The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

Cost Effective Options for New Cyc Lights

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Mel Williams, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. Mel Williams

    Mel Williams Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Occupation:
    student
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Hi all!

    High school theater has been given $10 - 12k to upgrade a few lights. Doesn't seem like a lot of money but at the moment the only (barely) working equipment we have are 12 Par64s and 3 8 inch Fresnels.

    From our POV it makes most sense to buy some LED cyc lights since that's the primary request when groups use the space. In an ideal world we would get 6 ColorBlaze 72s but I fully recognize we won't be able to with our budget - which is why I'm looking for a few other instruments that are comparable to those. So far I've found ChromaQ ColorForce 72's and Chauvet Ovation B2805FC's.

    What are some of the pros/cons of these pieces of equipment? Any other suggestions?

    I fully recognize this may be far out of our reach, but a girl can hope, eh?
     
  2. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,678
    Likes Received:
    342
    Location:
    NJ & NYC
    Do you need to have strip lights, or can you have more of a far cyc type light? I've seen a demo of the Chauvet C805-FC units, and they're really bright with great color. If you can set them back a few feet from the cyc, you can get great coverage. @Ben Dickmann could probably give you more info on spacing and distance from the cyc.
     
  3. Mel Williams

    Mel Williams Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Occupation:
    student
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    We don't have much space in terms of distance from the cyc which is why we typically get strips for maximum coverage at so close of a range. We put the cyc lights in between the cyc and the scrim which are maybe 4 or so feet apart. Is there a better way to approach this?
     
  4. JohnD

    JohnD Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    2,649
    Likes Received:
    1,058
    Location:
    north central OK
    First the questions, how tall is your cyc, how wide? Do you have a control desk that supports LED fixtures?
    Have you seen this review of the B2805FC
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  5. JChenault

    JChenault Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,453
    Likes Received:
    410
    Location:
    seattle, wa USA
    four feet is probably enough to get a good blend depending on the fixtures you select. I use the Altman spectra cyc units placed about three feet from the cyc and have good results.

    RE the Altman units. They do pop on a bit at the beginning ( IE when fading up from black, they jump to a low level). The blue is OK but not great.

    Another unit to look at would be ETC's colorsource cyc. I have not used them but expect they would work well.

    How big is the cyc? What kind of control console do you have?

    I strongly suggest you talk to some local vendors and get some samples to your venue to compare.
     
  6. RickR

    RickR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    387
    Occupation:
    Consultant
    Location:
    Spokane, WA the great "Inland Northwest"
    It's still true that incandescent conventionals are the cheapest (short term) option. Do you have the infrastructure for LEDs? Raw power and DMX at the pipe a modern-ish console? If so LEDs are an obvious move. If not then maybe that money should go to those needs as that is the way lighting is going. LED cyc lights are where you generally get the most benefit for the money, unless it takes a major upgrade to use them.

    I've had great luck with the Altman units. The spread and blend on them is fantastic. I'm not a fan of 'scraping' strip type cyc lights, as I see too much drop off in brightness. I've played with the ColorSource unit but not seen a whole cyc with them, but don't expect any issues. They do have better blues than most other fixtures, heck they have 2 blue colors not just one!

    I'm trying to get a demo of the Ovation C-805FC. I expect good things at a good price.
     
  7. Colin

    Colin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    121
    Occupation:
    Technical Director
    Location:
    Eastern Massachusetts
    You can definitely get good coverage with the Colorsource or Spectra Cycs at less than 4' throw (Colorsource as close a 2', with more fixtures spaced closer of course) and that should be cheaper and better looking I think than strips. How big is the cyc? Unless really huge you can probably do LED cycs with any power/data upgrades needed for 10-12K. You might even have enough left for some updated tungsten fixtures too - used ETC fixtures in various conditions can be affordable and good value.

    I just upgraded a space from old Altman Sky Cycs to Colorsource after demoing alongside Spectra Cyc. My vendor said beforehand, "I'll show you the ETCs but you're going to want the Altmans" but that wasn't true for me. The ETC color range is way better in the non-indigo blues because there is a blue emitter along with the indigo. The Altmans were brighter, but not enough to make a big difference to me. They make great punchy rock & roll colors but aren't as good at delicate theatre colors, natural skies and such. I can only guess that this would be true with lots of other options that are just RGBA.
     
  8. blueeyesdesigns

    blueeyesdesigns Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    North/West Chicago Area
    I have seen the ColorSource Cycs in action and spec'd them for several projects. They're a great value and ETC's support is unparalleled. If you have the time, I STRONGLY recommend reaching out to a vendor or two in your area and asking them to bring a few fixtures for a "shootout". Set them up in your space with your console to see how they'll look. It's a significant investment and you'll want to make sure that you can control them easily enough and you're happy with how they look, dim, blend, etc.
     
    JChenault and RonHebbard like this.
  9. coolsvens

    coolsvens Member

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    A, A
    Hi Mel,

    With a $10k-12k you should easily be able to get a good quality looking cyc. As others have mentioned with a 4' distance you can definitely go to an LED version of an A-symmetrical style reflector like older incandescent cyc light fixtures instead of linear units. I find they make the cyc look really flat and even instead of grazing it vertically. As some others mentioned, the ColorSource cycs are a good fit if your cyc is about 22' tall or less. Can you tell everyone the cyc dimensions for width and height?

    http://www.etcconnect.com/Products/Lighting-Fixtures/ColorSource/Fixtures.aspx
    There is even this app in the link above to help figure out the total number of units you might need based on just the width. I find that most standard 40' Wide Cycs do really well with 7 to 9 fixtures spaced every 4 feet or so. I try to use odd number fixtures so there is always one right on the centerline of the stage.

    upload_2018-6-15_20-1-58.png


     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice