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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: Justin Waters on March 03, 2017, 03:44:21 pm

Title: Front lighting
Post by: Justin Waters on March 03, 2017, 03:44:21 pm
Background/gear:  I run sound/lighting for a band that I am in.  We play small bars/clubs and some outdoor gigs.  Lighting rig consists of 4 x ADJ Inno Spot Pro movers that sit on the floor and/or cases and 2 x 6.5' global truss totems with 4x ADJ Dotz pars on each.   Main speakers are RCF 4Pro 2031-A that have the flytrack flypoints.

We are starting to play more and more places that have no lighting at all (we were playing a lot of gigs that had only front light).  I like to use the totem lights as back lighting but I cant do that when there is no front lighting.  So, I am looking for some fixtures that I can use as front lighting.  Preferably I would mount them on top of the speakers or even clamp them to the poles that are between the speakers and subs.  Preferably only 1 per side due to power concerns and set up/tear down times, but I could probably make 2 per side work fine as well.  They dont have to be exclusively CW/WW fixtures.  Budget is as cheap as possible, Im just trying to gauge the cost right now so there technically isnt a budget. 

Anyone have thoughts on a product?

Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Lance Hallmark on March 03, 2017, 04:04:59 pm
Background/gear:  I run sound/lighting for a band that I am in.  We play small bars/clubs and some outdoor gigs.  Lighting rig consists of 4 x ADJ Inno Spot Pro movers that sit on the floor and/or cases and 2 x 6.5' global truss totems with 4x ADJ Dotz pars on each.   Main speakers are RCF 4Pro 2031-A that have the flytrack flypoints.

We are starting to play more and more places that have no lighting at all (we were playing a lot of gigs that had only front light).  I like to use the totem lights as back lighting but I cant do that when there is no front lighting.  So, I am looking for some fixtures that I can use as front lighting.  Preferably I would mount them on top of the speakers or even clamp them to the poles that are between the speakers and subs.  Preferably only 1 per side due to power concerns and set up/tear down times, but I could probably make 2 per side work fine as well.  They dont have to be exclusively CW/WW fixtures.  Budget is as cheap as possible, Im just trying to gauge the cost right now so there technically isnt a budget. 

Anyone have thoughts on a product?

What about some of the light bars on this page:
http://www.adj.com/industries/band-stage/led-wash-lights-pars/led-linear
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Len Zenith Jr on March 03, 2017, 04:07:56 pm
You'll want at least 2 per side for coverage and make sure they have a wide angle. Ideally when I light up bands I like 2 per band member (1 each side) but the logistics of that doesn't always work out. Front lights should be set up 45 degrees to either side and 45 degrees above you. That's what looks the best and keeps the lights from blinding you, with LED's they can be very hard on the eyes. With you're proposed layout on the speakers you might have a hard time getting that angle. Warm white looks way better then cool white on faces, if you had to pick one I'd go with the warm white. Although if you have 2 for each band member then having one side a warm hue (reddish, orange, yellowish, etc) and the other side a cool hue (blueish, purple, etc) it gives a nice effect with the warm light on the faces and the cool lights filling in any shadows. Power really isn't a concern with LED lights.
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Justin Waters on March 03, 2017, 04:19:52 pm
What about some of the light bars on this page:
http://www.adj.com/industries/band-stage/led-wash-lights-pars/led-linear

I'm just not sure if any of those will work ideally.  Was trying get a little more info than just throw up some light bars and hope for the best.


You'll want at least 2 per side for coverage and make sure they have a wide angle. Ideally when I light up bands I like 2 per band member (1 each side) but the logistics of that doesn't always work out. Front lights should be set up 45 degrees to either side and 45 degrees above you. That's what looks the best and keeps the lights from blinding you, with LED's they can be very hard on the eyes. With you're proposed layout on the speakers you might have a hard time getting that angle. Warm white looks way better then cool white on faces, if you had to pick one I'd go with the warm white. Although if you have 2 for each band member then having one side a warm hue (reddish, orange, yellowish, etc) and the other side a cool hue (blueish, purple, etc) it gives a nice effect with the warm light on the faces and the cool lights filling in any shadows. Power really isn't a concern with LED lights.

We all know whats ideal and what we actually get.  I'm always fighting floor space so if I can get away with not having lighting stands I would prefer that route.  Power is a slight concern due to venues I play at.  Half of them dont even know how the circuits are laid out let alone if they have more than 1.  You add in the other lights, speakers, amps, pedalboards, haze machine, and all the other stuff we push limits on breakers. 
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Scott Hofmann on March 03, 2017, 04:44:48 pm
The Mega Systems Q70 Baby Color might work well.
http://megasystemsinc.com/shop/architainment/indoor-lighting/baby-color-q70/

It's a 70 watt RGBW unit built as solid as a brick.
It comes with a diffuser (frosted plex) that gives about a 40 degree beamspread...roughly 4' wide at 6' throw. Specs say 25 degrees with diffuser, but it's closer to 40. The diffuser makes it a lot easier on the eyes too.

