Automated Fixtures Used Moving Light Purchasing Advice

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by finnb5, Sep 8, 2016.

?

Which two to pick?

  1. Stage Mover 1000

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. MAC Wash 600

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Studio Color 575

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Coemar Infinity Wash XL

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. VL2500

    12.5%
  6. x.Spot Xtremes

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Don't Buy Used

    87.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. finnb5

    finnb5 New Member

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    Occupation:
    HS Student
    Location:
    Ohio
    Hello all,


    For the past few years, my high school has had sorely outdated lighting resources but recently our drama head and I (student LD) have decided to really put a budget boost into the system and get a bunch of new technology. We're pretty sure we want to get used fixtures simply because the cost of buying something new that is bright enough for us (1k lx @ 10m min) was just too expensive. Having never bought lights before in my life, let alone used movers, I would love some advice!

    In terms of washes, I've found Clay Paky Stage Mover 1000s at $500, MAC Wash 600s at $400, and Studio Color 575s at $400 as well as a Coemar Infinity Wash XL at $1000
    In addition to that I've found VL2500s at $1250, and x.Spot Xtremes at $550.

    I really do not know where to start with the washes. I've heard the Studio Color 575s are really quiet, and from the videos I've seen the 600s servo movement seems kinda sorta loud, but beyond that I have no idea what to do. Are they all equivalent? The Coemar is superior in terms of brightness and zoom range but it understandably costs more. Is that cost worth it? Or should we buy, perhaps 2 Coemars and mount them on our catwalk for example, and then take the Studio Colors and mount them on the sides of our galleries.

    For the spots, it's the exact opposite issue. I've heard that the VL2500s are relatively dark, and my drama head believes that because Vari-Lite likes to make their lights complex, they're much more susceptible to being knocked or bumped or just taken out of whack by the UPS truck or some employee. Conversely the x.Spot Xtremes look amazing on paper but with a little bit of research I discovered that a large proportion of people find them to break down a ton, and being used couldn't help that.


    The concept of, with our revamped 6-7k budget, going in, buying 6 x.Spots, and 10 Studio Colors, is very very attractive, but I'm also afraid that you get what you pay for with this and that in doing so we are getting crappy lights and will regret it immensely.
    Or is that a worry nullified by the return policies of these companies. I could find a pretty thorough return policy for 4thWall but nothing for Solaris.

    Thanks in advance
    Finn
     
  2. techieman33

    techieman33 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    topeka, ks
    Don't buy used lights, that's just begging for problems. The reason those lights are so cheap is because they are so old that even people that do know how to fix them don't want them. You should check out the gafftaper method it's not as flashy as having moving lights but you also won't have the constant problems that you would have with old broken down moving lights.
     
  3. cbrandt

    cbrandt Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Michigan
    You're walking down a narrow road. The reason those lights are so cheap is most of them have been out of production for at least five years, if not a decade. Getting parts is very difficult, and those fixtures will show their age.

    All that being said, the cheapest way for you to get parts, is to just order a couple extra fixtures of each type, and you've got a fixture's worth of spare parts. I only have direct experience with the studio colors and Xspots. You're right that they break down pretty often (less so in an installation situation like yours). However, they generally take 15-30 minutes and an easy parts swap to get back up and running. It is a great educational experience to work on these older fixtures, and learn about diagnosis and repair.

    **ONLY do this work under the supervision of qualified and experienced people. There is a lot of power inside these lights, and a lot of ways to hurt yourself. This is not a DIY situation. There is high voltage and high amperage everywhere inside a moving light!**

    With those budgets, you are probably going to get a better dramatic experience out of the gafftaper method, or possibly newer and lower end brand fixtures. They'll last just as long, and they'll come with a warranty. To me, it is a trade off (if you have the experienced people to supervise) between the education of working on lights, and the certainty that your lights will work every show, every cue.
     
  4. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    NJ & NYC
    Don't buy discharge fixtures in a high school educational situation. It's asking for trouble and also down the road no one will buy lamps for them and the lamps in them will explode due to no one knowing when to replace them and then the lights will be useless. Additionally, those fixtures are priced where they are because they probably have been used very heavily and will not fully function for long if they do fully function when they arrive. They also may all need new lamps - even if a discharge lamp turns on, it may be close to end of life, which is often explosive.

    I believe your money would be better spent buying some new fixtures which will be very reliable and serve you well. I believe that with moving lights coming down so much in price and with LEDs now being standard, the Gafftaper Method isn't as relevant any more. You can buy a Rogue R2 Wash for less than $1500 and it will put out significantly more light than those Studio Colors and is a very reliable unit that's great in schools. This way you can learn about programming with moving lights on fixtures that will work when you turn them on and won't ever need $150 discharge lamps.
     
    Chris Pflieger likes this.
  5. JohnD

    JohnD Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Location:
    north central OK
    A few things to consider, is your school allowed to buy used? Most schools have a very rigid bidding process. Of course your funding might allow it.
    Have you taken into consideration the needed infrastructure. You will have to get constant current and dmx to the hanging positions. The cost of that can add up quickly.
    Don't be afraid to drop the GREEN carrot. The concept of newer lower power technology is sometimes an easy sell. There are also frequently grants available to switch to new technology and also reduced power rates.
     
    Chris Pflieger likes this.
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