How do I turn LED lights into wash lights?

Celena Alcock

New Member
I was wondering what frost is best for spreading the LED beam. We want to hang Chroma-Q Colour Force 72 LED lights vertically behind chloroplast sheets. The beam angle is approximately 23 degrees and we want to diffuse it to approximately 60-70 degrees using a frost. What frost would you recommend?

Thanks,
Celena
 

JD

Well-Known Member
Since they are LED and out of view, cutting down a chunk of diffuser from an old florescent light fixture might work. I see dumpsters full of these things as office buildings switch out to more efficient sources.
Unlike frost, which often kills a lot of the output, the diffusers pass a lot of the light.
 

TupeloTechie

Active Member
If you MUST use traditional frost, use a LED flashlight with adjustable beam set to around 23° (Beam angle of the Color Force) and go through the frost section of any swatch-books you may have. MAYBE you will find something that will work good enough. I've used double R104 (in alternate directions) on the similar Colorblaze TRX units to get a soft even wash using them as footlights, there was a noticeable amount of light loss, but it was classical theater so they were never really over 40% intensity anyway.

If you can find the money, the proper way to do this would be with the CHCFBL72: Border Optic for Color Force 72. These spread to 60° according to spec.

Elation offers a similar filter in traditional gel sheet ratios at around $99 a sheet, LSF571 - LSF60-24 - 60 Degree 24” x 20” LSF Sheet. They won't be as clean as the Chroma-Q option, but a bit cheaper.
 

robmerow

Active Member
If you can't go holographic, I've used Rosco 118 in a pinch. I find the "tough" diffusion work better with LEDs than the more subtle frosts. There will certainly be some light loss, but a black cardboard snoot and some R118 makes a great poor-mans LED fresnel.
 

Chris Pflieger

Well-Known Member
I was wondering what frost is best for spreading the LED beam. We want to hang Chroma-Q Colour Force 72 LED lights vertically behind chloroplast sheets. The beam angle is approximately 23 degrees and we want to diffuse it to approximately 60-70 degrees using a frost. What frost would you recommend?

Thanks,
Celena
The thought of having big sheets of algae on stage is making me smile today.

ADJ / Elation makes some sheets for this purpose. I haven't gotten any for my coroplast sheets yet, so let me know if you try them.
 

jtweigandt

Well-Known Member
Since they are LED and out of view, cutting down a chunk of diffuser from an old florescent light fixture might work. I see dumpsters full of these things as office buildings switch out to more efficient sources.
Unlike frost, which often kills a lot of the output, the diffusers pass a lot of the light.
We light our cyc (well back wall) with blizzard toughstick rgbaw units, and get pretty good diffusion from the florescent light suspended ceiling stuff. the "crystal" pattern for lack of a better word. Very little light drop good spread. Be very careful cutting... I use the table saw....slowwwwwwly and with good eye protection. That said.. we just got the holographic etc's for some of the elation led opti tri pars... whooeeee goodbye dropout on the wash walking across the stage.
 

JD

Well-Known Member
We light our cyc (well back wall) with blizzard toughstick rgbaw units, and get pretty good diffusion from the florescent light suspended ceiling stuff. the "crystal" pattern for lack of a better word. Very little light drop good spread. Be very careful cutting... I use the table saw....slowwwwwwly and with good eye protection. That said.. we just got the holographic etc's for some of the elation led opti tri pars... whooeeee goodbye dropout on the wash walking across the stage.
Trick to the table saw- Use a fine blade installed backwards! It more-or-less melt-cuts it and is far less likely to cause the brittle plastic to shatter.
 

ship

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
when cutting plastic I constantly use cutting oil for drill bit, jigsaw or forstner etc. or table saw blade wax. Intent is to keep the blade cool if not even more cool just as with metal, and dial in the speed with practice where possible. Its a trial and error thing to say how many TPI is best on a table or chop saw, but thru McMaster Carr, a table and chop saw blades is a specification for blade offered in the search. For cutting plastic what I have gotten from them in the past is particle board blades. How many TPI though is a challenge. Less teeth for thicker material though, finer teeth for thinner and or more brittle material. Blade wax on more brittle material especially but in general should also help. Trial and error.

Tough Supn Rosco #105 is normally what I use for lenses/gels when not using a beam spreading gel - or in combination with. When on plastic lenses, sand blasting than dipping in MEK' solvent long enough to turn white which takes a timed trial and error + special protective gear. (Dangerous to work with - not something to play around with short of extreme planning, safety and caution.)
 
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ship

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Sorry, yes also a band saw, scroll saw, jigsaw, Sawzall etc. I actually made up a chart of which Bosch jigsaw blades for each type and thickness of material in use. Also a chart based on the "Backstage Handbook" in pre-calculating what speed to drill at. Have a forstner bit char in the works, hole saw chart etc. Completely useful when you get into projects.

Point is correct blade, speed and with lubricant when doing thicker material or a lot of it.


Was cutting some 1.1/4x2" UHMW plastic last night on the chop saw. UHMW is really soft and would shatter plastic more brittle with a fine tooth blade, but melt if too fine. Installed the factory 32 tooth 12" factory blade - even if thin kurf, and it cut faster and cleaner than the 92 tooth particle board (plastic) cutting blade that used to bog down a little. Bought a 86 tooth blade but, think happy medium would be wider kurf but more like 40 or 60 tooth normal saw blade. A lot of cuts on the factory blade in plastic will wear and lack of surface area will heat the factory blade. I have not attempted to wax this blade though. Have waxed table saw and worm drive Skill saw (another cutting tool) blades though with good results.

Later today in drilling with plastic drilling bits and forstner bits on the drill press, I did use a lot of normal cutting oil but had to go a lot of experience based guessing of speed. Worked great on the UHMW soft plastic. Soft/hard and medium plastic another factor.

Crud!! just found out a seperate specific tour broke another LED stick on purpose. (Six sided high output RGB tape inside a frosted polycarbonate tube.) I only make them in build lots as it's $150.00 in MEK each time I dip the outer tubing in a rain gutter. Another lot of dipping into MEK the outer bars and making more LED cores which are not easy and "obsolete." Band hired an expert to figure out problems with ... interference Rf signal onto their amp's... starting over in design anyway next month. Literally in going t hru the steps for each proprosed design change for why I didn't already do it in the last design. Well over $1.5K per bar to make. More than that if the upgrade to digital goes thru - each bar and the same each time they break them. One would think the band would at least stop breaking them on purpose in already spending the money to upgrade to a bar more expensive yet to replace. But at least if the upgrade goes thru I can do the upgrade to the outer bars hopefully in making them a little stronger. Hmm, LED punching bag bar... short notice, low budget. Month to month problems since
 
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