LED PAR cans

DaveySimps

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Hi! This is my first post. Has anyone used the Tri North Lighting LED PAR 64? They are cans that come with color mixing via DMX and sound really too good to be true. I was curious if anyone has used them (or any other LED fixtures). If so, are they comparable to a typical PAR 64 WFL? Do they fill the same area? What are your thoughts about the quality of light they produce? Have you had any problems with them? I am considering prchasing enough to do a full stage wash, because the price is very reasonable and would give us many options, but am looking for a way to guage their features. Thanks!

Dave Simpson
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East China Performing Arts Center
 

soundlight

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The TriNorth cans are the same as the Wiedamark cans. No, they won't put out as much light as a standard 500W par, actually much, much less, and the beam is much smaller than a WFL, if I remember the specs correctly. The ambers that any RGB LED can produces are not true ambers, and it's hard to get a true white. These LED cans have been discussed at length on this forum and on the ProSoundWeb forum.

The main thing to consider is your trim height for the electrics. If it is over 15 feet, these fixtures are probably out of the question entirely. But if it's about 15 feet or so, you might be able to pull it off.

Oh, and I almost forgot, welcome to ControlBooth!!!

EDIT: I'm actually almost certain that TriNorth and Wiedamark are the same company because they reference the same reviews and source them as from their customers. Either that or TriNorth is ripping off Wiedamark's publicity and should be sued for copyright infringement.
 
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gafftaper

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Not sure about the TriNorth but want to reinforce the low lumen output on these cheap LED PARS. Check out the LED PAR shootout over on pro sound web. At the very end of the shoot out he lists the lumen out put of the different instruments.

A 6" fresnel puts out 22 times more foot candles at 10 feet than the best LED PAR.
A S4 Par w/narrow lens puts out 82.9 times more foot candles at 10 feet than the best LED PAR

There are brighter options out there but they cost 10 times the price of these little guys.

There are several other recent threads on the topic of LED PARS do a search... and Welcome to the Booth!!
 
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len

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If you want something that APPROACHES a par can, you'll need something along the lines of the Coemar or Thomas but you still don't get ambers, white is softer, etc. The best thing about the Coemar (for me) is that they will fit inside a stick of 12" x 12" truss as a toner and they have a bracket that doubles as a stand.
 

soundlight

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The major thing about LED pars is that they produce the saturated colors with much, much, much higher efficiency than standard pars. Pop in some R83 and you've got four percent transmittancy!!!! With an LED par, the actual LED's emit blue light, so there is no loss of efficiency! This is the feature that people often overlook about the LED products.

If you want to go with anything, go with either the Thomas PixelPars or the Coemar ParLites. Both of these units will need diffusion lenses. Another option, very similar to the ParLite, is Elation's Design LED 36. It's got the same number and quality of LED's as the ParLite, but cannot compete with the PixelPar (which has 90).

If you really want to make this count, and you have the $$$, go with the Selador X7-12-square with their diffusion lenses.

Basically, the Wiedamark/TriNorth units are really not gonna cut it for a true theater wash. They'd probably be fine if your trim was about 15 feet and you really, really packed them in there, as in one for every eight square feet or so, but you are not, I repeat not, going to be able to get a true white or a true amber, both of which, in many cases, are almost necessary for theatrical lighting design.
 

gafftaper

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Continuing Soundlight's post...

If you can afford the 3 Watt Selador X7-Xtras, which run somewhere around $1,500 per foot of strip lights when you add the cost of the diffusion lens kit. You get the power you need for theater applications and they do very nice white and amber.

Unfortunately, Selador doesn't seem to make the square in the 3 Watt model. The square runs a little over $2k if I remember right. When they upgraded to the 3 watt LED models they went all strips which come in 8 ", 11", 2', 4', 6' lengths. I would go with two of the 3 Watt 8" or 11" strips stacked side by side before I got a square... there is a significant power boost in the "Xtra" series. I've seen lots of demos but I think I'm waiting for a 5 or 10 watt model before I buy.

P.S. Soundlight makes a great point about transmission rates and heavy saturated colors. Plus the quality of the light produced by an LED in a deep color is much more appealing than a gel.
 

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gafftaper

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And then there's the fact that you can get a few thousand colors out of an LED par, only 16, 18, or 21 out of a PAR with a scroller, and only one out of a standard par with no scroller, just gel.
As long as we are finishing each other's thoughts...

plus consider the price of a standard PAR with a scroller and power supply. You can very easily get up there close to the cost of one of the higher end LED PARs that does have the punch you need. Then subtract the cost of gel and lamps, and the electricity saved for the life of the instrument.

In the long run LED's really aren't expensive. It's more a matter of can you afford the initial output of cash.
 

gafftaper

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Any idea how much those Thomas PixelPars cost? I think they are using the same Luxeon K2's that the Selador's use.

EDIT: HOLY CRAP did you see the Thomas PixelRange... 1044 LED's in a 4 foot bar!!! Unfortunately they are lower end LED's not the big bad Luxeon K2's. If you check the photometric page the PixelPar has almost the same output as this huge strip. Still it LOOKS really cool.

Also cool pictures of the PixelPars in action with the Scissor Sisters tour.
 
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soundlight

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I've known about the PixelPars and the whole PixelRange for a while. I am really a fan of the RGBA mixing on some of their fixtures, but it really can't compete with the Seladors...

Oh, Martin has their product out now, the Stage Bar 54, with RGBAW mixing.
 

gafftaper

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I've known about the PixelPars and the whole PixelRange for a while. I am really a fan of the RGBA mixing on some of their fixtures, but it really can't compete with the Seladors...
Oh, Martin has their product out now, the Stage Bar 54, with RGBAW mixing.
Yeah they had that Stagebar 54 at LDI. It was not very impressive at all. The odd thing was that they seemed to know it because it took me forever to find a Martin rep who wanted to talk about it. Everyone was too excited about the TW1.
 

soundlight

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Yeah, I wasn't that impressed with it either, or else I'd have given it more of a pointer for folks. It's just another thing to throw out there, though.
 

gafftaper

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Hey Mark, Welcome to the booth be sure to stop in the new users forum and introduce yourself.

I think most people around here are looking at the LED Pars from a theater point of view and are disappointed. They are perfect for the DJ world and some are now bright enough to be useful in the concert lighting world. But even the most expensive models are still too dim (and expensive) for live theater. They'll just disappear when a few standard conventional lights are turned on the rest of the stage.

Give it a few more years.