I've used them on small stages with low ceilings and they do a great job.
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Jeff Lelko on March 03, 2017, 06:42:49 pm
Power really isn't a concern with LED lights.

I wouldn't necessarily say that.  Most of it comes down to what level of LED lights you're using.  They certainly draw much less than a halogen Par, but at the same time I wouldn't go so far as to say their power consumption is negligible, particularly when you start using lights in quantity.  A better way to phrase what I think you're getting at is that you can easily put something together for the application at hand that will fit on a fraction of a 20A circuit.  How big of a fraction you can allocate depends on what else needs to go on that circuit.  Ideally you should split your lighting and sound onto different circuits, but from what you're saying that doesn't always seem possible. 

Was trying get a little more info than just throw up some light bars and hope for the best.


We all know whats ideal and what we actually get.  I'm always fighting floor space so if I can get away with not having lighting stands I would prefer that route.  Power is a slight concern due to venues I play at.  Half of them dont even know how the circuits are laid out let alone if they have more than 1.  You add in the other lights, speakers, amps, pedalboards, haze machine, and all the other stuff we push limits on breakers. 
 

If you want to do more than just hope for the best you'll need to start holding your clients to a higher standard.  Your contract should specify the electrical needs of the system you're bringing as well as the physical footprint you'll need to set up everything properly.  If the client fails to provide adequate performance conditions as specified in the contract, it's up to you if you want to "wing it" with the system as spec'd or downsize on the fly.  The occasional bands I work with hate me for it, but I hold them to power management plans.  I strongly suggest that if you're looking to take a step up in your performance you figure out a power plan too.  That way you'll be getting the most from your circuits while also having a high degree of confidence you won't pop a breaker...until the catering staff plugs in a coffee urn... 

As far as the fixtures go, try to get them 45 degrees out and up from the stage.  There are some topics floating around here regarding mounting lights on your speakers to minimize floor space.  I personally frown on the idea due to vibration and balance issues, but many people do this successfully so long as you think it out ahead of time.  I'd just go with RGBA, RGBW, or RGBAW fixtures with a decently wide beam angle.  Some of the COB lights have massive coverage, though you could argue they're not the brightest option available compared to a more narrow beam option.  I know you don't say you have a budget, but what's at least a ballpark figure?  You can spend anywhere from $35 to $2000+/fixture!  Short of ebay options, you start getting some nice choices around the $150-300/fixture price point.  The more you spend the better quality you get, dimming curves get better, frequency gets higher, etc.  One other thing to consider is fan noise.  A lot of the cheap lights have noticeable fan noise.  If you're just playing rock gigs that probably wouldn't matter, but if you get into things like weddings and corporate work, noise like that can be a problem. 

Hope this helps!
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Jeremy Young on March 03, 2017, 09:07:33 pm
Justin, have you tested any of your ADJ Dotz Pars in this application? 

I have four, and I use them mostly for front lighting for small bands as you describe.  A few more might do the trick?  I picked up a couple of On-stage stands LSA7700P side-mount lighting crossbars for those times where I have nowhere to mount them other than the speaker poles/tripods.  With a couple 5-lb fixtures hanging off the side of your stand you'll lose a little stability but I haven't yet had an issue.

To me, when it comes to programming lights, I'd rather have more of the same light than a bunch of different fixture types with different channel counts and designations.  I've been thinking about picking up some more of the Dotz Pars myself, they have a great range of colours available.  Then again, depends on your controller and what you want out of them. 

Disclaimer: I'm more of a lighting enthusiast than professional.
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Mark Cadwallader on March 03, 2017, 10:00:13 pm
I suggest looking at the Blizzard "HotBox" fixture in the RGBA or the RGBW variety. Pretty good luminous intensity, various dimmer curves to try. Small and fairly lightweight, they are also good for up-lighting.  Cost is on the lower end of the price range for decent lights mentioned above.
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Steve Garris on March 04, 2017, 06:07:10 pm
I've tried various LED options, including the Hotbox 5 which was the worst in my opinion (too narrow beam, extremely bright so had to be dimmed considerably). I have a bunch of cheaper lights for the backline but for front spots I've simply done no better than a $30 Par 38 can with a Rose gel, screwed to the flypoints on my JBL speakers. Mine have 70 watt screw-in flood bulbs, and they're plenty bright in small stage environments. I would guess about a 30 degree beam.

I's not perfect, but far better than a tree or stand sitting out in front of the PA. I have 3 boxes of bulbs that were given to me for free, so I plan on using these for a while.

I'm contemplating making a small bar that would screw down allowing for 2 lights per speaker. I just plug mine in and go, takes only a few minutes to set it up. Eventually I'll move to an LED, perhaps one of the cob units. One thing I don't like about the lower cost COB's is that they're typically only 3 color RBG, and I want amber for front wash.

http://www.pssl.com/Mega-Lite-Mass-LED-WW-100-Watt-Warm-White-Light
http://www.proaudiostar.com/chauvet-corepar-80-usb.html?utm_source=Google_Shopping&gclid=CjwKEAiA6OnFBRDcgt7YmPKI33ESJACJoTJYOY-GTAbxPwJs8FWCr-_LDyb5xDzxg3xNOjaE7VSEbhoCpQfw_wcB

This would be the best, but too much $$ for my needs:
http://www.adj.com/cob-cannon-wash

Here are my little pars:
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Jeff Lelko on March 05, 2017, 09:13:39 am
...I've simply done no better than a $30 Par 38...

