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Small Stage LED

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by DCATTechie, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. DCATTechie

    DCATTechie Active Member

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    I've been put in charge of designing a small LED rig for a small theatre located in a classroom. The current rig consists of 10 Altman 6" Fresnels controlled by a LP-612 board. They want to add LED fixtures to the rig in order to add color. I've been searching old posts on CB and decided on either 2-4 Chauvet COLORPalette or 4 LED Par 64 - Version 2. The LED's will be used mainly to do full stage color with the Fresnels providing front light. Which of these fixtures will best match the footcandle/lumen output of the 6" Fresnels? Which of these have the best color mixing and don't give nasty LED shadow? OR are there other LED fixtures out there that I am missing that would accomplish my goal is a better way? What are some good dealers to buy these fixtures from and which ones would possible send me a demo fixture to try out? I'd like to keep the budget for this project around $1000, and that total has to include fixtures, cable, power, and a board.

    And I'm not done yet!:grin:
    Would I be better off buying a separate board just for the LED's or should I buy a new board that can handle both the LED's and the conventionals (would I then have to buy a splitter)? What are some boards that I should be looking at for both options?

    What are some places to buy cable at a reasonable price?

    And for power, the conventionals are currently being powered by two old Leprecon 6-channel dimmers (the model name escapes me sorry!) So, how should I get power to these fixtues, should I run separate power cable from edison jacks located next to the stage, or can these fixtures have there power daisy-chained (is that even possible? I semi-recall some fixture that could do that).

    Thanks for your help!!:grin:
     
  2. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Before you get too far along with the LED's, maybe get a demo unit and see if you like what LED's look like on human skin - especially as front light.

    I happen to hate the look, as LED's have (generally) terrible color rendition. Even the better units like Seledor, which have CMY plus RGB, still look like crap.

    If you want a sense of what white LED's do, shine an LED flashlight on a face.

    I'm of the opinion that with the current state of technology, LED's work well as wall washes, cyc lights (sometimes), occasional back lights, but not FOH, at least the units I've seen.


    My $.02

    Steve B.
     
  3. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    Since you don't know exactly what dimmers you are using I can't double check, but every dimmer rack I've worked with has a utility outlet that I would use to power the LED's. Since you're already running cables from the dimmers to the grid this makes cable management easy. As far as how to run the power it if this is a permanent installation I'd get some cable and just cut one length the goes from the dimmer to the first light put a connector on there with that piece of cable and one long enough to go to the next light and do that kind of "daisy chain" for power. that way. The LED's shouldn't use enough power to trip the breaker. If you do this cut the cable to the position of the light that way you have the length of the cord each way for adjustment.
     
  4. DCATTechie

    DCATTechie Active Member

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    I don't plan on using white at all. The fresnels will serve as the front/key light while the LED fixtures will just be used as floor color washes/effects lighting.

    Where and how to I obtain a demo unit to try out?
     
  5. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I suspect you'll be disappointed with the performance of any LED product under $500/unit. See here for a non-scientific experiment conducted in my garage.

    As for a demo, look in your yellow pages for "Theatrical Lighting Dealer." Make friends with one of them. They will save your butt one day.
     
    DCATTechie and (deleted member) like this.
  6. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    You could rent an LED can for $20 or so, so why not rent one to try and see if it will work in your venue? Go to any dj shop in your area that rents stuff. They'll have a few things you could try out.

    To answer some other questions, power draw on these is so minimal you could almost run all 4 led off the same circuit as one of the dimmer packs. The Solaris ones only draw 30 watts each, which is really nothing.

    2. As for running data to them, they use 3 pin lines, and you could just connect them in to the chain with the dimmer packs, since they're shoebox dimmers and probably are up on your grid somewhere already.

    3. Use the same data line. It'll be simpler, and use one controller for everything. If you have enough channels on the board, you'll need 4 channels per fixture. If you want all the leds on the same address, that would be simplest. But depending on how many channels are already in use, your current board may not be enough.

    4. If your LP-612 isn't big enough to run 2 scenes, you could get a 24 fader board, and Elation makes some decent ones for under $500. I found a 24 channel Elation board that can output all 512 channels of dmx for about $250 on ebay. Since you're a school, you'll probably have to go with new, so I'd call Bill at ESC.
     
    DCATTechie and (deleted member) like this.
  7. DCATTechie

    DCATTechie Active Member

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    Very interesting test/results Derek. Thanks so much for bringing that to my knowledge. I'll show your results to the director and see if I can deter him from the LED option. Unfortunately, I fear that he will remain firm in his choice to have LED's in the space. I'll throw in a little info about the space if that helps:

    -"Stage" is inside a classroom in a high school
    - "Stage" is used for class demonstrations and for VERY small scale shows (there is a full proscenium stage used for full scale productions)
    - The throw from the FOH pipe is about 15-20 feet
    -The throw from the pipe over the stage is about 8 feet.
    -LED's will be used for effects and occasional color washes while the fresnels will be providing the front/key light.

    I'll post some pics as soon as I find my camera

    P.S. How do I "make friends" with a theatrical light dealer? I'm only 16 and I fear my attempt will be seen as a joke!:neutral:
     
  8. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Any good theatrical dealer realizes that today's youth is tomorrow's buyer. When I was 16, I asked the only lighting rental company in town if they rented gels (yes, real gelatine, none of this fancy plastic color media then). Rather than embarrass or ridicule me, Jan, of Jan Associates, explained to me that gels were considered an expendable or perishable item and that no, they were a sales only item. Jan was OLD then (probably around forty) but if the company were still in business, I'd still be buying from them.
     
  9. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Your looking for a really tough bill to fill for that price, as others have mentioned. I think what you want to do is great, but I don't think are you going to get what you want. Good LED's cost money, bad LED's don't. Bad LED's give in accurate color as well as they don't blend well.

    What kind of controller are you looking at?
     

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