Darkness in a venue (church, theatre)

almorton

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Dec 17, 2014
Location
Caterham, Surrey, UK
@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.
This is correct. The shape of the mouldings that the "fibre optic" fits into means that we can control the direction of the beam, so most of the light is aimed down onto the the tread of the next step down, with little glare coming upwards, certainly not straight into the eyes.

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
Yes, that's the problem, the auditorium steps at the top of the rake illuminate the stage sufficiently that you can easily see people moving around, like having worker blues on, while those lower down illuminate the backs of the seats in the stalls enough that it's really distracting. Since these are courtesy lights, not emergency lights, we dim them during the performance, so that the "splashback" is minimised, and the stage isn't lit by them. You can still see the steps and floor in the dark to move around, because they're not off completely, but when the aud lights are on we raise the level as a courtesy so the step edges are still brightly lit.

You can get an idea of just how much light a standard LED puts out from a show I did where we had individual 10mm white LEDs set into a set piece to twinkle like seaside festoon lights. They were run at 30mA and, from the stage, you could make out individual pools of light on the auditorium walls 30-40 feet away.
 

RonHebbard

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Waterdown, ON, CA

ACTSTech

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Nov 13, 2019
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USA
@ACTSTech Could; weight, point load, steps, or slope, be a problem with a scissor, or similar, lift?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
That's one of my concerns. Structurally, the church floor is fine for an audience or a congregation, but I'm waiting to see what the structural engineer thinks. There's a fellowship hall below the sanctuary, and we know there's steel I-beams, but we're not 100% sure the floor will hold scissor lifts without some sort of massive spread to limit point load. There's one handicap ramp leading into a double door, but then there's a turn, so we're pretty limited in scope. Believe me, I'm trying for the lift. Darn 125+ year old buildings. Why didn't they think of these things when they old-country bohunk beetfarmers and coal miners and steel workers were building it! Curse their short-sightedness!
 

tjrobb

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May 14, 2009
Location
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
I'm in Iowa, but here we have a "church lift". Basically, it's a stick lift designed to spread its weight and fit thru a standard double door. (Helpful in a 65' atrium with said doors and poorly laid tiles. My 180 pounds on a scissor lift made unhappy noises on this floor).
 
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RonHebbard

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I'm in Iowa, but here we have a "church lift". Basically, it's a stick lift designed to spread its weight and fit thru a standard double door. (Helpful in a 65' atrium with said doors and poorly laid tiles.
"My 180 pounds on a scissor lift made unhappy noises on this floor".
Likewise your 180 pounds would make unhappy noises if/when you suddenly decelerated upon striking said floor.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 
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jtweigandt

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Aug 2, 2013
Location
Moline Il
That's one of my concerns. Structurally, the church floor is fine for an audience or a congregation, but I'm waiting to see what the structural engineer thinks. There's a fellowship hall below the sanctuary, and we know there's steel I-beams, but we're not 100% sure the floor will hold scissor lifts without some sort of massive spread to limit point load. There's one handicap ramp leading into a double door, but then there's a turn, so we're pretty limited in scope. Believe me, I'm trying for the lift. Darn 125+ year old buildings. Why didn't they think of these things when they old-country bohunk beetfarmers and coal miners and steel workers were building it! Curse their short-sightedness!
The smaller "telescope" lifts are a fraction of the weight of an autonomous scissor lift. Not as convenient.. as you have to extend/retract the spreader/levelers and push it around but still probably better than slogging and climbing scaffold
 

RonHebbard

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Waterdown, ON, CA
The smaller "telescope" lifts are a fraction of the weight of an autonomous scissor lift. Not as convenient.. as you have to extend/retract the spreader/levelers and push it around but still probably better than slogging and climbing scaffold
Slopes and stairs / stepped rows are still amongst my concerns.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

DrewE

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Mar 18, 2019
Location
Vermont
Slopes and stairs / stepped rows are still amongst my concerns.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
Probably no stairs amongst the seats in a church; at least, I've never seen that. A balcony could be another story (no pun intended).

My high school had a Genie hoist with a "super straddle" gizmo that it could attach into. This was a sort of specialized scaffolding with hoisting cables on either end; by putting the Genie hoist into it and cranking up the ends appropriately, it could roll between the rows of seats in the auditorium, with the hoist suspended over the seats, and compensate for the sloped floor and allow one access to the house electric or other stuff on the ceiling. (There were sockets in the straddle gizmo for the hoist outriggers to fit into so as to stabilize it.)

Besides scaffolding, there is always the Little Giant skyscraper A-frame ladder, maxing out at 21' height (so maybe a 25' or so working height).
 

RC4Wireless

Jim @RC4Wireless #RC4DoesThat
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Aug 21, 2009
Location
Raleigh, NC
"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?
Wireless control might be helpful, but I'm not sure.

Power is the challenge. Batteries are generally not the answer for installation work unless coupled with wireless recharge -- like solar -- and that's not feasible in this situation.

I like the LED tape idea. Use good quality 24V tape that provides even brightness over the entire length and even multiple lengths of tape in series. This works really well because:
(a) The LEDs themselves are operating at under 5V, so there's lots of room for voltage drop on the 24V lines running over long lengths. The good products place a switching regulator along the tape every foot or so. You want that feature in this case.
(b) Higher voltage means lower amperage for the same light output. There's a chance you could run with Class 2 power supplies and avoid a whole lot of safety/inspection problems. Local code applies, YMMV.

Jim
RC4
 

ACTSTech

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Nov 13, 2019
Location
USA
Wireless control might be helpful, but I'm not sure.

Power is the challenge. Batteries are generally not the answer for installation work unless coupled with wireless recharge -- like solar -- and that's not feasible in this situation.

I like the LED tape idea. Use good quality 24V tape that provides even brightness over the entire length and even multiple lengths of tape in series. This works really well because:
(a) The LEDs themselves are operating at under 5V, so there's lots of room for voltage drop on the 24V lines running over long lengths. The good products place a switching regulator along the tape every foot or so. You want that feature in this case.
(b) Higher voltage means lower amperage for the same light output. There's a chance you could run with Class 2 power supplies and avoid a whole lot of safety/inspection problems. Local code applies, YMMV.

Jim
RC4
Thanks for the input Jim. My initial response to the problem was thinking along the same lines as you. If we have to remove, paint and remount the baseboard anyhow, I was thinking that maybe adding a strip of the 24v LED tape on the top of the baseboard would work. They have channels that would run the tape at a 45-degree angle, so I could direct it down to the floor, out of people's eyes then throw a frosted lens over the entire strip. It wouldn't be too difficult to run that to a middle location where I already planned power and DMX drops, so theoretically it could go to the board and we could go from there. I hate cutting up walls with conduit if I don't have to, so that might be a more elegant solution in the long run. I don't have much experience, but it seems like a simple DMX decoder would be easily integrated. Thoughts?
 

RC4Wireless

Jim @RC4Wireless #RC4DoesThat
Joined
Aug 21, 2009
Location
Raleigh, NC
All sounds sensible to me. I think Environmental Lights has everything you need.

But if you want it to be wireless... then come talk to me, I've got little boxes that go between the power supply and the LEDs and take care of everything else, DMX controlled.
 

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