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Rainlights/Pinspots on 100% Dimmers

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by soundlight, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    OK...I already know that rainlights/pinspots are not dimmable (because they use a transformer and are an inductive load), but I was wondering if I could control them through a dimmable circuit run at 100 percent (change it to a switched profile on the console). My high school does not have money to purchase relay/switch packs, but they do have money to purchase a few cheap rainlights for dance concert downlight effects. And I will probably be designing the show this spring, and I really want to make it look good. I just want to ask before I blow all of the fuses in the cheap 4-pack dimmers. (The dimmers have plenty of power for the lights, and have performed well in the past with our small number of standard PAR 56's.)
     
  2. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    Heh, you've opened up quite a can of worms.

    Really, you probably shouldn't, because of the occasional unreliability of dimmers and the potential to hit a slider and cause the fixture to be dimmed.

    But in reality, it's probably fine if you're careful.
     
  3. Andrewr

    Andrewr Member

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    For simple stuff you should get away with it. But remember that the supply is still being processed by the dimmers even when they are at 100%.

    As a long term solution its likely to reduce the lifespan of anything electronic attached to it.

    More importantly, it being an Inductive load doesn't really make a difference (except with floresents, but unless you have trick dimmers its irrelivant)
    You may find that the dimmers dont 'see' it as enough load to actually work. (quite common on cheaper and/or older dimmers) so you may need to put a lantern on the same circuit as a 'dummy' load.

    What kind of tranny' is it? If its magnetic you can dim it! And as for it being an issue with pinspots (or any non-electronic transformer lamp) it should be fine.
    You can dim most electronic transformers too, they just tend to flicker. (or just not turn on)
    I currently have all the low level lighting in the auditorium running from 12v electronic transformers, supplied by strand SLD dimmers running at about 30%
    Below that they flicker like mad :evil:
     
  4. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Under most conditions your do not want to dim inductive loads period. there was recently a discussion on another thread here about someone wanting to run MLs offof a dim in non-dim mode. In that case, where the power coming into the fixture is being used for both an inductive load and being split off to run the electronics it simply should not be done. it might work for a while but it will screw up the electronincs in the ML sooner or later. Your case however is different. the power supply transformer in a rain light in a simple frame type inductive coils and thus does not depend on haveing the entire sine wave of the electrical signal to work with. Beyond that it is only driving an incandescent filament not electronincs. So short answer < too late > yes you'd be fine doing this, you could probable even get away with dimming them a little < but I wouldn't push it> There also a couple of rain light/pinspots available that run a different lamp that is straight 120v. I don't remember the type but I used to have some in the wharehouse I managed. Perhaps give Ship a yell and see if he knows the type I'm speaking about. Hope that helps. Good luck.
     
  5. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    Yeah, sorry just to clarify/go off of what Van said, I would NEVER recommend doing that with moving lights or anything remotely expensive. Pin spots are dirt cheap, so I wouldn't worry about it too much. (We have a couple of police beacons, we run them off of full dimmers every so often, they're not exactly complex pieces of machinery)
     
  6. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I would make dimmer profile that has a direct jump from 0 to 100 percent, so that the load is basically switched at the 50% fader position from 0% to 100% immediately.

    Also, we're getting rainlights because A) the designer (me) is specifying them for some of the designs and B) it's under $200 for 24 of them with lamps included. We're also getting the color caps for them. And a full set of spare bulbs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2006
  7. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    can someone explain to me what rain lites are, I thought they were like par 38s or something dimmable...
     
  8. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Sounds good. and the price sounds great. I love rain lights as an effect.I once used about 24 of them as a down light surround around a bandstand for a music show. I had them arranged in 3 semi circles of concentric diameter . looked really cool, could chase them from inside to out and vice versa.


    Pie4Weeblcan someone explain to me what rain lites are, I thought they were like par 38s or something dimmable...

