S4 Pars as cyclights?


Active Member
We're buying some cyclights here soon, and I was thinking about using 9 or 12 S4 Pars as cyclights, along with some R124/125/126. We can get a good deal on some S4 pars, which would be cheaper than buying a normal cyclight. Am I making a huge mistake here? Our last electric is about 5 or 6 feet from the scrim we're lighing.


it should be ok

if you use a wide or very wide lense i think it would be ok and the r124,125,126 should eliminate any striping effects that you might get. the company i work for now has used them on alot of different backdrops and usually they work fine. they also are less combersome to move and maneuver.


Active Member
Thanks for the info. So it should be OK with the MFL or WFL lens.

The other consideration was to use them in other parts of the system when cyclights are not needed. It also helps with our lamp inventory, since all we need to carry are HPL lamps for all the S4's and S4 Pars, and BTL's and BTN's for our Colortran fresnels.


Well-Known Member
Best rent 9 units, hang them, color them up in 3 washes, play with lenses and frost, as well as seperation between groups to get a feel for what they'll do and how many you will need.

The Rosco R124-125-126 and 127 colors work well, but note that adding R104, R160 or Lee 228 - all linear diffusions, with any color from any gel book gets you the same thing as the R124/125/126/127 series in any color.



Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
I agree with playtesting this concept. Could work just fine each time if set up and gelled sufficiently. (ETC now makes a cyc light using the HPL lamp), but it takes focusing of the lights and how many fixtures is it per cyc light in budget was not answered. Given a six cell cyc light or even three cell cyc, how many S-4 PAR fixtures does this equal for you? At some point if talking apples for a 6cell and oranges for three S-4 PAR's, than you are loosing a bit in beam spread.

American DJ makes a cyc light. A shame we never heard back from the past student that found himself stuck with his school buying such a cyc light - especially if HIR lamps were installed within it. It was not the most high tech or rated in wattage or quality of a cyc. This but if a budget is declaired, perhaps in such a going some cheap crap cyc light that will reflect the same light on the source and also having money in the budget left for some other equipment is possible, perhaps it might be an option if the cyc option is not used much.

You did not mention what brand of cyc light you were looking into either. Not all cyc lights are created equal both by way of list price or actual quality.

S-4 cans are useful, so perhaps are more useful for the stage a Parnel in somewhat filling both gaps. ON the other hand until you have done a downlight full stage strip/cyc light wash say for blue or some lavender effect, you limit yourself in atmosphere. Say take them cycs and gel them all the same or a mixture of magical colors. Than instead of focusing them on the cyc, just create a wall of color and light so thick you can feel it over or projecting upon the talent. For an atmosphere, nothing can beat a full stage wash from cyc/boarder lights. Might be ancient in technique but still can be useful.

I would go with the cyc lights and the S-4 pars. But for the stage, the Cyc light is a more basic requirement than the jack of all trades but mastering nothing PAR.
One thing to consider is that normally when you use pars to light a drape, you want to put them pretty close (6 - 18 inches) from your scrim so that the beam can skate the length of the cloth, and even then you get a "finger" effect. At 5 or 6 feet from the scrim, I would think that you'd want the cycs for a fatter, fuller color wash.

Stumbling into the Light,

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