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Lighting Light Sources & Bulbs

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by silverbullet761, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. silverbullet761

    silverbullet761 Member

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    Hey All, I am new to this forum but I would like to get some input.

    I am in a my high school drama group. This year we are trying to blow everyone away with a great show (long story and I won't bore you with it) but my high school is small, and we really don't have a budget. So, I'm building our lighting system, which will consist of:
    (2) moving mirror scanners (color wheel, focus, zoom, RGB individual
    mixing)
    (10) Beam (not spot) PAR 38's for strong white beam aimed downward,
    very quick rise and fall times (for strobing)
    (3) Static digital projectors- each for screen build into set
    (1) Digital Projector with moving mirror (X & Y axis) to allow for direction
    control and aiming. (cheaper than buying many globos and pro-
    scanner
    to put them in). Mirror similar to moving-mirror scanner over lens.
    (?) Various PAR 38's for standard stage lighting.
    (5) Static color-mixing (color wheel, not gel) PAR 38's (1 for each
    section)

    I can make the lighting, it's not a problem. I have already designed the scanners and we have the projectors. The PAR-38's are the ghetto coffee can ones (hey, i do what i can with the budget i have). The one problem I have is that I need LIGHT SOURCES. We don't have the budget to buy Xenon bulbs that would normally be used in the scanners and the 10 beam PAR's that need to strobe. So, I need to know, what kind of bulbs could come close to the brightness but are cheaper? I have got my hands on 2 photoflood bulbs that will give me the brightness I need for the scanners, however they have a life of only 4 hours each. So, after rehearsals, they'll be burned. Bare in mind that the life of the blubs does not have to exceed more than 20 hours. The scanners are only used in the finale (for a total of about 10 minutes). The strobing PAR 38's are used in the finale but they might also be used more.

    TO SUM UP: What bulbs can I use that have a fast rise and fall time and are very bright, but are not expensive.

    *To give you an idea of what I mean by Beam PAR 38's, think of the sequence of "Season's of Love" from RENT, where the players are standing across the stage and each has a strong white beam from above on them. That's what we are doing basically doing, except ours have to strobe in the finale (on for about 3 seconds though). The rest of the time, they are solid on.
     
  2. Jezza

    Jezza Active Member

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    I don't have a great sollution for you for the sources for your scanners, however i'm a little confused when you say spot v. beam. In the "Season's of Love" opening scene in RENT, PAR 64 w/ either NSP or VNSP bulbs were used (narrow spot, very narrow spot) with haze to create the "beam" effect which I think you are trying to emulate. That would entail renting a hazer. Foggers work if you shoot them through a fan to get the job done cheaply, but they will never have the hang time nor the same look and effect as haze. As for your sources themselves, any toungsten source unless very small will take some time to dim down and up or as you say has a moderate to slow rise and fall rate. The more complex luminaries utilize mechanical dowsers on servos that can create the strobbing effect that you are looking because they can be acctuated so quickly. In my experience, strobbing a toungsten fixture never yeilds the desired effect. They'll flash and look exciting, but a true strobe you will never achieve. Sorry I can' be more help.
     
  3. silverbullet761

    silverbullet761 Member

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    i've heard i need to use a hazer, but i really don't want to do that. In the past when we used fog machines is caused an asthma nightmare in rehearsal and set off the fire alarms. I'll look into a hazer though, check out pricing or see if i can build one. as i understand it, it's just a different pumping system and different glycerin mixture for the fluid as opposed to a fog machine. any idea if hazers would be as likely to set off the smoke detectors and fire alarms (i don't want the fire department to show up again...)

    I have considered using the servo idea you mentioned. But like I said, i have barely any budget, so i'm trying to cut back on servos. I'm looking at doing the same principle, but only using solenoids instead. It won't be controllable as to how much light, but it would be able to be strobed.

    The main problem I'm trying to solve is high lumen output (rise and fall time is not as important as there are ways around that) for a low price. If you or anyone knows where I could get xenon tubes at wholesale or cheap, I'd take it very seriously. small halogen would work, but then I'd have to do some color correction because those tend to look yellow.
     
  4. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    if I get what you are saying, you plan on building the scanners yourself? YOu might want to try and rent some cheapo american dj scanners from a local dj, somehow I think you could get them on the cheap or free if a parent or student has a dj business. If I have been able in the past to coax other students to give me enough money to get a pair of mac550s and a hog for a show anyone should be able to do it.
     
  5. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Seems like your drama group has a lot of gadgets and home owner specials but noting really very useful for proper lighting, spot, fill and wash.

    To figure out how specifically to improve what you have, we need to know specifically what you have.

    2) Scanner (What Brand and Model?)
    10) PAR 38 Can (What Wattage?) This is “flood” (not spot) correct?
    3) Digital Projector (What Brand and Model?)
    1) Moving Mirror Digital Projector (What Brand and Model?)
    x) PAR 38 Coffee Can
    5) ?Scroller? Or Color Wheel? (No big deal either way as far as lighting goes.)

    PAR 38 lamps have fairly large filaments - comparatively lots of lag time even if under dimmer warming to bounce them up and down. This is as opposed to a “photo flash” lamp that has a very small filament designed to go to full fast (useful for lightning effects.)

    What do you mean by “photoflash lamps” in a scanner? A typical Photoflash lamp I can think of (3 hours) would be about a big Edison/Medium Screw based big old 5" long A-21 lamp that’s 250w. Not really feasible as a light source for a typical scanner. Or was this a lamp used in some PAR 38 cans to strobe? In that case, given it’s a 250w source of light, you can get more intense in giving up speed for longer lamp life - all wattage dependant upon intensity. There is other options but first refine the intent is in a PAR 38 and not in a scanner.

    I’m noting that it’s ok for a 20hr lamp by way of budget as long as it’s intense, yet you don’t have a budget for lighting fixtures. Wouldn’t a 1,000 much less 20,000 hr lamp be a bit better or at least more cost effective?

    What do you mean by xenon bulbs - are these the ones intended for the scanner lamps, something like the QT-8500 for a Trackspot which is a xenon / halogen filament lamp? Not sure what you mean by “xenon tubes”, can you be more specific about what specific lamp you are looking for? I won’t recommend sources to shop at persay but might recommend what to shop for.

    So with the above, what type of lamp and fixture to be used in, is it that you are looking to have a fast rise and fall time?

    On making lighting/haze machines... there is some school systems that allow or turn a blind eye towards students/teachers in ability or lack of any real help to make what you will. But remember that if you burn down the school, that blind eye will become an absence of knowledge that you were doing this and thus a denial of guilt and fault much liability completely in your court. It is highly not recommended that you are making your own lighting fixtures - no matter how easy it might seem. The problem is always in that little bit you didn’t know. Heck, I have been building fixtures from scratch eight years now professionally much less wiring fixtures about fifteen years, and there is still stuff I’m still learning or techniques I’m figuring out. What seems simple enough often can be dangerous with what is not known and compensated for.
    Remember, this stuff isn't just stuff you are tinkering about with in a home workshop, it's stuff that hundreds of people potentially depend upon being safe while attending your performance - this dependance upon safety with their lives.
     
  6. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    One thing to consider and it really has been mentioned before but might have been missed. That cool cone of light that you see shining down has a lot to do with haze, it is not the intensity but the haze that makes the beam visable.

    Renting for some reason seems to be avoided with school productions, but is used all the time in pro systems, other wise you send a lot of money for stuff that rarely works correctly, gets thrown out. A local rental company if the equip is not being used at the time might be willing to work a really good deal for you

    Sharyn
     
  7. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Perhaps some easy and safe sources. There are surplus gear collection type places that sell stuff cheap such as American Science and Surplus http://www.sciplus.com . Never know what you might find by way of lighting fixtures and lamps of all sorts.

    Otherwise there is junk yards that if not in general, specialize in stuff that used to be say in stores. Way back when from "Kohlar's Trading Post" - if still in business (Lombard Illinois), I once bought some track lighting fixtures in PAR 46 and PAR 56 size that worked great. Came out of some department store after a renovation where they went to more modern fixtures. Remove the track lighting elements and wire them for a cord. Given a standard track light fixture is often a short throw fixture, easy enough to add by way of brackets and J.B. Weld a coffee can and even rock and roll style gel frame clips to the fixture - easy enough to bend and attach for a normal size snout to the lamp and gel standard gel frames.

