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Chauvet ColorStrips as CYC Lights?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by shayward, May 7, 2009.

  1. shayward

    shayward Member

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    Has anyone here had any success using Chauvet's ColorStrip units as a CYC light fixture? I am thinking specifically in the theatrical sense, where you also have to fight against the front wash. I would love to go to an LED fixture for my cyc, but can not afford the major price tag of the ColorBlaze units from Color Kinetics.
     
  2. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    As has been said many times, if you want pretty, splodgy, cyc effects then the Chauvet units are excellent, if however you want your cyc lit in the theatrical sense, like evenly lit from top to bottom, then there is no LED light on the market, at any price that will do this, certainly none that has been photographed yet.
    To light a cyc evenly you need carefully managed assymetrical reflectors to "cheat" the inverse square rule.No one has come close yet.
     
  3. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    IMHO, you'll be sorely dissappointed with the output and will not be able to achieve some colors.

    The LED 420B on the other hand will do substantially better offering 60 one watt LEDs, 12 each red, green, blue, amber and white.

    [​IMG]

    We're currently testing them in the shop and will be posting results and pictures over the weekend.
     
  4. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, nothing lights a Cyc like a Cyc light (imagine that).

    Mike
     
  5. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    The only effective LED cyc lighting I have seen used three rows of Selador strips focused at different points on the cyc with spread lenses. So, if my math is good, at ~$1000/foot, lighting a 50' cyc would cost ~$150,000. Compared to conventional cyc lights at around $600/fixture so ~$6K for 10 for an even wash. Also consider that since you need more than one row of LED units to make an even wash, you kinda negate the space saving aspect. Besides, the coverage of all the LED units I have seen, even with spread lenses just doesn't compare at all to the asymmetric J-type reflector of traditional cyc fixtures.

    Sorry, unless you have some mega bucks to throw at LED cyc lights, they just aren't there yet.
     
  6. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Here's a couple of shots taken with a cheap Nikon Coolpix 5600 camera.

    The fixture is our LED420B. In the theatre shots it is 15" from the cyc or 12" pointed up. The house shots has the fixture approximately 100' away for the building.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. MNBallet

    MNBallet Active Member

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    the problem with lighting a cyc with LED's is the PWM or Pulse Width Modulation, that is the freq. that the LED's emit the light in pulses. For the naked eye, we don't see it (often) but if you are going to have your events video taped the camera pics it up like crazy. Ever see what a tv or computer monitor looks like when it's been recorded? you see a scan line, and that will happen to your cyc on any recording of the show. The more expensive units fix that by changing the freq that the unit operates at.

    For lighting a cyc, I'd stay away from the 10mm size led units that are out there. You're not going to be impressed with the light output needed for a cyc. Stageoutlet.com has some great 1 watt units for around $220, and I own a few 3 watt units that are just wonderful! I've lit my cyc with 4 of my 3 watt LED units just beautifully (20'h by 40'w.) But on darker scenes you can really see the scan line on the video of the production. Also, I added 2 layers of cyc silk diffusion to the led units.
    Here is a link to a show where the cyc is just lit with the 3 Watt Led units:

    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D81BmzhyDHk[/media]


    Just last night I had a dance recital where I tried something new. I used my 3 watt leds from the front, but I put some Elation Stage Colors from the back top to help. I asked the video guy after the show if he saw any scan line on his camera. His reply was no, so the extra wash of light that was not LED really helped get rid of the scan line. I'll really Have to double check that when I get the DVD.

    In conclusion, you can light a CYC with more powerful LED's, but will still need some sort of regular light source in addition if you're going to have it taped. Unless you buy the really, really, really expensive led stuff.

    Ken Pogin
    Production / Tour Manager
    Minnesota Ballet
     
  8. TupeloTechie

    TupeloTechie Active Member

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    I understand where your coming from however I have gotten many fully lit and even cycs from a single ground row of LEDs. The color blazes I find are the best, but I've also gotten good results with pixilline 110s or 1044s. Ive even gotten an alright looking cyc from the cheaper American DJ Mega Bar LEDs. In fact I am using them right now to light a 15'x30' cyc.

    The trick with these LED bars is to place them directly on the bottom of the cyc, nothing I've worked with so far has even been near hot enough to damage the cycs. When you place the fixture right on the cyc its skims across the entire cyc and creates a nice even wash that is surprisingly bright. Keep in mind that you have to stretch the whole cyc with fixtures right next to each other.

    The designer I work for uses some sort of LED bar for every show with a cyc he does. In fact he now refuses to bring in any conventional cyc lights as LEDs are so much easier and just as good looking.

