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Author Topic: LED lighting- What should I get?  (Read 17540 times)

John Penkala

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LED lighting- What should I get?
« on: February 27, 2013, 05:15:13 PM »

Hi all,
     I am looking for some entry level/mid level LED lights for a basic stage wash. I have a friend who has a pair of "4 bar" lights. I like that they are self-contained and set up quickly. However, IIRC they only do red, green, blue and white. When I used them I actually taped amber gels to them to get a decent wash. Eventually, I would like to get some effect lighting as well. But, for right now the initial stage wash lights are a priority. I also would like them to be able to set up and tear down quickly. What are folks using. Thanks -

JP
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Randall Hyde

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Re: LED lighting- What should I get?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 06:34:39 PM »

Hi all,
     I am looking for some entry level/mid level LED lights for a basic stage wash. I have a friend who has a pair of "4 bar" lights. I like that they are self-contained and set up quickly. However, IIRC they only do red, green, blue and white. When I used them I actually taped amber gels to them to get a decent wash. Eventually, I would like to get some effect lighting as well. But, for right now the initial stage wash lights are a priority. I also would like them to be able to set up and tear down quickly. What are folks using. Thanks -

JP

You want an RGBA or RGBAW fixture.
You've not defined "entry level" (that is, what is the maximum you're willing to spend).
At the low end, Blizzard lighting has lots of interesting RGBA and RGBAW fixtures. You might want to take a look at their stuff.
Cheers,
Randy Hyde
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Steve Kas

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Re: LED lighting- What should I get?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2013, 07:25:49 PM »

Chauvet SlimPar 64. Inexpenssive, lightweight, and very versatile (color mixing, etc..)

Hi all,
     I am looking for some entry level/mid level LED lights for a basic stage wash. I have a friend who has a pair of "4 bar" lights. I like that they are self-contained and set up quickly. However, IIRC they only do red, green, blue and white. When I used them I actually taped amber gels to them to get a decent wash. Eventually, I would like to get some effect lighting as well. But, for right now the initial stage wash lights are a priority. I also would like them to be able to set up and tear down quickly. What are folks using. Thanks -

JP
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Josh Daws

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Re: LED lighting- What should I get?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2013, 11:17:31 PM »

Chauvet SlimPar 64. Inexpenssive, lightweight, and very versatile (color mixing, etc..)

the slimpar64...whilst a great price..and i mean a great price...they are a NSP...26 (i think)...which for a frontwash means that you will need a few to get it even...

Microh Rio Par is a great fixture. i have done many 24x16 stages with just 4, and they have maintained a solid level of light. you can RGB a good white manually on the fixture...but you are paying a little more for it. they are about to release a brand new one that is going to be RGBAW shortly...not sure on the $$$ or when, but i heard its less or about the same as the current fixture.

that aside, chauvet also has a 4 bar...i think its called something like slim par64 QUAD...these are bright as hell, and really good price...and a solid wash...really good unit...
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Tim Woodworth

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Re: LED lighting- What should I get?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2013, 03:14:06 PM »

We have the Elation ELAR 108 pars, and love them. They may be a little pricy for "entry" level....I don't know what your budget is. I think they were around $625.00 ea. They are IP65 rated for outdoor use. We have had them in rain, snow, sun and they have yet to let us down. We provided them for an event that Slash was headlining, and his LD loved how they looked, for whatever that is worth. I am sure that Elation makes something without the IP65 rating that may be cheaper.


http://www.elationlighting.com/ProductDetails.aspx?Category=&ItemNumber=1670
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Tim Woodworth
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Mike Pyle

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Re: LED lighting- What should I get?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2013, 01:28:49 PM »

Chauvet Slimpar PRO RGBA or Blizzard Q12A.
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Rob Gow

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Re: LED lighting- What should I get?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2013, 01:51:42 PM »

I debated quite a bit when I moved into LED lighting.

The first plan was to buy a dozen Slimpar 64's and that would be a good starting point. They were roughly $100/fixture plus shipping. A cheap entry into DMX.



But the more I seen this style of light in person, the more I began to dislike the "lite-brite" look of the fixtures. When use use blue red or green on their own, the respective LED's light up and it looks a bit like a pinwheel.

Colors like purple, would have the red and blue lit up. White has them all lit up. While the light coming off is white, the actual face of the fixture, has what I again call the "lite-brite" look. On video they look fine. The fixture looks all white. But it doesn't appear that way in real life.

