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Are PARs, On PAR with my needs?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Charc, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    <Excuse the pun in the title please.>

    Well today I went in the theater to do some work... It turns out our new houselights were being tied in today... oh god. Don't even get me started on them, they look so bad, I really might shoot myself. Maybe I'll digress and rant: (They took out our incandescent sconces, and replaced them with quite ugly fluros. So our columns are now up-lit, starting from about 5 feet above the balcony level, and it basically just looks bad. These are nondims, and are circuited on our architectural controls. The other new houselights are long strings of fluros, one long string over the HL balcony, one over the HR balcony and one string (parallel to the other strings, perpendicular to the stage) over the center balcony, facing upwards towards the canopy... Now the theater feels top heavy to me, with almost all of our light going up, and no light going directly down. Well, the end result, the balconies now have a lot of even light, but the main audience is like a dim cavern, with lots of shadows. So it's basically a reverse of what we had before. Apparently this are 3,000 kAlvin bulbs, not 2,700 kAlvin. I thought the normal fluro bulbs were in the 5,000 range, not around 2,700 range. Anyways, these still don't look like the right temperature, in fact it all looks off. Plus, dimming? Oh yea this can dim... poorly. They kinda click on and off, at around 5%, not dimming all the way out, and they don't all turn on at once fading up, and again, they "click" on, they don't fade up. So it basically looks terrible. And the maintenance guys left saying "wow, big improvement!" (I think they were referring to the cost of powering fluros vs incandescents.) Anyways, these new strips of fluros are, at least so far, only controllable from the board, and are tied in to existing circuit. For instance, circuit 97, which was my house left catwalk's circuit closest to the stage, now controls a strip of fluros, but you can still plug an instrument in....? Same for a couple additional circuits. Well, they also instructed me today to unplug all of our normal house lighting, about a dozen PAR 56s, circuited to the architectural controls... </digression>

    So now I have an additional 12 PAR 56s 500W MFL, as well as our half dozen PAR 64s that I managed to get all into working condition. 4/6 are Lamped as 500W MFL (or WFL, I can't remember), with two 1000W lamps, that are NSP. So It seems like these PAR 64s won't really do much, what with 500W and all. Same for these PAR 56s. To tell you the truth, I can't really think of any use for PARs. I think our issues are mainly that, especially with the 500W, are throw distances are too great, and we have ERSs on the closer AP slots that might otherwise house PARs. I really can't think of much use for this new inflation of PARs. All I can really think of is having an 18 foot tree, with 12 par 56s on it... for some reason... I mean, I suppose it's good if I ever want to create some effect with a lot of matching lights, that are in well enough condition to be put in sight of the audience (3-5 year old altmans, paint is still on, no bumps/dents. They weren't moved from the install until today.) Does anyone have any thoughts, or design tips for these? Can a singular PAR 56 MFL 500W do much? I mean, considering I could easily place an ERS in its stead? (I know its a stupid question: "what can a PAR do?", but we've not much used them before, save a couple 64s as general downlight wash, and now I have about 16 or 18 PARs to find a home for...

    Edit: I'm on string of late night stupid posts, oh well.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2007
  2. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    It were my space I'd lamp the 64's with 1K WFL's and use them as a cross wash from the sides. I'd then lamp the 56's with MFL and NSP's for more specific area usage. You'll achieve a better balance.
     
  3. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    3 words....R80 Downlight wash.
    There's a multitude of things you can do with them...R80 is probably a little saturated for 500watt PARs but its really show specific for what you can use them for...the only thing I'd stay away from is frontlight.
     
  4. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Ahhh! To many people, a par is the fixture of choice! (Rock bands) So, since you are looking for S4's, why not sell, barter, trade the pars and get one or two of S4's ! I know, the red tape is a pain, but if you can find a rental house that will work out a trade so that no cash is moving, it might be easier. Those stuff-shirts usually approve things that don't "cost" money. As for other things you can do with them, what they were doing was the best! A nice dimmable house light system! After all, this is a theater, not a gym! I can't believe they made you pull them!! Geeezzzz!
     
  5. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    It's funny, you know, this sounds like the mentality of the lighting design professor for the University of Utah Theatre Department. He hates PARs... Well, hate may be too strong, I think he just doesn't know what to do with them. He designs for us about once a year, and he is probably the only designer in our season that doesn't use PARs.

    We regularly have all of our PARs in the air for a show, now, we do lamp them at 1kW, but your 500W lamps will work for you. PARs are great for top light, back light, and side light. You can use them to push color into a design for toning. They can also make good door and window backing lights.

    So, don't discredit the PAR, all you have to do is learn how to use them effectively. Play with them, see what they do, and I am sure you will find a use for them.

    BTW: it is Kelvin, not kAlvin, and it is always with a capital K, and never with a degree mark. In fact, in the scientific community 3200K is read as "thirty-two hundred Kelvin" as opposed to "thirty-two hundred degrees Kelvin."
     
  6. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I never knew that, icewolf08. While LEE Filters does not use the "°" symbol, Roscolux does. My college text, Lighting the Stage, Art and Practice, by Willard F. Bellman, uses the degree symbol. In fact, every stage lighting text in my collection uses the degree symbol. The GE and USHIO lamp catalogs do not use it, but ETC's fixture cut sheets do.

    My conclusion, if using the "K", do not use the "°"; but expressing color temp. as "5600°" is acceptable. Any lamp/fixture/color manufacturers care to weigh in?
     
