HELP! Fed up with Lehigh

I am the unwilling victim of a Lehigh Collage Expanded Mode CPM Programmable Station. I've tried for a few years to get this thing working, and I've finally given up. The system includes two 3X12 stations, 5 remotes and more bugs than my grade school ant farm.
Since this is installed in a church, budget is always a challenge. I've read through the forum and would love to go out and get a Strand or ETC, (and I plan to get a quote), but based on what I've read, I'm petrified as to how expensive it will be.
The lehigh system has three panels with breakers that control all house lighting and the previously mentioned stations. Any recommendations on a church type system that can control up to 36 light fixtures and offer some basic programmable settings?
Oh yeah, actually working is also a consideration!

Thanks,

Mike
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Are you looking to replace it with a similar architectural wall control system? Are you looking to go with a real theater style control board only? or a mix of the two? What's your ballpark budget? Also what are using for dimmers and are your house lights wired into the rest of the dimmer rack?

A typical approach would be to use an architectural wall mounted system to control just the house lights (Strand and ETC make them, I'm happy with my Leviton system). Then have a separate console for the stage lighting which can control the houselights when you want it to.

If all you are using is 36 circuits of stage lights, nothing that changes colors or moves, and aren't worried about leaving some upgrade capability in the future. Something like the standard architectural stuff from Strand and a Strand 201 control board would be pretty slick. It's nothing fancy but it should work. If you are installing both a board and an architectural system depending on your dimmer situation you should be able to mix brands(I've got Strand dimmers, console, and architectural control but a Leviton unit that controls the architectural system in the back).

Probably the best thing for you to do is to call your local lighting dealer and have them come in and discuss your options and give you a price quote. Then come back here and tell us what the recommended. We can give you opinions on the package they put together... unless you are a great electrician you are most likely going to need to have them install this anyway. Where are you at? Maybe we can recommend a dealer to you.

In general I would look at only Leviton, Strand, and ETC for Architectural. For control consoles I would only look at Strand and ETC if at all possible. The cheaper options from those manufacturers are: Strand 201 and Basic Palette or the ETC Smartfade.
 
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JD

Well-Known Member
Ha! for a second, I read that as C/PM, which was the forerunner of DOS! (painful programming memory) Anyway, there have been a number of threads dealing with the Lehigh dimmers, don't remember any having a happy ending. First question, is this a theatrical or architectural (or mix of both) lighting system?

EIDT: Wow Gaff, you beat me by one minute! Anyway, same things I was thinking.
 

Charc

Well-Known Member
Ha! for a second, I read that as C/PM, which was the forerunner of DOS! (painful programming memory) Anyway, there have been a number of threads dealing with the Lehigh dimmers, don't remember any having a happy ending. First question, is this a theatrical or architectural (or mix of both) lighting system?

EIDT: Wow Gaff, you beat me by one minute! Anyway, same things I was thinking.

My milk comes from Lehigh, and I like it. When my dimmers/control comes from Lehigh, I don't like it. They should stick to milk.
 

STEVETERRY

Well-Known Member
I am the unwilling victim of a Lehigh Collage Expanded Mode CPM Programmable Station. I've tried for a few years to get this thing working, and I've finally given up. The system includes two 3X12 stations, 5 remotes and more bugs than my grade school ant farm.
Since this is installed in a church, budget is always a challenge. I've read through the forum and would love to go out and get a Strand or ETC, (and I plan to get a quote), but based on what I've read, I'm petrified as to how expensive it will be.
The lehigh system has three panels with breakers that control all house lighting and the previously mentioned stations. Any recommendations on a church type system that can control up to 36 light fixtures and offer some basic programmable settings?
Oh yeah, actually working is also a consideration!

Thanks,

Mike

We're standing by to help with relief from Wisconsin!

I guess we know how to do the stuff you mention, and pretty well.

Lighting solutions for Theatre, Film & Television Studios and Architectural spaces : ETC

(I know, I took a shameless opportunity)

:)

ST
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
I like the elegant simplicity of this control:
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APP01
from one of the leaders in stage and architectural lighting technology.

I understand they also have a new line of innovative Ellipsoidal Reflector Spotlights.

/sarcasm off.
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
a) The sincerest form or flattery; OR b) Patent infringement? Only your hairdresser knows!:p
 
Are you looking to replace it with a similar architectural wall control system? Are you looking to go with a real theater style control board only? or a mix of the two? What's your ballpark budget? Also what are using for dimmers and are your house lights wired into the rest of the dimmer rack?

A typical approach would be to use an architectural wall mounted system to control just the house lights (Strand and ETC make them, I'm happy with my Leviton system). Then have a separate console for the stage lighting which can control the houselights when you want it to.

