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Author Topic: Basic Lighting  (Read 2084 times)

jayjanssen

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Basic Lighting
« on: June 15, 2004, 08:38:59 am »

Hello all,
  I could use some basic lighting theory for a room in my church that I'm installing a system in.  The room is 50'x80', with a stage on the short end.  The stage is centered on the wall and is approximately 20'x8' with an extra section (4'x8') in the back for a drum kit.  The stage is used for worship band(s) and the room is also used for preaching/teaching, which is done mostly on the floor in front of the stage.
 What I'm looking for is a simple system that will give me good lighting on the stage (for the bands and eventually a drama type ministry) and good lighting on the floor (for the speaker).
  Currently I have a Behringer LC2412 lighting console installed with 2xD4DMX (4-channel) dimmer packs.  One full dimmer pack is being used to control my house lights, while the other dimmer pack is mostly unused at the moment, with the exception of 1 channel for 2x 4 bulb track lights (with some gels) that are temporarily placed over the drum kit facing down toward the stage and out to the audience.
  I have available to me 6 or 8 small par can lights (sorry, I don't have the details on those available to me yet) with different gels on them already.  
  My current plan is roughly this:
  - Install 6-8 white track lights focused on the floor area where the speakers usually stand.  Should these be spots or floods?  Should I use colors for this area or keep it white?  These will be on one dimmer channel
  - Install my par cans focused on the stage (again, spots or floods?), maybe purchase another dimmer pack to make it so I can control each color individually.  I don't have enough channels to control each color individually now, so I'd probably make one or two channels out of it.
  - I'm not sure if my par cans are powerful enough (or can handle a powerful enough bulb), so I'd like to think about getting some bigger par cans eventually that I would mount in a way that they could be taken down easily and used for other applications around the church.

  Misc questions:
  - Should I keep the colored track lights above the drum kit?  They look kind of cool.  We want a little overhead stage lighting, both for effect and for reading music on stage.
  - Should I use white or colors on my speaker?
  - Would small par cans and large par cans work well together?  Should I eventually put each color in the whole system on one channel?  
  - This is more off-topic, but does anyone know a good lighting effect that is less obtrusive than a mirror ball to create a starfield kind of effect?
 
  Sorry if these questions are difficult to answer without seeing the setup and with the info I have given.  I'm just looking for some of the general principles and do's and don't's.  This is a very low budget system, so I'm not looking for smart lights or anything fancy like that.  
  Thanks in advance for the help!
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Brian Desmond

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Re: Basic Lighting
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2004, 06:12:20 pm »

- Install 6-8 white track lights focused on the floor area where the speakers usually stand. Should these be spots or floods? Should I use colors for this area or keep it white? These will be on one dimmer channel

You might consider using some of them for specials (spots) on your speaker, drummer, etc, and the rest as flood fill. I'd leave them white, or perhaps use a bastard amber (like R02) if you want a bit of warmth.

- Install my par cans focused on the stage (again, spots or floods?), maybe purchase another dimmer pack to make it so I can control each color individually. I don't have enough channels to control each color individually now, so I'd probably make one or two channels out of it.

What the pars are good for depends on the lense type. There's usually three types - tight flood (TFL), medium flood (MFL), and wide flood (WFL). The names are pretty self descriptive. I'm gathering you're using them as front light, so, perhaps the same thing as with the tracks.
As far as the dimmers, your dimmers are rated for a specific number of watts. You cannot exceed this or they won't work (the breaker will blow). This is the defining factor for how many lights you put on one circuit. Your par cans are most likely 575W, 750W, or 1000W. The lights will be marked or the bulbs will.

Pars may not necessarily be the best fixture for moving around to light other events. If you describe the other senarios a bit more, it would be easier to help with this.

- Should I keep the colored track lights above the drum kit? They look kind of cool. We want a little overhead stage lighting, both for effect and for reading music on stage.
Should I use white or colors on my speaker?
- Would small par cans and large par cans work well together? Should I eventually put each color in the whole system on one channel?


I'd go with something warm and not excessive like a bastard amber (eg R02 - Rosco #2).


You can intermix lights however you want. It really depends on the field size and intensity you want in each area.

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jayjanssen

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Re: Basic Lighting
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2004, 11:06:17 am »

Thanks for the input.  I gather you like bastard amber  Very Happy

The par cans are par38's, not sure of the wattage yet.  My dimmers can handle up to 1200watts/channel, 2400 watts over the whole pack.
Would the lens type be obvious (labeled) on the par cans?    I've got a total of eight par 38's, and a stage that isn't too wide (20ft), so I'm guessing a medium or tight flood would be good.  I wouldn't be surprised to find wide flood lenses in them, they are very bland and I'd prefer something with more intensity.

As far as mobility, I'm not really interested in moving the par 38's, but purchasing some bigger par's eventually.  We have rented a set or two of par's in the past that have worked out well.  All of the senarios involve a portable stage setup with a rack or two of pars brought in to give some basic lighting, nothing fancy.  My church rents lights on a semi-regular basis for jobs like this, it seemed logical to get some for my permanent setup and make them mobile as well.
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