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Design Issues and Solutions Need Help with Night Lighting

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by MikeyHP, Mar 9, 2009.

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Have you done a show that was based at night?

  1. YES

    71.4%
  2. NO

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  3. SORT OF

    28.6%
  4. OTHER

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  1. MikeyHP

    MikeyHP Member

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    Hi, I got cast as the Lighting Designer and Operater for our UIL competition show. I have the task of making it look like night with out gels. But I am allowed to use four special lights that can be anything except intelegent lighting.(the specials can use gels) Also these lights must be independent of the venues dimming system. So, I ordered these D4-DMX Dimmer . I will be controling these backstage via an old NSI DMX light board.

    How can I accomplish this. Oh..... we will be using a peasouper for some low lying fog.

    The show is The Women of Lockerbie
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2009
  2. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Re: Night Lighting

    Whatever you do, if you plan to take it to state, be sure (100% sure) that it is by the book. We used to get so many set ups that were borderline legal that would get rejected and "ruin" a show (at least 2-3 every year in each classification). That being said, ERS units with patterns on floor plates could help create a spooky night when combined with the general blue wash (that should be available at every venue).

    Mike
     
  3. MikeyHP

    MikeyHP Member

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    Re: Night Lighting

    we only have 7 min to set up and cant use the venues dimming or control system for specials.... we can though use their preset zones
     
  4. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Re: Night Lighting

    My experience is only from running lighting for the State Competetion in Austin, but how it works there (and how it is supposed to work at the lower levels) is that you will submit a track sheet of channels. During your rehearsal you will go over your light cues and adjust them.

    Mike
     
  5. awhaley

    awhaley Member

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    Re: Night Lighting

    For night lighting, as with all lighting really, the story gets told in the shadows...

    By that I mean - for visibility's sake, you're almost always going to have reasonably strong, mostly white light coming from some direction. This is generally considered 'adequate design.' To take it the next step to 'good' or even 'great design' you need to think about all the other directions...what fills the shadows? If you're stuck with general areas of mostly white light because of the competition plot (I haven't read your specific competition rules) I would do one of two things...

    1. Figure out which set of them to turn on to give visibility and define this set of lights as the direction of 'moonlight.' If they're to really have no gel at all, then you want to run them at or near full intensity so the lamp's color temperature is as cool as possible. You want to turn on no more of them than you need to light the areas people stand in. Then you want to wash the other side of every actor, and as much of the floor as possible, with a warm blue, to tell everyone, through the shadows, that it's night time. Why, and what warm blue? There are a lot of colors to look at, but I'd consider Gam 882, or 842... By warm blue I mean a blue with quite a bit of red transmission and relatively little green transmission. Why? Because your 'moonlight color is NC, which has a lot of warm tones to it and you want the blue light that's filling the other side to seem related to the white light, as if it's the reflection of that white light bouncing off objects. A really cold (lots of green) blue will fight against the warm light and wind up just looking green. You have to resign yourself to not getting the really gorgeous deep nights you might go after if you could gel an entire system of lights with deep blues or lavenders like R82... And even R68 is probably too deep to play well with the white lights. The big secret is going to be finding a color for the four specials you can use that is blue enough to say 'night time' without looking strange, or being lost against the white lights that are providing most of your light.

    2. The other approach is to dim the white lights way down and let them amber shift to look VERY warm, and lay this in at a bare minimum level over deep warm blues, like R82 or G850... This will give you a much darker night, and the white area lights, now, in comparison to the deep blues, looking very amber will give the impression of streetlight, or firelight, or something else 'unnatural' to the scene casting a warm glow over the otherwise very dark night.

    There are other ways to accomplish night without a lot of gelled lights, but these are two of my favorites. I hope they help!

    Art
     
  6. xander

    xander Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Production Electrician, Programmer
    Location:
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    Re: Night Lighting

    Sorry I don't have a comment to help you out, but when I read your post I followed your link to look at the dimmer pack. Right there in its description, it states, "2400W maximum watts per pack" immediately followed by "15 Amp Power Supply Cord, 120V."

    Am I missing something?
     
  7. fredthe

    fredthe Active Member

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    Re: Night Lighting

    Yes, you are. The pack is rated for 2400W, but is only supplied with a 15A plug. Having the plug changed to a 20A (by someone qualified) and plugging it into an appropriate circuit would let you use the full capacity.
     
  8. n1ist

    n1ist Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Re: Night Lighting

    Be real careful with some of the shoebox dimmers. I have one that also claims 2400W total, 15A, with a 6A switch, 10A inlet, and it came with a 16ga IEC power cord. I didn't check the triacs or choke wiring to see what their limits really are. Despite what it says, you can only load it to the limit of the weakest link before you start tempting fate.
     
  9. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Re: Night Lighting

    Also keep in mind that at different levels of competetion you will travel to different theaters with different plugs. The regional host in Austin used to use twist lock, while when we hosted State we had P&G (Stage Pin) connectors. Always bring converters!

    Mike
     
  10. xander

    xander Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
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    Re: Night Lighting

    So I wasn't missing anything...

    What a piece of sh*t product that they can't even build the thing to work at its greatest potential. I bet there are a lot of people that buy the product and don't know exactly what they are doing, put 4 HPLs or 3 EHGs on it and then have a huge safety hazard on their hands. I think that is bad ethics.

    To continue to hijack this thread, I have a question.
    Where does this 2400w limit come from? Is there a 20A fuse inline before the split to the 10A breakers for each channel? Is this a limit innate to the circuitry?
    I have always thought that on products like these, this limit was based on the fact that the product is designed to pull power from a single source and thus can only use one 20A/120v outlet. If this is the case, then the 2400w rating on this product is completely arbitrary. You can't safely put a 2400w load on this pack as it is sold, so why not advertise it as a 4800w dimmer pack since you can put 1200w on each of the 4 channels?
     
  11. midgetgreen11

    midgetgreen11 Active Member

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    Re: Night Lighting

    One way to show night-time lighting is to use whatever cool wash they have in place (most likely N/C blue) at a low level, and use your specials for backlighting, as you can see the shape of their body, but their face will appear less bright.
     
    MikeyHP and (deleted member) like this.
  12. MikeyHP

    MikeyHP Member

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    Location:
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    I posted earlier this week about this but got few replies! i need to have a night effect with no gels. We are limites to a set up like this

    lxxxxxl
    lxxxxxl
    _____
    lxxxxxl

    Each x is a zone and the line is the apron

    NO lights can be seen by the audience. I can have four lights that can have gels or any effect. BUT they must be controled independenty of the hosting venues dimming system and the board. I need to know where to put the lights and what suggested levels to put them at. We had a clinic today and the clinition said that we needed more light three times.

    The show is Women of Lockerbie. It takes place between 10 Pm and Sunrise.

    Please Help Please Help Please Help
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2009
  13. Wolf

    Wolf Active Member

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    Location:
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    Re: PLEASE READ I NEED HELP WITH NIGHT LIGHTING

    What type of instruments are they? Can you get a full wash out of 4 fixtures either FOH or Down, Back?
     
  14. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    Dude chill

    Where are you performing at? I bet that they have some sort of REP plot, which will probably do everything you need. My REP plot includes blue (r80) down light and pink (r35) and blue (65) front light. Ive done night looks alot using this set up.

    Talk to the theater and see what they have in the air. Chances are they have everything you need is already there and all you need to do is play with levels to you get what you want.

    See if you can find a link to their plot.
     

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