#### KaR356i

##### Member
Hello! I'm new to the forum and joined because I was hoping I might find some people out there that have used LED strip lights in a theatre setting. I am the house electrician at a roadhouse and we are looking to replace the old strip lights we use as a groundrow for the cyc with LED strip lights. We know they are expensive and are prepared for that. I've been doing research for a while and finally decided we needed some outside opinions with experience in these types of instruments. We have a 50' cyc that is 22' high, usually place the ground row anywhere from 18" to 3' away from the cyc. Any suggestions, experience with various companies, or reccomendations on a specific unit would be greatly appreciated!!

Thank you so much!!

-K

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
I know that I've heard a lot about the Selador strips, with 7 colors. This provides a larger range for color mixing. I know that some people here saw them at LDI, so hopefully they'll comment.

#### personalZEN

##### Member
Selador has incredible line of LED strips. They are quite pricey, but VERY worth it. Our touring company just picked up about 32 units and I'm happy with every single fixture we've received.

The 7 color LED system seems like overkill at first, but then after 3 minutes of use, you can completely understand their philosophy on additive color mixing.

We use the 6ft strips, with 70x70 deg spread lenses as footlights for a handful of colors and the saturation, tonality, and overall even wash is just mind-blowing.

We also use the 6ft strips, with the 30 horizontal spread lenses for cyc washes and the colors are just brilliant, saturated, and hyper-fast w/changes.

We built some of the 7in 3w units into par housings for touring purposes and the punch is far brighter than a 1K.

Out of the LED units I've used (elation, color kinetics, etc) I think selador are absolute top of the line.

The great thing about Selador units is that you can actually talk with Rob (the CEO) about your specifics and he'll work everything out for you. The customer service is incredible.

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
The basic reason that the 7-color system works is summed up by this picture:

If you know the color theory behind additive mixing and these diagrams, you'll really understand how this makes the Selador strips 1000% better than anything else.

#### SHARYNF

##### Well-Known Member
On the low end options, if your strips are par38 lamps standard screw base, I have been looking at an inexpensive alternative where you simply replace the lamps with white screw in led;s and then continue to use the existing roundels etc.

Certainly this is the low end solution, and a full multi led color mixing system is going to be better but a lot more expensive, but just thought I would mention it. Led Lamps for this method should run under 20 dollars a piece

Sharyn

#### KaR356i

##### Member
Thank you so much for the responses! I looked into the Selador strips today before I posted here. I like the technology, it looks great, and I'm impressed with all the tech specs they have on their page about them! Just concerned with brightness mainly, and how big the wash will be when we use them for cyc lights. We've got a demo comming in the next few weeks, so that should answer these questions, but for those of you who are actually using them.... Can you tell me what kind of coverage you're getting on the 6' units when you put them on a cyc? our height is not bad, only 20feet that is really seen, but we have 50feet in width to cover. Also, have you ever hung them instead of using them on a ground row for a cyc?

Again, thanks so much for the info!

#### gafftaper

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
I'm the guy who keeps preaching Selador around here. It sounds like you've read all their documentation on their website but if you haven't be sure to read the big research paper and the whole history of their product. It's a very different product designed by real theater people for theater purposes.

I don't have them... YET... but I have seen a small demo done by a local dealer and then I spent a good deal of time at their LDI booth. The small demo with a 2 foot 1 watt LED was a little disappointing at first but still more impressive than the stuff you'll see from Color Kinetics. At LDI they had a set of strips lined up across the back of their booth shooting up the wall. This is in one of those monster Vegas Exhibition halls. They were lighting up the wall about 40 feet up, I think they said the 3 Watters are good to over 70 feet. They had a 3 watter up front doing a demo of how good their white mix is. It was far better than any of the other white mixes at LDI. The trick is you get the strip and then you get a set of plastic lenses that spread the light in different directions. Even though I'm only buying for a small black box, I'm still getting the 3 watt models so that I can spread them really wide and still have a ton of light.
Prices quoted to me for the 3 Watt X7's: 6'=$7,600 4'=$5,080 - 2'=$2,540 Lens kits run about$170 per foot of striplight. Plus the cost of yokes and floorstands etc...

#### SteveB

##### Well-Known Member
I'm Prices quoted to me for the 3 Watt X7's: 6'=$7,600 4'=$5,080 - 2'=$2,540 Lens kits run about$170 per foot of striplight. Plus the cost of yokes and floorstands etc...
So about $70,000 for 48ft of LED strips, vs.$15,000 or so for a set of L&E 8ft x 4 circ. MR16's, double hung w/ lamps for 4 colors.

