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Wedding lighting query

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Lemonjello, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. Lemonjello

    Lemonjello Member

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    I do mostly wedding lighting and often have several hours to set up, on bigger jobs I have the day prior to setup and do a light test.

    My obstacles/goals:
    - Speed simplicity and versatility are key.
    -Mostly static, no shows per se
    -Power limitations at venues
    -abhor extra lenses and changing parts and pieces
    -White fixtures are easier to blend in

    So I did some research and testing and realized that all LED would be nice, cost is an issue. All conventional is more versatile yet power hungry.

    What to do...

    I have had some issues with some Earlier LED fixtures namely the Elation Octopod 80's. All carry signal and power in the same cable with a quasi m/f connector with screw collar. All 8 fixtures home run to a controller, DMX controls it. If I want to run uplighting along a ballroom wall, say 10ft apart, I need to run a separate cable to each fixture, meaning the closer to the controller I get i end up with 8 separate cables in a big bundle! Annoying and a pain to rig.(I could go on).

    Same with Color Kinetics color blasts ( much better light) but same situation with the cables. Also limits versatility( difficult to run light to different areas with same control/power supply unit).

    I am playing with some Chauvet Colorado 1's and love the fact that the power supply is in the fixture and is daisy chainable both DMX and edison but at 800.00 per fixture it adds up quick.

    I am using Martin CX10's for tent/room ceiling wash, dance floor and band and am really liking them, the zoom, focus, wash, color palette and Gobos are usually within the range I am looking for. (decent preset programs, two or three on a dance floor gives enough movement, pattern, color for a samll venue.

    I love the versatility of Source4's and looking at the ETC S4 zoom jr. static gobos, wash, spot, gel color for me even with a 375 lamp I can do quite a bit with these.

    I also am looking at the PARnel, seems to have a bad rap here, It sounds like a viable option to me mostly for wash.

    I get most of my gear from rental houses but looking to stock my own good complement of equipment so I don't have to rent and it's my gear.

    Wow long post! Anyway, any thoughts suggestions or input as to something regarding any of these would be appreciated.
     
  2. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    For static fixtures, I'd probably stay Source 4. Zooms would work for you since you want to minimize accessories.

    On the PARnel. I like the PARnels, I just choose Fresnels over PARnels. HOWEVER, PARnels are nice in smaller spaces and black box type settings. That said, for your uses, PARnels could work really well.

    I'd probably want more PARs/PARnels/Fresnels for washes, and have enough S4's for gobo's and projection.

    Anyone have a good source for White Halogen T3 Floods?

    Aside from ETC, L&E has alot of good options for white fixtures and floods.
    http://www.le-us.com/entertainment.html

    Someone else can handle the LED question.
     
  3. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    For decent and decently priced LED fixtures, look at the Chauvet LEDspash 2. Less than half the price of the COLORado 1 units, but still pretty bright (24 1watt LEDs instead of 36 1watt LEDs). It's a brand new fixture, and looks pretty nice.
     
  4. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    Check your PM.
     
  5. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    One trick I learned long ago from someone who did mostly film shoots. Equip all your PAR-type fixtures with the narrowest lamp available. Then, depending on throw distance, add one of the many versions of diffusion materials, or double/triple up on the softer ones.

    "Tough Silk" is a favorite of mine, as it spreads light in only one axis, and thus can make an oval beam PAR almost round, or a linear PAR even more linear, if the lines are perpendicular to the filament. If you have round frames for your fixtures, you can "spin the silk," just like "spinning the lens" on an S4-PAR, or "spinning the bottle" on a standard PAR56 or 64. One can also use two cuts with lines at 90┬░ as standard diffusion. Put the frost on the outside of the color so the lens appears white when the fixtures are off. As you've found, color media offers the easiest and most cost-effective bang-for-the-buck in achieving a mood.

    I find that even on LED fixtures, frost is valuable to obscure the LED pattern, which is a distraction if the face of the fixture is visible.

    A custom gobo in an ERS: "Tony & Tina " is always a nice touch. [Hey, there's your tie-in to theatre.] We have someone here on CB who may help with that. Pretty certain the gobo will last longer than the marriage, but that's not our concern.

    Distributed dimming (shoebox dimmers) will also make your cabling look neater, as will fabric "sleeves" with velcro that you put around the poles over the cables running to the floor.

    Hope these hints help.:)
     
  6. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    When purchasing LED fixtures, look for a feature known as "hold last look." You plug them into AC (usually the closet wall outlet), manually focus them, then set the desired color using your Pocket Console®. Unplug the console and the fixture stays at the level and color you've set, forever as long as it has power. Repeat all around the room. After the party, no DMX cables to coil and pack, just the fixture and its power.

    Likewise, when investigating Moving Lights, look closely at their "auto-run" programs. Many allow you to set limits on pan and tilt, without a controller. Great for lights in the foyer, just outside the entrance, or (weather permitting) at valet/carpark. The experience begins with one's arrival at the venue, correct?
     