    Sure the price tag is high on them, but for us we just rent them in on a weekly basis, its never more then a few hundred for a weeks run and saves a great deal on labor and extra cable. Plus did I mention that I can plug in the entire cyc on one 20amp circuit! And for the less serious shows they have great effects that open up opportunities that could never be done with a normal cyc such as rainbow color stripes or how about a strobe sillouette battle? Good luck...
     
  9. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    New products are emerging everyday.

    Here is a 36" strip with a MAP price of $ 599.00 that performs quite well IMHO.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    Yes LED floodlghts are fine, at a price.This thread is about cyc lights and as the ballet shows, you can get lots of pretty effects with LED lights, but an even wash is not one of them.Please don't encourage people to buy LED floodlights for cycs, they get very disappointed and waste money on gear which simply does not fulfil that most basic function of a cyc light, an even wash.
     
  11. TheDonkey

    TheDonkey Active Member

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    On the flip side about the video topic, it could very much discourage the illicit recording of your shows. :)

    Assuming of course that for whatever reason, you don't have your own video op recording the show.
     
  12. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    Well Turpelo Techy, you have lit a cyc evenly with LED strips, please show us the photos, they will be the first I have ever seen, and perhaps explain the mechanism for circumventing the inverse square rule?
     
  13. TupeloTechie

    TupeloTechie Active Member

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    I don't have any pictures right now, I meet with the designer monday so I'll ask him for some then.
     
  14. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Yeah, cycs are made to be cys and LED isn't made to be a cyc.
    Nick
     
  15. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Well you could do it in the same way that I lit a cyc with 6x9's once. Just point them straight on at the cyc at even intervals and use some heavy gel to mix them. Not the most efficient solution ever. But it does work.

    Mike
     
  16. shayward

    shayward Member

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    Ok, lets forget about the ColorSrips.....although I did demo one of the fixtures and it gave off some really nice color, just not quite enough punch to it once I added the front lighting.

    What do you think about the Chauvet Stage Wash TFX-1550CM? Would this type of fixture work well?

    Chauvet TFX-1550CM Stage Wash 1550 | allelectronicswholesale.com
     
  17. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    First off, good luck finding them as they are discontinued. Second, why not just get real cyc lights? If you are going to move to an incandescent fixture anyway you might as well use the right fixture for the job. Check out fixtures like the L&E cyc fixtures. The prices listed on their site are MSRP, you will probably get them for less. Also they can be configured in 3 cell bars or 4 cell quads. Selecon also has some nice cyc units and so does Altman.

    For the best results you are going to want the correct tool for the job. Good cyc lights will get used all the time and you will be happy that you have them.
     
  18. shayward

    shayward Member

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    You didn't answer my question about how they would work. Second, I am trying to find a cyc solution that will allow color mixing opportunities without the power consumption of 3 to 4 different fixtures per section. Power is at a premiem at the venue that I am trying to fix up and I figure that if I can cover a cyc curtain really well with 7 or 8 RGB fixtures, then I will wind up using a lot less draw then using 7 - 8 multiple cell fixtures.
     
  19. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    The fixture that you just linked to uses three 500+ Watt lamps. Using a multi cell cyc fixture can use exactly the same amount of power as that and give you a much better coverage. The L&E units can be lamped as low as 300 watts per window. You don't have to have all the colors in one fixture to do color mixing. If you want to do RGB mixing, you can use 3-cell cyc lights and gel each window with red, green or blue.

    While fixtures like the ones you linked to would probably do nice color mixing, you will get a coverage pattern similar to a fresnel, which will give you a very spotty looking cyc. Using a fixture with an asymmetric, J-Type reflector will give you much more even wash. Also, a traditional cyc fixture will probably give you wider lateral coverage than the chauvet fixture, so you would probably need fewer cyc sets than little RGB fixtures.

    You have to consider that fixtures like the chauvet unit you linked to are designed for small DJ type setups. They are not designed to light a cyc, more to throw some color on stage, as I said before, more like a fresnel. Will it work? Maybe, but you will probably need more of this type of fixture and you will probably need more throw distance to get an even full wash.

    You might also look into units like MR-16 zip strips as you can put up to three on a 2.4K dimmer. Your spread pattern won't be a good, but it will work.
     
  20. shayward

    shayward Member

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    Thank you.....that reply gave me a lot of information! I have used Altman Zip-Strips in the past to light a cyc, but wound up using 4 sets of 6' zip strips with 3 cells on each and it took a lot of power.
     

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