Converting to LED

uthol

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2012
Location
Canada
I am looking to switch my top lighting from Altman Fresnels (6") to LED and was wondering if there are any recommended fixtures that would work well as a top light at a 15-18 ft distance in the 150$ price range?

Thanks
 

David Ashton

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Sep 8, 2007
Location
perth W Australia
you've got no hope, but if you find one with good cri and good dimming at anything like that price, I'll buy 100
 

FatherMurphy

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Mar 31, 2009
Location
Midwest US
If you're limiting yourself to $150/fixture, then you're limiting yourself to DJ grade LEDs. Will they emit light? Yes. Will they change color? Yes. Will they be bright enough to read on stage? Maybe, if they're close enough. Will they dim and transition smoothly? Possibly, but not very likely. Will they easily and reliably match the precise color you have in mind? Doubtful. Will they render a complete range of colors with no rainbow shadow effects? Unlikely. Will you be able to get faulty units easily repaired or replaced, or matched with identical additional units in a couple years? Probably not.

It all comes down to what your budget allows vs. what your space/show needs. If you're a small town community theater, you might get away with DJ LEDs. If you're a professional road house hosting Broadway tours, probably not.

Perhaps if you tell us more about your operation, people will be able to give you more accurate suggestions.
 
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Scenemaster60

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Apr 17, 2013
Location
Minneapolis, MN
My question would be why you are interested in making this change if that's your budget?
$150 just BARELY buys a new Altman 65Q with lamp, c-clamp, and connector.
I don't have much personal experience with LED, but from what I see my friends and colleagues doing, most are focusing (if you will) on using LED for broad wash lighting for cycs, dance, etc. (these units are still very pricey) and also using them for lobby and work lights where low-end dimming is less critical with the less expensive units.
 

techieman33

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Nov 7, 2004
Location
topeka, ks
At that price range your only options are going to be buying something off of ebay or direct from China and hoping you get decent lights that work when they show up and keep working down the road. If you go that route be sure to buy extras since odds are you won't be able to buy that exact unit in the future.
 

BillConnerFASTC

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Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
If your swapping Altman Fresnels for $150 LEDs, just be prepared for a dramatically lower level of illumination. We use between $1300 and 1400 as a unit cost for LED units in general when preparing preliminary estimates for a typical high school theatre. I know how tight money is - especially non-capital projects - but it is sad that this far below acceptable choice has to be faced.
 

techieman33

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Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Location
topeka, ks
If your swapping Altman Fresnels for $150 LEDs, just be prepared for a dramatically lower level of illumination. We use between $1300 and 1400 as a unit cost for LED units in general when preparing preliminary estimates for a typical high school theatre. I know how tight money is - especially non-capital projects - but it is sad that this far below acceptable choice has to be faced.
The chinese units can be very bright, intensity isn't the problem. The problems are all with the lack of smooth dimming, and potential for poor build quality.
 

uthol

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2012
Location
Canada
Thanks all...sorry was a quick message before bed...150/fixture is based on the price of getting fresnels instead...(2 fresnel warm/cool to one led).....yeah it would limit me to DJ style lights (ie Chauvet DJ, American DJ) but its a smaller stage, 30x40 with 300 seats. I am just exploring this option as in this facility uplighting is used mostly for atmosphere and mixing with front warms (R04, R08 - strand lekos) and facility has power limitations without capital improvements (575 watt lamps in all fixtures, power supply peaked). So main reasons for me exploring LED is that my choices are 1500$ on used Fresnels, plus associated tertiary costs (lamps, clamps, replacement parts) or seeing if there is another option. I have noticed some lower end (yeah I understand that part) LED with 30 degree beam angles and am mainly curious if they would be worth exploring, if anyone has any experience with them (eg ADJ Mega Par Profile LED Wash Fixture).

As for Chinese units..I have experienced them before and they can inconsistently consistent...

Frankly I'm not sure if I will go with LED but as I said, it's an option I am looking at based on restrictions of facility.
 

Beans45601

Active Member
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Jan 18, 2010
Location
Southern US
If you have to list a dollar amount you are able to spend, then LEDs are not yet for you. It's still a new technologly and they simply can't compare to a good ole fresnel, not yet at least. You would be better off to look at some of the newer, more effencient instruments. Selicon comes to mind, of course that is going to cost more than $150/unit.
 

wolfman005

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Jan 6, 2013
Location
St. Louis MO, USA
Don't get the mega pars. Not good for anything but DJ work. If you get budget lights than get tri, quad, or penta color mixing. Try out Blizzard lighting and get something with RGBAW.
 

David Ashton

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Joined
Sep 8, 2007
Location
perth W Australia
You said you wan to replace fresnels, now a fresnel is focusable from 10 to 80 degrees, and to replace them you would need either fresnel Leds or zoom Leds which take you way outside your price point, if you did go with Led washes you would need to be dead sure to get the right anle output
 
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ThomasPen

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Oct 7, 2012
Location
A, A
There is nothing wrong with the Chinese stuff. I is very bright (much brighter than a fresnel with gel on it) and has decent color mixing. Where they tend to come up short is availability of spare parts and matching from fixture to fixture. I also would not recommend using them in a temporary setting since the build quality can be very questionable.
 

len

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Joined
Oct 23, 2004
Location
Chicagoland
Instead of a full on 1:1 replacement, why not add in some LED products, or lose 10 - 20% of your fresnels. The one strength LED products have always had over conventionals is the ability to product really good Red Blue and Green. Granted, they don't do EVERY shade of those colors, but maybe just mix in 8 - 12 LED with your existing and you'll get some flexibility you don't have now. You can lose some of the more saturated colors in your conventional rig (which require the most wattage per lumen) and go through the most gels.

As for Chinese products, I have bought from a number of them. As you search Alibaba you'll find several things:
1. The language barrier is decreasing. Most suppliers can speak English as gooder as us Amuricans!
2. Once you find a product you like, do several more searches. Most of the Alibaba suppliers are assemblers. They buy tons of parts and make fixtures. There will be some differences from one seller to another. There will be differences in the dmx profile, the output, whether a fixture has a powercon or edison, etc. Ask the seller for a manual and compare.
3. Expect to pay first. They want a Western Union money transfer, which costs about $15. It's fairly easy to do.
4. Ask about their return policy. Some can be really bad. Some are pretty good.
5. Likely some fixtures will be problematic out of the box. Buy extras. Ask about carton quantities and buy based on that. 4 to the carton? Buy 12 or 16, etc.
6. Figure anywhere from 1 day to a month in customs. There's no way to determine how long they will sit.
 

ThomasPen

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2012
Location
A, A
That is my experience with the chinese stuff. The language barrier can be frustrating but you get the exact same stuff as elation and chauvet at a fraction of the price.
 

JohnSB

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Location
Central Ohio
There is nothing wrong with the Chinese stuff. I is very bright (much brighter than a fresnel with gel on it) and has decent color mixing. Where they tend to come up short is availability of spare parts and matching from fixture to fixture. I also would not recommend using them in a temporary setting since the build quality can be very questionable.
There's nothing wrong with the Chinese stuff *EXCEPT* it's made in China. Notorious for stolen technology, questionable materials, workmanship, and general quality. Unless you are buying from a local company that WILL absolutely back and service the product, I'd avoid it like the plague...
 

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