    Halo was the brand of PAR 46, definately no slouch as far as quality - even has a rotation to the lamp mechanism. Fixtures came with lamps for as I remember it like $10.00 each. Lamp bases and fixtures in general were in good shape.

    Such a place often also stocked lamps and even had a Altman Q1000 in stock at one point that they just sort of acquired. Granted it had some funkeyness with it's wiring (something about a L5-20 plug inside the fixture itself made me suspicious about the wiring in general, plus one of the lenses was cracked.) Still, it was going for like $100.00 years ago. Never knew what I would find there and the owners knew that when ever they got lights in stock, they should give me a call. At this junk yard at least, constantly all sorts of motors and other things in stock. A treasure mine for props and lots of other things.

    Thus two types of used gear retailers to shop with that could be safe. The former being new gear that's surplus, the second that's used gear and often will need work but often there can be good savings much less donations.

    Never know what one will find in either type of place.
     
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    If I read your message right you are planning to build all this stuff yourself. While I admire your creativity and intellectual ability I strongly suggest you seek out cheap rental options instead. Home made theater lighting gear is never a great idea and the professionals only do it when it's an absolute necessity. The guy who posted a couple of messages up named "Ship" is one of the most experienced and respected members of Control Booth. Read some of his other posts you see why. Did you get that part of the message about how he's been building things for years and there are still things he doesn't know everything about doing it correctly? Listen to the man, around here no one beats his knowledge of lamps and electricity.

    Also, in the end building it yourself probably won't save you much money over renting. In my city you can rent a top of the line Martin Technobeam scanner for around $200 a week. I'm sure you can get yourself something on the lower end like an American DJ scanner for a lot less than that, hit up the Music/Band/DJ places. Save the time, Save the money, and most of all stress safety. Who knows you might even find a DJ who will loan the gear for free.

    I've taught High School and College theater tech and would never consider building this gear myself or allowing a student to do it. The risks are just too high.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2006
  9. silverbullet761

    silverbullet761 Member

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    I've taken your advice and called the few rental places there are around here (I live a medium-sized town in Alabama). However, most of these places have never even heard of scanners, let alone carry them. The closest place that carries scanners is about 2 hours away, and they rent them per hour, so that would not be good.

    In response to the question on Xenon bulbs, they are the kind of bulbs used for the most part in luminaries by companies like "High End Systems" and are very often used in high-lumen digital projectors. That's why the lamps in projectors are expensive to replace. As far as what brand or size, that doesn't matter. If i can get my hands on the bulbs, I will build around them, and custom constuct the power system. However, I'm pretty certain at this point, I'm going with halogen for the scanners.

    Like I have said before, we have barely any budget to rent anything. The spotlight and the few things we have that come from a rental company is only because a girl in the program's father owns the rental company, so we get a fantastic deal. Does anyone know if halogen (outdoor) floods would work as NSP lights (don't know the PAR of them- maybe 48-60)? Those we have access to.

    The suggestion you are giving are great, and if we had the money, we'd do it. Basically, what we're trying to do is do some good effects with ghetto equiptment. I have my own fog machine, so could I do something to achieve the effect of Haze with it? It does not have to hang. the haze only needs to be there for a 2-3 minute sequence.

    thanks again,
    stephen
     
  10. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I know TLS (http://tlsinc.com/) is in northern AL. All the same making scanners is not a safe bet. I'm sure most rental companies refer to them as moving mirror fixtures if they don't know what you mean by scanners. If you build the system byyourself I think you will also be disappointed by the output from the fixtures.
     
  11. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    Check with local dj companies, and I agree most rental companies don't refer to them as scanners. you can probably go in ebay and buy some cheap A DJ units for a lot less than you could build them. I would recommend that you look for ones that have DMX support. If you try to build them you are looking at needing a way to control them etc, if you use high power lamps you need complex power supplies etc, If you look at designs that use these higher powered lamps remember they typically generate a lot of heat, need special sockets and high temp wire. If you are having difficulty renting these, I would imagine you would have even more difficulty finding the various pieces you would need to build them.

    If you look on ebay 280062759511 there are 4 Adj scanners with single channel dmx 150 watt for 300 dollars, or
    your next setup up would be 150071821777 for about 500 dollars for 4 Chauvet.

