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Lehigh Light Boards

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Les, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    I know there is a thread here which someone mentions using a Lehigh light board and it got me curious. I saw a few pictures of these online and they look pretty cool and everything. Are they pretty good boards? Anyone have a link to a website or pricing info? (I didn't want to hijack a thread)
     
  2. PadawanGeek

    PadawanGeek Active Member

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  3. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    In my opinion, they are substandard, and exist only to fill low bid educational contracts. You would be hard pressed to find an installation in a professional situation. Doesn't mean they're not perfectly adequate, but scoffed at by professionals.

    Throughout history of lighting it's always been one or two major manufacturers at the top, and all the others at the bottom. Hub, Major, Capitol, and Electro Controls are all defunct manufacturers who concentrated on the high school market. Ward-Leonard, Colortran, Kliegl, and Century (Strand) were usually at/near the top. Around 1985 ETC came on to the scene, just making consoles. About 1990, they purchased LMI, who just made dimmers. When they introduced the SourceFour™ in 1992, ETC became a full-fledged player and has stayed, arguably, at the top of the market ever since.

    But don't feel bad if your school has an installation of one of the lesser manufacturers. The dimmers, consoles, and fixtures are only tools, and as long as they control the light, great things can be produced with them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2007
  4. Sean

    Sean Active Member

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    As has already been metioned, they are "just meet the spec" type products. I've only ever seen their gear in schools. They hav no professional-level representation. Their spec sheets are written, and products designed so that they meet spec, and under-bid ETC/Strand/etc.

    If you have any sort of options, don't buy Lehigh.

    --Sean
     
  5. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys!!! Looks like there's a reason I have never heard of them!
     
  6. RedmonwantsEOS

    RedmonwantsEOS Member

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    Our MillenniumXP Board is pretty nice, especially when compared to other systems in our county, like HorizionPC, which is a JOKE. Their new Rendition console is baciclly an upgrade of the Millenium, with one very nice feature that the Millennium doesn't have: USB support.
     
  7. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Umm...how's that?
    With the basic package and no submaster wing it is a bit limited.

    The full gold package with appropriate hardware can have up to 7,168 channels of DMX.
     
  8. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    This is exactly my point of view on Lehigh - their boards are spec'd to look like they have the functionality of an ETC Express or Strand Palette, but in reality, they're not as good as those boards, pay the extra and you'll thank yourself for it.
     
  9. ScaredOfHeightsLD

    ScaredOfHeightsLD Active Member

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    At our High School, our main auditorium is fitted with the standard "low bid" educational system which features an older Lehigh Millenium console. As many have said, and I could not agree more, it is designed to look like it can do what, lets say an express, can do and to an extent it can. With much greater difficulty. I find that programming on a this console is just miserable. I have even made the decision on a show to go with the 2 scene preset mode instead of programming it simply because it was so unreliable. If you can, avoid this or any other Lehigh Console, it is just not worth your time or aggravation.
     
  10. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    We've had lots of debates about board qualities in the past. In the end ETC and Strand are at the top when it comes to conventional lighting or conventional with intelligent gear. If you want to use a lot of intelligent gear you definitely don't want any of the consoles below and you also want to take a closer look at the ML specialty consoles (for example: GrandMA, Maxxyz, Hog, Jands).

    Then there are the middle of the road products and here the debate rapidly gets ugly. Every product in this range has both fan clubs and haters. There's: Leviton, Zero88, Dove, EDI, Leprachaun, NSI (Van's loves their 10 foot pole model!)... the list goes on. These are not top professional quality boards, but they don't completely suck either. They have their positives and negatives. They are cheaper than ETC/Strand and often do the job just fine in middle school, high school, churches, and low budget community theater. They typically have very basic features. If they do have advance features they are often not very intuitive to use. They also are not workhorses. If you only use them a few hours a month, these boards will be fine but they just won't last under 7 show a week conditions or the rigors of touring. Again the pros will scoff at these boards but there are many applications where they will be great.

    Then there's the low end/DJ collection. I would probably put LeHigh on this list... it might make the middle list but I've never seen one. These are your products by American DJ/Elation, Chauvet, weird small brands you've never heard of, and a dozen Chinese knock off companies on E-bay. This is real bargain basement stuff it may or may not be made well. It certainly isn't worth the money to gamble in this market when the middle of the road products above don't cost a lot more. But they have their place in the market... it's just not for serious theater use.

    P.S. I'm a big fan of Horizon with a submaster panel. It's great for certain applications... not great for others. It all depends on your needs.
     
  11. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    When we were in New Jersey, we made a living replacing the Leigh installations in the ABE area. Cheap, non-functioning gear at best.
     
  12. cvanp

    cvanp Active Member

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    We have a Lehigh installation at our school. Constantly overheats, lights flicker, some dimmers don't function properly and intensities jump around... it's really a sad situation. We have to make a lot of concessions in the lighting design process because so much on the board doesn't work.

    Maybe next time around they will throw a little bit more money in and buy a decent console. Oh wait, that's right - the extra money in the budget is going toward a $12 million dollar sports stadium. Hooray for small town America.
     
  13. dj_illusions

    dj_illusions Active Member

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    Sounds a bit like LSC here in Aus, nothing against them but again they are a 'meet the spec' kind of desk. Their Maxim with Patpad is one of the worst inventions ive ever come across, and their GUI is the pits, if you can make any sense of the information it gives you, you deserve a medal.

    the lehigh is interesting, looks like they have grabbed features from the strand geniuspro and light pallette and thrown in a bit of ETC to mix.

    hmmm... reminds me of Zero88!
     
  14. MsKraft

    MsKraft Member

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    We just got our Rendition 48/96 and it is a major upgrade from what we had, at least we think so far. We could only turn the lights on and off with our last board, that's how old and decrepit it was. Do you have any hints about using this board? The guy who came to train us knew nothing and our old board, when it sort of worked, was completely manual so setting up cues and such is all very knew to us. I tried to read the manual, but doing things step by step led me to failure. I was very frustrated and there is a lot of pressure for me to figure it out before our show in April. Any help (other than telling me to get a new board) would be greatly appreciated!
     
  15. kitt

    kitt Member

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    In the short Period of time i have used a number of light boards and i cant say this is my favorite but its better than noting.In my middle school they have a low bid lehigh system and it is nowhere as intuitive as the etc express series i learned on.though for a low bid board it fits its needs and if the board is fully functional it can achieve good looking results.
     
  16. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I don't have one, but it's a very similar to the old ETC express line and is just fine to learn on.

    Here are a few tips to get you started:

    Get some "board tape" at your theater shop or check the local craft store or even some office stores for "artist's paper tape". Put the tape on the board so you can label all your faders.

    On the channel faders you can leave them all numbered in order or you can use the patch function to change which channel is controlled by which fader number. You don't have to leave it so that fader #1 turns on circuit #1. Through patching you can make fader #1 control any lighting circuit. Sometimes it's good to leave them in order other times it's good to repatch so that all the lights of a similar color or lighting a similar part of the stage are together on the board.

    Submasters are your friend! Break the stage up into areas, put all the lights in area one all on Submaster #1 area two on Submaster #2. Go through the whole stage this way. Now it's very easy for you to turn on the lights in any part of the stage. Now create a full stage wash sub, an in front of the main curtain sub, a house lights sub, subs for all the lights of the same color... Keep going.

    When you are all done make this your default show file. Save it. Make backup copies. When you start working on a show open the default then save it under a new name. Create show specific Submasters to make recording cues easier.

    There are a few hints to get you started. Ask specific questions and we'll be happy to help.

    Sent from my HP Touch-Droid via Tapatalk
     

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