# Pinspots - effectiveness

#### cvanp

##### Active Member
Hey all,

At the end of one of the songs in our show we want to have a full-on blackout and have beams of light shining. The scene takes place in a sewer so the idea will be that light is creeping in from the world above. This is the kind of thing I'm looking to do: http://www.hmmagazine.com/reviews/dvd/TSO lights.gif - those really narrow beams of light are exactly what I want.

Currently the top candidate is this Chauvet Pinspot. The way the light is described, it seems to do exactly what I need - it provides a focused, narrow beam of light - the problem is it's only a $20 light, and by looks alone it appears that there will be a great deal of wash. So I guess my question is.. are pinspots like this really that effective? I need a good amount of distance... we're clamping them to a bar so something like 18 feet away... are they capable without too much wash? Also, does this look like something that would work or are there any other (non-DMX) lights that could provide a similar function? Thanks again everyone #### gafftapegreenia ##### CBMod CB Mods Pin spots would work nicely. Beam Projectors would provide a larger beam, but might be more expensive/harder to find. Possibly some ERS's with gobos could work too. #### SerraAva ##### Active Member What else are you using in your show? 30w pin spots won't seem powerful if the rest of your show is 1000w par 64s or 575w S4 pars. You can also try using irises on movers and make them as small as possible. I have done that before to great effect. Problem with the irises is that you block a lot of light and lose intensity. Hole pattern gobos in ERS's like gafftapegreenia would also work well. #### cvanp ##### Active Member We're poor though. :-/ Plus as I've mentioned in the past our situation is crappy so we have to go with as simple a solution as possible. #### RiffRaff54 ##### Member I'm going with the idea of gobos with a bunch of holes in them. #### cvanp ##### Active Member If we had more lights that would be a viable option too, but here's what we're dealing with.... As you can see we really have almost no lights. If we had more, I would definitely want to throw on some gobos and use that option simply for the control we would have. Unfortunately, I'm afraid we're going to have a tough enough time lighting with the few lights we have now! That's the primary reason I want to go with separate lamps for this, and particularly something not DMX controlled. It is by no means the best situation but that seems to be our best solution. #### Charc ##### Well-Known Member If we had more lights that would be a viable option too, but here's what we're dealing with.... View attachment 879 As you can see we really have almost no lights. If we had more, I would definitely want to throw on some gobos and use that option simply for the control we would have. Unfortunately, I'm afraid we're going to have a tough enough time lighting with the few lights we have now! That's the primary reason I want to go with separate lamps for this, and particularly something not DMX controlled. It is by no means the best situation but that seems to be our best solution. Do you even have any available circuits? #### gafftaper ##### Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia First you won't see the shaft of light like that without particles in the air for the light to reflect off of... thus you need to start this project by getting a hazer. It'll probably cost you$100 to rent a hazer and buy fluid for a week's run. Haze is designed to stick around a while. So be prepared to have haze on stage for another 20 minutes or so. Then there's the smoke detector issue to be considered with haze.

I would say that Serraava nailed it on the head with the next problem. Little 30 watt pins will work, but will be quite dim looking if the audience has been looking at a full wash from the rest of your gear. I would spend that money renting a few extra Source fours with 50 degree lenses. Experiment with making your own pin hole gobos out of pie pans, try different sizes of holes. You should be able to rent them for around $30 a week. Place them at odd angles with long cross stage throws should work fine. This solution will still be dimmer than what you see in that picture but it should give the idea you are looking for. Those beams in the picture you showed are being created by very expensive moving lights and it's a difficult effect to duplicate. One final option would be to rent a bunch of 5 degree Source Fours. This would be a great way to duplicate that effect. You could put a home made circle gobo in to reduce the size of the light further if you wanted... but they cost more than the standard S4's to rent so we are probably talking$40 per week per shaft of light. But it would be a really nice bright effect.

EDIT: What about renting a basic laser?

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#### sound_nerd

##### Active Member
Go with pinspots. I did a mock-acl setup in a nightclub using a bunch of pin spots, and they work rather well. You'll find they're not too bright but it's a good buy on a budget and effective none the less.

#### Charc

##### Well-Known Member
given the effect I'm picturing I would think either a 36º or 50º (depending on throw) with a hard polygonal breakup would complement the effect quite nicely. While fog sucks for this effect, it's cheaper, and likely won't fill up the whole space. You will likely have less of an issue with smoke detectors too (unless you're shooting straight into one.) you can try and breakup the fog a little bit with a fan or something. Is it possible to incorporate this in to the "sewer" look, as a scenic element? Low RPM fan, with a trickle of fog coming through? However, you did mention it would be a full blackout, except for this effect light, so perhaps you wouldn't even need to disguise where your fog is coming from. (It would just be a little unexplainable.) Those are my thoughts on the matter.

