# LEDs-leave on or turn off?

#### Dsmagnussen

##### Member
Hey all,
We are just getting our first set or LED wash fixtures in our plot. Martin Rush Par 2 Zoom. I have surge protection on each circuit, but no simple way to turn them off at the end of the night. we looked into the ETC relays, but can't swing the cash after the layout for the Martins. Question is, Is it all right to leave them plugged in, or should they be unplugged every night? I have had tour companies leave their fixtures on and full color all day, but my guess was they were rentals, and they did not care.
Thank you for the input!

Doug

#### SteveB

##### Well-Known Member
I have Martin Aura's, powered off Sensor relays.

I power down after an event, mostly as if it's a Sunday event no point in keeping powered for the week when not used.

If I were using daily, I might keep them powered.

RonHebbard

#### MNicolai

##### Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
Is your building going to burn down if you leave them on 24/7? No.

Are the fixtures' fans going to run continuously and all kinds of dust and clog up? You may want to check. The fans on those fixtures are thermostatic controlled. If you go dark and leave them idle and the fans spin down completely, that's ideal. If they spin at a low RPM, that's less ideal. At the very least, they shouldn't keep spinning full bore which is what would be the worst case scenario.

RonHebbard

#### cdiamondz

##### Active Member
When the fixtures are left plugged in the circuitry will stay powered even if the LED array itself is off. Generally it would be better to have power removed from the fixture entirely when not in use to increase the lifespan of the circuitry as the power supply produces heat and any controllers in the fixtures will keep ticking away. Hope this helped!

EDIT: Please remember that fans die over time.

#### BillConnerFASTC

##### Well-Known Member
I worry more about the power supplies. Some difference in leaving them on for hours or a day unused, versus for a week or an entire season.

And did you look a relays in a panel or rack, or the portable plug and play ColorSource relay from ETC? in the $225 range for a relay that should easily handle 10 of the Martins. Less than$25 to make a \$800+ fixture last longer?

PS: Install some switches and manually turn off? A box by the breaker panel would not cost much. Don't use breakers unless you know them to be switch rated.

#### PeteEngel

##### Active Member
Yeah, turn them off. As others have said, the PSU stays powered and those have a life as well. When your LED's have 300 hrs on them but your PSU has 8000 hrs, you end up replacing psu's (and potentially fans) for no good reason.

Les

#### Brentgi

##### Active Member
Can I start the argument of "Why not use an unregulated dimmer in switch mode?" Just cause I feel like it will come up anyway...

#### JD

##### Well-Known Member
Lighting strikes, and other unintended surges do occur. The more "powered" time, the bigger the target.

#### porkchop

##### Well-Known Member
Although I agree with the consensus that given my choice I would turn them off every night, I think it depends on the practicality of doing so. If, as it sounds in your current situation, someone has to physically go to each fixture to unplug them individually and then re-plug them in the morning I would consider leaving them on in more situations. Even if it's a work study student taking a 15 minute walk to plug or unplug the fixtures each night the time saved by leaving them on would pretty rapidly begin to pay for things like replacement fans and power supplies. Even if the time of people going on a walk is free (volunteer, student, salary, ect...) the fixture walk could be an annoyance that adds to reasons why a person might not come back or show up late/leave early more often. Not sure about your space, but if it's relevant I also lean towards any plan that prevents people from climbing ladders more than necessary.
In short think about all of the "costs" (physical, personal, annoyance, etc...) of leaving them on vs leaving them off and figure out which one is the least restrictive for your given situation. Fans and PSU's have financial cost associated with them, but they are not particularly high. Power spikes and lighting strikes happen, so do trips and falls. You don't want a fixture to go out in the middle of the show, but you still need the personnel in to get you to that point.

#### Chris Pflieger

##### Well-Known Member
Can I start the argument of "Why not use an unregulated dimmer in switch mode?" Just cause I feel like it will come up anyway...
NO!!!!!!

On that note, I replaced my NSI rack dimmer with a custom made relay box. The relays are operated by a dry contact tied into our audio power sequencer.

#### RickR

##### Well-Known Member
Can I start the argument of "Why not use an unregulated dimmer in switch mode?" Just cause I feel like it will come up anyway...
The short answer is because not all dimmers and power supplies can handle it.

Will yours? How many damaged units can you afford just to find out? Even when the manufacturer says it's OK in certain cases, then someone plugs in an El Cheapo and the dimmer fries in mid show, costing more than the fixture savings.

##### Custom Title
Fight Leukemia
Another vote for the power down. We've got a bunch of Blizzard RokBoxes for downwash (nice little fixture for that application BTW). Same issue with the relay, it is quite pricey for an ETC rack mounted one- almost as much as another fixture. The cheapest solution is obvious and we'd been cutting power at the rack via the breaker, but Bill's comment up there got me curious and I don't see anything that indicates that Sensor dimmers have switch rated breakers in them.

RonHebbard

#### BillConnerFASTC

##### Well-Known Member
Well, the ETC constant module - just two circuit breakers - if I read the data sheet correctly are switch rated breakers. So other than the inconvenience of loosing dimmed circuits in pairs (buy more LEDs of course) and having it manual, not a bad budget option. IIRC these are pretty inexpensive compared to most modules.

##### Custom Title
Fight Leukemia
I guess reading the data sheet would make more sense than pulling the dimmer to check. And yeah, I can see it being somewhat inconvenient to have two dimmers out like that, but in our case we parked our hazer in a spot to make use of the second circuit. Definitely easier on the wallet than the relay, but more of a headache to remember to shut it off.

#### BillConnerFASTC

##### Well-Known Member
Not a first choice for sure, but i was beginning to picture many worse solutions.

#### cdiamondz

##### Active Member
Not a first choice for sure, but i was beginning to picture many worse solutions.
1970's 60 amp dimmers with no relay or constant power capabilities parked at full at the console?

#### BillConnerFASTC

##### Well-Known Member
I was picturing zip cord jumpers in the rack, or a rats nest of extension vords hither, thither, and yon.

#### cdiamondz

##### Active Member
I was picturing zip cord jumpers in the rack, or a rats nest of extension vords hither, thither, and yon.
How does tin foil and electrical tape sound to replace zip cord?