I am currently an intern in a cultural institution in the DC area, and I am doing the research work for the purchase of new lights for our auditorium. I am working with the in-house technician who runs the lights.
Our goal is to decide wether or not we need to purchase some lights, how many, what kind of fixtures. Our assumption right now is that owning the lights necessary to some shows would free us as far as programming is concerned, as we would not have to take renting costs into account.
Our venue is used on a very regular basis (at least several times a month) for conferences and concerts (mainly classical, baroque and jazz). It is used on a more intense basis (10 shows/week) for a few weeks each year for shows related to specific themes, and on a less regular basis (about 5 times a year) for theatre plays.
Currently, we own 12 Elation Opti Tri PARs LED.
10 of them are on two rows of 5 PARs to light the stage. 2 of them are used as houselights (they light the ceiling).
We also own 8 ETC Source 4 that are located in the ceiling and used as frontlights. However, whenever the 8 fixtures aren't all needed, the technician usually directs 2 S4 towards the walls to use them as houselights to compensate for the lack of punch of the 2 PARs.
We are pretty happy with that right now, however, our issues are :
-Using Source 4 as houselights is a waste. Adding 2 PARs would probably be useful.
-5 PARs in a row don't really illuminate the entire stage. We would probably need to add 2 PARs at the end of each row.
-We are worried that our current setup is by far not good enough for most theatre plays (most lighting plots that we receive usually ask for way more fixtures).
-We encountered some issues with classical musicians who really don't like having powerful front lights pointed at their eyes (which means that they become hard to light properly as we only have PARs right above them), and who complained about their notes being too dark (even when lit by the PARs).
-Very recently, we resorted to lighting a musician's notes with several PARs pointed at him, but one of the managers of the institution complained about the fact that too much light was going towards the audience (the PARs being obviously impossible to focus and not fitted for barn doors)
Moving lights are out of the question (we have no use for them except maybe a few times a year top, so renting them is perfect), but I was wondering if any of you had advices about what kind of lights we should buy.
We are mainly looking for LED fixtures, as we are requested to be "green", and as we are very interested by the lower costs in maintenance. However, our annual budget is under a lot of pressure, so we are trying to only spend money on stuff that would really help.
What we have currently in mind is the purchase of :
-2 Elation Opti Tri PARs as houselights to free up our S4
-2 Elation Opti Tri PARs to complete the two rows above the stage
-4 Arri L7-T Fresnels above the stage in order to have sidelights or backlights that we could focus and cut, and that could be used to light classical musicians and their notes.
What do you think ?