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Conventional Fixtures Scoops vs. Pars

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by lieperjp, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so new year, new budget.

    I am trying to get our tech head to buy some PARs to replace our aging Scoop lights, but I need some good reasons, and maybe some recommendations on Brands. I'd like to see the S4 PARs.

    So far, I have:

    ---Brighter. (If memory serves me right, our Scoops are lit @375w) I would, however, need to see if I it will work without blowing a dimmer, since many of our circuits control 2-3-4 lights. And we don't have nice dimmer racks where it's easy to pull out a blown one and replace with a spare.
    ---Take up less space on the raceway... those scoops are huge.

    Also, opinions on lights "sticking below" the valances. Our electrics hang close to the valances, so currently we have no ellipsoidals over the stage because "they stick out." So, for now, any specials on the back 2/3 of the stage need to be done with our 8" Fresnels. It would be great to see some ellipsoidals over the stage, too.

    But, I think this year might be a "big project year" so this would work only if we do not try to replace the sound system. But I don't think we have the budget for that.
     
  2. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Question Time!!!!


    So, why replace scoops with pars? Seems an interesting choice. Were I replacing scoops, I'd be looking at cyc lights. What are you currently using your scoops for? If it is indeed cyc lighting, then look at cyc lights. The L&E Runt cyc is one such affordable replacement. Or are you using scoops for stage lighting? In that case I'd probably keep them, as they make great work lights as well as stage floods. Or are you looking for a more versatile fixture inventory, in which case I might then choose pars.

    What is your current inventory like? What do you have in the ways of pars/fresnels/ellipsoidals/scoops/cycs.If you don't have the money to do a nice big replacement purchase, its a true wonder what a cleaning and relamping with more efficient lamps can do.

    Personally, I've always been very fond of Fresnels over the stage. Unless you are trying to do some gobo work or very precise shuttering, to me, fresnels do a great job of working as on stage specials.

    Not trying to criticize your plans, I'd just like to hear more about your space, your inventory and your reasoning for new purchases.
     
  3. tech2000

    tech2000 Active Member

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    In my school, when we brought in a lighting designer to help us maintain our lights a few years back, he had us chop the stage pin connectors off our par cans. He really did know what he was talking about because (they were the ones the school district bought-probably cheapest) they were meant for outdoor use and not indoors. They really were not safe. When a tech rewired one for use a year or so ago, he plugged it in and flew it out on one of our electrics battens and then it was like a fireworks show. Amazing nothing caught fire.
    We will be getting rid of them soon.
    Scoops are pretty nice, they give out a lot of light.
     
  4. Goph704

    Goph704 Active Member

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    Money is a really good bargaining chip.

    For the older scoops I work with I have to use a full sheet of gel to cover the entire surface area of the light. With a par, even an older fixture I can get four cuts out of one sheet. Down here in tobacco row a sheet can cost between seven and ten dollars, one instrument per sheet vs. four instruments per sheet.
    Also your lamps tend to last longer in pars than in the older scoops, and the lamps are easier to find and sometimes somewhat cheaper.

    I don't know anything about your space, so I can't really say which instrument to recommend. You might want to think seriously about Fresnel's or cyc lights, ( some really good advice is to not get rid of your old lighting equipment until your sure that it's totally useless. but you'll find out as you do research on your purchases what will be best for you. But for me, updating stock has always saved me cash in the long run.

    And that's my two cents.
     
  5. Clifford

    Clifford Active Member

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    Don't scoops, by nature, tend to give a more flourescent light? Most of ours are lamped with flourescent lamps. We only use them for work or if we need a large amount of colored light with a low wattage. Otherwise we just use fresnels. This is something I would consider when buying.
     
  6. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Let's see.

    Inventory is roughly (I'm not at school so I don't have EXACT counts:)

    About 10 Strand-Century Lekolights
    About 10 S4 (I believe they are Zooms)
    The above are on our catwalk.

    On stage:
    about 18 8' Fresnels which are what I use for specials and small washes
    about 20 Scoops which I use for general stage washes

    Also, 4 R40 strip lights (3 channels each) along the front of the stage.

    I also have 3 Altman mini-ellipsoidals, not sure what type. They are terrible and I only use them if I absolutely have to.

    So, the reason I would like to add some pars is mostly because we don't have any and I find them useful for talent show chase sequences/busking. We do not have a cyc (something I'm trying to get our theatre club to purchase) but we do use a scrim sometimes, and sometimes we use it as a cyc. This usually happens only once in a great while, so I can bring out the scoops for that.