#### cvanp

##### Active Member
We're definitely planning on fog. That's a very big part of the design for the scene. We probably won't go with haze because it's slow to dissipate but just use fog with some fans.

I have access to a few Source Fours (well, I think. I would have to clear it in advance) but the problem is going to be finding the space for the lights, particularly since we have no available circuits to control them through DMX.

I think I'm going to get a pin light just to see how it looks. I know it won't be as bright, but I'm wondering if that will really matter for the effect, especially when the stage will be totally black. I'm not trying to light any people in particular, it's only the beam that I am going for. If the pin light can serve that purpose than I'll be probably go that route.

#### gafftaper

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
I just double checked the prices at my local dealer. They charge $60-$72 for a week rental of a decent fogger (Rosco 1500 $60 or F-100$72). They charge $120-$150 for a decent hazer (lemaitre $120, Unique$150)... that price does not include juice. In past discussions I've found my local prices to be a little higher than other parts of the country. If I remember right you are in New York... which may mean more competition and better prices on rentals.

#### gafftapegreenia

##### CBMod
CB Mods
I've never used them, but maybe the others can help me out, what about ACL's?

#### avkid

##### Not a New User
Fight Leukemia
I've never used them, but maybe the others can help me out, what about ACL's?
They burn out quite fast if I recall.

#### icewolf08

##### CBMod
CB Mods
I've never used them, but maybe the others can help me out, what about ACL's?
I was going to suggest ACLs, they will give a nice narrow beam that looks really nice through haze. They are also really bright. The biggest issue with them is that they are 28v lamps so you need to wire 4 in series to one circuit. This is a relatively easy thing to do if you own PAR Cans already. The other option is to hook up a 24v transformer to each lamp. I suggest 24v transformers because they are usually easier to find than a 28v transformer.

They burn out quite fast if I recall.
The average lamp life for the GE #4553 and #4552 is 25 hrs. Yes, this is short, but since they are usually only used for effects (in theatre) this is plenty long enough. Generally they are only on for very brief moments.

#### cvanp

##### Active Member
Pardon my ignorance... what's an ACL (what does it stand for)?

edit: icewolf08: so because of the ACL design I would need to have 4 wired together? So if, say, I wanted 3, that wouldn't work? (I want 4 really, maybe even 8, but I'm curious.)

#### Brilliant2007

##### Member
My vote would be source fours with a gobo. You could put four across evenly spaced across the pipe...get the right gobo, something with bars or a grate and it will look like light coming through a sewer grate. Need to have the haze to see it. Can you spare one circuit?? You could two-fer all four instruments into one circuit (only if you are lamping them with 575s) and you are good to go! Can't spare a circuit?...twofer them up still, get an edison adapter, run the line to the ground and have a deck elec plug it into a 20amp wall circuit on the ground for the scene, you won't have dimming control but it will work.

You can rent the four source fours, pattern holders, a DF 50 hazer, and the twofers for a total of $150 or less (in some markets) for a week. Four gobos...another$50 tops to purchase and ship. The whole deal for \$200 or under...

Just my thought...

#### icewolf08

##### CBMod
CB Mods
Pardon my ignorance... what's an ACL (what does it stand for)?
ACL=Aircraft Landing Light

They are a type of PAR64.

#### icewolf08

##### CBMod
CB Mods
Pardon my ignorance... what's an ACL (what does it stand for)?
edit: icewolf08: so because of the ACL design I would need to have 4 wired together? So if, say, I wanted 3, that wouldn't work? (I want 4 really, maybe even 8, but I'm curious.)
That is correct. In theatrical use typical is to wire 4 in series. If you had less than 4 you would be way over voltage and they would just die. If you wanted fewer than 4 you would need to wire them to a transformer.

#### DarSax

##### Active Member
I'll also support the renting option, even if it's not source 4's (though that'd be best). If you opted to buy, after the show all you'd have are some pinspots that, while having some possible use at some time in the future MAYBE, would probably not benefit you all that much.

Looks like you have the space to hang, if not the circuits. Remember the problems with plugging lights directly in live circuits--the plug will probably arc, and there's of course danger of electrocution if you're really not careful. If you're only doing it once per show, you probably won't build up that much carbon, but it's still a frowned-upon practice.

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