Yep, I've got about 3 dozen of those in my inventory and they still see regular use.  If you catch them on sale you can generally do around $16 for the can and another $20 for a 250w name brand lamp, so very hard to beat!
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Justin Waters on March 06, 2017, 11:42:48 am
If you want to do more than just hope for the best you'll need to start holding your clients to a higher standard.  Your contract should specify the electrical needs of the system you're bringing as well as the physical footprint you'll need to set up everything properly.  If the client fails to provide adequate performance conditions as specified in the contract, it's up to you if you want to "wing it" with the system as spec'd or downsize on the fly.  The occasional bands I work with hate me for it, but I hold them to power management plans.  I strongly suggest that if you're looking to take a step up in your performance you figure out a power plan too.  That way you'll be getting the most from your circuits while also having a high degree of confidence you won't pop a breaker...until the catering staff plugs in a coffee urn... 

I get this, and would love to do it.  But generally the places we play can get bands that have no standards for power or sound or whatever if we refused to play.  I realize this opens up another can of worms and we could easily derail this thread about this topic.  Short story is I live in a very rural area so venues close to me are few and far between, I cant be that picky unless I want to drive a lot farther.

I know you don't say you have a budget, but what's at least a ballpark figure?  You can spend anywhere from $35 to $2000+/fixture!  Short of ebay options, you start getting some nice choices around the $150-300/fixture price point.  The more you spend the better quality you get, dimming curves get better, frequency gets higher, etc.  One other thing to consider is fan noise.  A lot of the cheap lights have noticeable fan noise.  If you're just playing rock gigs that probably wouldn't matter, but if you get into things like weddings and corporate work, noise like that can be a problem. 

If I am having to buy a bunch of fixtures then I would prefer to be in the <$300 per fixture.  But if an $800 fixture works wonders and a pair would fit my needs I would consider that as well.  Thats why I didnt say a budget.

I would prefer to not have fans due to noise and just one more thing to possibly break.  I had a local church ask me about changing out their traditional parrs with LED.  They ignored my ideas and went their own route.  Fixures showed up and had fans.  And relatively loud fans. 

Justin, have you tested any of your ADJ Dotz Pars in this application? 

.... Then again, depends on your controller and what you want out of them. 


I think I would need 3-4 per side with those to cover really well.  I would prefer to find a solution with a smaller number of fixtures, if possibly.  Hence why I am here asking opinions.

I use MyDMX 2.0 with a midi foot controller.  Different fixtures are a huge deal since I will have reprogram everything anyway.


Disclaimer: I'm more of a lighting enthusiast than professional.

Same here.


I suggest looking at the Blizzard "HotBox" fixture in the RGBA or the RGBW variety. Pretty good luminous intensity, various dimmer curves to try. Small and fairly lightweight, they are also good for up-lighting.  Cost is on the lower end of the price range for decent lights mentioned above.

I'll give them a look.  Thanks.


I've tried various LED options, including the Hotbox 5 which was the worst in my opinion (too narrow beam, extremely bright so had to be dimmed considerably). I have a bunch of cheaper lights for the backline but for front spots I've simply done no better than a $30 Par 38 can with a Rose gel, screwed to the flypoints on my JBL speakers. Mine have 70 watt screw-in flood bulbs, and they're plenty bright in small stage environments. I would guess about a 30 degree beam.


There are a few stages that we play on that are pretty wide.  I think I would be getting into 2-3 per side with this option and that is sucking too much power. 
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Jeff Lelko on March 06, 2017, 07:17:58 pm
I get this, and would love to do it.  But generally the places we play can get bands that have no standards for power or sound or whatever if we refused to play.  I realize this opens up another can of worms and we could easily derail this thread about this topic.  Short story is I live in a very rural area so venues close to me are few and far between, I cant be that picky unless I want to drive a lot farther.

Yeah, that'll definitely open up a can of worms and derail this thread (so I won't go there), but this right here I think is the biggest driving factor for your purchase.  Seeing as the other bands in your area have no standards for this type of thing and that the venues themselves won't step up, will this investment even offer any kind of payoff?  Is it that your clients are asking and willing to pay for an enhanced lightshow, or is this just something you want to venture into because you like it?  And that's fine if it is!  I just think answering those questions to yourself will help to define both the needs and budget for what you're looking to buy.

If I am having to buy a bunch of fixtures then I would prefer to be in the <$300 per fixture.  But if an $800 fixture works wonders and a pair would fit my needs I would consider that as well.  Thats why I didnt say a budget.

