Seeking Portable LED Rig Advice

tdtastic

Active Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2014
Location
Alabama
Our company is looking to spend some pandemic relief funds ASAP (before Jan 1) and we want to update our small portable lighting rig that we use for smaller performances outside of our venue. Wanting to go LED and expect to invest in new trees and a small console. Because of my super limited time, I probably need something I can order online easily and not have to go through any dealers for top end stuff. Dare I say it, a DJ kit, or something already packaged as a kit would be awesome.

Current setup is 2 telescoping trees topped with (4) PAR 56's and a dimmer pack and we run it all on a little two-scene preset DJ "console." We only ever need to achieve a general wash on an acting area never larger than 12'x12' usually on the floor or maybe raised on 1' platforming.
Color changing options would be great but care more about achieving a nice white that we can gel if need be.

Any advice welcome!
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Location
Seattle, WA
I am a big fan of the ETC Colorsource PAR for creating nice pastel amber, pink, and blue colors that look like like your favorite gel on skin. They come in two versions a normal and a deep blue. If your primary concern is nice light on skin, go with the normal fixture. The deep blues are fine for pastel colors, but not as good as the normal ones and you'll be pretty amazed at how much color the normal fixtures put out. They look great and should be a nice upgrade for your existing PAR's. They are about $800 each although if you buy 8 you'll get a package deal. They have these nice heavy duty diffusers for about $25 each that allow you to choose how the light spreads in narrow, wide, medium and your choice of round or oval spread. Buying a spare set in different widths will allow you to adjust the focus distance for them.

If it was me, I would consider going with four trees and putting two colorsource pars on each tree. Put two trees downstage for front light and put the other two trees more around the corners for side light That would give you a lot of light and a lot more dramatic looks. If money is really tight you could probably get away with just two trees and four fixtures. I don't think you really need 8 fixtures to replace 8 PAR 56's... maybe 6, but I have the feeling 4 will do it, especially with a stage that small.

Either an ETC ColorSource 20 or a Chamsys QuickQ 10 would be a great little control console for it. I prefer the Chamsys QuickQ, but both are fine. If you can't swing that much in the budget look into Lightshark. A LIghtShark Core for $800 and a laptop or iPad is all you need for a fully functional console. But I ALWAYS recommend a dedicated console with real handles and buttons for anyone who is serious about long term investing in a product.

Call around for competitive package pricing. I bet you can get 8 Colorsource PARS, diffusion, a QuickQ10, two additional trees, dmx cable, etc... for very close to $8k.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: RonHebbard

RickR

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Location
Spokane, WA the great "Inland Northwest"
If budget allows, wireless DMX is wonderful for portable gear. A massive time saver! I've used ETC's unique Colorsource Relay for handling power and control. But less expensive DMX only is very workable.

Any old slider DMX console can do a few LEDs with some thoughtful patching. From your comments a DJ board might be counter productive. They do flashy well, but are complex to simply go cue to cue.
 

RC4Wireless

Jim @RC4Wireless #RC4DoesThat
Joined
Aug 21, 2009
Location
Raleigh, NC
Check out our long-range 900MHz wireless stuff, RC4Magic-900. You might only benefit from wireless transceivers to start, or you might like the tiny dimmers we make for props, costumes, and scenery. Many of our customers use this system for controlling fixture in the lobby, even outside. Of course, anywhere within the theatre, including wings and usually dressing rooms, too. Best range you can get.

Jim, RC4
 

JohnD

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 11, 2012
Location
north central OK
Slight swerve but for small areas like you mention, might I suggest this stand:
Altman 524-18 5' To 9' Telescoping Stand With 18" Round Base | Full Compass Systems
with this crossbar from Altman:
CROSS_18-2_Crossbar_SlidingTees.pdf (altmanlighting.com) .
These just seem to fit more easily that the bulky (and cheaper) tripod stands.
Another fixture choice, the Chauvet Ovation Fresnels. Their inky replacement is probably too small for your use, but it has mechanical focusing, while the larger fresnels have motorized zoom at a much higher price.
Chauvet Pro OVATIONF55FC 50W RGBA+Lime 4" LED Fresnel With Zoom | Full Compass Systems
Ovation F-55FC | CHAUVET Professional
I really wish they made something between this one and the F-415 6" fresnel, let's say a 4.5" one with manual zoom.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RonHebbard

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Location
Seattle, WA
I have seen the Chauvet Ovation Fresnel on the trade show floor and my impressions are that it would be a very good option for your needs @tdtastic , but I have never actually used one in my own space so I can't guarantee it as a great option for you. That said, I have the LED Cyc lights from the Ovation product range and they are outstanding and in general all of the Ovation LED's appear to be excellent quality. So my guess is these would be an excellent option for you and you could probably save enough money purchasing them to buy wireless DMX!

Check out our long-range 900MHz wireless stuff, RC4Magic-900.
RC4 Wireless makes rock solid wireless DMX gear and this would be a great option to add to your system making it even easier to setup and nobody tripping on your wires.
 

Lextech

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2013
Location
Virginia
I normally love ETC, however, I cannot recommend the Colorsource consoles. I have one and it neither busks or programs very well. The CS pars are okay. The other fixture I would suggest is the Chauvet Solo series. They have zoom and the colors and output are impressive. I have Solo 2s at my outdoor venue and they are rock solid and ip65 rated, which if portable includes outside is a plus.
 

Users who are viewing this thread