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*Cheap* CYC Wash

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by TupeloTechie, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. TupeloTechie

    TupeloTechie Active Member

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    We do not have any flood/wash/cyc lights for the cyc and we are going to be using it soon. My teacher wanted to buy some of those halogen work lights and gel them, but I wasn't sure if these would work or not. Does anybody know about these, and if they can even be dimmed?

    Or does anybody else have any ideas for a wash such as this, we don't really have any money for lighting, we usually spend over the lighting budget just buying gels and new lamps.
     
  2. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Pretty much any incandescent lamp can be dimmed. Are the work lights really any cheaper than single cell cyc lights? Anyway, every now and then we use "work lights" as foot lights, and they work OK, but not great. On your cyc you really want to have a fixture with a J-type reflector as it will give you the best coverage. You can gel the "work lights, you just have to be careful so that the gels don't melt. You also would probably want to use some R113, R104, or G65 with whatever color you choose. These are silks or linear diffusion, it will elongate the light perpendicular to the striations you see in the gel.
     
  3. TupeloTechie

    TupeloTechie Active Member

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    The work lights will cost about $10-15 with the bulb, I havent seen any cyc's for this cheep.
     
  4. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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  5. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Yes, It is a completely feasible solution. However depending on your budget, which you already said is low, your saturation is going to suck, depending on how many you can buy. Those works are typically 250-500 w thier beams are a bit tighter than you might like and manufacturing a gel holder is going to require finesse < no not the hair conditioner>. Since your going to want them further away they won't have the punch a "real" cyc light would.
    Manufacturing a gel holder will be a challenge since they burn hot you can't simply install the gel in place of the glass you have to get it further away than that from the lamp. Also double check the glass in the worklight, Many manufacturers install a UV or color correcting coated glass. If you see that remove it, It will increase your total output in the end.

    Also, if you are going to do this be sure that someone who knows what he's doing wires and mounts the lights onto j boxes. ok ?
     
  6. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I also recommend the American DJ or Used route.

    But otherwise:

    On a work light you will fight the hard edge to the beam a lot more than on a cyc light. It’s going to be a really hard edge and the beam spread is comparatively more narrow but it should work to some extent - throw distance will be your friend.

    Don’t trust the conduit like frames - find a hard point to safety cable the things and pay attention to how you are going to clamp it if hanging it. Also that these things get really hot, much less could be really dangerous if someone were to kick them. If floor mounted, mount them to a floor base or something that will prevent them from being kicked over by accident or someone tripping over the cord. If hanging, the glass is safety glass that while it won’t break in big dangerous chunks will shower in fine sharp particles if it breaks. Removal of the safety glass also is not an option, nor is screening with hardware cloth. Opitcally the hardware cloth shows up like a grid of shadow grid boxes (it is a lighting effect that can be useful). Only real safety glass replacement or cage over it should the lens be removed would be a stainless steel window screening type material such as used on Omni Lights. Such a replacement would work well and allow it to operate fairly cool, but it would cut down on the light to some extent unless a fairly open weave. Theoretically it would be possible to drill some vent/cooling holes In the casting at the top of the fixture to help some with cooling it. No holes larger than 1/4" or you have to do safety screen vents.

    This all granted that it’s not UL listed for stage lighting... Let me state it again - work lights ar not UL listed for a stage lighting fixture and should not be used. Much less the wiring will with time suffer from heat damage. Lamp bases also will wear out.

    Try frosted 500w FDN lamps in the fixture instead of the clear 4.11/16" ones that come with the fixture - this will be one step further in getting a wash of light.

    Years back for stage work lights we used to use outdoor security light fixtures - they were about the same but their yoke/swivel was very fragile once it became standard to be plastic. Halogen work lights usually fail at their stand first followed by the lamp bases burning up. Often you will find such fixtures still in use as work lights. Often a duplex conduit box with cord off the back of it will have been attached to the fixture and a C-Clamp to the other side of the box. This sometimes even with a duplex Edison outlet on the front of the duplex box so that a series of these fixtures could be powered up... yep, them were the days. Mine had ½" schedule 40 water pipe Tee’s attached to both fixture and C-Clamp back than. The other part of the Tee had a cord strain relief on it. A bit more rugged but still not up to code in that water pipe is not NEC compliant. Also did some Bell boxes which were at least a bit more rugged. Still short of doing an all aluminum and really heavy duty security light, the first part to fail on them was always the plastic yoke/swivel part that joined fixture to electrical box - constantly broke. After that the lamp bases would fail.

    I see lots of work lights show up for repair with bad lamp bases also - if not the above snapped welds or other problems with the stand for the fixture.
     
  7. TupeloTechie

    TupeloTechie Active Member

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    We found about 6 worklights under the house, and we are wanting to use them as a ground row mixed with pars from the 4th electric to wash the cyc. We are a school, and the director has broken all kinds of rules, so she will probably just ignore the UL listings.

