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R40 vs. MR16 strips

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by lefhalas, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. lefhalas

    lefhalas Member

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    Anybody have any experience using MR-16 Altman Strip lights to illuminate backdrops and scenery? Currently we're using R40 strips but zips are less than half the price?

    I've already compared footcandles and field. Any advice or discussion?

    Lef
     
  2. danTt

    danTt Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
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    I havn't worked with r40s in forever, but as far as mr16s go, from a design perspective they are quite useful. From a maintence perspective there are few things I dislike more. The sockets go bad on a regular basis, and the indicator lights work far less often than I'd desire.
     
  3. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Mini-Strip manufacturer now defunct. Zip strip s half the price of R40 strip s? I don't think so. For a 6', 3-color unit, ($896-$1100 street) you have 30 lamps instead of 12. Lots more failure points, but lower wattage. Wiring, series. Uses less color media, but burns quicker. Space saver.

    See the thread http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/...-position-lighting-cyclorama-mr16-strips.html. See also this and subsequent posts. And http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/lighting-electrics/27766-led-cyc-light-help.html . [user]SteveB[/user] used to be our power user of MR16 strips for cyc lighting, but I believe he has gone, or is going soon, to LED strips.

    How big of a cyc / backdrop are we talking about? Do you use your R40s top and bottom or just top? One or two rows?

    Since you're using, supposedly paid for, R40 strips now, I'd save my pennies until I could afford Chroma-Q ColorForce 72 or Selador Vivid-R 63".

    Now IF I had 6-8' between cyc and electric, I'd rather have any tungsten or LED asymmetric-reflector cyc light. ETC has hinted that they may have an LED one soon; maybe you can afford it by the time it comes out, or vice-versa.

    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  4. lefhalas

    lefhalas Member

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    The prices I was referring to are rental costs. My supplier has a smaller inventory of r40 and less demand so they cost more.

    Thanks for the break down. The strips are populated with r68 and r64 I guess from your comment that I should expect more burn through especially with less footcandles they would also have to run hotter.

    I've been looking at the Vivid-R's and I have a friend who's head at a theatre in town who has some and loves them.

    There are half a dozen different sets of drops (painted borders, legs, and full scenic drops US). US being lit from top only with two electrics of R40's (14 3 channel units total). DS scenery borders and legs are lit with MR16s from the bottom.

    Thanks again.

    Lef
     
  5. traxman25

    traxman25 Member

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    All I have to add is that I just picked up 4 MR-16 strips for $225 a piece. They were used but in excellent condition. MUCH better shape than any of the R-40 strips or cyc cells I've ever worked with. They are freaking heavy though!

    Edit, they are the 6' 3 circuit strips.
     
  6. lefhalas

    lefhalas Member

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    I've hung 6' R40s by my self off the top of a 12' ladder. On this gig I don't have to lift anything though.
     
  7. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    I wish I had the money to move to LED's, and would do so somewhat under duress due to the issues they generate when doing a lot of road shows that need color matching thru a range of cues to incandescent fixtures using good old gels. That issue aside, I would otherwise kill for some Selador's or Chroma Q's. On this coming Wed. we have an ETC demo of the Gio desk and hopefully some Selador LED fixtures, including a 6ft. strip to do a taste test. With the demise of L&E, I am now under the gun to move to an Altman version should I develop issues with my 25 year old original Mini-Strips, or which I have 3 remaining. The originals are extraordinarily difficult and time consuming to repair when the sockets go bad. The newer L&E versions are more readily repairable. The newer versions also have crappy sockets, I believe due to the huge popularity of the MR16 lamp in the architectural market, thus the lamps are cheap, but the sockets typically fail faster then the ones I used 25 years ago. Thus I end up doing a LOT of repairs on new-ish MR 16 sockets. Thus would kill for LED's, if only to put off the repair on those until after I've retired.

    As to the OP, the MR16 lamp has a whiter color temperature as compared to R40's, which look dim and yellow by comparison, thus would not buy R40 strips. As well, I think long term, the R40 lamp will get phased out of use and you won't find lamp replacements. The Altman Zip-Strip is the only game in town currently and as far as I know and they are not cheap at about $800 plus for a 3 circuit/6 ft unit. Plus lamps.
     
