Darkness in a venue (church, theatre)

RonHebbard

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Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
I have always found "aisle lighting" like this distracting when sitting in aisle seats, but just my 2 cents.
If you do this, I would seek out very high quality LED strips made for this purpose and not have them on all the time. But if on a switch, of course someone has to remember to turn them on and off.
Maybe a relay that turns on when it senses DMX from the console?
If your console's on when when various staff enter during non performance / rehearsal hours.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

almorton

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Dec 17, 2014
Location
Caterham, Surrey, UK
In our theatre we have lights embedded in the nose of the stairs. We recently refitted them, using a fixture which uses a sort of lossy fibre optic in a channel, with a single 5mm LED at the end(s). For runs of 3m or less you only need an LED at one end, but we have one "step" which is about6m wide, so one at each end. Anyway, when the house lights are on full, the stair noses are still nicely illuminated, but with the house lights out they flood the auditorium with light, so we have a DMX LED dimmer in circuit, which means the hot side of the power supply never goes near a dimmer, it's on hard power. I fitted a by pass circuit so that they're only dimmed when there's DMX present.
 

RonHebbard

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Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
In our theatre we have lights embedded in the nose of the stairs. We recently refitted them, using a fixture which uses a sort of lossy fibre optic in a channel, with a single 5mm LED at the end(s). For runs of 3m or less you only need an LED at one end, but we have one "step" which is about6m wide, so one at each end. Anyway, when the house lights are on full, the stair noses are still nicely illuminated, but with the house lights out they flood the auditorium with light, so we have a DMX LED dimmer in circuit, which means the hot side of the power supply never goes near a dimmer, it's on hard power. I fitted a by pass circuit so that they're only dimmed when there's DMX present.
@almorton Two thoughts / queries;
1; With the strips on the risers / nose rather than the treads facing straight up, they won't shine in patrons' eyes while they're looking at the stage during performances.

2; With the strips facing the stage, do they illuminate performers / "dead bodies" springing to life and exiting during mid scene / act blackouts while your house curtain is open / flown?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

tjrobb

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May 14, 2009
Location
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
We have stair tread lighting. It comes off the FOH (lobby) dimming system and is on whenever the house manager gets in pre-show until she leaves. It's impossible to control from the stage system so it can't be turned off accidentally. At the moment I can't remember if it dims, tho. Due to wall and ceiling colors and other factors we don't have too much "house glow" from them.
 
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ACTSTech

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Nov 13, 2019
Location
USA
There is an argument that floor regressed lights are worse than nothing. Blinding people is counter productive! Further it does not shine on the floor. The code specification is for illuminate not luminance.

View attachment 21518
My real issue is still finding something that appeases everyone. The architect is pushing rope light in the floor, the electrician is pushing for 40W fluorescent tubes to be on all the time. Obviously the fluorescent tubes isn't an option I'm willing to consider, so I'm left trying to find the solution. The walls are solid plaster over mesh over brick, so there's no room behind them for conduit or wiring. I'd prefer to go with wall sconces that are down lit only, but I don't think I can do this. The overhead lights are fluorescent, but the electrician priced it at $2200 a light to convert to LED, so we're probably not going to be able to afford that, plus they aren't dimmable anyhow. That seems extreme for one light with 4 ballasts, but I'm not the expert.

I'm wondering if LED tape with a heavy frost over the lens attached to the baseboard would work. The light would be focused outward to the aisle but not upward into eyes. Obviously it would be brighter nearer the wall, but if we could achieve that required levels, we'd be better.
 

RonHebbard

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Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
My real issue is still finding something that appeases everyone. The architect is pushing rope light in the floor, the electrician is pushing for 40W fluorescent tubes to be on all the time. Obviously the fluorescent tubes isn't an option I'm willing to consider, so I'm left trying to find the solution. The walls are solid plaster over mesh over brick, so there's no room behind them for conduit or wiring. I'd prefer to go with wall sconces that are down lit only, but I don't think I can do this. The overhead lights are fluorescent, but the electrician priced it at $2200 a light to convert to LED, so we're probably not going to be able to afford that, plus they aren't dimmable anyhow. That seems extreme for one light with 4 ballasts, but I'm not the expert.

I'm wondering if LED tape with a heavy frost over the lens attached to the baseboard would work. The light would be focused outward to the aisle but not upward into eyes. Obviously it would be brighter nearer the wall, but if we could achieve that required levels, we'd be better.
"The walls are solid plaster over mesh over brick, so there's no room behind them for conduit or wiring. I'd prefer to go with wall sconces that are down lit only, but I don't think I can do this."

@RC4Wireless Jim; Does this sound like something up your battery powered / wireless alley?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

DrewE

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Mar 18, 2019
Location
Vermont
$2200 per fluorescent light to convert to LED is excessive unless there's something really, really special about the lights or some very particular code requirements. Adaptation kits are somewhere in the rough vicinity of $10-$25 at most per tube, according to a quick Google search. Even with labor and lift rental and so forth I cannot fathom how it might cost $2200 per light; that seems like at least an order of magnitude too expensive.
 

