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Chauvet and Elation LEDs Postives+negitives

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Goph704, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. Goph704

    Goph704 Member

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    So on top of everything else I'm doing I just picked up a sales/ Technician Job at one of the bigger LED places in Charlotte. On top of working smaller gigs and corporate stuff we also sell Chauvet and Elation LED's along with various other gizmo's and gadgets. I was looking at the job to get friendly with their mover stock, but the company owner really wants to push LED's. I've got more than a passing familiarity with some of stock, but not enough trouble shooting experience to really "sell" a customer. Oddly enough I'm apparently the only "theater" guy in the company so all those accounts are running through me. everybody else is Rock and Roll or corporate.
    Personally I'm here and there about LED's I think the color options are cool, but Like most people I want a gun instead of a night light. So if i can get a hand here, especially from the younger guys, help sell me on Chauvet and Elation for theater, or tell me if I'm barking up the wrong tree by saying these are worth anyone's time. I'd really appreciate both the positives and negatives you've run into for this.
    I know very few theaters that have run LED's long enough to find out what bugs are lurking there. I really want to know. Because a lot of the companies on my newly formed theater list are friends and i don't ever want to unknowingly screw over my friends. So give me a hand here
    -Goph.
  2. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    You have to use them for their purpose. They are okay for scenery highlights and such, but to use them for washes there are only two instrument types that I would use and that is the WDM Zoom fixture (which uses 3W LEDs and can zoom out to 60 degrees) and the ETC Selador series (because of their power they can actually compete with stage lights).

    All LEDs are going to have problems with certain colors (yellow, some oranges, getting enough punch out of red, etc) in addition running them at full is often necessary to get enough punch.

    LEDs are great when used properly but are not ready for certain applications yet (top light, front light, etc), but excell at others (back light, side light, scenery high lights, specials, etc).

    Mike
  3. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    In general I would say that Elation has better support and is more professional orientated, where Chauvet is more DJ orientated. Recently chauvet has finally agreed that the Colorstrip has a dmx issue with some dmx controllers that are sending out dmx data at a fast rate, but AFIK they still have not offered a solution to the buyers
    Chauvet tends to buy in products and then if you need parts a few years later they tend not to be available once the product is obsolete. Elation in my experience has bent over backwards for support

    Sharyn
  4. derekleffew

    derekleffew Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    In my opinion, the only LED brands worth considering are Color Kinetics, PixelRange, ETC/Selador, and ChromaQ. All of the others may be acceptable for non-critical or disposable (scenic) purposes, but are really not worth the investment.

    You'll not make many friends selling Chauvet or ADJ/Elation products to anyone other than DJs. If buyers want to be really cheap, they should look at Weidamark, Neo-Neon, and Illuminant.
  5. Goph704

    Goph704 Member

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    Thanks, That was exactly what I was worried about. I'll be careful about my future with this company. I had a feeling that some of their stuff was a little on the questionable side, but it helps to hear somebody come out and say it. For what they use it for which are mostly small parties and events it works really well, but I didn't want to sell something to the theater that I grew up in that was going to break in an year and drive them deeper in to debt.
    I'd like to hear some positive responses if there are some, but I think I've got a better idea of what I'm looking at now.

    -Thanks again.
    Adam
  6. JChenault

    JChenault Well-Known Member

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    For what it's worth, my local dealer sells color Kinetics, Selador, and Elation. Her opinion is that elation's quality is improving. They certainly have one of the widest catalog of LED fixtures - including architectural units.

    IE - I would take a look at Elation. Now Chauvet I have never been impressed with.
  7. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Out of all the "DJ" brands Elation is the one I feel most comfortable with. They're had a big hit with their Impression.
  8. dramatech

    dramatech Active Member

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    One thing that I think that you should be aware of, is that several lighting companies entered the market as inexpensive producers that have their products manufactured at low end Chinese shops, or just relabel items that are already produced by Chinese manufactures that specialize in producing products for relabeling. Several of those companies are now trying to move into a more quality position.
    American DJ, sells products made by many different manufactures, and will always sell primarily to the DJ and bar band market. They have one or two items that are not too bad, but it is still a "Crap shoot" and chances are more than likely that you will get hurt.
    Elation and Chauvet use to make their products almost exclusively for the DJ market and in many cases for sale by American DJ. Elation a few years ago, came up with a moving light that was of a better build quality than their previous porducts. They quickly learned that they needed to provide better service for repair than they had in the past. If you go to the Elation website, you will notice that they divide their products into "Professional" and products built for American DJ distribution. They are trying very hard to move out of the "DJ" image. Chauvet has made a similar move, I think with a bit less success. I feel that these two comapanies get a bad break from many theatre people that have been burned in the past, or have just acquired this attitude from things that they have read in forums like this one.
    Would I buy from either of these two brand names ? It depends on the product and only after having the product demonstrated, and obtaining accurate information on their service.
    I have 3 of the Elation DMX splitters, and wouldn't use anything else. I have three American DJ strobes, that are fantastic quality, but they were obviously built by somebody else and I doubt that the rest of their line of strobes are of this quality. I have 13 Chauvet colorspash JRs. the colors are not very good and they are pretty weak, but we sure have use them a lot for lighting scenery and special effects.
    Now almost all of these products were purchased, because we found that we could buy them for less than we could rent better quality units for a show run. We figured that we could throw them away at the end of the run, if they weren't of any quality. So far we haven't been burned, but we go into a purchase of this nature with the attitude that we are basically renting and if the quality is ok, we won.
    Having said all of this, LEDs are a new and developing world, I can't afford the good ones, and even those will be outdated so quickly, that I find alternatives for the present. A good example would be our cyc strip lights. They are Electro-control from 1974. They use R40 pars and had asbestos wiring. I have 12 units with 12 lamps per strip in 4 circuits. There is no way that I could afford to replace them with LED units, so I repair them, update sockets and wiring and treat them carefully. I figure that by the time that congress outlaws incandescent lamps or we get a new theatre, somebody will come up with the money, and LEDs will have developed to a point of good color rendering and the price will have come down.
  9. shiben