Unless the fixtures in question are very niche in application, I tend to buy in less variety but larger quantities.  I'd much rather have a dozen smaller units rather than two larger units, assuming either option will get the job done.  You get much more flexibility with a higher quantity of units plus it'll allow you to have one or two working spares without breaking the bank.  Your call though, and in this case you might have to compromise between the two - say for instance buying 4 ADJ COB Cannon Washes.  To illustrate a previous point I made, should you choose to go that route, 4 of those units at full output will take up 20-25% of your 20A circuit (going by the manual's specs).  Maybe that's okay and maybe it isn't, but it certainly isn't negligible.  Do you know how many amps you actually have at your disposal for lighting once everything else has been taken into account? 

There are a few stages that we play on that are pretty wide.  I think I would be getting into 2-3 per side with this option and that is sucking too much power. 

How wide are you talking?  I routinely light an outdoor stage that's about 50ft wide x 30ft deep and I'll use my 38s with 250w lamps filling in from the sides.  Even then, I use 6-8 per side to get a full wash, and that's just supplementing more powerful fixtures (usually 700w CMY movers and/or 1kw 64s) shooting from much further up and out.  So yes, unless you can get by with just one or two per side with a smaller lamp your power probably isn't best spent here.  As much as it pains me to say it, you'll probably get the best bang-to-buck powerwise by going with a unit that uses a bunch of the 1/8w or 1/4w LEDs.  Your colors won't be nearly as good, bright, or consistent when compared to some of the nicer 4-in-1, 5-in-1, or 6-in-1 LED lights, but these options are extremely cheap and power efficient.  Why not take a trip to your local Guitar Center to see a few in action?  They might just do the trick for you!  Good luck!
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Justin Waters on March 06, 2017, 08:33:44 pm
Quote
Yeah, that'll definitely open up a can of worms and derail this thread (so I won't go there), but this right here I think is the biggest driving factor for your purchase.  Seeing as the other bands in your area have no standards for this type of thing and that the venues themselves won't step up, will this investment even offer any kind of payoff?  Is it that your clients are asking and willing to pay for an enhanced lightshow, or is this just something you want to venture into because you like it?  And that's fine if it is!  I just think answering those questions to yourself will help to define both the needs and budget for what you're looking to buy.

This investment will never pay off.  I do this because I find it enjoyable and I am financially able to.  I do agree with your point about this, and if I were in this as a profession or possible profession I would definitely make venues supply adequate power. 


Quote
Unless the fixtures in question are very niche in application, I tend to buy in less variety but larger quantities.  I'd much rather have a dozen smaller units rather than two larger units, assuming either option will get the job done.  You get much more flexibility with a higher quantity of units plus it'll allow you to have one or two working spares without breaking the bank.  Your call though, and in this case you might have to compromise between the two - say for instance buying 4 ADJ COB Cannon Washes.  To illustrate a previous point I made, should you choose to go that route, 4 of those units at full output will take up 20-25% of your 20A circuit (going by the manual's specs).  Maybe that's okay and maybe it isn't, but it certainly isn't negligible.  Do you know how many amps you actually have at your disposal for lighting once everything else has been taken into account? 


I do see the value of multiples.  But then again, this isnt a money making operation so speed of setup/tear down is important.  In fact, we are doing everything we can to streamline that process. 

I havent ever really calculated all power requirements.  I generally have close to a full 20A circuit for lighting.  Probably only 5A or so needed for backline.  I usually try and get speakers/subs/mixer on 1 circuit and get backline/lights on another.  Then I try and find a 3rd somewhere for the haze.  So just some quick napkin math I probably always have 10A for lighting.  Probably 15A most of the time.

Quote
How wide are you talking?  I routinely light an outdoor stage that's about 50ft wide x 30ft deep and I'll use my 38s with 250w lamps filling in from the sides.  Even then, I use 6-8 per side to get a full wash, and that's just supplementing more powerful fixtures (usually 700w CMY movers and/or 1kw 64s) shooting from much further up and out.  So yes, unless you can get by with just one or two per side with a smaller lamp your power probably isn't best spent here.  As much as it pains me to say it, you'll probably get the best bang-to-buck powerwise by going with a unit that uses a bunch of the 1/8w or 1/4w LEDs.  Your colors won't be nearly as good, bright, or consistent when compared to some of the nicer 4-in-1, 5-in-1, or 6-in-1 LED lights, but these options are extremely cheap and power efficient.  Why not take a trip to your local Guitar Center to see a few in action?  They might just do the trick for you!  Good luck

As noted above, best bang for the buck power wise isnt as important as ease of setup/teardown.  I really dont want light trees either, but I could be convinced to have them.


I did just stumble on these.  Seems like a decent price and 60 degree beam angle.  Drawback is they are only WW. 

http://www.pssl.com/Elation-CUEPIX-Strip-WW-30W-Warm-White-LED-Light-1
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Jeff Lelko on March 07, 2017, 05:22:39 pm
This investment will never pay off.  I do this because I find it enjoyable and I am financially able to.  I do agree with your point about this, and if I were in this as a profession or possible profession I would definitely make venues supply adequate power. 

