Wrestling Ring Lights

Mike85

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Mar 20, 2021
Location
UK
Hoping some kind person could help with a total lighting novice with a bit of advice. We run a small touring Wrestling show and are looking to add some very basic lighting to our presentation. The atmosphere with lights when we tour theatre style venues is much better than our set up in town halls and sports centres. Our smaller events attract around 200 people so we can’t invest a great amount, particularly at the moment due to lack of income due to the pandemic.

We are going to set up high T-Bar stands pointing down from each corner of the ring.

Please don’t think WWE when recommending a set up – we need something simple and basic. Not to be TV quality but to add a little more to our live experience. Although being able to film the events without the lighting making that impossible with glare is still a concern (perhaps I need advice on our camera lenses too!)

Working on the assumption that we can get lighting that connects to a central controller (DMX ???) I’m looking to find out –

What type of lights we should buy, and how many would be needed pointing down from each corner to cover our 15 foot sq ring?

I’m also looking to establish if we could go a little fancier by being able to program them to change colour etc for wrestler entrances or if this would mean much more expensive light or an additional set as well as the white ones.

Any advice would be massively appreciated.

Thank you!
 

Mike85

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Mar 20, 2021
Location
UK
Welcome to Control Booth!
This topic came up a few months back. There's a couple of fixture recommendations to get you started until someone else chimes in here. https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/led-boxing-ring-lighting.47403/#post-418200

Thank you, I've had a look at that thread. It mentions a "KREIOS FLX 90W LED" and another light that looks way out of our budget ( KL Panel, Elation). The former appears to be more like a work mans outdoor floodlight (I could be wrong), but if this is a workable solution it may be an option for us (not sure if that brand is available in the UK but I'm sure I could look at the specs and find an equivalent.

I’m hopeful that someone could advise me if it is indeed an LED flood light that would be our best option. I assume we would need at least 1 for each corner of the ring (on the high t-bar stands). I’m totally uneducated as to lighting so don’t know what wattage I should be looking at. The example in that thread was 90 watts. I assume the amount of LEDs / size of the light effects how much use it will be as well?

Any further advise from forum members would be very much appreciated.

Thank you!
 

Amiers

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The only question that anyone can ask at this point is what is your total budget?
 
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RickR

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The Krieos fixtures do work a lot like construction lights. They are very bright (500w equivalent), wide beam (so canbe close) and not DMX, however they have excellent light quality, clamp mounting and dim on standard dimmers. 4 or 8 would do a great job, but might shine in patrons eyes some. Even 8 could easily run off a heavy duty extension cord and simple switch. Get some black theatrical grade cords to be fully legal and look professional.

Narrower beam fixtures give you more precision and less glare. PAR types can be had pretty cheaply, but you get what you pay for. Multi color could be nice but not necessary. DMX control might boost the costs considerably.

Edit for added thoughts:
Osram makes the Krieos line and they are a European company. Probably easier to get there than in America. Krieos floods can take 'barn doors` to limit spill into the seating. Find a good theatrical dealer and they can set you up.
 
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egilson1

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So first a non helpful but funny story.
When I was working for ECW as the LD I got a call from the director who told me that Terry Funk needed some assistance with the lighting for his "Retirement Match" (Terry had about 1000 retirement matches) against Brett Hart. The director was worried because Terrys plan was to strap some 2x4's to the ring posts and put "flood lights" on them. When I called Mr. Funk, which was a trip in itself, we chatted about how he had found a old high school friend who owned a lighting company near Amarillo Texas and he was in fact all set. But not wanting to miss the opportunity to pull a fast one on the director asked if I would double down with him on the 2x4 ring post idea. Well, who was I to say no to Mr. Funk. We had a good few days of telling the Director that it I wasn't able to talk Terry out of it, and he was hell bent on using the 2x4 flood light for the show. We eventually let the director off the hook.

Now for a real answer.

