Replacing specific 200w R7s halogens with LEDs

Jun 12, 2016
Firstly, hello!

I'm a keen hobbyist, who got roped into pantomime lighting and sound for an amateur group 3 years ago and caught the lighting bug!

Our small setup consists of a lighting bar with 6 fixtures near the front of the house. These have now been successfully switched to basic rgbw dmx PARs which is working very nicely - no more going up ladders at rehearsal to sort out the gels! I should perhaps mention that while I have professionally installed low voltage (cat6) cabling in the past, I am not a qualified electrician an one of my colleagues who is will do all the 230v stuff.

The next task is the wash lighting over the stage itself. We currently have 4 200w equivalent R7S halogen lamps. They look just like security lights but have no PIR and have a removable gel holder. They are plugged in to a 4 channel dimmer. The ceiling above the stage is relatively low. I'm not there to measure but we are talking about 9ft - so these lights have to be very wide angle for the desired wash.

My question is essentially what LED based solution do I use? We have a very limited budget as all our productions are for charity. I'm willing to donate low-enough priced fittings. Here are some thoughts:

  1. Ideally I'd like dmx rgba fittings. We can use more than 4 for the (small) area if needed due to beam angle.
  2. As well as pantomime, we will often put on a farce set in, for example, a dining room. I thus need to be able to get a good warm white.
  3. Because the main colour mixing is done by our other lighting rig and the wash lights are often uncoloured, I'm happy with white only (no rgb, just, vw) as long as there's an incorporated gel holder so that we have that option if needed.
It may be that with the high beam angle and low cost I'm looking for, going fully LED is a pipe dream but I'd at least like to be told that's the case. My research so far has also indicated that batten type fixtures may work, but the decent RGBA ones are expensive and the warm whites would be impossible to apply gels to.

Thanks in advance for any support with this,