  7. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    The reason for the capital "K" is because the unit of measure was named after a scientist (though only the short form 84 K is required to be capitalized unless at the beginning of a sentence). As for the degree symbol, before 1968 using "degrees kelvin" was the standard, but after the 13th General Conference on Weights and Measures it was decided that is would just be Kelvin. So, Rosco could just be holding that over.
     
  8. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    In retrospect this was too subtle, but my understanding is the name Kelvin is pronounced like KEL-vin. Like with the "E" sound. However the head of maintenance referred to them as KAL-vin. (Like Calvin and Hobbs)

    So I will definitely play with the PARs. I am bummed that the 64s are only 500Watts, and the 1000Watts lamps really looks like NSP. It's hard to stay away from front light, as that's where 90% of our lighting positions are. So on that train of thought. We have these vertical columns (See picture). On the backside of those columns, off stages left and right, is a long vertical pipe, but it kinda breaks in the middle and with our other instruments there, space is kinda at a premium (because we have to keep them above head-level, too many people have gotten decked by low level lights). Would it be safe to attach a 4 foot section of schedule 40 perpendicular to the existing pipe, about 15 feet in the air, to hang several PARS? (I'm thinking a generic warm and cool, as it would be so inconvenient to get to, it'd hardly be changed.) I'd be using a cheeseborough.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2008
  9. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    First off, a 4 foot length of 1.5" Sceh. 40 on a chesborough is not really the best idea. That would put a lot of torque on the chesborough which is not rated for that type of load. On the other hand, if you were to use grid-lock clamps you might be able to get away with it. In general though, it is best to have some kind of support on both ends of the pipe, which, in your case, looking at your drawing, you could put a diagonal support to the lower vertical and you would be in a much safer situation.

    Hopefully that isn't too much detail to stray out of the rules of the forum.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2007
  10. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, can I consider any other mounting options? Or am I stuck?
     
  11. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Well, PARs are relatively light, if you had 2 24" Sidearms and 4 T-bolts you could probably get away with hanging 2 units on each sidearm. I just think that 4 units on one cantilevered arm or pipe would be too much, but others may have an opinion.
     
  12. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, well dependent on what others say, I may investigate two PAR56s per sidearm, twofered together. Unfortunetly we don't have many options in the way of down/back light, but I will also investigate extra circuits on the first electric.
     
  13. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    I just noticed the city theatrical safer sidearms.

    What about #210, it uses 1.5" pipe.


    Top in picture:
    [​IMG]

    Edit: In retrospect the #204 is a lot slimmer profile. I will bring this up with the one who writes the checks around here.
     
  14. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    That would probably work, call them up and ask them if you can put a 4' piece of pipe and 4 PARs on it safely.
     
  15. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Is the existing vertical pipe 1.5" Schedule 40? Since you seem to have the CB and pipe, here's what I would do to test to see if you should buy sidearms, or other hardware. Cheeseborough a 2'-6" pipe to the vertical pipe. Overhang two 500wPAR56-NSP side by side. Underhang two 500wPAR56-MFL side by side. Safety all fixtures to the vertical pipe. All axis vertical to start. Twofer the two DS fixtures and color them warm, the two US fixtures cool. Focus the uppers to the Far side of ctrline and the lowers to the Near qtrline. Depending on lens center height and width of your stage, the axis may be rotated up to 90° or Tough Silk can be added to the color for a more even wash. Barndoors optional. On a not very wide stage, tops can be MFL and bottoms WFL. I'll have to look into that "sketch-up" program, it's a Google widget, isn't it?

    The columns you describe present a classic "tormentor" position which is very useful for modeling by adding color(s) distinct from the Frontlight. The only problem is continuing similar coverage upstage, unless you have ladders or taildowns from every electric.

    Out of curiosity, what are the other fixtures already located on the columns? How wide is the stage? How far offstage is the torm pipe?
     
  16. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure if I followed the "how to test" section of your post. Also, we only have the MFL lamps (or maybe its WFL, but its all the same type) for the PAR 56s. Both torm pipes have the same instruments. The bottom red square is a 6" Fresnel focused down on the stairs, and double gelled with worn R80. It is used as "safety light", there are some circumstances where it's useful (Like when the kindergartners walk across stage... :lol:) The top two fixtures are PAR 64s which provide an amber wash. The torm pipes are maybe 18/24/36 inches off stage? I'm not positive, but it's around there.

    (Also, we have two electrics, possibly without any extra circuits. However, I will look into possible placing some PARs on the 1st electric to provide some downlight. But most everything is played DS of the proscenium. Though it is hard to maintain an effective wash.)
     
  17. Timmyp

    Timmyp Member

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    I don't know all the correct terminology, so you'll have to bear with me here.

    Would it be possible to use a longer sidearm, attach it to the upright as you originally said, and then attach it to the wall of the proscenium?

    I'm sure I've scene square plates somewhere, which have a piece which fits into the inside of the scaffold pipe and would therefore support it at both ends. This would also increase the positions you have from that side.
     
  18. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    If I'm understanding you correctly....yes there are pieces made that do what you say... BMI is the place to look...though I think theres a shorter route to the end...
     
  19. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately we can't mess up the proscenium.
     
  20. Timmyp

    Timmyp Member

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    Fair enough :p

    Thanks for the info Grog :)
     

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