Looking more, I started to like the multi-LED fixture. They have a set of lenses, and behind each lens is a red, green, and blue LED they can also be RGBW, RGBA, or RGBAW as well. The nice thing about this, is when you choose purple, the lenses themselves light up purple, instead of the red and blue.

(This fixture is a Blizzard Fab5 RGBAW)


Now if we are going to nitpick, you can kinda see the red and blue if you really look, but that's if you are splitting hairs. The different fixtures have different patterns for the lenses. Some are a star pattern, some are a 9 lend 3x3 block etc.

Some examples of the different patterns:




I looked at the different lens configurations, and decided on the Blizzard 3NX fixture for my back truss. I liked the layout of the lenses, which are basically in a round pattern. They are only an RGB fixture, but for rear truss lighting, I wasn't real concerned.



They've worked out well. I picked up 4 of the Blizzard Fab5's to light the band and the additional amber and white LED's make a noticeable difference. When I bought my 3NX's the Fab5's weren't out and commonplace yet, and I couldn't afford to wait. If I were to do it again, I think I would go with Fab5's across the board. Another thing, both the 3NX & the Fab5 have a protective piece of plexiglass(?) covering the lenses. Some of the other ones don't. I thing you can tell in the "different lens pattern" pics.

I'm really happy with them. For small "non-light rig" gigs, I attaché a single Fab5 to each FOH stack and aim them at the band. This is a video of one Fab5 per side set to sound, to show you how much light they put out.

If I have to choose just a couple fixtures, lighting the band is more important than any rear lighting.

Here's that video.

http://youtu.be/7U3IuGeCELE

Keeping your eyes on eBay, I picked up four Fab5's for $160 a piece + shipping, a "used a couple times" kinda thing. The 3NX I believe I paid $1200 for 8, shipping included, which works out to $150/fixture. 

Hope this helps. These are on the lower end as stated, a little more than the slimpars, they are metal enclosures instead of plastic like the Slimpars. These days I'm more of a buy once cry once kinda guy. I realized if I went with the slimpars I know I'd want to move up from them. The 3NX's and Fab5's really didn't end up being much more in the end, and a much better look.  For my market they are a good fit. I'm not going to be lighting up Madison Square Garden anytime soon.

;)
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 02:24:08 PM by Rob Gow »
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Rick Powell

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Re: LED lighting- What should I get?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2013, 09:51:16 PM »

I debated quite a bit when I moved into LED lighting.

They've worked out well. I picked up 4 of the Blizzard Fab5's to light the band and the additional amber and white LED's make a noticeable difference. When I bought my 3NX's the Fab5's weren't out and commonplace yet, and I couldn't afford to wait. If I were to do it again, I think I would go with Fab5's across the board. Another thing, both the 3NX & the Fab5 have a protective piece of plexiglass(?) covering the lenses. Some of the other ones don't. I thing you can tell in the "different lens pattern" pics.

I second Rob's comments.  I have 4 Blizzard Puck 3's and 2 Blizzard Q12A's, all with 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 LED lenses and they cover a stage for about $1000 invested, and can color mix pretty well (we have a sub $100 DMX controller that does scenes).  If I were buying today I'd probably also go with all Fab 5's.
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Rob Gow

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Re: LED lighting- What should I get?
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2013, 12:13:52 AM »

I second Rob's comments.  I have 4 Blizzard Puck 3's and 2 Blizzard Q12A's, all with 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 LED lenses and they cover a stage for about $1000 invested, and can color mix pretty well (we have a sub $100 DMX controller that does scenes).  If I were buying today I'd probably also go with all Fab 5's.

Here's a quick video. One Fab5 per side...

http://youtu.be/dxukFgQLTbI
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Matt Vivlamore

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Re: LED lighting- What should I get?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2013, 05:23:29 PM »

Blizzard Puck RGBA & Chauvet SlimPAR RGBA are your cheapest for around $100-120 each.

Spend a little more and get the "all in one blubs", the color mixing is better.  I am looking at the Blizzard Fab5 ($260 each) as my next set.  But I have also looked at Chauvet SlimPAR Quad 6 or 12 ($230/$350) and American DJ QA5X or QA12X ($250/$330).

I am going to start out with 2 Fab5 on a Lighting tree stand and pre-wire everything up so that run power and 1-2 signal cables to the tree tops.  Eventually I want to have 4 light per stand.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: LED lighting- What should I get?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2013, 05:23:29 PM »


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