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Replacing Par64s

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by 3rose, Jun 14, 2019 at 12:41 PM.

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Upgrading/Upgraded Par 64s to:

  1. SourceFourPAR or other conventional par (please specify make & model)

    4 vote(s)
    40.0%
  2. LED pars (please specify make & model)

    5 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. Mix of the two (please specify make & model)

    2 vote(s)
    20.0%
  4. You can take my Par64s from my cold dead hands...

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Moving Lights (please specify make & model)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Retrofit Par Cans to LED (please specify make & model)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Something Else (please explain)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. 3rose

    3rose Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Keene, NH
    For those working in educational, non-profit, or other low-funding areas, what are you replacing your par64s with?

    My situation:
    I am the tech person for our student center. We currently use an express and host a variety of events in a multi-purpose space: mostly award/appreciation ceremonies, conferences and meetings, but also concerts, small theatrical performances, and dances. We have 40 or so Par64s hung on a fixed grid. Finances are rough in higher ed, but esp at public institutions (where I am).

    I'm a sound person by training, but I grew up in theater and worked in AV/event support, so I have basic lighting understanding, but I in no way consider myself an LD. I have an LD to consult but A: he's on break and B: I want to understand this myself and increase my skill set. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around how to account for the loss of brightness when switching from conventionals. I am leaning towards recommending we switch most of our cans to source 4 pars because I suspect the bulbs will continue to be available for quite some time, but I would like us to gain the versatility of color for our backwash, for example. Right now we have 10 Wide angle 1000W pars 5 each in red and blue as our backwash fixture across the stage (which no one has actual measurements on) but I'm guessing 25' high? The make a beautiful punch for concerts and I am just confused as to what we should switch to.

    I started with looking at ETC colorsource deepblue and they are as pricey as I'd want to go for a stationary fixture unless there was one where we could reduce the overall number of fixtures needed. I've looked at Chroma-Q Color One 100, which I like because of the lack of dots for something staring at the audience (we have no proscenium or wings), but see folks saying it's not very bright. I also looked at Elation SixPar, which look to be nice and bright, but again with the dots. :) Then I looked at the Circa Scoop, which is super expensive, but if it was really a "scoop" I thought we might get great coverage for less... but I'm guessing it's mostly just eye candy.

    In a perfect world I might hang a bunch of moving lights like the rogue r2 or r3 for front wash/town hall/dance parties, but we are still working on an express, so that is part of a larger and longer term plan if at all... since we have been doing OK for so long with stationary contemporary fixtures, making that jump would be a hard sell. Also, I have student techs so whatever board we eventually upgrade to would need to be something I could master and easily train folks on. In addition to the obvious (but semi-pricey) choice of going ETC, I'm looking into Chamsys and Titan mobile. I also am glancing at dot2 software, but the price of the board is probably prohibitive. We do some cues, but a lot of stationary looks as well as "busking" for small concerts. The students like setting faders and additive subs and I usually throw in some effects subs for them. They tend to shy away from the keypad, so it would be a tough transition for them, no matter what.

    As far as the leds on stage, I was thinking the most economical solution would be to replace one-two of our D20 packs with R20 so we could use the existing stage-pin electrical and run either wireless dmx or ArtNet (still need to pull the ethernet cables, but seems a more economical option than running dmx). I have enough open faders if we switch the board to one scene mode to run led from the express, so that would be one way to make it a more economical transition at first.

    I've been spiraling on this stuff for a week and don't feel any closer to an answer which makes me lean back to "just buy source fours because it's easiest"... but that also doesn't seem like the most strategic and long term answer. I will talk to some install/sales folks, but I need to know what is a real need and what is them preying upon my ignorance... which after talking to a dude on the phone yesterday asking about a fixture and throw distance and him literally reading the google results I had already seen off the screen as if he had insider info... makes me think it is a real danger.

    So... all that said... what are you all doing/have done if you still had a fully conventional setup with Pars in the rig? Are you just buying new conventionals or planning on making the switch? What have you seen/liked? Is there an easy lumens # I should be using as a minimum when looking at fixtures?
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  2. 3rose

    3rose Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Keene, NH
    So I foolishly made a poll and can't edit the original post. If you replaced with LEDs, please name the specific fixture you landed on and how you dealt with running dmx if your facility didn't have throughs at the dimmers? (sorry for the double-post, I tried to edit)
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  3. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    I edited the poll for you. Since no one is biting, I'll offer my two cents. Maybe it will stimulate conversation.

    Money is tight; everyone gets that. Unless I had 50-100K available to replace all PARs and console, I'd replace PAR64 cans with S4PAR EA in a heartbeat, but incrementally, and probably from the used market https://www.controlbooth.com/wiki/Collaborative-Articles:Sources-for-Used-Equipment if allowed. Start with ten S4PAR-WFLs in the Red & Blu back washes. Use existing PAR lamps to keep the others going, then ten more down the line and so on. One doesn't want to buy ten LEDs now, and ten later, but with incandescents it's fine.

    This brings up another question--575 or 750W? Since the lamps cost virtually the same, and presumably someone else is paying the power bill, I'd go 750. Regardless of what the spec sheets say, in my experience, 575W S4PAR is about 75% of a 1K-PAR64, and 750 is about equal. EA over MCM, always.