  8. hobbsies

    hobbsies Active Member

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    Occupation:
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    From maintenance perspectives, the mr16 strips are the bane of my existence. I had 9 circuits go out on a show I was filling in for the ME during channel check, and it took me all week to play catch up. I would fix four before the show, then 3 more would go out. Constant maintenance. Also had to grid walk (in fall arrest harness of course) to get to them, try fixing bad sockets while sitting on a pipe above the fixture.

    F those things. Go LED if you can afford it, even if you can't afford it, go LED anyways. MR16's are such a huge headache.
     
  9. JChenault

    JChenault Well-Known Member

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    I find the MR16 strips do not spread as well as the R40 units. IE if I place them at the bottom of the cyc, there is always a dark area at the bottom of the cyc, for my .02$ worth, they are fine for toning strips, but for cyc lighting - not so much
     
  10. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Attached is a photo of our 30x50 filled white cyc, lit with double hung L&E MR16 strips, 75w flood lamps on top, 75w spots on bottom, 6 units across (12 total, 9,000 watt load per color). The color is R125. If we use a color without built in diffusion, we add R104.

    The units are about 3ft downstage of the cyc and 3-5ft above the top of the cyc. The borders determine how high we need to trim the cyc lighting electric.

    You are correct that MR16's make terrible ground row units as the beam doesn't start to spread out until you are 3-4 ft up the cyc. They work pretty well as top units though.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. JChenault

    JChenault Well-Known Member

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    I think we may be in violent agreement

    IE They work pretty well as top units IF you have 3-4 feet above the cyc. In not ....
     
  12. JChenault

    JChenault Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious

    Are you using the 'silk' to smooth the light right to left or up and down?
     
  13. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    If you are having trouble with getting enough spread in the ground row position, then why are you using SPOTS in your ground row?
     
  14. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    [user]SteveB[/user] isn't using a ground row. The cyc electric is double-hung, tandem. The top row of fixtures to light the top half of the cyc are FL; the bottom row just underneath are SP, as they have the "far" shot to the lower half of the cyc.

    I believe he's stated in the past that he uses installs the silk with the lines horizontal, so that it spreads the light vertically.

    If a production requires a ground row, I believe he has a set of Econo-cycs for that.
    .
     
  15. Lightguy5

    Lightguy5 Member

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    We occasionally use both. Cyc, cells or R40s for top, Zips with spots for mid cyc from above, and then a zip ground row with floods for low.
     
  16. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Yup, you are correct. Once again thats what I get for reading/skimming too fast.
     
  17. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Derek has it mostly all correct except that we sometimes use a set of Altman Ground Cyc's as ground rows. I also cannot recall which way the linear diffusion diffuses and would need to look at the sheets to see how we cut it. I actually believe it's frost lines run horizontal to diffuse L/R, but not certain, was in at 5:30 AM today so brain is not connecting to fingers on keyboard.
     
  18. kbowen

    kbowen Member

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    If you possibly can, go with Ianiro far-cycs or similar asymmetrical reflector cyc lights, especially as the throw distance becomes short. Horrible fall-off on lower part of cyc any other way. MR-16's are a horrible pain of arcing sockets and wasted bulbs, but useful when they work. We use Ianiros for general cyc light and long throw MR-16's for a color gradation on the lower extreme of the cyc.
     
  19. techieman33

    techieman33 Well-Known Member

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    The silk diffuses 90* from the lines. So if the silk is running left to right, it diffused up and down.
     
  20. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Bringing up an old thread...

    I just had a set of MR16 strips donated. They currently are lamped with the 12 degree EYF lamps. I have 6 of them, one is completely without lamps, so I need to buy some more lamps. It seems to me I should be switching them to the 39 degree EYC/GL lamps. Is that what you use?

    Unfortunately, that would mean my free fixtures would cost at least $500 to relamp. Thoughts?
     

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