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looking for LED strip lights AND a good deal

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by stoteg, May 21, 2009.

  1. stoteg

    stoteg Member

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    Budding student lighting designer- my college's summer production this year is going to be Beauty and the Beast. It's going to be huge- we've rented out everything short of the actors, thank God. We've also been given a budget to spend on new lights WHOO! So we're finally diving into LEDs to buy some strip lights for the cyc. I'm ALD, so naturally I was handed all the bi*ch work, including finding the best deals on quality lights. But I have NO IDEA where to even begin looking. We need at least a 30' throw of wash across the cyc. Can somebody point me to some real solid websites/quality product recommendations?

    I'm also researching lighting techniques for a forest scene- something real cartoony, like it just jumped outta the Disney movie. Any thoughts on that as well?

    Any help much appreciated! Thanks guys!

    ~Greg
     
  2. theILLUMINATEDfrog

    theILLUMINATEDfrog Member

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    Rent them... purchasing LED's for that large of a space is going to consume your entire budget and then some.
     
  3. stoteg

    stoteg Member

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    Granted they will be hella expensive, but my job is only to find the units and get price quotes, and then let the TD and the director of the Arts Center duke it out over the budget. I'll let them decide if we rent or buy.
     
  4. Slitterst

    Slitterst Member

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    I just finished a show with 3 ColorKinetic ColorBlaze72 units. (The 72 is the length.) I was quite pleased with the vertical throw and the color mixing of these units. You'd need at least five units for your 30' width, and a sixth unit would be nice if you can afford it.

    They're a fairly common stock item in rental shops, which will definitely be easier on your budget.

    Website and unit specs here -- Color Kinetics ColorBlaze

    Steve Litterst
     
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  5. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, if you are going to try and light a cyc with LEDs (which I do not advise) Color Kinetics or Selador (ETC LED Line) are the only ways to go. I deal in both of those units and they are good units.

    Mike
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2009
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  6. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Look at ETC's new line of LED strips.... color blazes are just about worthless for theatre as they have a very hard time fading and you can not make pastel colors or white or amber...
     
  7. misterm

    misterm Active Member

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    gonna give you the same advice i was given when i asked. send a message to the member BillESC and ask him. his company has some of the best prices on lighting in the market. He'll do ya right.
     
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  8. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The new LED420B is quite affordable and offers exceptional output and color mixing due to its RGBAW diode distribution.

    Here's a shot of one fixture approximately 100' from the house at night.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. wfor

    wfor Member

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    There's a big giant ad for the ETC Selador Series at the top of this page.

    Its one of the few LED products I've seen specifically designed for theatrical applications, where precise color is needed.

    You'll definitely have to rent though I'm sure...
     
  10. 2manydjs

    2manydjs Member

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    You also have the pixeline 110 from Pixelrange.

    PixelRange
     
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  11. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    So if you can light your cyc from 100 feet in front you will get a nice even wash, but if you want to light from 4 feet in front there is no led cyc light at any price that will give you an even wash, at least not that has been photographed.
     
  12. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I'm well documented for my love of Seledor's especially now that ETC is making them. There are three models of Selador. The list price on 63" strips between $6k and nearly $7k depending on the model. How much will you pay? If you are new to purchasing in the industry read this.

    I think it is the general opinion of people around here that it's still just a little too soon to be buying a lot of LED's for theater use. They look great on concert tours but they are also spending millions on those rigs. In general the output level is a little low to compete with the rest of your conventional lighting inventory. I'm a big fan of LED's but i would wait a few more years. The improvement from the original LED strips to the new Seledor is amazing in only a few years. Give it a few more years and you'll get FAR more bang for your buck.

    I was told to get a truly amazing wash on the OLD Selador strips (pre-ETC buyout and remodel) that won't be washed out by conventional lights on stage you needed both a top and bottom row covering about 2/3rds of the drop so for a 30' drop you would need 40' of strips divided up evenly top and bottom. The latest ETC models are more powerful than the originals so that ratio may have gone down some. They are also a little cheaper than they used to be too. I've never been impressed by Colorblazes compared to Selador.

    Pixelrange is worth taking a look at... and I think cheaper than Selador... better performing than Colorblaze.

    [user]BillESC[/user] is the king of the low budget import LED market. He keeps posting pictures around here that are truly impressive (do some searching). The price is great. I'm still a little skeptical of the build quality, but before you go dropping 50 grand on high end stuff you should give him a call. He really knows those products and he tells a good joke too.
     
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  13. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The OP states he has a 30' throw. The pics below show one fixture 15' from a canvas drop. The diameter is approximately 20' (please note my camera is not very good.)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    IMHO, the build quality is impressive considering the $ 699.00 MAP price (may be less on the street.)
     
  14. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    those pictures show how awful these lights are, totally uneven, not just the intensity the colour too, I really cannot understand how anyone can call that, a cyc light, it's not close.
     
  15. epimetheus

    epimetheus Well-Known Member

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    I'll be honest here guys. I see both sides of this argument, and I don't necessarily disagree with either. I don't have the theater background that a lot of you guys do, but I do see a lot of promise in the units that BillESC is promoting. I think depending on the effect you're going for and the particular installation details, LEDs are a viable option. Maybe they aren't ideal for a strict traditional cyc installation, but I think they can have many uses.

    BillESC - I don't suppose you could take some pictures showing the fixture mounted in a traditional cyc position, i.e. close to the cyc nearly vertical?
     
  16. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    David,

    With all due respect, the camera is at fault in its' reproduction. Standing on the stage, the color on the canvas was smooth and even.

    As for more pictures, it will be a while, the first shipment is sold out and the second will be before it lands. It will probably be 8 weeks before I have units available to play with.
     
  17. theatre4jc

    theatre4jc Active Member

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    Bill I can understand how the camera is at fault. In the last 2 months I've started working at a place that does broadcast. The first month my director hated me because everything looked terrible. Had him come look at the stage from the house and he said it looked beautiful. However the cameras showed every flaw in my design that the eye didn't pick out. Color differences and intensity difference. Even small ones the eye couldn't notice. So while your camera may be a what caused the pictures to turn out like that, really the problem is there but our eyes don't see it. Now I program with a camera shaded to what my color brightness is and make sure it looks good. I hate it but I have to do it to get it right. Since I started that my director loves me.

    I use some Chavet LED panels at my place for lighting the wall. I'm not going for an even wash at all but they do great for what I want. So I'll defend Bill by saying those lights can do some nice effects. Haven't tried them to light a cyc yet. I may though cause I have one I would like to play with. But it'll be a few weeks before I can set it up and shot it out. If this thread is still around I'll post some pictures.
     
  18. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    I have never said that you can't get great effects out of LED lights on a cyc.
    What I am saying is that an even wash from top to bottom is not one of them.
    My particular annoyance is when my clients spend a year or two's budget on these fabulous, "new" LED cyc lights, which turn out as useless for that purpose, and end up being used as "eye candy for the dance group.
     
  19. stoteg

    stoteg Member

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    Oh my God I hadn't realized I got so many replies I never got any e-mails about it haha THANKS GUYS! I'll sift thru all these suggestions and research the models you guys suggested.

    Concerning the issue with the even wash- could that problem be solved using a bounce and an RP screen with the cyc to spread all the light out rather than focusing directly on the cyc?

    ~Greg
     
  20. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    Yes, that would help, there is a rear projection cyc system that works well but is fearsomely expensive, the losses using bounce and rp cyc would mean you need twice the power, and the other big factor with low cost leds is the dimming is seldom if ever smooth.
     
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