If all you are using is 36 circuits of stage lights, nothing that changes colors or moves, and aren't worried about leaving some upgrade capability in the future. Something like the standard architectural stuff from Strand and a Strand 201 control board would be pretty slick. It's nothing fancy but it should work. If you are installing both a board and an architectural system depending on your dimmer situation you should be able to mix brands(I've got Strand dimmers, console, and architectural control but a Leviton unit that controls the architectural system in the back).

Probably the best thing for you to do is to call your local lighting dealer and have them come in and discuss your options and give you a price quote. Then come back here and tell us what the recommended. We can give you opinions on the package they put together... unless you are a great electrician you are most likely going to need to have them install this anyway. Where are you at? Maybe we can recommend a dealer to you.

In general I would look at only Leviton, Strand, and ETC for Architectural. For control consoles I would only look at Strand and ETC if at all possible. The cheaper options from those manufacturers are: Strand 201 and Basic Palette or the ETC Smartfade.

We use a Martin LightJockey control system for theatrical lights. What we need to do is replace the Lehigh system for architectural lighting. Effectively, we have zero budget as an expense will have to be a capital expense from our building fund. The main concern here is getting something that doesn't go haywire every 2 - 3 months and require near contact repairs.

I have a local dealer coming out today, and I'll report back here!

Thanks!
 
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Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
I think I'd do better getting you to come to Florida in January... Hope this is fixed before then!

Uhm....heh? Except for us diehard skiers its easy to get people to Florida in January...I'm confused.
 
Im sorry you are having so much trouble with your Lehigh system. My school has one with the CT500 TouchScreen station, I think it is really nice. No trouble at all...
Good luck with getting a new system!
 
UPDATE:
Had a rep out yesterday, we bypassed all of the remote panels because he thought we might be getting stray voltage from the way they were wired. We also found that an overambitious operations guy had replaced several of the bulbs in some standard light fixtures with compact fluorescent with a built in ballast. This is not a good thing! We replaced all of those with standard incandescent bulbs and so far so good. I reset the entire system, reprogrammed all presets and now we wait to see...

Thanks for the advice!
 

stageleft

Member
So in your Update you are saying the reason your system was not working properly was because someone installed non-dimmable CF lamps into a socket where dimmable lamps had been? How can that be Lehigh's problem?
 

Naimad

Member
I have been in the manufacturing end of stage and studio lighting for over 25 years. I have seen companies come and go, they flash onto the scene like a Quasar and end up a Black Hole. This industry has its leaders and followers, but you can bet your bottom dollar that things will change, the leaders will become followers, the followers will lead. I have just read a string of complaints about Lehigh Electric Products Company and in the end the connected loads were improperly lamped. The Lehigh system was fine. The real problem was human error. My old friend Steve Terry, patiently standing by in Madison, Wisconsin has seen this over and over again, as have I. Let's be careful out there (as they use to say on "Hill Street Blues") about damaging one of the companies of our industry. Do not put all of your eggs in one basket. I have worked for Strand (twice), Kliegl Bros., DeSisti Lighting, and Altman Stage Lighting, and all of these are or were contributors to the industry. If, somewhere down the road, you are left alone with one stage lighting manufacturer you will rue the day that you started on that road. Now, as Eastern Regional Sales Manager, let me say a few words in defense of Lehigh...first of all, I am glad Celebration Mike found his problem but nowhere do I see him mention a call to Lehigh Electric (610-395-3386 or Welcome to Lehigh Lighting - Controls, Dimming, Fixtures). Secondly, in case you do not know this, Lehigh Electric is one of the oldest continuous stage lighting manufacturers in existence (I say the oldest because what we know as Strand actually happened in 1969) having been founded in 1961. It is family-owned and operated since its founding and one of the most financially solid companies that I have ever worked for. Management is conservative, not quick to jump on every fad. All R&D is done in-house, which cannot be said for many others in the industry that go outside or buy companies wholesale. Lehigh is now #3 in the stage construction market, ahead of Leviton, ET/Genlyte/now Philiips, and EDI. We are just as strong in the Commerical Architectural market where we compete with Lutron, Lightolier, Leviton, and Lithonia. Please note: your company must begin with the letter "L" or you are not a factor in this market. Lehigh is a factor. I could go on and on but I am sure you have already tired of this rant. In closing, please do not talk any manufacturer into the ground...you are talking about the livelihood of employees, retirees, family, and associate companies. And if you have a problem with a product, go to the source first. Have a good summer...Damian Delaney, Lehigh Electric Products Co., [email protected]. (aka: Naimad)
 

Les

Well-Known Member
Well way to go everyone, we pissed off Lehigh. This is the reason I've been sticking up for Altman so much lately!!! lol
 
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