    You are correct Rain lights / pinspots are basically a par 38 narrow I know there are two versions of them one runs a 120 v lamp and the other a 24 or 12 I can't remember which. the lower voltage unit has a transformer inside the light housing attached to the back of the fixture. other than that the two units look identical

    heres a low voltage model:
    Model RLY/RLC Rain Light
    The Rain Light is a low voltage "Bullet Beam" spotlight used for accenting individual display items or creating a falling "rain" effect when used on a sequencing controller.
    [​IMG] Utilizing a very narrow beam, long life low voltage lamp, the rain light is ideal for theatrical special effects. The RLY is designed for portable applications where it can be clamped in place and temporarily connected. The RLC is designed for permanent installation where the luminaire is hard wired and recessed in a ceiling.
    Features:
    Accessories (included):
    • RLY CF color frame
    Accessories (optional):
    Maybe they just don't make the 120v version anymore, I'm old you know.:mrgreen:
     
  9. TechiGoz

    TechiGoz Active Member

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    You should be able to acomplish that. I have used both pinspots and birdies on dimmers before, both with transformers. I dimmed them too (whether it was a GOOD thing or not, I dont know :p) but I just had to put on a dummy load (i just used an old QI in the dimmer room) and that worked nicely. Gave a nice effect too.

    Note: It did flicker without the dummy load, so depending on how many you run per circuit you may need one.

    Good Luck
     
  10. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'm probably going to run at least five per circuit, giving 180watts per circuit. This is on 600W 4-pack dimmers, so I assume that I should be fine...yes?
     
  11. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    After doing some internet research, I'm going to try very hard to convince the school to get a pair of Doug Fleenor 6-ch 15A DMX relay packs to put up in the electrics. Each of them would be powered off of a single wall plug circuit (seperate circuit for each). This way I will be able to flash them and chase them alot more because they will be in smaller groups.
     
  12. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    Doug makes great products but they don't come cheap. His protocol converters are superb

    I tend to like to use the NSI dds series, you can upgrade these to dmx easily and you can run them in Dimmer or relay mode, giving you more flexibility. Everytime I look at a relay only solution, I decide for the same money to get a dimmer/relay combined unit

    Just a thought

    Sharyn
     
  13. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Good idea. That'd also give it the flexibility of being a dimmer for the theatrical productions. (The rainlights are only for dance concerts.)
     
  14. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I frequently dim pinspots. Simple transformer - line in, load out. Doesn’t really matter what the voltage in is - granted that frequency chopping might be problematic and there might be some difficulties in the transformer. Still, I’m yet to ever have a problem in doing so on any type of dimmer. All lamps are inductive.

    Given this, I don’t see a problem at 100%, much less 10%.

    Biggest problem might be with the dimmers seeing enough load to make them function properly as Andrewr mentions. Might need a minimum wattage of 75w or somewhere in that area to make them act properly or at least go out.

    As for 120v PAR lamps Van mentions... it’s past tradition in the rock and roll lighting biz, the use of PAR 36 28v/250w #4596 lamps run in for fixture series without a transformer. Higher output than that of the pinspot and similar tight beam of light characteristics. Otherwise for PAR 36 at 650w/120v, the FBE and FBO lamps are the best you could do but they would not have anywhere near as tight a beam. Another detail of using anything over a 30w lamp in these fixtures is that even if you bypass the transformer and add heat rated wiring to it, the pinspot itself is not a fixture designed to cool properly a higher wattage much less dichroic lamp. There is litterly hundreds of PAR 36 screw based lamps on the market in various wattages, (an simply huge amount of selectrion) but since the 120v/75w NSP Phillips #20191-3 became discontinued, there is no even close to suitable lamp I would put in a pinspot at 120v. You would have to re-structure, remove the transformer, rewire, punch out the rear of the can and add a ventilation grill in order for such a can to cool sufficiently - been there / done that six months ago on 144 Pinspot fixures so they would take a combination of 650w/120v DWE and 250w/28v #4596 lamps. For the fixtures I also had to safety cable the lamp retaining screw top and add lamp protective screens - 250w to 650w lamps have lamp shattering risks when used over an audience in a way that a 12v/30w lamp won’t. Another reason that you just can’t pop a higher wattage lamp into a standard pinspot fixture - one very important. In other words, to make them either work as series of four #4596 or line voltage DWE cans, I had to for all intensive purposes totally modify the entire can so no component used was in it’s original condition if used at all.

    Only 120v lamp available these days for such a fixture would be the DWE, FBE and FBO all at 605w and all way too hot to use on this type of can.