    As for LEDs on an Express--No, just no. It CAN be done, but you're opening yourself up to a world of hurt. Even more so with moving lights. Even with an Ion or Element2, I don't think moving lights are worth the trouble in this application.

    Those are my thoughts. I hope some (many) members disagree with me.
     
    RonHebbard and 3rose like this.
  4. 3rose

    3rose Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Keene, NH
    That was my exact idea to phase out 10 at a time and use the bulbs/fixtures to replace burnouts. When you say you don't want to do that with LEDs... even if they are replaced at one time in the same area, then another batch for another area (like backwash, then front-wash different years)? Will the color matching just be too far off?

    Thanks for the tip about the 750W. These are the types of things I'm looking for, experience with practical use that doesn't necessarily get reflected in the specs. Your help is much appreciated!
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  5. STEVETERRY

    STEVETERRY Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    849
    Location:
    New York
    How about ETC S4WRD PAR's?

    Hard to beat for kick-ass lumen output, comes in 3000 or 5600K color temperature. Very, very efficient LED light engine. Dims by line dimming from an existing dimmer system or through a DMX512 input. Has a very progressive feature: no tungsten lamp. :)

    Take a look here:

    http://www.etcconnect.com/Products/...RD-PAR/Features.aspx?utm_campaign=Source-4WRD

    and here:

    http://www.etcconnect.com/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=10737491508

    ST
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  6. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Not many people will add stuff as Derek pretty much summed it up. Do a few conventional S4 Pars, add a few LED’s.

    With an Express it’s just more painful to deal with the newer LED and ML gear, you can do it but it eats up channels and that’s a consideration. If you go to a larger rig of LED you need to do a console, Element, Cognito, etc....and of course relays, DMX disto, etc....that stuff adds some significant costs.

    Steve Terry’s S4WRD is a good idea as well, not sure how well they deal with gel though. Test them and out for sure.

    I do know that we got 90 S4 Pars new with a new facility, then went all LED and didn’t see a conventional used all year. LED makes for easy design choices.

    I’ve no recommendations as to different brands as we just decided easier to deal with an all ETC package so purchased D60’s, Lustrs and Color Source Pars. And a bunch of ChromaQ Color Force strips, which are terrific. But we got a huge grant so could go this route.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  7. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    Not the worst idea. But, if I'M going to spend that much, it dang well better change color!

    @Les , Any comments from the venue as to how they like them?
     
    Les and RonHebbard like this.
  8. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Nope, but the staff there isn't too discerning when it comes to gear (the TD is a drama person who 'settled' for a technical position). However, I have seen a few shows there. I would say that as far as output is concerned, they seem to do the business. That said, all their shows tend to look flat and without any real definition from the Front of House. I'm sure this is a function of non-ideal focusing/positioning techniques and poor/non-existent use of gels. It looked like everything was being hit from one angle and with a single color of front light.

    But in the right hands, I'm sure they could look amazing!
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  9. Jason Antwi-Appah

    Jason Antwi-Appah Member

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    Location:
    Leander, TX
    I can't say much about fixtures. Would you be opposed to a software-based console? Vista by Chroma-Q (used to be Jands Vista) is really intuitive and the console dongles aren't super pricey. You can also buy fader wings which enable output.
     
  10. Blake Alley

    Blake Alley Member

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    Occupation:
    Volunteer LD
    Location:
    Sugar Land, TX
    All the PAR64s I’ve worked with at my church and their scrollers (yes, Chroma-Q Original Color Scrollers), which were probably in service from 1996-ish to 2008-ish, have either been replaced by Source Four PARs as front lights or K9 Bulldogs and SlimPARs if we needed some color.

    In my experience, both our K9 Bulldogs (RGBW Par64) and the smaller Pups (RGB Par46) have been super reliable over the past 10 years while still being affordable little LED pars. Not sure about the more expensive Bulldog2 as I haven't worked with that fixture yet, but I'd assume it's even better than the old 1st gen Bulldog.

    Other LED fixtures to consider would be Chauvet's SlimPAR line (Pro W for variable white or Pro H for RGBAW+UV). We've also got some SlimPAR Pro Qs (RGBA) that we use for accent washes which I really like because they're small, fanless, and are still very affordable; seemingly costing less than K9 Lights.

    I still do like the conventional Source Four PARs as front light since they have always been rock solid and I don't see the lamps disappearing from the market anytime soon. The Source 4WRD seems like a great LED substitute, albeit quite pricey for what it is (along with the previously mentioned SlimPAR Pro W as a less professional and cheaper replacement if the extra brightness and line dimming of S4WRD isn't absolutely necessary).

    Also, I second Jason's recommendation for Vista as a decently affordable software console. I've personally used all 3 versions of Vista along with M1, S1, and I3 consoles. Vista can run standalone on a computer outputting Art-Net or DMX over a UD512 adapter along with a Vista dongle for however many total channels you want to control. You may even want to consider a Jands Vista M1 or Vista MV as a physical console that goes alongside the computer; Jands Vista S1 or Vista EX if you desire a larger physical console.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.

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