    These are not great units, but IMO there is no way you can safely build something for these sorts of prices

    Sharyn
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2006
  12. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Get some pinspots from bulbamerica.com - they're who I'm using to get stuff for a dance concert at my school for some cool effects. They come with 100hr 4515 bulbs. You can also BUY some cheap scanners (Mojo IIX by Optima Lighting) for under $200. They use Halogen bulbs, of the ELC variety. an ELC/10H bulb will last 1000 hours, and does not require the arc striking of arc lamps.

    When I wanted sidelighting and effects strobes for a dance concert, I politely told the dance teacher that if she wanted these effects, we were going to need some dough...so she sent some letters home with all of the dancers explaining the situation, and we had almost $1000 in a week. I got 100' of 12/3 cable, 2 900W DMX strobes, 8 PAR56's with bulbs and clamps, and 2 4-pack dimmers for that. And I didn't even use all of the money...some of it went to other parts of the production (costumes, etc.). Everything but the 12/3 cable came from BulbAmerica.

    So, I'd say to get some Mojo IIX scanners and some pinspots from BulbAmerica. For your wash, check in to some of their PAR38 kits with dimmers and clamps. If you're doing the order by a check, though, they won't send you stuff until they have the check in hand (for good reason), so order far enough ahead of time for it to get there.

    I've actually done comparison shopping of the EXACT same items in other stores. The stuff is mainly from Eliminator or Optima lighting, about the two cheapest companies out there in terms of lighting, but other sites charge almost twice as much for the same pinspots.

    EDIT: This may be out of your budget, but I just saw that BulbAmerica started selling LED parcans today (since when I checked the site this morning and this evening). They will incur no bulb replacement costs for ten years if you get them, and that could be a selling point to anyone that you want to get donations from.

    EDIT: Also, to be quite honest, even though it goes against safety and conventional practices, if you buy the pinspots and the drama program owns them...you should have no trouble duct taping them to the batten instead of spending money on clamps. Being from a school where money was locked down and weighted with an iron fist, I know where you're coming from.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2006
  13. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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  14. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Flash and trash ? That's what I called my wardrobe in the '80 's :mrgreen:

    somebody cue the Jan Hammer !
     
  15. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Ban all duct tape from the theater - those following you will thank you. Never and never duct tape a fixture to anything. It’s not heat rated or any type of code or in any common sense way rated for such an application. Ok, if you absolutely are set in doing so and you should not be, five wraps is a minimum, and that is five wraps per side of the yoke - in other words, two wraps of five. Do not do this - duct tape is nasty after it gets old, much less gets heated up. Such a use also does not help with grounding the lamp bar you are attaching to.