    We do 4 theater shows in a year (one musical, two plays, and one play designed for children that usually has a dance sequence where the director wants a light show.)

    Also, we do roughly 2-3 multiple act talent shows and 4-6 band nights (where only one or two bands play) in a year.

    Our Band rehearses on stage, sometimes they use the stage lights, sometimes not. Set building usually uses the work lights, mostly because they are not allowed to touch the board and dimmers and also to save electricity.
     
  7. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Did I really just see like 3 different posts in favor of scoops?

    Remember he wants to replace them with S4 pars...more bang for the buck as it were.
    Optically a 375 S4 PAR is going to outshoop a 375 Scoop in terms of brightness.
    Coverage is a different probelm.

    I'd probably suggest the S4PARnel instead...but that's just me.

    Also either way a PAR can or a S4 PAR tends to be safer than a scoop when the the lamp blows and rains glass down upon the people below.

    Anyway...what is the actual dimming capability in your space?
     
  8. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Am I the only one who thinks scoops and fresnels/pars are like apples and oranges?

    They really are different species of lighting instruments and will give a much different kind of light. Fresnels and Pars are more directional and intense while a scoop is a softer flood. I would not replace, I would supplement. Scoops are very straight forward electrically, so replacing any worn sockets/whips would be very cost effective and simple. The gel thing is a good point, and it does sound like your scoops are being used for the wrong purpose. The scoops are probably best suited for fill light as opposed to key light.

    As for fluorescent, they're not. Unless they have CFL's in them (and I have yet to find a mogul screw base CFL), scoops should give off a very warm incandescent light. Note that I am not talking about scoops that take a halogen T3 lamp.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2008
  9. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    I'm not at school, so I have no Idea. I'm not even sure what the brand name of the dimmers is!!! The only thing I know is that we have eight packs that control six circuits each, each pack is directly connected to a breaker panel at 40 amps each. I would trust the packs, but the raceways are from the 70's so I don't know if the wires are heavy enough gauge.
     
  10. tech2000

    tech2000 Active Member

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    My school only has 2 scoops and a lamp for only 1 of those so we don't ever use them. (Except as work light one time)
     
  11. IlyaSmirnov

    IlyaSmirnov Member

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    Same here - ours have been sitting in a closet ever since we got cyc lights - and more than half of those are in the same closet since we don't have enough space on the cyc batten...

    We have, however, been using a scoop for lighting in the school TV studio - we got some new S4 PARnels this year, but we still use it for a wash when a teacher just needs some light, nothing fancy. I agree with Grog12 about PARnels, though - if it's within the budget, they're definitely worth the extra $50.
     
  12. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Wasn't looking for brand name...you've answered my question perfectly. First off..if you're lamping everything at 375 (for sake of argument) you shouldn't be plugging more than 12 lights into a pack....and I'd feel like I was pushing it doing that.

    If you're lamping anything over 375 DO NOT PLUG IN MORE THAN 8 LIGHTS TO A PACK.

    Lil gaff's suggestion of cyc lights is right out....

    Remember that watts doesn't always equal brighter...corparate America just taught you that.
     
  13. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Uh, oh...

    According to my calculations... Outlets based on Pack:

    Pack 1 (Ch. 1-6): 12 outputs on catwalk
    Pack 2 (Ch 7-12): 12 outputs on catwalk
    Pack 3 (Ch 13-18): 4 on catwalk, 4 on stage =8
    Pack 4 (Ch 19-24): 6
    Pack 5 (Ch 25-30): 14
    Pack 6 (Ch 31-36): 15
    Pack 7 (CH 37-42): 17
    Pack 8 (CH 43-48): Strip lights across the front of stage... 4 16-Lamp (I think) R40 Strip Lights
    Pack 9 (Ch 49-54): 12
    Pack 10 (Ch 55-59 - there is no Ch 60): 13

    Actual (as of last show):

    Pack 1: 10 575w S4s and Lekolights
    Pack 2: 2 Fresnels @575w and 6 Lekolights
    Pack 3: 3 575w Lekolights, 1 Elation DJ light, 1 ADJ 300w Blacklight, 1 575w Fresnel
    Pack 4: 4 575w Fresnels, 1 ADJ 300w Blacklight, 1 375w Scoop
    Pack 5: 1 Elation DJ light, 9 575w Fresnels (most not on @same time)
    Pack 6: 8 575w Fresnels, 2 375w Scoop
    Pack 7: 1 575w Fresnel, 7 375w Scoop
    Pack 8: All available lights used, not all at same time.
    Pack 9: 3 375w Scoop
    Pack 10: 1 375w Scoop