  7. SerraAva

    SerraAva Active Member

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    Have you looked at Elation's Opti 30 RGB. I have been using them nonstop since I got them in January. See here for my little review. Also, here are some pictures of a video shot I am doing right now:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The last picture has two 500w omni's flooding the area, so you can see they are fairly punchy for 12x1w LEDs. I have just being moving them around on set depending on where we are shooting and marking the colors. Excellent for what we are doing and cost effective for what we have been doing the past 3 days. The next thing I am going to be looking at from Elation are their Opti 16 RGB. They should work nicely for highlighting and pin spotting.

    Sorry for the bad photos as always, it's my phone's camera. I really need to go buy one.
     
  8. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    As far as LED pars go, I am a big fan of these units:
    http://www.solarisnetwork.com/led_par.php

    Dirt cheap, and pretty decent output as far as LEDs go. I own 8 of them and are pretty happy with them, my only complaint is the "sound active mode" is too sensitive to use in a club or rave, but that shouldn't effect you. They do not have the "hold dmx" function that derek was talking about though.
     
  9. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    You can have the best of all worlds regarding LED lighting.

    [​IMG]

    This line of LED fixtures are available with rechargeable batteries offering 10 hours of usage between charges and feature wireless DMX.

    No AC cords, no DMX cable, no problem.
     
  10. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Pie, have you experimented with covering the microphone with fabric (maybe velour) to lessen the sensitivity? If you knew what frequency(s) it responds to, I bet you could dampen those and make it work.
     
  11. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    That is an interesting idea, the thing is, I don't know where the mic on it is! I will have to pop a unit open and check it out. I imagine a lot of it is vibration from the bass though which would be more difficult to stop.
     
  12. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Acoustic/vibration-isolating mounting brackets? Rubber C-clamps? That's it! Hang your lights with bungee cords!:twisted: And a 1/8" steel safety of course.
     
  13. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    You can use high temp silicone caulk as a shockmount of sorts.
    Or just replace the cheap little mics for a few bucks.
     
  14. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    You could also try placing the fixtures in the next room over, where the sound is less intense.
     
  15. Lemonjello

    Lemonjello Member

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    Take the weekend off and I got all this great response!
    Len: Thanks for the offer. I got to play with a couple of them and not quite what I'm looking for.

    gafftapegreenia: I like the PARnel's, I might pick up a pair to play with, any idea how they hold up outdoors?

    Soundlight: Looked online at em, I can't get any manual on them yet so I'm not sure if it needs a separate PS or is it built in...

    derekleffew: I like the tough silk tip. thanks! I just ordered a Pocket console.

    I probably have more white 12/3 than all of you guys! I'm a freak, i know.

    SerraAva: Looking good an hard at those opti 30's do the hold last look? I know they are "stand alone programable too"(The set it and forget it mode!) the Opti 16's look pretty handy too.

    BillESC: hmm, neat.

    Thanks fellas! My choices are narrowing down, so far it's :ETC source 4 jr zooms (gobos, wash, spot, etc.)
    Elation opti 30 and
    opti 16 (quasi pins) I can re-lense them for tighter beam
    Chauvet colorado 1 for some punch
    all white or silver of course....
     
  16. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Do you use them uncovered or in a tent? S4's in general hold up well outside. Few parts to rust.
     
  17. SerraAva

    SerraAva Active Member

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    Opti 30s do hold the last look. The menus and internal programs through the menu are so great however, I never have to use a console to set them and disconnect. I wish the DLED 36 had a menu on the back like the 30s and better internal programs. I wouldn't be so hesitant on buying more then.

    In regards to greenia's last comment, I highly doubt Opti 30s would rust outside too. They are painted fairly well and are also built tough. They also released a DLED 108. 36 3w LEDs and out door rated too. Problem is they list for 2 grand :(. I highly doubt I will be getting any of those any time soon unless Elation feels like giving me a few to demo :mrgreen:.
     
  18. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I'll second that these fixtures could be quite useful. Just received one yesterday. It came with a one page "User's Manual," which is better than the other "generic Asian" LED fixture I have that has an LED display instead of dipswitches, but no documentation whatsoever. So once I got that one in DMX mode, I never changed it, as it's a pain to get it back.

    The mic is on the PC board, and doesn't seem vibration-sensitive, so plugging up some or all of the ventilation holes (1" slots in the can) might lessen it's sensitivity. Comes in black only, but would by easy enough to paint, except for the black cordset.

    Again, a drawback in my opinion is not colorframe clips to hold diffusion.
     
  19. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Actually you can get them in silver too. I may have to tape up the ventilation holes and see if that works better.
     
  20. muvment

    muvment Active Member

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    This is the ONLY time I will EVER suggest American DJ/Elation/Chavet as your best option. I think their fixtures should only be used at weddings. *flame suit on*
     

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