ACTSTech

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Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Location
USA
$2200 per fluorescent light to convert to LED is excessive unless there's something really, really special about the lights or some very particular code requirements. Adaptation kits are somewhere in the rough vicinity of $10-$25 at most per tube, according to a quick Google search. Even with labor and lift rental and so forth I cannot fathom how it might cost $2200 per light; that seems like at least an order of magnitude too expensive.
So the lights are semi-historical and have to remain. They were "updated" in 2004 with "new" electric (I'd hate to see the old) and are a little unique. Each light has a 36" circular plate that the lights sit on. There's 4 ballasts attached to each plate to run the fluorescent tubes. Ballast 1 runs two tubes, ballast 2 runs two tubes, and there are two ballasts for 3, which runs 4 total (two each). Lights are 40 watt 2G11. I don't know if the issue is being able to dim them, but something's wrong. Just seems like too much. I think there's probably a more elegant solution.

If anyone is curious or wants to see the setup, let me know. I don't want to clog things up with tons of pictures if no one cares.
 

jtweigandt

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Aug 2, 2013
Location
Moline Il
Well a quick google search shows ballast compatible 2g11 tubes 4000K color temp at 10 bucks a pop.
Is the current bid specifying removing ballasts and replacing with a non ballast system.. so if my count is right you have 10 tubes per fixture.. 100 bucks a fixture for direct replacement (probably better purchased in quantity. Probably not dimmable, but were it me.. I would wire them in banks that could be turned off 1,2,3,4 and have a few dimmables installed for the "final dimdown" I also see some in the 20 buck range that you take out the ballast and connect the existing wiring directly to the power.. That MIGHT get you dimmability if you find the right bulb and read the fine print. Labor for a cut strip and new twist connector still shouldn't be that much per fixture. 15 - 20 min job even the first time through?
 
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RonHebbard

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Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
So the lights are semi-historical and have to remain. They were "updated" in 2004 with "new" electric (I'd hate to see the old) and are a little unique. Each light has a 36" circular plate that the lights sit on. There's 4 ballasts attached to each plate to run the fluorescent tubes. Ballast 1 runs two tubes, ballast 2 runs two tubes, and there are two ballasts for 3, which runs 4 total (two each). Lights are 40 watt 2G11. I don't know if the issue is being able to dim them, but something's wrong. Just seems like too much. I think there's probably a more elegant solution.

If anyone is curious or wants to see the setup, let me know. I don't want to clog things up with tons of pictures if no one cares.
I care and I'd love to learn / see pictures: Clog on.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

jtweigandt

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Joined
Aug 2, 2013
Location
Moline Il
hells bells.. everything is right out there in the open... Looks like it would be 2 seperate positionings of a scissor lift, but you could bypass the ballasts and use the
direct non ballasted replacements so easily there.. Now if you can find some that dim, the world is your oyster. Of course the technician in you shows us the business end of the fixture.
Kindly contact your inner artist and show us the pretty side too :)
 
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ACTSTech

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Nov 13, 2019
Location
USA
It's an interesting design. Everything is currently lamped with PL-L 40W/830/4P/IS fluorescents. I'll call them circuits in reference. Circuit 1 is the closest to the center and has two lamps. As you can see, they're oriented perpendicular to the plate and not really down in the slot, less than half the tube is providing down light, so 40 watts total coming through? The rest of the lamps are up-lighting. Circuit 2 is the next, again two lamps, but these are parallel to the plate. Circuit 3 is a dual ballast setup, four lamps, again only for up-lighting.

Like you said @jtweigandt, it seems like we could totally bypass the ballast. I'm not even sold on reusing the equipment there, but I'm not really interested in doing too much as I'm working on some scaffolding and there's 10 pendant lights that need to be redone. Each circuit is on a 20A breaker, so there's plenty of room.
 

jtweigandt

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Joined
Aug 2, 2013
Location
Moline Il
It's an interesting design. Everything is currently lamped with PL-L 40W/830/4P/IS fluorescents. I'll call them circuits in reference. Circuit 1 is the closest to the center and has two lamps. As you can see, they're oriented perpendicular to the plate and not really down in the slot, less than half the tube is providing down light, so 40 watts total coming through? The rest of the lamps are up-lighting. Circuit 2 is the next, again two lamps, but these are parallel to the plate. Circuit 3 is a dual ballast setup, four lamps, again only for up-lighting.

Like you said @jtweigandt, it seems like we could totally bypass the ballast. I'm not even sold on reusing the equipment there, but I'm not really interested in doing too much as I'm working on some scaffolding and there's 10 pendant lights that need to be redone. Each circuit is on a 20A breaker, so there's plenty of room.
No matter who does them, renting a small manually moved scissor or sliding extension lift would cut the working time by a factor of 10 over scaffolding. Bet you could get one of these for a day for 500 bucks https://www.jlg.com/-/media/jlg/cur...5am/images/25am-gallery-silo.png?mw=320?w=100
 

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