Cyc lighting...what to choose?

flyweed

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Feb 12, 2013
Location
WI
Hey all, so we are also upgrading our CYC lighting...getting rid of our old 1000 watt strips, and want to go with an LED unit. Our Cyc is 17ft tall and 40ft wide. We were thinking the Spectra Cyc units, BUT..I just wanted to get some opinions on here, what do you guys like, and what is a unit that gives most "Bang for your buck" so to speak. I don't want to spend a TON of money, if a cheaper unit can do the same thing. I don't necessarily need to pay for a "name"

Thanks
 

Colin

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Jan 23, 2015
Location
Eastern Massachusetts
Hey all, so we are also upgrading our CYC lighting...getting rid of our old 1000 watt strips, and want to go with an LED unit. Our Cyc is 17ft tall and 40ft wide. We were thinking the Spectra Cyc units, BUT..I just wanted to get some opinions on here, what do you guys like, and what is a unit that gives most "Bang for your buck" so to speak. I don't want to spend a TON of money, if a cheaper unit can do the same thing. I don't necessarily need to pay for a "name"

Thanks
Especially at that short a height the ColorSource Cyc is worth a look. I chose it over Spectra after a side by side for what to me is a considerably better color gamut in naturalistic ranges - the two blues are important. Spectra can beat the ETC in output, and the color is very good, but "looks like LED" in ways I'd sometimes like to avoid.
 

RonHebbard

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We've just installed Philips Showline SL BAR 660's, and so far, they're pretty impressive, especially since our cyc is only 1 ft downstage of our batten.

18 cells, 2 pixels each, RGBW, and you can address them as (IIRC) 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, or all 18 pixels at a time, in different modes.
@Jay Ashworth Quoting you: "our cyc is only 1 ft downstage of our batten." If I'm reading you correctly, you're backlighting your cyc??
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

RonHebbard

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Waterdown, ON, CA
Sorry; "one foot upstage of our cyc light batten"; we front light it from the top, and back light it at the bottom.
@Jay Ashworth Your cyc' is one foot up stage of your cyc' lighting batten / Your cyc' lighting batten is one foot downstage of your cyc'. Two sides of the same coin; I think we've communicated. In a moment someone's going to post explaining cyc' is an abbreviation of cyclorama which in reality is a rigid curved structure and we're both speaking of a sky cloth or whatever. I can feel the abbreviated terminology police preparing to POUNCE!
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 
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SteveB

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Mar 20, 2004
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Brooklyn, NY
@Jay Ashworth Your cyc' is one foot up stage of your cyc' lighting batten / Your cyc' lighting batten is one foot downstage of your cyc'. Two sides of the same coin; I think we've communicated. In a moment someone's going to post explaining cyc' is an abbreviation of cyclorama which in reality is a rigid curved structure and we're both speaking of a sky cloth or whatever. I can feel the abbreviated terminology police preparing to POUNCE!
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
I guess technically correct, but as we’ve been calling that straight sky cloth a cyc for decades, maybe we’ll keep calling it a cyc. Isn’t the “Plaster Line” actually a “Piaster Line” or some such ?
 
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John Scrip

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Apr 9, 2019
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Chicago area
We have a 20x40 (visible) with 7 of the ETC ColorSource Cyc units. I can light it "nicely" with 3. Could very easily get away with 5. But color chases and rainbows with 7 are pretty sweet.
 
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gafftaper

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It's hard to beat the Chauvet Ovation Batten lights when it comes to bang for the buck. See my posts about them here However at that height, I think ETC ColorSource might be a good fit.
 
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Jay Ashworth

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St Pete FL USA
@Jay Ashworth Your cyc' is one foot up stage of your cyc' lighting batten / Your cyc' lighting batten is one foot downstage of your cyc'. Two sides of the same coin; I think we've communicated. In a moment someone's going to post explaining cyc' is an abbreviation of cyclorama which in reality is a rigid curved structure and we're both speaking of a sky cloth or whatever. I can feel the abbreviated terminology police preparing to POUNCE!
My top cyclorama striplight is one foot downstage of my white cyclorama curtain. My bottom cyclorama striplight is upstage of my white cyclorama curtain.

:)
 

gafftaper

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Whatever you do, don't spend that much money without getting a demo. Your local dealer that you normally deal with should be able to arrange it for you. If not reply here and we will find help for you.
 
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DavidJones

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Jun 7, 2017
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Touring
I couldn't agree with this more.

I've been in a venue this week with PL-1 cyc floods, they're good, the colours are acceptable and they're fairly bright.
I used to have these. They did a very smooth wash, but are not very bright, and you need a lot of them. Pretty much every other fixture mentioned here is better. (though I have never actually seen an Altman LED fixture in my life that I am aware of.)
 

StradivariusBone

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How are the Colorsource Cycs with just a top-row? We've got a 20' cyc, but trim is usually set between 17-18'. Did a rental with Elation Color Chorus fixtures, 7 across with a ground row and it was breathtakingly bright. Easily outperformed our Altman SkyCycs. I'm looking at a grant proposal and I'm torn between the Chauvet Ovation battens (which appear comparable to the Elations) and the CSCycs. The Color Chorus is discontinued and the newer Elation 7 would be out of the price point we're shooting for. We'd need 7 Ovations and according to the math on the ETC Calculator we could do it with 6 CSCycs. I'm concerned about the bottom 25% of the cyc though with the CSCycs. Our SkyCycs tend to lose punch in that range as it is. Probably going to get quotes for both, but was wondering if anyone was happy with the CSCyc on the top row only.

