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What a novel concept

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by RGermain, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. RGermain

    RGermain Member

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    Okay it might seem like I kvetch a lot but my school is one of those schools.

    We have a bit of a problem with the lamps in our auditorium burning out because they are on for such a long amount of time. Every time one burns out the studyhall monitors complain to me that the auditorium is too dark and that I need to do something about it, and so I remind them that it is not my fault that the lights are burning out and that they need to file a request to have them replaced. Naturally their response is "Well why can't you do it?", which usually sends me up to 30,000 feet because of their sheer lazyness. I've sat down and talked with Admins on a regular basis reminding them of the importance of shutting the lights off when the area is not in use, a former tech from my school went as far as calculating power consumption and the cost of said consumption, and I stress that too. No matter how I put it they seem to be unable to get it into their thick skulls that if they want the lamps to last longer they have to turn them off when they dont use them.
     
  2. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    What system controls those lights?
     
  3. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    To illustrate where [user]jmabray[/user] is going...

    Are the lights to which you are referring controlled by dimmers?

    I believe we touched on, in this thread, that running the dimmer at 95% instead of Full, will double the lamp life, with a decrease in output of only 16%.

    At 90% voltage, lamp-life is 339% and output is 70%.

    Turning lamps off when room is un-inhabited is a great first step. Limiting the maximum voltage, either in the console's proportional soft-patch, or the dimmer's brain (ETC CEM™), or another way; may extend the lamp-life even more than "Turn OFF Lights When Not in Use!" and with possibly fewer ill-effects.

    At first, this hypothesis may appear counter-intuitive: It might be worth investigating if using higher wattage lamps (to keep the current illumination levels) and dimming them; will actually save labor costs/nuisance factors by increasing lamp-life. [Let's agree to not start a discussion of Color Temperature right now]. Ever wonder why most household extended-life bulbs are 130V?

    Or just replace every lamp with CFLs--apparently the solution to every problem!:twisted:
     
    Radiant likes this.
  4. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    We had a similar problem with our main hall, and it was mostly the cleaners who would turn on the lights, do 20 minutes worth of work and leave everything on while they took a 3 hr. break. In reality, ANYONE could turn on the house lights and nobody would turn them off and that's pretty much how it worked for decades. We were paying stage hands 4 hrs. calls to come in once a month to change bulbs.

    The solution was a combination of 130v lamps off a new Sensor dimming system that limited voltage to 120 volts, but the biggest savings came from a Unison system of LCD panels that only allow users with specific codes to activate each user page - Cleaners, Piano Tuner, Office Staff that wants a Look-See, students that need to Rehearse, or the backstage staff that activates a Work page. Each has a specific code that only activates a particular set of lights, for a defined time period, then automatically shuts off (but not the stage crew, our page has no time-outs, as well as over-riding everyone elses systems when activated). We also have a system that disables certain users after 11:30 PM, till 7:30 AM.

    We now change lamps 2 - 3 times per year. The cost of the Unison system has almost payed for itself in lamp and labor savings in 3 years.

    Well worth a look at, or at least something similar.

    Steve B..
     
    derekleffew likes this.
  5. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    One of my favorites we had programmed into our unison system, was what we called the "night light" We had the regular touch panel, but then beside it we had a button labeled night light. When you pushed it you had 2 min to get out before the lights slowly faded out (20 sec fade). It was great. No stumbling around in the dark and you had a little time, incase you forgot something to grab it real quick. I really wanted to put something like that in some of the plants i have worked in. 5 min delay off or something. I hate stumbling around in the dark.
     
  6. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Great ideas! I don't think (one of) the Unison systems on campus (1998 installation) has the capability to assign times to pages. The nightlight approach might be improved with the addition of a motion-noticer (to avoid being manufacturer specfic;)).

    Every month or so, an AV tech is dispatched to reprogram all the Unison systems to remake preset#4 the "energy saver." Nothing ON except the "dimmable" linear fluorescent tubes (never used during meetings), and saving the 500W T/H downlights, and decorative sconces which produce no useful illumination. This was instituted in 2004 when Nevada Power Co. doubled it's rates. I suggested taping Neutral Density to the front of every spotlight to save energy, but no one understood the joke. Convincing Banquets, Convention Set-up, and Public Areas Depts. to use preset#4, even though it's the only one labeled on the wall stations, is a feat worthy of Sisyphus.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2008
  7. sloop

    sloop Member

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    I have the house lights programmed so they never go above 85%. Sure saves lamps!!!!

    If you have access to the house control panel and it is programmable, knock 10-15% off the top end of "house full". They will never know the difference and you will get a lot longer life out the lamps..
     
  8. Radiant

    Radiant Active Member

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    90% fader triples lamp life?!?!?! I'm re-patching the board tonight!
     
  9. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Our "Work" page for the backstage crew, has a Close page that allows an instant off of works and house, as well as recalling the 2 ceiling mounted Q1000 flood lights that are our Ghost lights (at 60%). The page has a 5 minute delay, 1/2 hr delay, 1 hr. delay, as well as Cross fade to Clean, or Cross fade to Rehearse, in case either of those users are following us.

    I'll have to look it up tomorrow, but the Unison LCD panels, via the Light manager software, allows a ton of features - page timeouts, code access, etc... I'll add a post on Thurs.

    Unison is great stuff, in my mind, and I cannot wait to see what ETC follows with.

    Steve B.
     
  10. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    The unison is the best system that i have ever seen to interface with dimmer racks. The options are limitless and the user interface is very easy.
     
  11. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Not sure if this will help or not. But in my previous high school teaching job, I had a problem with people turning on not only the house lights but there also two sliders located in the house that allowed anyone to turn on ALL the stage lights. So I would often come in and find all the stage lights on. I turned off all the breakers in the rack except for just a few circuits down stage and locked the rack. If someone came in and needed light on the front of the stage they could get it otherwise they needed me to do it for them. It worked wonders.
     
  12. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Couldn't possibly be better than the Strand-Century Environ® Architectural Lighting Control System of 1986, when "that other company" was still in diapers.:twisted: And a fabulous name for environmental lighting.
     
  13. dj_illusions

    dj_illusions Active Member

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    We run a controlsoft system in our venue which is fantastic, sounds very similar to unison. we can turn all the lights off in the building at the end of the shift with one button without having to walk around and do them all seperately, also can set time outs and page's with follow-ons etc. can also switch off work light and disable it during a performance from remote panels all around the building. the techs can also log into the computer and check which lights are on where and make adjustments off the pc aswell... very useful invention!! also ours is set so controlsoft can make triggers on the air con computer to turn on or off the ac or change the temperature in each room.

    http://www.lightapplication.com.au/controlsoft/index.htm
    http://dynalite-online.com.au
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2008
  14. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The OP has still not answered the question of what is controlling the lights. It could be a simple occupancy sensor will take care of the problem. Quite possibly a less expensive solution than a whole new control system.
     
  15. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Depending on the console we could also program lights to turn on and off at the board according to the time of day too...
     
  16. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    And dawn/dusk. Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset. Swiftly flow the days...
     
  17. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    Really, Derek? Really?
     

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