    Terms and definitions are important to learn, you seem to have lots of interest, time I think to buy/rent cheap for now, put the drill down and learn a bit more. Go to the various GE, Phillips, Osram, websites and request a catalog than sit down and read it for not just lamps but for the info about lamps. Amazing the amount of knowledge about lamps one can gain just by way of sitting down and studying a lamp catalog. Go to the Martin and High End amongst other websites and read all about such info not just in what they do but read further into how they do it. Buy books on fixture design by way especially of older books on lighting and electrical wiring. Nobody is attempting to stop you from building lighting fixtures in your garage - in fact that’s to your credit 100% that ambition and drive to invent, it’s just that you should save the invented products for the garage while you learn and buy stuff others already invented for use where people’s lives depend upon such things. That time you are spending on R&D much less constructing fixtures from scratch can also be spent on fund raising. Not as fun but all tech people need to at least become proficient with all parts of the other than and even on-stage. You are dirt poor, how many proposals for grants and or donations and discount letters have you written and or looked into? That / those lighting companies in your area, have you even asked them for donations of gear they are no longer using yet? This time spent in gaining your resources for making art is at times more useful than filling a hole in immediate needs. How many scene shops in your area and or theaters in your area have you set up a sort of “dumpster diving” arrangement with? No, legally or by way of insurance, you can’t dive for the stuff, but such places can set aside stuff for you, that you might be interested in. Think about a what.. $14.00 sheet of Luan plywood your theater doesn’t have to buy - much less a lot of them. Added up, if you have the time and labor to de-construct say part of a set, (lots of pulling staples with a pair of pliers) you now while cut often smaller than optimum, have a source of replenishment in other ways. Get that old set for the local TV news station in your area shipped to you as opposed to just dumped off the back of the truck in a junk yard. Saves who ever is disposing of it the cost of trashing it, and for it’s expected worth, a nice 501c3 tax credit for it’s worth by way of donation. Infrequently you can also get light fixtures, cable and other apparatus by way of this tax donation or simply that the entire thing was being replaced and it would take that company replacing the electrical gear more time to remove and service the gear than it’s worth - it’s normally thrown out. Search the net if nothing else for them $25.00 PAR 64 cans that come with lamps - there is a value one cannot beat if having no budget. Here is an entire lighting fixture (possibly without plug and clamp - negotiable) that would be UL listed and provide some base of light for your use so as to free up other gear for other things. One PAR 64 is worth at least two PAR 38 if not more by way of design. As opposed to lamping a fixture for that price as a good price, plus the fixture price, how about some rock and roll par cans? How about some used 6" Fresnels and 6" Lekos? Even if radial mounted, ever see a proper bench focus of a radial Leko? Thing can be bright and really good. You have nothing now persay, shoot instead of adding more “flash and trash” for proper. Buy say two even old time and ancient Lekos and they will be an amazing thing. Buy some stuff on the e-Bay that’s cheap for the price of what you might build stuff for. Better yet, fund raise, get donations and earn the gear by way of paperwork - sitting at your desk first before you tinker. I get paid as above to in part construct gear, in part it’s other things, and more and more it’s paid to just sit at my desk and do my job by way of now that I can do, do the paperwork and acquiring. Spent about two hours alone in researching bench vises I wanted to buy, sending out “request for quotes” to a number of sources, than figuring out of the prices given what was best to buy. Saved a hundred dollars at least on the bench vises I specified as a minimum grade of them I would accept. Cheaper than normal store bought crap that would wear out in half the time, and worth the effort in me just sitting at my desk instead of fixing stuff instead. The more that you know, the more work you will have to do. Less and less time I spend at my work table these days, much more time in research and paperwork type stuff. Gives the chance for others to learn and given the intrest in getting stuff right, it assures that what I’m at my desk for is correct. Sit down at your desk and instead of figuring out what size transformer will work with the servos and lamp for your latest scanner design, figure out how to get the money to get the lamps new from a normal less than “economy” source, and the fixtures at a good discount. Write some letters to anyone under the sun to see if they might take some charity to your cause in even sending you that “spare parts” fixture they have hanging about so that you can put it to use. Explain with much editing your situation, what you have been doing in the past, the recommendations that you stop doing so and devote your time elsewhere in getting safe gear. Keep it short and well written and you never know, from say High End down to someone’s garage based DJ lighting, what offers of gear or help you might get locally or nationally. This especially if you have that 501c3 in your pocket. Don’t know for sure if teacher or student at this point but if student, do the leg work than hand it off to the teachers and staff to do the tax credit and official deals. For every hour you might devote to wiring, perhaps another to paying for it by way of donations. Slow down with the saving the world of this show all by your own hands, it’s by far better to safe the theater program by way of some funding and system that will outlive you. Most important person in any theater is the theater manager. Don’t care who you are or how important you think you are, that person that not just balances the budget, but assures there will be another season for all to play, tinker and make art is that person that more is making art than anyone else - and probably has the most responsibility in all decisions one should be working for to help, and assures that there will be art made. At very least, perhaps it’s time to master that part of your field beyond study into the very specific lamps and fixtures. Raise research grants so as to research the next generation of moving light. While at it, if you are doing this wiring type stuff, get a grant for yourself in getting to college lined up and contacts in the industry to work at during summer break. Gonna find a whole new world out side of the theater at this one place - also consider this and keep your grades up so you can get into it.