Our electric is 92" DS the cyc, but I've got spares I could use to that end, realistically a distance of around 2.5-3'.
 
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Colin

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Eastern Massachusetts
How are the Colorsource Cycs with just a top-row? We've got a 20' cyc, but trim is usually set between 17-18'. Did a rental with Elation Color Chorus fixtures, 7 across with a ground row and it was breathtakingly bright. Easily outperformed our Altman SkyCycs. I'm looking at a grant proposal and I'm torn between the Chauvet Ovation battens (which appear comparable to the Elations) and the CSCycs. The Color Chorus is discontinued and the newer Elation 7 would be out of the price point we're shooting for. We'd need 7 Ovations and according to the math on the ETC Calculator we could do it with 6 CSCycs. I'm concerned about the bottom 25% of the cyc though with the CSCycs. Our SkyCycs tend to lose punch in that range as it is. Probably going to get quotes for both, but was wondering if anyone was happy with the CSCyc on the top row only.

Our electric is 92" DS the cyc, but I've got spares I could use to that end, realistically a distance of around 2.5-3'.
I wouldn't personally find that trim problematic. 20' and up definitely begins to be a stretch, but depends on your needs/standards. In rep I have six lighting a 32' width at 20' trim, 30" back. That's not ideal for coverage but adequate for "general programming" between theatre and dance productions. I've sometimes raised that trim to 22' with a ground row, and I've moved them to more like 5' downstage from the cyc which of course considerably evens out coverage with no ground row. They'll blow away your Sky Cycs no matter what - I think the vertical reach is comparable but the better output makes a difference. It's a lot of money to spend without a demo in your space to make sure you'll be happy...

I keep saying to anyone who will listen, other than spending a ton of money for Lustrs with cyc adapters, I think the ColorSource Cyc color gamut is hands down the best you can get because of the two blues (comparing to Spectra, and the Elation, Chauvet and ChromaQ strips). Not the brightest, but if you value really granular color control particularly for naturalistic sky tones then they're very, very good. Good enough that to me it is worth a little compromise on vertical coverage. Personal taste.
 

eadler

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Sep 17, 2010
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Upstate NY
In a moment someone's going to post explaining cyc' is an abbreviation of cyclorama which in reality is a rigid curved structure and we're both speaking of a sky cloth or whatever.
Late arrival to this thread but I would be interested to hear about what folks are using to light infinity cycs. Ours is only a single wall curving out lightly on the sides with a ~4' radius to the ground. 14' fixed hung grid, last pipe is about 2.5' horizontal from the ~40' wide cyc. We've been using M-R 3-bank fixtures with RGB gelling but it seems that we should be getting to the point soon where it makes sense dollar-wise to replace them with LED bar fixtures or similar. $2.5-3k for 6' of LED color changing (the SL Bar 660 or Chauvet B-2805FC) still sounds steep although I bet that instrument does a lot better than anything cheaper, especially when it comes to being flicker free and gradient-masked on camera. Oh, and we don't need any colors outside of REC 709 colorspace so "wide gamut" with extra blues and reds isn't a necessity.
 

flyweed

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Feb 12, 2013
Location
WI
Thought i'd update everyone..after a few weeks. I have brought in several 'demos' to see on our cyc. First was the Ovation Pro 805C..it was nice and the dual/split color was really cool. Side to side wash was a bit limited, and at a 3 foot setback distance, you could only get a nice even color with instruments set about 3 feet apart. Price was reasonable. Next was the ChromaQ's. I liked them and they were great for acting more as border lights, and would fit the bill if you have limited setback. Again, spacing you needed one right next to each other to get a nice even wash (without the optional cyc lens)..so we'd have to buy too many to make that work. Next up is the ETC ColorSource Cyc. I could do a setback of 3ft and get a nice even wash with units 5 ft apart. Colors were super nice, and with a price of just a tad over $1300 a piece..I decided THIS was our choice. We are doing 16 total units. 8 across our top batten, and 8 on the floor. I cannot Wait to get these in to install.

thanks for all of your help and I hope this little bit of personal info from me, helps someone who may still be looking.
 

StradivariusBone

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We demoed the CS Cycs. The dimming was enough to make a grown man weep, but they were not punchy enough for us to get away with just a top row. And being a HS roadhouse with me as the only paid adult in the building I just don't have the capability to maintain a groundrow of $1300 fixtures. I think one day we'll shoot for the Chauvet Ovation batten lights. I did a rental with Elation ColorChoruses and they absolutely rocked the curtain with a single row. If I could find a set of those used I'd push for that in a heartbeat, but it seems that the Ovations are a good facsimile at a lower price and are still being made. I really wanted to like the CS Cycs, but it just wouldn't be the best choice for us. The color reproduction was easily the best I've seen in an LED color mixing fixture though.