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best cyc lights with little space.

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Amishplumber, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. Amishplumber

    Amishplumber Active Member

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    Hi all!

    First post, so glad I found this place!

    Anyway, here's my problem. In the past at my high school we've always rented or borrow cyc lights and made a makeshift cyc out of the projection screen at the back of the black box theater we put on shows in. Now we finally have some money to buy some lights ourselves. Issue is, the space is very small meaning the space between set and cyc is very small and the last electric is but a few feet from the screen. Searching around the forum, most cyc discussions seem to end "put the lights further away from the cyc", which is not an option for us.

    So, the question is, what is the best way to light a cyc from a very short distance and avoid as much scalloping as possible?

    We are a public high school, so money is tight, but looking around at local dealers, we could pretty much afford anything except for LED's. Also the cyc is small, 20' square would be my estimate.

    Thanks is advance!
     
  2. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Recently we used a scrim as a makeshift cyc and I only had about 2-3' in front of the cyc for the ground lights. We used 5 Rosco R40 striplights to do the job. There was almost no scalloping, and what little there was was covered by the border that also hid the lights. You can use the R40s on the ground or you can fly them as well. (Remember to use both safety cables when flying!) These can also be daisy-chained into one another. Sure, it's old technology, but it works. With three channels you can do RGB mixing as well.

    The only bad thing about these is that I was kind of disappointed in the construction of the new style lights, though. We have some that were installed 10 years ago or so and they are very rugged and durable, but the new ones we purchased in Sept 08 are rather flimsy. It could be a sign as the old ones are two feet shorter (old are 6' new are 8') but they weigh about the same. The gel clip along the top gets bent rather easily as well. The new frames also do not stay together as well and I had to bend the frame holder along the top to remove the frames the first time... I don't know if that's standard.

    We purchased 5 8' strips, with frames and edison plugs installed, plus 72 lamps (that gave us 12 spares, by the way) for about $2600 plus shipping.
     
    Esoteric and (deleted member) like this.
  3. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I'd get MR16 strips for that distance. Either that or L&E Runts, but those would probably cause more scalloping than the MR16s.
     
  4. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Both of those solutions are great! I have used either and you can't do wrong. You also can't go wrong with Kliegal strips, although I am not sure you can get them anymore.

    Mike
     
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Take some accurate measurements of how far the electric is from the cyc, how high the electric is from the deck, and the exact dimensions of the cyc. Now start doing some research with various manufacturers. Most websites post all the information you need to figure out the coverage. If you can't figure it out send them an e-mail and a sales rep will help you figure out which model is best for your needs. That's what they get paid for. My favorite cyc light brands would be Selecon and L&E. In the end I went with L&E Broadcycs for my Black box, but the Selecons are awesome.
     
  6. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    We use the L&E Mini-Strip MR16 6'3" 3 Circuit Strips at my college, you can fly them or mount them on the floor. I love them and they are very robust and throw out a lot of light...they weigh a ton though, something like 60lbs so you definitely need two people to move them. We payed $770 each from ALPS, so about $1500 total for two of them.

    http://www.le-us.com/id34.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  7. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I second (third?) the MR-16 striplight. Either L&E MiniStrip or Altman ZipStrip. Stick to three colors, as the L/R spacing is too far apart at short throws for the four color models. [user]SteveB[/user] has lit his fullstage cyc this way for over twenty-five years. Roscolux CycSilks, R124, 125, 126 or CycDiffussions R120, 121, 122 also does wonders for spreading the light, albeit at a loss of intensity. Broadway shows often light drops from just six inches away using these fixtures.
     
  8. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Just for some information: What makes the MR 16 a better choice than the R40? I take it it's beam spread?
     
  9. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Pretty much everything, very even beam spread, brightness, their compact size and the fact that the lamps only cost $3 each to replace.
     
  10. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Spacing overall should be about the same but more lamps per area of coverage means less scalloping. More efficient lamps - more light, less wattage.

    I was at first thinking old school for best but the MR-16 if not MR-11 strips have lots of punch and good coverage at a short distance. This much less given the range from 60 to say ten degrees, you have wattages from like 10 thru 150w available - lots of choices.
     
  11. Amishplumber

    Amishplumber Active Member

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    Great!

    Thanks for the help, I think I'm gonna go with some L&E BR40 strips.
     
  12. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    I have not had time to reply, but reading thru the posts, I can say that going to the R40 is a poor choice.

    1) At some point I would expect that the R40 style lamp is going to get discontinued in it's incandescent form, as it's typical of the type of incandescent lamp popular for home use in high hats, that the politicians want to see as florescents. MR16's on the other hand, are seemingly in every track light fixture and EVERY lamp manufacturer makes dozens of versions and will likely keep doing so.

    2) The light quality of the R40 is poor as compared to MR16, which has a whiter light. The MR16 striplight gives you much more intensity for the wattage used.

    3) Spacing between lamp sets in the same circuit is tighter in the MR16 and the wash looks smoother. R40's have terrible scallops especially at short throw.

    The MR 16 units cost more but are worth the money.

    Steve B
     
  13. DAE

    DAE Member

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    My choice for cyc lights is usually Selecon, as I am in Western Australia. The selecon Acclaim Selecon Lighting - What is a Cyc, Flood or Groundrow? cyc light is good for small venues.

    The advantage of using a cyc light is the even distribution you get down and across the cyc, using a linear lamp in conjunction with an assymetrical reflector. From an energy efficiency aspect it means all of the light ends up on the cyc so no wasted spill.

    Using a round lamp such as an MR16 means you have hot spots as their beam is usually a spot focus and a lot of light ends up on the stage in front of the cyc.
     
  14. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Focus and position is everything.

    I use the L&E brand MR16 strips (12 total) in the 3 circuit/color version, with the electric at 3'-6" or so downstage of a 30ftx50ft white cyc. Using an over/under configuration, with spot lamps under and flood lamps over, as well as good use of either Rosco 104 or Lee 228 linear diffusion (or the Rosco Red/Green/Amber & Blue colors with built in 104 diffusion) yields a very even wash top to bottom that is brighter then could be achieved using double ended lamps.

    If I had the depth, I would certainly use traditional 1kw or 2kw open faced cyc fixtures, but the cyc electric needs to be at least 8 ft downstage of the cyc to get even coverage top to bottom, which is why many posts in this thread recommended the MR16's.

    Steve B.
     
  15. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    We always use linear diffusion (we called is cyc silk) on cyc lights unless you wanted a different effect. If you want a proper wash it takes some room, the key is how little room can you get away with.

    Mike
     

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