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Getting the LED out....

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Numlok, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. Numlok

    Numlok Member

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    Greetings all,

    Im starting a design for a small north american tour later this year. Im considering using a number of LED fixtures on this job for eye candy, design, and some general illumination. Im looking at the ColorBlast, ColorBlaze72, ParLiteLED, LiveLed 100 and the Color Block DB4. I have handled all but the Color Block in person. Im curious if anybody else has had experience with these instruments.

    From my perspective, I see this; The ColorBlast is handy, 30 in a 1/4x1/3. It has a short throw, but is reasonable for accents. The ColorBlaze72 is a big stick. Its bright as heck for 420W and dare I say kind of groovy in mode 'A'. The ParLite is a nice fixture. Its heavier than it looks but reasonably effective in short throw. Its pricey in large quantities. The ColorBlock has eluded my hands to date. It seems to be better adapted for design than the others with a variety of mounting/clustering options. I have not seen its output in person. The LiveLed is stupid bright for its size. Its heat sink body says it all. Its a good broad-ish fixture.

    I would love to hear any personal experiences with these fixtures.

    Thanks in advance.

    Bob
     
  2. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I was lent ~$8k of CK Colorblaze gear by a local manufacture's rep for a week to go crazy with. It was real fun, and gave me a lot of insight as to where LED's are headed. I didn't use a DMX interface; programmed via computer on ColorPlay 3. Short of a DMX interface, don't get hyped on the busking nature of these lights, because programming via a computer and uploading your shows and presets to a lunch box works, but gives you no control other than to run pre-programmed chases and shows and such, but I'm sure if you use a DMX interface busking is as easy as would be with anything else. The CK fixtures have a quick response, low heat output, and are rated for damp locations. I wouldn't go submerging them in a pool, but if you do an outside gig and they get a little rain on them they'll be absolutely fine.

    Overall, I was pleased with them, but like I said, my experience was with programming via ColorPlay 3; DMX is a complete different world from that.
     
  3. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Occupation:
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    I don't own any LED's (still too expensive for those of us in educational theater) but I'm in love with Selador X7 Xtra's. I've seen a demo several times. They are extremely bright and the colors are better than the rest of the collection since they use 7 colors of LED's. The colors are deep, the whites are perfect. Be sure to read their research documentation.
     
  4. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I've used all except the LiveLed 100, and would go with ColorBlast12 and ColorBlaze72 (used them today). The Color Block is acceptable, but doesn't have the output or coverage of the CB12. The Coemar unit's white is atrocious. If money were no object, I'd use Plixelines and PixelPARs. I'd also consider buying, rather than renting, these, with the understanding that they're essentially "disposable," and not even close to the same league as the others. Another worth considering, although field reports are mixed (but I liked them), is the Martin Stagebar 54™. It really depends on your application, and budget.

    [user]gafftaper[/user] enjoys espousing his fondness for the Seladors, but I have never seen them on a tour (most likely due to their outrageous cost).
     
  5. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    I've used the LiveLED, the ParLite, and the CB72. I think it depends on what you want it to look like. They're all fairly durable fixtures. You seem to have a good grasp on the output so I guess it depends on what your design goal is. The CB72 can give you some cool strip light type looks. But the case I've seen is stupid big, especially with 6 of them. But any single par can style is going to either require an extra hour or two per show, or some really big frame that is going to be hard to load in and be kind of fragile. Unless you can mount them in some pre-rig truss and pre-wire them all.

    I have put led pars on booms behind a band pointing straight out. You can do a lot of fun stuff with them, but remember that after a while it can cross over into the "I'm the LD and I want to blind the crowd as much as I can" school. I see too much of that anymore. Either I'm getting old, or too many LD think that the best show is the one the audience can't see.
     
  6. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    [QUOTE=derekleffew;103979[user]gafftaper[/user] enjoys espousing his fondness for the Seladors, but I have never seen them on a tour (most likely due to their outrageous cost).[/QUOTE]

    Derek, I though you worked in Vegas where there are no budget problems. What's wrong with $1600 per foot of strip (That was the approximate price about a year ago for a moderate size package when you include all the optional lenses and stuff). ;)
     
  7. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I think one needs to know specific applications before worthy recommendations can be made.

    Do you need control over white light? If so, this could work.

    [​IMG]

    With 90 three watt LEDs (42 High White, 30 White and 18 Amber,) the Solar Ray AW represents a huge value with exceptional output.


    If color is your desire the Solar Ray RGB merits consideration with 30 each 3 watt red, blue and green LEDs.

    Or we could discuss the Color Kinetics division of Philips if budget is not a major consideration.
     
  8. Numlok

    Numlok Member

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    Outstanding!

    Thanks to all that responded. This is exactly what I was looking for, real hands on opinions.

    I was leaning to the CK stuff because of price vs. power vs. output seems to be good. I love the Pixel Range stuff, but its crazy expensive for me right now. I think we are going to purchase rather than rent because of the length of the tour.

    I think I will drop the ColorBlock's out for reasons listed above and beyond. I never thought of the "disposable" MBP LED Par, Im even sure some Bar would buy the beaten up old pars when Im done with them. Interesting!

    I have never heard or seen any of the Irradiant line of fixtures. At first glance I would say it looks hard to pack ;-). Bill, have you seen these instruments on the road?

    Im also new to Selador. Im doing the vetting now.
     
  9. CavezziMagnum

    CavezziMagnum Member

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    I am IN LOVE with the CK Colorblaze and the PARLite. We have a dozen CBs in our shop in addition to 20 of the PARLites.

    For the Colorblazes, I recently saw them in a rental of ours for a Perpetual Groove concert in Athens, GA. After speaking with the LD of the show, his only "complaint" was that they washed out the MAC 700s. That being said, it is a small theatre, so it is easy for that to happen. They have unlimited potential when united with a RoadHog console.

    The PARLites: There are pros and cons. I like the concept of the instrument, and most of what it does. A BIG negative of it, is the "white" it produces. But like most RGB instruments, that is the case. You can always see the individual R,G & B. Like you said, the output is best for short throws, although I recently used them in the Robert Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech, as pin spots. at a 20' trim, looked very nice. I also like the control options for the PARLite becasue you can set them to personalities without a console, not the case with the Colorblaze.

    Cool design idea: Put the coloblazes in a horseshoe around the band (whatever it is). Chases, colorchanges, and strobes look badass.
     
  10. Numlok

    Numlok Member

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    Huh.....How was the Colorblaze used for the Perpetual Groove concert, as a cyc light or design/eye candy element?
     
  11. CavezziMagnum

    CavezziMagnum Member

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    They were placed in a U-shape around the band, facing the audience. Using a RoadHog to control it, the LD utilized the FX engine and the Colorblazes had eye-dazzling color chases, color changes, and strobing. The chases really reminded me of a carnival. But with the RGB, it seemed as if the LEDs danced.

    To make a long answer short, Design/eye candy element.
     

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