    Costs a few thousand dollars for UL to test a piece of electrical gear for safety within the stipulations for testing the gear they are testing for. Until you have the ability to get what you make tested or have a few million dollars liability coverage of what you invent, than also have years of training, even for a PAR can, it’s not wise even if the goal of $$$ no budget and attempting to make magic is necessary to put your neck out on the chopping block in doing so for productions, much less risk other people’s lives for such things. Sure there is exceptions and specials but overall for the bulk of your lighting you should concentrate on getting gear that’s already designed and proven safe for use, rather than spending the money on building gear. By lack of detail about what specifically you intend, it means a serious tinkering over design by way of what’s said. Xenon bulb verses halogen one - you are engineering a fixture and have not even begun to cusp the amount of range in even this question still not answered sufficiently entails. Hmm, as opposed to just right off the top of my head, your fixture instead of using a XOP 4500w.OF.ofr xenon lamp might instead say use a say JC 6v-2.4w halogen one by way of specified range in what you intend to use for an unknown expected output. Tinkering is useful but not engineering or safe around an audience. You have a 110c temperature and a 7 Amp load, what gauge and type of wire is the correct to be using? How much ventilation and cubic size do you need as modified by CFM of the fixture? Beyond lining up reflectors and mirrors, there is lots involved in fixture design. Believe me if of help in recommending further study and also study into lots of other parts of doing your intended mission. I build lighting fixtures in part as my living, (granted another department normally makes the electronics part - they know things I don’t, I know things I don’t. If we were to make a moving light fixture, there would be four departments involved and there in fact was. No one department or person has the mastery of all skills sufficient to do any such thing safely or best. This much less by way of department I mean more than one person per department with ideas also. Heck even these days, even if I’m wiring up some transformer or other piece of gear and am sure about it, normally I ask another person with more or just as much experience to look in on what I’m doing. Verification to say nothing of getting other ideas is the key - you had at best have a mentor to ensure you are doing your work correctly, to train if not even debate with.) On actual cost of what’ invented over rental once you consider in R&D costs, drill bits, tools to drive them, stupid stuff like one type of nut over another etc. and overstock so you can pull a say Marathon block off the shelf where not though of but would be good to use - than the proper wire size and choice of double, insulated or non-insulated ferrule to use in it, than you tend to want a ferrule crimp tool.... fixtures get really expensive to build. This before you even add in your own time as part and it is even if free. How many more hours could you have spent studying say for a Spanish test that was instead invested into this light? That loss of a grade even in high school by way of saving the show is an investment lost that must be balanced. Lots of gear for service I never even see simply because me looking at it is not in the budget. Lots of stuff you should not be spending time on simply because of it not being within the scope of what you can make happen while at the same time having a life and going to school.

    I have heard of “scanners” just have no idea of other than in general something that wiggles, what it means. Officially, there are only three fixtures that have the title of “scanner” that I’m aware of amongst all fixtures on the market I tend to track. Genius DJ Scanner using a: Philips #6958 & 7748XHP, Terbly TB 2000 Scanner using a: MSD 200/2, and Terbly TB 3000 Scanner: MSD 250/2. That’s it with “scanner” in their description code.

    This just as “High End Systems” doesn’t do much for me - they make a lot of products. I seriously doubt that a High End digital projector lamp - say a POA-LMP101, would be within budget or cost effective. Bulbs you plant in the ground, lamps you install in luminaries.

    Halogen (outdoor) flood by term is meanless - there is no definition of a halogen lamp that is “outdoor” and flood - no idea but in the context of PAR 38, if you mean some lighting fixture that is rated for outdoor use and some form of home center light fiture, can you install a spot lamp in it? Sure, it’s just a change of lamp. As long as the fixture is rated for the wattage, it does not care what beam angle lamp is installed in it. If asking if your “flood” lamp meaning normally in lamp terms, some type of “flood” or Medium Flood, will work as a spot - by way of definition a “flood” is not a “spot” but dependant upon throw range, often a flood is more useful for short range spotting throws than spots. A focus of say three feet with a spot would get you say a 1' beam of light. A focus in the same length with a flood might gain you enough light in a spot lighting application to light the entire person. Depends upon the distance, wattage, shutters and top hats etc. Can it, sure. Will it for the design and situation - don’t know, that’s a design question that photometrics will answer. Gotta learn that part of design also because that is design. Looks good as opposed to engineered to look good according to planned to correctly fit the purpose and need.

    Yes, to some extent you can get a haze effect with some smoke in the air. You will have to tinker with timing how soon and much of a burst to do to get the smoke in the air and how long it lingers.