    Tricks of low budget I learned in the past however with such fixtures. First, there is roundels out there both colored and MFL in beam angle that can be useful.

    After that, replace the transformer with a 12v/30w one (should be similar in size if not a larger one possible to fit.) There than is lots of lamps available one can swap the #4515 lamp out for in gaining a larger beam angle, various intensities, beam spreads and other options. The #4446 for instance with a 80̊x80̊ beam angle would fit right into the fixture and be a excellent wash light at the same wattage and voltage. There is various other more medium and spot lamps and even the 4416 line at the same voltage/wattage that comes pre-colored in the primary colors.

    That’s all in the 30w range. I would think that if converted to 12v, this type of fixture would not have problems due to heat with up to a 75w lamp, but after that, I would not push it short of the above major modifications - and I do mean simply huge and extensive modifications in making this fixture into something it’s not.

    A final option is to use “AR-111" lamps. There is various 6v AR-111 lamps on the market that are specifically designed to replace Q4515 and 4515 lamps. Never saw a huge advantage to doing so myself, but it’s an option. Might be possible to get a line voltage AR-111 lamp also. Might be or it would get more into my theoretical rhelm as to what bi-pin lamp is the lamp used in one thus what alternate bi-pin lamp is available in 120v... Theoretically, it’s possible to swap out a AR-111 lamp with a line voltage one.
     
  15. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I am going to get the color caps...red, green, blue, and yellow...from the same people that sell the rainlights at such a low price. They're going to be hung about 15' off the deck and come down in distinct patterns through haze for some of the dance pieces. I have 4pack dimmers that they will be run off of (no money for more dimmers as I thought might be possible), and each dimmer has two connections per channel. So, one dimmer can have two reds, two blues, two greens, and two yellows. I'm also going to put some without roundels so that they can be used for chase effects in other ways.

    So - if each of the 4515 lamps is 30W, and I put two on each circuit of a 600W/channel 4-pack dimmer, am I going to also need a ghost load??
     
  16. Andrewr

    Andrewr Member

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    Possibly. No easy way to tell. I have dimmers that need between 30 and 50w of (resistive) load to function correctly. Once they are running they will drive any inductive loads, but for low wattages still need a dummy load. Or they just switch off.

    I realise US electrics is a horrible mix of many many connectors, but can you not use grelcos (twoofers maybe?) or similar to allow you to put more than just 2 lamps on each channel. You really need them in groups of 4 for the propper Rock N Roll ACL look!
     
  17. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know if there are any 4515 style bulbs (same voltage as 4515's) that last more than 100hrs?? That'd be really great.
     
  18. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    Some of the NSI dimmers can select relay mode or dimmer mode to get around the problems

    Sharyn
     
  19. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    A company called "Sonlite" (sorry, don't have the link updated to my notes at home). They list a 200 lamp hour #4515 lamp but don't list the luminous output. They also list a #H4515 halogen lamp but it's output is very dim. Lots you give up in output for the exchange for longer lamp life. Kind of like the exchange of output for a setting on a dimmer.

    The "SAE" Trapezoidal Beam Angle #4511 and 9x4 degree #4516 lamps otherwise are rated for 300hr in lamp life, much less get you a better beam spread out of the lamps.

    You can also get medium beam spread colored lenses for these fixtures as opposed to just colored roundels. (Same basic size roundel as might once have been used on an Altman 6-Cell Cyc that's using A-21 lamps.)
     
  20. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Another question...I'm working on the circuiting, and I was wondering how many rainlights I should be able to put one one standard 20A, 120V circuit. I know that they are 30W bulbs, but they say that they have a 1A fuse in them, so I am kinda confused. I'd like to be able to put 64 on one circuit, and that should be easily doable if they draw 30W/ea and the amperages work out well, but I don't know how this all plays with the line amperage draw per fixture. For reference, I'm planning on using the GE 4515 lamps.

    Here's how it's going to work...I'm going to put 16 rainlights on each 4-pack dimmer, 4 per circuit on the dimmer. I have 64 rainlights and four 4-pack dimmers on the batten. I'm not going to explain the whole effect, but will post pictures if our other grant goes through and I do get the new stuff. I would like to hook this all up to a single 2.4kW circuit.
     

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