Hmmm... it's a hard sell, but lot's more hrs. out of the LED lamps, which might be a pain to replace down the road - unless they are in modular/replacable blocks, but the entire package uses ton's less electricity, thus circuits can shift to somewhere else, but I 'gotta buy a node and run Cat5 & some DMX, but unlimited colors, thus some savings on labor...... I'm sold !, no I only have to find $70,000 SB #### KaR356i ##### Member Thank you so much! I haven't read the research paper, but I will! Thank you for the first hand account of what you saw at LDI! I've been going for several years but we were in the middle of a hellish month and I couldn't leave the theatre last year to go! From your account, I'm not sure that we would need the X7 3Watts because our cyc is only 23 feet high, only 20 of which is generally visable. I think we may be able to get away with the regular 1watt X7s with the wide lense on it....but they may reduce the brightness, so who knows! The pricing I got was a little bit different, but it equals out to about the same. Unfortunately, while the boss wants cool led lights, he said money wasn't a problem when he thought the lights were going to be around$2000/each...then I found these X7's...and THEN they said they didn't really want to spend more than $25 grand, so we may have to look at the color kinetics if these don't give a pretty wide spread with the 80 lense. Can you take a guess as to how WIDE the wall was that these strips were lighting at LDI, and how many they were using to do so? You guys are full of great insight with these, thanks SOO Much! #### gafftaper ##### Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia Thank you so much! I haven't read the research paper, but I will! Thank you for the first hand account of what you saw at LDI! I've been going for several years but we were in the middle of a hellish month and I couldn't leave the theatre last year to go! From your account, I'm not sure that we would need the X7 3Watts because our cyc is only 23 feet high, only 20 of which is generally visable. I think we may be able to get away with the regular 1watt X7s with the wide lense on it....but they may reduce the brightness, so who knows! The pricing I got was a little bit different, but it equals out to about the same. Unfortunately, while the boss wants cool led lights, he said money wasn't a problem when he thought the lights were going to be around$2000/each...then I found these X7's...and THEN they said they didn't really want to spend more than $25 grand, so we may have to look at the color kinetics if these don't give a pretty wide spread with the 80 lense. Can you take a guess as to how WIDE the wall was that these strips were lighting at LDI, and how many they were using to do so? You guys are full of great insight with these, thanks SOO Much! The instruments at LDI were the 1 Watt Selador's set up to light a drop maybe 10 feet high across the back wall of the booth. At the same time the booth just happened to be against a side wall of the room. This is one of those huge exhibit halls with probably 60-70 foot ceilings. So although they weren't really trying to light the big concrete wall it was sort of incidentally lit. Then about 40 feet up was a huge punch of light where the main focus of the strips was hitting. There was a lot of light still available. If I remember right they didn't have any lenses on them. The question to contact Selador about is how much the light spread out of those 6 foot strips when the lenses are in. How far apart can those strips be placed and still evenly light a drop. I bet you can put at least a 5 foot gap between them and with the proper lens get full coverage. But I'm not the expert there. I believe that the 1 Watt Seladors run about$1300 a foot. Which is about the same as Color Kinetics Colorblaze.

As for Steve B's comment about the cost benefit, you are missing one huge point. The quality of the color saturation is unreal. You just can't make colors like these using gel.

Finally, In an unrelated topic I want to point out that the people at Color Kinetics are really architectural minded and just happen to make two products that are useful for theater. Their booth at LDI was this lovely little pagoda-like building showing off all of their products. It had a cute little dome ceiling and way up there in the corner were a couple of colorblasts. You couldn't tell what they were lighting separate from any of the other little cute architectural lights. I found a sales woman and wanted to talk about lighting a drop with them and it was like I was an alien from another planet. It was really frustrating. LDI is not an architectural show it's about live performance... and their most serious theatrical instrument the colorblaze was tucked away in a corner of the booth where you couldn't tell anything! However if I ever have a few million to remodel my house, I'll give them a call because it would look great in an entry way.

OH yeah, Martin has an LED strip light that looks pretty good coming out. You might check into those as well.

Last edited:

Steve B.

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
Response to Gafftaper's last post on page 1:

$1300/foot for colorblazes? I've gotten a quote of less than$4000 for a 6' unit.

Last edited:

#### KaR356i

##### Member
hehe, I'm lucky in the fact that it is the General Manager, not really the TD, who REALLY wants these lights! I just get to do the legwork and play with them when we get 'em!

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
They really are going to save a lot of money in bulbs, reduce heat on the cyc, save electricity costs, free up circuits, and provide incredible flexibility and saturation in colors.

#### gafftaper

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
3) Heat is a major issue with longevity of LED's and my limited experience with medium screw base LED replacements for incandescents was very poor. LED's are expensive and I for one, would be waiting a few years for generation D of any LED striplight. I'd like to see them out at the shops for a few years.
No real problem in my case as I ain't got $75,000 Steve B. I've mentioned this before, but Selador started out as a team of people with a USITT research grant. They then took what they learned and opened a company. This is the link to their 18 page report as a result of that grant. http://www.selador.net/images/LEDs to Light the Theatre.pdf Anyway, towards the end you'll find their comments on heat issues with LEDs. They say the primary concern is that LED's loose their color due to too much internal heat. So Selador underpowers their LED's to a maximum of 85% and they also have a bunch of extra heat sinks in order to extend the LED life as much as possible. #### gafftaper ##### Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia Response to Gafftaper's last post on page 1:$1300/foot for colorblazes? I've gotten a quote of less than \$4000 for a 6' unit.
Sorry sounds like Colorblazes have gone down in price. Like I said I was so unimpressed with their demo and their reps at LDI I didn't stick around to get the latest prices. They didn't seem to want to talk to me... although they did give me some nice custom packaged M&M's.