There's certainly nothing wrong with doing this as a hobby and not intending to have this investment pay off.  You don't have to be a professional though, in the literal sense of the word, to have basic needs written in your contract. 

I'm starting to get confused about what it is you actually want though.  So portability and convenience are more important than power consumption?  You now say you have close to a full 20A circuit for lighting, yet on the previous page you say that sometimes you don't get more than 20A for everything, yet don't want to just put things up and hope for the best.  You've already been given some good ideas and I'm curious what it is that you don't like about them.  The Elation product you mentioned is very similar to things on the page Lance pointed you to.  For what it's worth I believe Blizzard makes a full color COB bar...

I think you're going to have to first:
     - Figure out how much power you actually use right now.  Maybe it's not as much as you think...

Then:
     - Identify what actually matters to you and compromise on everything else. 

So you have a few options.  You can:

     - Buy some lights that you like and "wing it" it at your shows that may not have sufficient power capacity.

     - Buy the lights you like and make adequate power a contractual obligation to your client.

     - Buy a system that you know will work with any venue you walk in to, knowing that you'll be compromising on output and quality.

     - Build a system that lets you scale your rig based on the size and capability of the system. 

I like the last option the best...and in fact that's what I do with my own system.  As an added bonus, if you're smart with how you program your board you may not have to change a bit of programming at all when moving between smaller and larger rigs.  I don't see how the scaling factor of this really contributes to substantially more work at the scope we're talking here. 

What is it that you have against trees?  Visual distraction?  If their portability is a concern to you, many of us (myself included) pack the crossbeam parts of the trees with the lights hung and wired.  It's really about as simple as it gets and there are many ways to do this efficiently while still protecting the fixtures - cases, meat racks, etc.  You can also choose buy lights that are small enough to swing inside of box truss for protection when traveling if you decide to go the totem route.  I've actually seen this done with full-size movers before and it's quite impressive.  You already have some ADJ Dotz Pars...  Why not just buy more of those?   

I apologize if this response sounds rather blunt or upfront.  I just think that to really make sure you're happy with the resulting purchase you need to think very carefully about what your needs for this expansion actually are and what "box" so to speak the system still needs to fit in...power, ease of use, physical size, etc.  Hope this helps!
 
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Justin Waters on March 07, 2017, 06:04:17 pm
There's certainly nothing wrong with doing this as a hobby and not intending to have this investment pay off.  You don't have to be a professional though, in the literal sense of the word, to have basic needs written in your contract. 

I'm starting to get confused about what it is you actually want though.  So portability and convenience are more important than power consumption?  You now say you have close to a full 20A circuit for lighting, yet on the previous page you say that sometimes you don't get more than 20A for everything, yet don't want to just put things up and hope for the best.  You've already been given some good ideas and I'm curious what it is that you don't like about them.  The Elation product you mentioned is very similar to things on the page Lance pointed you to.  For what it's worth I believe Blizzard makes a full color COB bar...

I think you're going to have to first:
     - Figure out how much power you actually use right now.  Maybe it's not as much as you think...

Then:
     - Identify what actually matters to you and compromise on everything else. 

So you have a few options.  You can:

     - Buy some lights that you like and "wing it" it at your shows that may not have sufficient power capacity.

     - Buy the lights you like and make adequate power a contractual obligation to your client.

     - Buy a system that you know will work with any venue you walk in to, knowing that you'll be compromising on output and quality.

     - Build a system that lets you scale your rig based on the size and capability of the system. 

I like the last option the best...and in fact that's what I do with my own system.  As an added bonus, if you're smart with how you program your board you may not have to change a bit of programming at all when moving between smaller and larger rigs.  I don't see how the scaling factor of this really contributes to substantially more work at the scope we're talking here. 

What is it that you have against trees?  Visual distraction?  If their portability is a concern to you, many of us (myself included) pack the crossbeam parts of the trees with the lights hung and wired.  It's really about as simple as it gets and there are many ways to do this efficiently while still protecting the fixtures - cases, meat racks, etc.  You can also choose buy lights that are small enough to swing inside of box truss for protection when traveling if you decide to go the totem route.  I've actually seen this done with full-size movers before and it's quite impressive.  You already have some ADJ Dotz Pars...  Why not just buy more of those?   

I apologize if this response sounds rather blunt or upfront.  I just think that to really make sure you're happy with the resulting purchase you need to think very carefully about what your needs for this expansion actually are and what "box" so to speak the system still needs to fit in...power, ease of use, physical size, etc.  Hope this helps!
 

Thanks for the response, it's been great. 

I usually have 2-3 20A circuits (mostly 2), very occasionally I get 1.  When I get 1 we scale way back.  And generally when I get 1 volume levels are really low so the speakers arent drawing a ton of power.  So sometimes it literally is power up everything and try to pop a breaker.  This leads into your next point about options.  The system is already scaled.  Sometimes I dont bring in any lights, other times I only bring in the Dotz pars, other times only half of the Dotz pars.  Just depends on the venue and space available. The light totems I have stay all together.  Lights stay clamped and wired up and the baseplate and top plate stay on.  Its literally set it down, plug in power and dmx in/out, then re-aim them. 