    Added later: I will get more information on the packs and original install AS SOON AS I GET TO SCHOOL... This is a little scary. I know they changed the channels in some locations a few years ago... I don't know if they did the calculations, but I thought a pro electrician did it... I'll have to go do some research when I get back to school.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2008
  14. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Lot's of good information, really clears up a lot. Once you get to school, figure out the dimensions of your space. It makes a lot of sense why you want pars. That was all I was looking for, your reasoning and usage. Personally, I like the S4 PAR over the PARnel. I think a S4 PAR with an XWFL could easily compete with a scoop in terms of washing.

    Since you don't have a cyc, clearly my suggestion makes little sense. Keep the scoops for cyc washing, they work rather well for that.

    Another thing to consider are the "next-gen" Fresnel's made by Selecon.

    Your space sounds older, especially with the footlights. A unique and useful lighting position in and of itself.
     
  15. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Pack 5...where they're not on all at the same time looks at a glance to be your only problem...and its not a problem if you don't turn them on all at the same time.

    Double check the 40 amp bit too....Each pack is tied to its own circuit breaker?

    Edit:
    At a second glance with more time n1ist's post below is correct. Also the term "All available lights used" concerns me. Pack 1 looks to be overloaded if I'm reading/understnading your posts correctly.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  16. n1ist

    n1ist Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Careful - you have some things there that really should not be on dimmers (the blacklight and DJ lights).
     
  17. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    S4PARs are a great option. I've got a bunch with the XWFL lenses and it's a really nice wide wash. A strong replacement option over the Scoops. The beauty being that with the rest of the lenses you have a wide variety of focus options. Some small L&E Cyc lights would also be a great and cheap option. But as was said above think augment, don't think total replacement.

    However, It seems to me your biggest problem is really power not instruments. If it was me I wouldn't think about adding instruments until I had an infrastructure upgrade. You've got a lot of lights there that you can't fully use because you don't have the power to do it. Upgrading the dimmers and relamping with larger lamps would double your light on stage. "Gaff's method" always says to focus on the basics before luxuries. In your case you are right on the verge of breakers blowing every time you turn on the system... your biggest need is not lights as you won't have the power to fully use them. If your wiring of electrics is old and sketchy then that's even a bigger problem as preventing a theater from burning down is more important than dimmers potentially tripping. I recently got a price quote for a small auditorium on campus here and it was around $7k to install a 24 x 2.4k dimmer pack and get a small basic board to go with it.

    P.S. I like PARNels... there's been a lot of bad talk about them because "they aren't a good PAR and they aren't a good Fresnel". People that say that are ignoring the possibility that there may be other useful forms of lighting instruments out there. While I wouldn't choose them over PARs or Fresnels head to head, they are useful tool to have in your bag of tricks. I've got a large lighting inventory and I have a small rack of PARnels. In the three shows I've done in the new space, every time I find a way to use most of the PARnels mostly for little tweaks to the design (i.e. "I need a little more light right there").
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  18. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Funny gaff...I'd take a PARnel over a 6" Freshnel any day of the week. My opinion for what its worth.

    Also..I don't compare them to PARS...because..well they're not PARs...even though they have a modifed Parabolic reflector.
    /hijack off

    On topic I'm curious how much pull the OP has with the venue.
     
  19. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Well, they are on non-dim profiles. There is no other way to plug it in other than to run a 150 foot extension cord from the wall to the lights on the first electrics and when the lights need to be on, plug them in backstage. (They are not DMX Controllable.) I know this is not the best for the lights, but as of now, I have no other option.

    As for how much pull I have, I recommend stuff to be purchased, but I don't have final say. We would like to have a new infrastructure installed, but truthfully I don't see it happening until the auditorium is remodeled, which we expect to happen within 5-10 years (hopefully sooner.) It depends on how much money they get because all the seats, the floor, the stage floor, the curtains, the raceways, the dimmers, the house speaker system all need to be replaced. Not to mention the organ that needs to be protected during all this.
     
  20. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    I like the PARnels in smaller spaces, black box settings, ya know, those types of settings. I fine them especially useful in such situations.
     

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