LED PAR CAN Fixture - Diffuser or Diffusing
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2021, 06:24:13 pm »

Something you might consider is Rosco Opti-sculpt.  Rather spendy but has it's advantages.
https://us.rosco.com/en/product/opti-sculpt

Here are some prices:
https://shop.bmisupply.com/color-gobos/rosco-opti-sculpt

What brand and model of LED pars are you using, do they have or accept color frames?

EDIT:  There is another company which has been making a similar product for a longer time.
https://www.luminitco.com/
Also the ETC Colorsource pars can be used with ETC filters which are similar to the above items.

We use LED PARs - UKing from eBay.

We tried with some acrylic diffusers and got some spreading out and was not that expensive actually.

Thanks for the advice!
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Richard Ed

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Re: LED PAR CAN Fixture - Diffuser or Diffusing
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2021, 06:25:43 pm »

Diffusion is good for softening the light source and spreading it out, but will not address shadows. You will want to follow the practices of lighting where you always have three sources of light. You want a source from each side in front and one behind to reduce shadows and light the entirety of the person or thing. This is why shooting across the stage at angles helps. The obtuse light angles add light to the back of another focal point reducing the need for additional lights placed physically behind the focal points. I think it is always smart to have uplights or at least some sort of lighting that is behind the performers and shooting at the scenery. It again reduces shadows, creates contrast, and helps make things pop.

Lights shooting straight down also do little to help. It creates shadows on the face of your focal points. Having the lights further out front lights more of what your interested in and eliminates shadows on the faces. The downside to that is it creates harder shadows behind the subject. This is why you want more rear lighting to eliminate those shadows. With 17 lights, I think you could move some around and even the light energy out so that you have good front and rear light coverage.

True, we are thinking of diffusers and then also adding some more fixtures. Will keep you posted.. Thanks for the advice!
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: LED PAR CAN Fixture - Diffuser or Diffusing
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2021, 06:25:43 pm »


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