    Again, you are doing well and things you should possibly be doing or attempting in your situation. Think for the most part all advising are recommending that you take a step back and consider what you are doing with tunnel vision verses what’s sensible and really wise to be doing. A failed show or one that just in some ways is the best you can do with what you have even if it could be better is in many cases the best you should do. Worry about the season not just the show if at fixture construction level. Than once concerned about the season, start getting into the business and fund raising end of it where your drive will be much more useful in paying off for the benefit of the production over a few lights bodged together. Might be great lights you can build, still don’t be doing it for production use if at all possible not to.
     
  16. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    No offense to anyone who has worked following in the path of a duct taper, or anyone who is absolutely opposed to duct tape, but when you get a negative budget (your gear breaks and doesn't get replaced), you have 30-year old lighting fixtures, and the only thing that you can get to tape up a tiny, low-wattage pinspot with a 3" yoke is some 3" duct tape that you get for a ten percent discount at the hardware store because someone from the dance company works there because her father owns it, it looks like a mighty good option. Granted that I was able to gather some momentum and completely turn the tech theater crew from a group of junkies, alcoholics, and people who used our booth couch only for their personal indulgence (if you know what I mean), but there was some extremely tough going in the beginning. Basically, when I came in (and the crew finally gained some morals), the junkies left, and I had to find my own crew, my own few dollar budget, and my own respect from the janitors, drama teacher, band teacher, and choral teachers (all 3 of them that passed through the school while I was there). After the finally realized that I wanted to make them a program and that I wanted to live for the benefit and power of tech in their programs and productions, I finally got the respect and financing needed to get more c-clamps and parcans and 4-pack dimmers.

    </hijack>

    So unless the local theatrical supply store is willing to shell out a bunch of c-clamps or a bunch of $16.00/roll gaff tape, duct tape looks pretty darn good to people with no budget. And with a good razor blade box cutter ($3.95, ace hardware), you can put a clean cut through it and pull it all off easily, as long as it hasn't been up for very long. That's just my $0.02, take it for what it's worth.
     
  17. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Fair enough and well put defense.
     
  18. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    And a quick note about those theatrical supply stores: Some of them stock "sample rolls" of gaff. Ten yard rolls. While many don't, there are a few that do. If you hit them up at the right time and you have a good contact in the company (I happened to do both), you can get quite a few rolls as these are almost never used. I was able to get 6 ten yard rolls for taping down a very unruly extension cord once.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2006
  19. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    A random tip here on Tape... Got a gel frame in an instrument that looks a little unsafe or some black foil wrap you want to secure to an instrument? Head down to your local automotive parts store and buy some muffler tape. It's light weight aluminum "tape" with high temperature glue on the back. When it's time to remove it, it comes off fairly easily. It leaves more residue than gaff but it's much better than duct tape... especially when you consider how much it's been baked. I wouldn't trust it with anything heavy, but to provide a little extra security for a gel frame at a bad angle or black foil it's perfect.
     
  20. dvlasak

    dvlasak Active Member

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    I know about not having any type of a budget, I work for a school system. So here is my 2 cents worth.
    God help you if something goes wrong with something that you make, put into a public building, and isn't UL listed. You are opening yourself up personally to a very huge lawsuit judgement.

    It is admirable of you to want to do great and cool things with lighting in your space. But if you can not do itsafely according to code, it is a HUGE liability to yourself and your school district. -- Leading safety expert, Dr. Randall Davidson, has written a new book which reveals life-threatening hazards. It is Practical Health and Safety Guidelines for School Theater Operations . While it is geared toward Schools, it is useful to all aspects of theater. Reading this, you quickly discover that what you don't know CAN hurt you!
    Another organization that you might want to check out is International Secondary Education Theatre Health and Safety Association (ISETSA). Dr. Davidson (known as Dr. Doom in the industry) is associated with this group also.
    I understand that it is discouraging not to have money to buy or rent proper equipment, but at some point, you need to realize that safety is much more important than a show that is all about flash and trash.

    Dennis

    Forgot the link - it is isetsa.org - you can also get to the book link from this site. Or the book website: www.theaterhealthandsafetybook.com
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2007

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