PARS or LEKO's?

johnboy36

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Location
florida
Hi,
Looking for some tech.advise.
Theatre application. small room, 14' ceiling height, stage 32'x12' needing 6 light pools.
Existing 12-PAR canz, 56's with 300w, 2- 360 Q lamped @ 375w.
Strong [email protected] (DMX packs w/lightboard)
Needing more controllable lighting for closer key and fill.
My question is; Leko's or S4 PARS?
Worked them both in a visualizer program, makes the S4's pattern like the Lekos..(using VNSP lens)
My budget will swing 2 fixtures. Which way to go?

Also need some advise on top lighting (ceiling 11' above stage floor)

Yep, kinda new to the lighting gig, working with the drama dept. with a local H.O.W. (house of worship)
haven't had my hands on S4 pars or ETC leko's to make the call.

I'm open to suggestions to which luminare and where to get some used ones.

Thanks,
Johnboy36
 

fosstech

Active Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Location
Tacoma, WA USA
If you're buying new fixtures, and can only get two, I would get two source four lekos. They're much more versatile than the pars. You can project gobos, do shutter cuts, and get a hard focus. You can't do any of these with a PAR, with the exception of maybe shutter cuts with barn doors.

For your top lighting, I would recommend pars or Fresnels. With your ceiling height, lekos would not do very well unless you bought wide angle lenses. And you most likely wouldn't be using any of the extra features a leko provides in a downlight situation. S4 pars are very good instruments, but they're significantly more expensive than a traditional PAR56 or PAR64 can. But you'll get cheaper operating costs with the HPL lamps, brighter light with the 750w HPL, and easier lens selection (no buying and changing lamps to change from NSP to MFL for example). And they're smaller. Fresnels are good because they offer a continuously variable beam angle. Just move the lamp/reflector assembly closer to the lens for a wider flood, and the opposite for a narrow spot. The cheaper ones cost a bit less than a S4 par, and the better ones cost a bit more than an S4 par. You get what you pay for in fresnels, the cheap ones are hard to focus accurately and aren't rated for as high of a wattage. My old high school had a bunch of Colortran 6" fresnels, which cost more than the $100 Altman, but featured a much better focusing mechanism and were rated to 1kW, while the Altman maxed out at 750w. This shouldn't be much of a problem in your small space however, since you probably won't need 1kW of output.

If I was in your situation, I would take all the pars and use them for exclusively down/backlight. All the lekos should be used for special effects (gobos, etc.), front and fill light. I would recommend buying some Source Four 36 degree fixtures. Definitely upgrade those Altman lamps; they'll look like little flashlights as soon as you get the 575w S4's in. Get some GLA or GLC lamps for those Altmans, depending on whether you want long life or higher output. I would also definitely budget for more S4's in the future, since your leko inventory is seriously lacking.

For used equipment, check out lightbroker.com, and solarisnetwork.com. I haven't bought anything off these people, but I've heard them recommended a few times.
 

johnboy36

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Location
florida
Thanks Dale,
I have 2 6x9 altmans w/ EICO/FLK/575's coming for FOH. Strong followspot FEL/1k at the rear of the 65' room.
PAR's for top & fill
maybe the 360's for aisle/exit lights.. :)
Not too sure on positions for the 6x9's, never seen em' pattern yet.
Whereya think I oughta hang em'? (per room/stage size)

I sure appreciate you sharing your knowledge.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2007
Location
Maryland
Johnboy,

To answer your question about where to place the lights, the closer to the stage the better for key. Figure out what distance back from centerstage will give you a 45 degree angle with the ceiling. That would be the optimal point for key light. fill can be either closer or further. I have also had success side lighting for fill (not at a 90 angle from key, but at 70ish degree).

Lekos will work, but at your distances, I would recommend either traditional PAR64's with a 500w NSP (Narrow) Lamp or ETC S4 PAR's with the narrow lens. Heat will become an issue with tungsten halogen lighting at that distance also. An aluminum PAR fixture w/ a lamp, C-clamp and safety should run you under $80/each. I wouldn't tour with them, but they work well for installations. The ETC S4 PAR ready to hang will be in the range of $250/ea.

If they are doing video of any kind, there are alternatives in the fluorescent range from DeSisti Lighting that would be excellent for stage wash. The Delux series uses dimmable fluorescents that put out 3200K (which video loves) and is available in 2 bank or 4 bank fixtures. It also would lower the onstage temperature since they don't get hot.

As for used fixtures, I have a large qty of 360q's in various condition that the rentals dept wants to move. PM me for details.