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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => Lighting Forum => Topic started by: Allan Scorer on March 22, 2021, 08:23:33 am

Title: Dimmer reccomendations
Post by: Allan Scorer on March 22, 2021, 08:23:33 am
Good afternoon all, new bloke here hope you are all well. I am small grassroots venue owner and am currently updating our stage lighting. With money being tight I want utilise some of the light fittings we currently have on site and add into the DMX Universe, but need some help with a DMX Dimmer. I have 3 LED 220V Flood lights that I want to operate at the same time and 5 mini par 220v led par lights that I would like to be operated independent of each other. None of these have DMX sockets so I think I would need an 8 channel dimmer controller. Am I correct in thinking I am correct, if so would anyone be able to direct me to product that would be suitable. Pretty new to this so go easy on me!! Thanks in Advance.
Title: Re: Dimmer reccomendations
Post by: Dave Garoutte on March 22, 2021, 02:07:36 pm
Good afternoon all, new bloke here hope you are all well. I am small grassroots venue owner and am currently updating our stage lighting. With money being tight I want utilise some of the light fittings we currently have on site and add into the DMX Universe, but need some help with a DMX Dimmer. I have 3 LED 220V Flood lights that I want to operate at the same time and 5 mini par 220v led par lights that I would like to be operated independent of each other. None of these have DMX sockets so I think I would need an 8 channel dimmer controller. Am I correct in thinking I am correct, if so would anyone be able to direct me to product that would be suitable. Pretty new to this so go easy on me!! Thanks in Advance.
If there are no DMX connections, the likely method would be a dimmer pack, which could be controlled via DMX.
That said, many replacement LED bulbs are not dimmable, so you need to answer that question first.
Title: Re: Dimmer reccomendations
Post by: Caleb Dueck on March 23, 2021, 04:34:52 am
Good afternoon all, new bloke here hope you are all well. I am small grassroots venue owner and am currently updating our stage lighting. With money being tight I want utilise some of the light fittings we currently have on site and add into the DMX Universe, but need some help with a DMX Dimmer. I have 3 LED 220V Flood lights that I want to operate at the same time and 5 mini par 220v led par lights that I would like to be operated independent of each other. None of these have DMX sockets so I think I would need an 8 channel dimmer controller. Am I correct in thinking I am correct, if so would anyone be able to direct me to product that would be suitable. Pretty new to this so go easy on me!! Thanks in Advance.

Here's a great analogy - analog audio is pretty simple, like amps and speakers.  Pick a 500w amp, connect a 500w speaker, and it works. 

Digital audio - you can't just swap out an amp for a 'digital amp', to a 'digital speaker', with 'digital cables'.  You have to know Dante, AES3, AES50, MADI, etc. 

Same with lighting.  Back in the old days, you took a 750w dimmer and connected a 750w incandenscent (analog) light, and it worked.  With dimming now - if you want to use external dimmers, which are going away rapidly - for LED lights, you have to know the type of drivers used (IE ELV, MLV, straight diodes), how it's controlled (0-10V, DMX, etc), to determine - can it be dimmed?  How far?  If it can - what type of dimmer module (forward phase, reverse phase, IGBT, sinewave, SCR)? 

The short answer - if you're going to LED lights - ditch external dimming, and get lights that are designed to be DMX controlled.  They'll have the driver built in, you feed them non-dimmed high voltage and DMX control, and you're good. 

The low cost of incandescent fixtures - is offset by the high cost of lamps, the high electrical costs (usage and infrastructure), and the high cost/waste of dimmers.  Long term - LED costs less. 

My recommendation - look for good LED fixtures, but the bullet, and invest in them.  If you want to go cheap - find a used lighting system, incandescent with quality dimmers, feed it a LOT of electricity, budget for lamps, and have at.