    What is the best way to make a gel frame for these?
     
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I have actually done this a few times successfully using a light sort of like this...
    [​IMG]

    The key is you need the kind that have a large metal safety basket that protects the lens. Now go to your local auto supply place and purchase Muffler tape. It's a very thin metal backed tape that is perfectly happy at high temperature. Then simply take a big chunk of gel and cover the entire safety basket taping it to the lamp with muffler tape. Do your best to make a small gap between the gel on the basket and the box of the light itself, fill that gap with a strip of muffler tape going all the way around attaching the gel to the instrument and covering your little gap. If the Gel touches the actual instrument it may melt so a gap and the muffler tape is the trick. As you bend the gel around the edges of the basket you can tape the gel TO ITSELF using scotch tape, but no scotch tape to metal. Finally, figure out which way is up and take a small pin and punch a bunch of holes for heat to escape. I haven't had them on for a whole show but I have used them for about a half hour. Wrap one up and see how long it will stay on without melting the gel. Oh yeah and I always used Roscolux... don't know if that matters but that's what I used.

    YES that's 500 posts!! I'm a real T.D!!!
     
  9. dvlasak

    dvlasak Active Member

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    Oh man, just because you are a school doesn't mean that you can ignore safety! Make sure that those "work lights" are where no one can touch them or accidently knock them over. As others have said, they burn incredibly hot. I don't know how you could safely fly or hang them.

    Start saving up money now to get a better alternative. Go the DJ route, cheap cyc wash, or how about scoops? Scoop fixtures are large "floods" that produce a wide, diffused wash of light. Scoop fixtures are often used for lighting drops and/or cycs. Scoops are basically round fixtures that do not use a lens. Scoops have a reflector at the back of the fixture that directs or "pushes" the light out of the fixture. Since scoops do not have any sort of a lens system they are cheaper than most other fixtures. However, because of this you can not focus the light at all - it just provides a fairly wide wash. Depending on how far away you are from the cyc will determine how diffuse the color is and how wide the light thrown is. Not exactly cutting edge technology, but it works.

    Dennis
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2007
  10. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The first and probably most important question is... how large is the cyc you wish to light?
     
  11. dvlasak

    dvlasak Active Member

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    BillESC is right. Cyc size is the first thing you need to know to come up with a solution. My cyc is 45' wide. Depending on the color used and how high I fly the electric, I may only need 6 scoops to create an awesome looking cyc.

    Thanks Bill!

    Dennis
     
  12. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    All things considered, it would be better to just go with scoops. They're cost effective, reliable and meant for the stage. There also happens to be several 18" scoops on ebay this moment for $40 a piece, $25 for 10 or more. At that price you'd still have money for gel, lamps and, if you wanted, color frames.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/1500W-Scoop-Lig...7530641071QQcategoryZ3860QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    NOT my auction, but they are really close to me, I should pick up a few.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2007
  13. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    They usually have a large handle of some sort that they connect to their frame with. I took it half appart and drilled out the hole wider and put one of those really small C-clamps on the ones I used. I actually bought a set of them and hung them as work lights. Definitely only use them on the ground if the base is substantial and located in a place that no actor is going to get anywhere near them.

    While I agree a couple of used scoops would be a much better way to go, I've been in this same situation. Sometimes there really isn't $200 to buy 5 used scoops. We did 4 shows a year at my ghetto high school, with a musical every other year. The student government made a $500 donation to my budget each year, other than that I had to rely on ticket sales to keep floating. My tip: Do lot's of Shakespeare, there are no royalties... heck it's legal to print scripts off the net and photocopy them, and you can get middle schools to bring their English classes to see your shows. It's pure profit.

    If I read this thread correctly they already have the halogen work lights and are trying to make what they have work because the budget is just too limited. So all these other ideas while great, just aren't possible.

    My concern is the comment about ignoring the UL listing... I'm not sure what you mean by that. But it's never a good idea to ignore UL.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2007
  14. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    My response with the scoops was to the Liberty cyc suggestion. I just think it's better to go with Altman instead of American DJ, but then again I've never used the Liberty Cyc. You could spend $250, get ten scoops, sell off what you don't need and then use that to outfit the scoops. *Mu wa haha master plan*

    On another note, I dont see how a 250 watt worklight is hotter tha, say a 1000W fresnel, and we fly those all the time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2007
  15. TupeloTechie

    TupeloTechie Active Member

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    ok, I found out today that we have 9 worklights that are already mounted to a truss and wired for 3 different channels, but theres no gel frames or anything, and these do not have the metal in front of the lens like the ones on that picture, does anybody have any ideas on how to make a frame, and how to keep the gel from melting
     
  16. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    Got any pictures?
     
  17. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Exact dimensions would help too.
     
  18. SteveRader

    SteveRader Member

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    Does your school have any sort of stirp lights? We've used ours for uplighting on cycs.
     

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