My biggest issue with light trees is just more space taken up out front.  Plus now might have to gaff down more cables and such.  Not a deal breaker, but something I'd rather not have to do.  It might end up being the easiest option.   I use them often with the production company I work for.

The Dotz pars are decent little lights.  Plenty bright for my needs, but they arent holding up as well I would like.  I have lost dmx function on 3 of the 12 I own. 

And by the way, your response isnt too upfront or blunt.  Sometimes there are no other ways to say things, especially in a forum environment. 

Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Jeff Lelko on March 07, 2017, 07:58:23 pm
Thanks for the response, it's been great. 

...

The light totems I have stay all together.  Lights stay clamped and wired up and the baseplate and top plate stay on.  Its literally set it down, plug in power and dmx in/out, then re-aim them. 

My biggest issue with light trees is just more space taken up out front.  Plus now might have to gaff down more cables and such.  Not a deal breaker, but something I'd rather not have to do.  It might end up being the easiest option.   I use them often with the production company I work for.

No worries, and this might be the best option for you.  Just build two more truss totems and put them to work as needed.  Sometime the simplest and most obvious answer is the right one! 

The Dotz pars are decent little lights.  Plenty bright for my needs, but they arent holding up as well I would like.  I have lost dmx function on 3 of the 12 I own. 

That's disconcerting.  I know that ADJ isn't known for the most robust products in the world, but they should do better than that.  Maybe try shopping up a bit with something like the Elation Sixbar 500?  You'll get a massive improvement in color range and output over the Dotz pars.  Your beam angle won't be as wide, but maybe that's a compromise you can make without too much consequence?  I'd think even just one of these per side will get the job done.  The Chauvet Colorado Solo series or Elation Fuze series might be an option to consider as well if you really want that wide beam angle.  Good luck!
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Mark Cadwallader on March 07, 2017, 09:44:48 pm
Where are your totems, relative to the band?  Upstage? Downstage SL and SR?  Could you add a one meter truss section to your totems?  If they are downstage, that will significantly improve your lighting angles for more down light. You can leave your 2 meter sections rigged, and just add the new upper segment (if you have enough ceiling clearance).

A taller totem means a bigger base, and maybe weight. I use the 30" aluminum base with 3 meter totems, and don't typically feel like I should add weights. VMMV; safety first.
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Nate Zifra on March 08, 2017, 10:05:49 am
My biggest issue with light trees is just more space taken up out front.  Plus now might have to gaff down more cables and such.  Not a deal breaker, but something I'd rather not have to do.  It might end up being the easiest option.   I use them often with the production company I work for.

For spacing issues, I now clamp my fixtures vertically (similar to how you would clamp to a totem) to the top of a tripod stand rather than have them clamped to a T fixture for front lighting.  While it doesn't help with space the legs take up, it definitely makes a difference when you don't have a T you need to find space for next to a speaker, wall, or low ceiling. 

Depending on the stand, you can clamp right to it with 1.5 inch O clamps.  Some stands have the smaller diameter like mine.  What I did was to get a piece of EMT conduit that fit the O clamps, and clamp the lights to that.  The conduit acts as a sleeve over the lighting stand, so I can keep my lights connected and wired, and then just sleeve them over the tripod stand and raise it up.  You can peen over the top of the conduit so it stays at the top of the stand.

Another time saver is using the 2.4 wireless dmx dongles.  All you have to connect is power, which keeps those small stages cleaner without dmx cable running all around.  Plus less to wrap up at the end of the night.

Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Steve Garris on March 08, 2017, 01:34:43 pm
I still think you should get (2) of these, and bolt them to the fly-points on your speakers:
http://www.proaudiostar.com/chauvet-corepar-80-usb.html?utm_source=Google_Shopping&gclid=CjwKEAiA6OnFBRDcgt7YmPKI33ESJACJoTJYOY-GTAbxPwJs8FWCr-_LDyb5xDzxg3xNOjaE7VSEbhoCpQfw_wcB

80W tri-color Cob with a 70 deg beam angle. That is a very good price.
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Steve Litscher on March 08, 2017, 03:35:44 pm
Another time saver is using the 2.4 wireless dmx dongles.  All you have to connect is power, which keeps those small stages cleaner without dmx cable running all around.  Plus less to wrap up at the end of the night.

We have the Donner wireless, rechargeable DMX dongles and while we loved them at first, we have had transmitter problems at our last two shows. Not fun when the lights stop responding 10 minutes prior to show start... I contacted Donner's distributor via Amazon and wow - what a nightmare.
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Jeff Lelko on March 08, 2017, 04:38:53 pm
Another time saver is using the 2.4 wireless dmx dongles.  All you have to connect is power, which keeps those small stages cleaner without dmx cable running all around.  Plus less to wrap up at the end of the night.

