Biggest "bang" for the buck?

JLNorthGA

Active Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2011
Location
Western NC
Our lighting is as follows:
18 Source Fours (various degrees between 19 and 36).
12 Altman 65Q Fresnels
6 barn doors
4 drop in Irises
2 TwinSpin gobo rotators
1 Sensor Rack (SR3-48) with an appropriate number of dimmers for all of the live circuits (27 dimmer modules and 3 constant current modules).
1 Element 40/250 control console

The county government has some $ to give away as part of the tobacco settlement for rural counties. I have to write a grant to get some of this money.

I was figuring on another 6 Source Fours, a couple of moving lights, some LEDs and some odds and ends.

I want to ask for enough money to get what I might need, but not get the grant rejected. I was figuring on asking for 5-6 K or so for the lighting portion of the grant. I could even ask for enough money to replace the Element - but that probably wouldn't fly.
 

LBCSeattle

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2012
Location
Seattle area
The Element is more than enough firepower for the gear you describe, and can't be more than a couple years old since that's all the console has been out for.

Hard to say what to do since I don't know what your facility looks like (size, arrangement, etc.) how your facility is used (school? rock concerts? recitals?). As a general rule I would definitely look at equipment that will improve your inventory, either in performance of what you've got, or expanding your capabilities. LEDs can give you great color flexibility without requiring new dimmers or additional power; Right Arms and I-cues will turn your existing fixtures into movers; more conventional fixtures may improve your creative capabilities; projection equipment?) and/or system upgrades. Is the infrastructure (dimmers, wiring, rigging, etc.) in good shape? Sometimes that is what you really need a big chunk for since fixtures and accessories can be bought in small amounts. Another idea is to look for control upgrades to distribute the DMX in your space to allow for easy use of DMX devices (wireless? DMX-over ethernet?)

An example:
4 LED wash units (middle-grade like Elation Opti-Tri PAR or similar), two Apollo Right Arms , and two I-cues. A very quick look on the Web tell me that comes to somewhere between $5k-5500.00.
 

josh88

Remarkably Tired.
Premium Member
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Jan 26, 2010
Location
Ypsilanti, Michigan
Ask yourself what you have and what you want to do. Take a look at this, you may find it helpful as far as getting the most for your money (outside of LED)


gafftaper method (this is clickable despite the wiki link not showing up properly.)
 

chausman

Chase
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Location
Spokane, WA
Personally, and without knowing what your goals are with this money (as museav will likely tell you), I'd suggest a few more S4s with Seachangers, DMX Irises, and Right Arms.

Or, if you'r happy with your inventory, you could always try and get a few S4 LEDS. However, with only 2, I'm not sure how useful they would be to you.
 

techieman33

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Location
topeka, ks
Personally, and without knowing what your goals are with this money (as museav will likely tell you), I'd suggest a few more S4s with Seachangers, DMX Irises, and Right Arms.
If you can buy a few of those setups for $6k I want to know who your dealer is.

If you have enough front lighting I would probably look at getting enough LED units to wash your stage effectively.
 

chausman

Chase
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Jul 11, 2010
Location
Spokane, WA
If you can buy a few of those setups for $6k I want to know who your dealer is.
I suppose an "or" would be more appropriate then an "and".


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

jonliles

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Location
Marietta, Georgia, United States
How about making your fresnels/S4 ERSs more flexible by adding color changers/ scrollers to the inventory (plus PSU plus cabling)?
 

JohnD

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north central OK
In your list I don't see a cyc or the lighting for it, perhaps that would be something to add.
I also agree with jonliles, it would be great to have at least 6 colorchangers at your FOH electric, and 6 for the first electric fresnels. That would give you a great ammount of flexibility in lighting design.
 

LBCSeattle

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2012
Location
Seattle area
In your list I don't see a cyc or the lighting for it, perhaps that would be something to add.
I also agree with jonliles, it would be great to have at least 6 colorchangers at your FOH electric, and 6 for the first electric fresnels. That would give you a great ammount of flexibility in lighting design.
If it is a relatively small space without big throw distances (given the limited inventory I suspect it is) I am not sure if color scrollers are any more cost-effective than LEDs. With the LEDs you are expanding your inventory of luminaires as well as color control. There is also the time and materials to load, maintain, or customize scrolls.

As far as my equipment list, it was a purely off-the-cuff list of items that may improve the versatility of the limited inventory. Here is how it breaks down:
Elation Opti-TriPAR or Chauvet Colorado 1-Tri: @ $5-600
Right arm: @ $900
I-cue: @ $600
200w power supply $500 (make sure its compatible with all of your accessories).
Some vendors will give a discount if it is a school or non-profit, or if you are making a decent-sized order together.

You could look for used or stick to the I-cue instead of the Right Arms; you could substitute Apollo scrollers for $350-400 each instead of the LEDs (but then you are not expanding your inventory of luminaires at the same time); if you host a lot of dance concerts you may want to spend the whole wad on color changers or LEDs. The point is not the specific gear. The point is that it is critical to closely examine your uses and don't get blinded by the bling! Get what will give you - wait for it - the biggest bang for the buck! :)
 

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