    shiben Well-Known Member

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    I recently bought a Chauvet LED device to wash the wall in my room with color that I could control with a dmx board (swapping gels on PARs gets old eventually). On the internet, it was advertised as having "RGB color mixing". What it is is three circles, each with a color of LED in it (Red, Green and Blue). So it cant really mix any better than my PARs. And it dims poorly. I felt a bit cheated, especially since i can not figure out what you would use the product for. But it was cheap. I ended up sending it back. The one thing that i do want to get my hands on is the MiniSpot. Now that looks cool (I light bands in bars and houses on weekends)
  10. wybronaaron

    wybronaaron New Member

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    If only someone would get on solving some of these problems with LEDs. ;)

    aaron@wybron.com
  11. shiben

    shiben Well-Known Member

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    I dont get it. :) The problem is not that there are no decent LED instruments out there, its that they cost your arm, leg and firstborn to get them. At the price that was quoted for ONE selador 11" cell, we got maybe 8? Selecon cyc units. I suppose i could probably do 8 color mixing there too! But it would be a heck of a lot brighter (the cyc cells we ordered are amazing, btw. Demmoed some, took 2 to wash a 60' wall fairly well. We are getting between 15 and 25! dont remember which off the top of my head). Im gonna make a conventional Selador now :twisted:
  12. Goph704

    Goph704 Member

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    I couldn't agree more. It feels like part of the problem we're dealing with as a whole is that 1. Lots of companies are jumping on this market as fast as possible which creates a wide variety or strengths and weaknesses which most M.E. are rushing to find out about and 2. We're in an in between stage where we can all see where the technology should be but can see that it's not there yet. and 3. The cost of buying these things which is really funding companies to do research on their own products. Some companies have taken leaps and bounds into the future and I have even heard that there is now a 1K Led out there, but how long before it becomes practical application is up for grabs. I think we should all keep a firm foot in the present and keep our eyes focused on tomorrow. But that may be part of the problem right there. It's a different world that it was 30 years ago. I think we're all just rushing to keep up.
  13. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, of the two I like Elation better. But there are better options out there for the price right now.

    Mike
  14. kiilljoy

    kiilljoy Member

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    I've been using 18 of the Elation LED 36 Pars for about a year and a half now. The space is mostly lit with 150W Par36s with a few ERSs thrown in. The Elations easily overpower everything else in the room. I'm only dealing with a 20' throw max and they have allowed me to do some things that would not be possible for me to do with conventional means. They also seem quite hardy, and I've never had any doubt about the build quality.

    On the negative side, they do step pretty badly in the low range of intensity, and each instrument steps differently (i.e. two instruments at the same intensity and color will have different combinations of diodes on based on the thesholds for each diode). The other thing is that the all-on white tends to run purple/blue. I can't get amber/orange, but all the others are pretty good: purple, yellow, and it does make a great cyan.
  15. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, all the Elation/Chauvet units have the stepping problem, they also have the fringing problem, and they have very narrow color palettes. That is why I like the Weidamark and ColorKey units. No stepping problems, very little to no fringing, and wide color palettes (although they do struggle with some colors - yellow, amber, and deep purple being the worst offenders).

    Mike
  16. tcahall

    tcahall Member

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    Wybronaaron, probably hopeless and a waste of a career!

    goph704 and 4) the semi-conductor technology behind these things is moving so fast that, even if you want to blow the money, in a year you could pay half and get double.

    Tim. ;-)
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2009
  17. mstaylor

    mstaylor Well-Known Member Departed Member

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    I just did Synyrd Friday and their whole front truss Elation 3 watt LEDs and 8 or 9 lekos. I was very impressed with how well they worked.
  18. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    I think most of you have missed the boat about his post. There is a rumor going around that Wybron has a new LED fixture out that addresses some of the issues that people have been talking about in this thread....

    I guess we will have to wait another month and LDI to see for sure....
  19. epimetheus

    epimetheus Active Member Premium Member

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    Elation has their Tri series out now that have RGB on the same LED die instead of seperate LEDs. This should help quite a bit with the fringing effect that you see with most other low end LED's. I've got an Opti Tri 30 on order to play with, we'll see how well it works.

    I'm pretty impressed with the Mega-lite N-E Color Cannon as well. We got our install at my church done last weekend and have bee pretty happy with everything. I was pretty suspicious of anything Mega-lite at first, but thus far all has been well. I suppose only time will tell. We do seem to have one defective Axis LED out of the 4 we purchased. We also have live cameras for our services and the Mega-lite stuff has absolutely no flicker at any intensity. I cant say the same for some Irradiant LED's that we are sending back.

    Edit: Suprisingly enough, the Elation Tri series have 5 pin XLR's. How 'bout that?
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
  20. highschooltech

    highschooltech Member

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    I would defiantly second the Mega-Lite products. As far as RGB LEDs go they have really good color mixing and can actually get into the reds without losing to much intensity. I've heard about them shipping some defective Axis LEDs which they have replaced with minimal questions asked.

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