They're definitely a time saver, but I personally choose not to rely on wireless anything for show-critical applications unless absolutely necessary.  That includes tablet-only light/sound boards, wireless DMX, etc.  Even wireless mics - when needed I always have a wired backup on standby. 

We have the Donner wireless, rechargeable DMX dongles and while we loved them at first, we have had transmitter problems at our last two shows. Not fun when the lights stop responding 10 minutes prior to show start... I contacted Donner's distributor via Amazon and wow - what a nightmare.

And that's why.  Spotty wireless is never any fun in the best of times, and a reputation-affecting absolute disaster at the worst of times!  Sorry to hear about your experience though, Steve.
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Steve Litscher on March 08, 2017, 04:47:56 pm
They're definitely a time saver, but I personally choose not to rely on wireless anything for show-critical applications unless absolutely necessary.  That includes tablet-only light/sound boards, wireless DMX, etc.  Even wireless mics - when needed I always have a wired backup on standby. 

And that's why.  Spotty wireless is never any fun in the best of times, and a reputation-affecting absolute disaster at the worst of times!  Sorry to hear about your experience though, Steve.


Yeah. After a few minutes of troubleshooting, we reverted to the good ole DMX cable. No major impact but darned frustrating... and they always work flawlessly back at the shop so go figure. :-)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Steve Garris on March 09, 2017, 12:54:07 pm

Yeah. After a few minutes of troubleshooting, we reverted to the good ole DMX cable. No major impact but darned frustrating... and they always work flawlessly back at the shop so go figure. :-)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I've never had a problem with mine. As far as maintenance, I consider them disposable at their price point.
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Nate Zifra on March 09, 2017, 01:56:45 pm
I've never had a problem with mine. As far as maintenance, I consider them disposable at their price point.

Same here, once I get them sync'd they stay that way.  I have the generic silver ones for several years.
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Carl Wetter on March 09, 2017, 02:07:26 pm
I still think you should get (2) of these, and bolt them to the fly-points on your speakers:
http://www.proaudiostar.com/chauvet-corepar-80-usb.html?utm_source=Google_Shopping&gclid=CjwKEAiA6OnFBRDcgt7YmPKI33ESJACJoTJYOY-GTAbxPwJs8FWCr-_LDyb5xDzxg3xNOjaE7VSEbhoCpQfw_wcB

80W tri-color Cob with a 70 deg beam angle. That is a very good price.

+1 on the Corepar. It will look unwieldy on top of your speakers but it will do what you are asking.
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Justin Waters on March 09, 2017, 06:14:04 pm
+1 on the Corepar. It will look unwieldy on top of your speakers but it will do what you are asking.

The fly points on the speakers are fly tracks, not the threaded style.  Anyone have a good way of using those to mount speakers?
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Jeremy Young on March 09, 2017, 10:54:20 pm
Eventually I'll move to an LED, perhaps one of the cob units. One thing I don't like about the lower cost COB's is that they're typically only 3 color RBG, and I want amber for front wash.


I get some pretty nice ambers from my dotz pars which are only RGB, I think you might be surprised.  I had the same feeling but after watching various youtube videos I saw that they do in fact manage some surprising palettes. 



I found some pictures from a while back of a 40' wide stage, 12-piece R&B band, and just two ADJ Dotz Pars per side on the side-mount arms I was referring to.  covers pretty well even with the lenses on, and would be wider without the lenses. 



Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Allen Smith on March 10, 2017, 01:39:34 pm
I am in a similar situation in a semi rural area.  We want to get in and out quickly but still look good.  I purchased five Chauvet 4bar tri USB bars and love them. I can setup a 20 light show in 20 minutes and you have either full dmx control as if they were individual fixtures or use the included dumb controller for a down and dirty setup. 

Each 4bar tri USB comes in a package with a padded case, a stand and a wireless controller.  I think it's the best bang for the buck for bands playing small clubs and it doesn't look like a compromise.

Bonus is it supports the Chauvet wifi USB dongle.

Background/gear:  I run sound/lighting for a band that I am in.  We play small bars/clubs and some outdoor gigs.  Lighting rig consists of 4 x ADJ Inno Spot Pro movers that sit on the floor and/or cases and 2 x 6.5' global truss totems with 4x ADJ Dotz pars on each.   Main speakers are RCF 4Pro 2031-A that have the flytrack flypoints.

We are starting to play more and more places that have no lighting at all (we were playing a lot of gigs that had only front light).  I like to use the totem lights as back lighting but I cant do that when there is no front lighting.  So, I am looking for some fixtures that I can use as front lighting.  Preferably I would mount them on top of the speakers or even clamp them to the poles that are between the speakers and subs.  Preferably only 1 per side due to power concerns and set up/tear down times, but I could probably make 2 per side work fine as well.  They dont have to be exclusively CW/WW fixtures.  Budget is as cheap as possible, Im just trying to gauge the cost right now so there technically isnt a budget. 

Anyone have thoughts on a product?
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Steve Garris on March 10, 2017, 01:41:52 pm
The difference can be seen here. The yellow colored lights are RBGW, and that is as close as I could get to the golden color here which is a RBGA fixture.

Perhaps the COB lights mix colors better. I'm looking for that "gold" color, not lime-green-yellow.
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Steve Garris on March 10, 2017, 01:46:30 pm
I am in a similar situation in a semi rural area.  We want to get in and out quickly but still look good.  I purchased five Chauvet 4bar tri USB bars and love them. I can setup a 20 light show in 20 minutes and you have either full dmx control as if they were individual fixtures or use the included dumb controller for a down and dirty setup. 

Each 4bar tri USB comes in a package with a padded case, a stand and a wireless controller.  I think it's the best bang for the buck for bands playing small clubs and it doesn't look like a compromise.

Bonus is it supports the Chauvet wifi USB dongle.

Those look great. I will say those are a great design. Very compact, 1 plug, easy programming. A friend of mine uses an older version of this and it is very effective. My only issue is you can have more for less money if you assemble you own tree's.
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Jeff Lelko on March 10, 2017, 03:27:10 pm
The difference can be seen here...

Ah, you beat me to it Steve.  Yes, I was going to comment that the picture further up is a better example of why NOT to use strictly RGB LEDs for facial lighting.  Maybe the specific color was the intention of the LD - I can't really say - but just about every RGB Par I've seen (COB or otherwise) can't make a good white, amber, or yellow.  They all come off with that exact lavender-tinged harsh pink color that I find unacceptable for most uses.  ETC's RGB+Lime combination seems to get around that issue, but otherwise I wouldn't consider anything less than an RGBW, RGBA, or RGBAW unit for LED front lighting.   
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Len Zenith Jr on March 10, 2017, 08:54:08 pm
For front lighting I use a RGBW fixture on white only paired with a Lee warm amber 2 gel (http://www.leefilters.com/lighting/zircon.html#zircon-warm-amber). Lee pretty much nailed the look of a traditional halogen par color temp when used with a white led. It does however mess with the other RGB colors, some more than others.
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Mark Cadwallader on March 10, 2017, 09:38:36 pm
As to mounting lights to the fly track, assuming that the track is "L track" (logistics track), there are double stud fittings with a theaded stud that you could probably adapt. Check vendors of E track and L track for examples.
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Graham Spice on March 13, 2017, 11:36:03 pm
How about this:Those lights are crazy bright and have great throw. They are priced so cheap that you can get a few for back/side lights to complete a proper static stage lighting rig.

I've been using them for a while now. Great lights for the price. I have NOT used the Stagg T-bar extension but saw it at the NAMM show and thought it would be a great solution for doing exactly what you're talking about...mounting front lights to your main speakers stands.

If you do this, I would definitely add some weight to your tripod stand legs. Sandbags would be a minimum addition to this kind of setup if you're putting those stands anywhere near the audience...
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Justin Waters on March 16, 2017, 01:58:08 pm
How about this:
  • Stagg T-bar extension for speaker stands (http://www.staggmusic.com/en/products/view/SPS2LIS)
  • 2x Monoprice 18 watt x 18 LED RGBWA-UV par cans (https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=115&cp_id=11505&cs_id=1150504&p_id=612788&seq=1&format=2) per side
Those lights are crazy bright and have great throw. They are priced so cheap that you can get a few for back/side lights to complete a proper static stage lighting rig.

I've been using them for a while now. Great lights for the price. I have NOT used the Stagg T-bar extension but saw it at the NAMM show and thought it would be a great solution for doing exactly what you're talking about...mounting front lights to your main speakers stands.

If you do this, I would definitely add some weight to your tripod stand legs. Sandbags would be a minimum addition to this kind of setup if you're putting those stands anywhere near the audience...

That Stagg extension is really interesting.  I wonder how much you need to balance the center of gravity on those tho.
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Jeff Lelko on March 16, 2017, 06:37:08 pm
That Stagg extension is really interesting.  I wonder how much you need to balance the center of gravity on those tho.

What do you mean?  The apparatus is already designed to impart essentially no shift in the X/Y axis center of gravity so long as the load up top is balanced.  As far as the Z-axis goes, keeping the CG down shouldn't be that hard either.  So long as the stand you're using can handle the speaker weight plus the Stagg weight plus the light(s) weight plus any cables or other rigging hardware you should be okay.  Common sense comes into play here too - if it looks unsafe it probably is.  If you need to go rather high some sandbags can help add stability too.
Title: Re: Front lighting
Post by: Steve Garris on March 17, 2017, 03:48:06 pm
I think I just found the perfect light to replace my Par 38's.

30 degree beam is perfect, and it has RBGAWU.

http://www.fullcompass.com/prod/521600-ADJ-5P-HEX-B-STOCK?utm_source=googleps&utm_medium=shopping&utm_campaign=googleps&st-t=googleshopping-lighting&vt-k=&vt-mt=&vt-pti=521600&gclid=CjwKEAjwkq7GBRDun9iu2JjyhmsSJADHCD_HxHIQLKy6ktlpOdradCrW9WOn8ovxtSgT99Dx8CdOexoC3B_w_wcB