The trick with lighting a ring (Boxing/Wrestling/MMA) is you want to try and get the lighting fixture in the prefect position where you get coverage of the ring, your high enough to avoid blinding your audience (and if this is not a "tv" taping, then the audience is all that matters) but not so high that you create bad shadows of the performers in the ring, particularly under their eyes. When I was doing Ring of Honor in the early 2000's I would use 25' tall crank up lifts that were about 15-20' off the ring posts. I would have preferred to be closer, but ring side seating wouldn't allow it. Below is a quick and dirty sketch of how I would aim each light. We had 6 source four pars on each tower for a 18'x18' ring. Each tower was focused in the same pattern.

So this really depends on how much you can afford to buy. If it's 4 lights, I would go off each corner, as high as you can get and just wash the ring. more lights, then you can start playing with how to aim them.

Ring Lighting.jpg
 
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RonHebbard

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Thank you, I've had a look at that thread. It mentions a "KREIOS FLX 90W LED" and another light that looks way out of our budget ( KL Panel, Elation). The former appears to be more like a work mans outdoor floodlight (I could be wrong), but if this is a workable solution it may be an option for us (not sure if that brand is available in the UK but I'm sure I could look at the specs and find an equivalent.

I’m hopeful that someone could advise me if it is indeed an LED flood light that would be our best option. I assume we would need at least 1 for each corner of the ring (on the high t-bar stands). I’m totally uneducated as to lighting so don’t know what wattage I should be looking at. The example in that thread was 90 watts. I assume the amount of LEDs / size of the light effects how much use it will be as well?

Any further advise from forum members would be very much appreciated.

Thank you!
I realize you're touring; if you could count on ceilings always being light coloured / more reflective than absorbing, facing your lights up and angled towards the centers of the ceilings would result in bounce lighting providing good, glare free, neither in anyone's eyes (wrestlers or patrons) nor camera lenses.
The KREIOS FLX 90W LED is as you suspect.
I'll use Control Booth's 'Bat Call' to summon @DELO72 to your post.
@almorton @Mike85 is one of yours; can you be of assistance?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 
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Mike85

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UK
So first a non helpful but funny story.
When I was working for ECW as the LD I got a call from the director who told me that Terry Funk needed some assistance with the lighting for his "Retirement Match" (Terry had about 1000 retirement matches) against Brett Hart. The director was worried because Terrys plan was to strap some 2x4's to the ring posts and put "flood lights" on them. When I called Mr. Funk, which was a trip in itself, we chatted about how he had found a old high school friend who owned a lighting company near Amarillo Texas and he was in fact all set. But not wanting to miss the opportunity to pull a fast one on the director asked if I would double down with him on the 2x4 ring post idea. Well, who was I to say no to Mr. Funk. We had a good few days of telling the Director that it I wasn't able to talk Terry out of it, and he was hell bent on using the 2x4 flood light for the show. We eventually let the director off the hook.

Now for a real answer.

The trick with lighting a ring (Boxing/Wrestling/MMA) is you want to try and get the lighting fixture in the prefect position where you get coverage of the ring, your high enough to avoid blinding your audience (and if this is not a "tv" taping, then the audience is all that matters) but not so high that you create bad shadows of the performers in the ring, particularly under their eyes. When I was doing Ring of Honor in the early 2000's I would use 25' tall crank up lifts that were about 15-20' off the ring posts. I would have preferred to be closer, but ring side seating wouldn't allow it. Below is a quick and dirty sketch of how I would aim each light. We had 6 source four pars on each tower for a 18'x18' ring. Each tower was focused in the same pattern.

So this really depends on how much you can afford to buy. If it's 4 lights, I would go off each corner, as high as you can get and just wash the ring. more lights, then you can start playing with how to aim them.

View attachment 21717
Thanks for the reply, I love the Terry Funk story! I was actually in the states (training to wrestle at the time) in 2003/04. Whilst training I travelled to a lot of shows including ROH in Chicago-Ridge. I recall seeing the 4 floor based lighting stands. Knowing most of our venues can't take a flying rig and the costs involved I always remembered that ROH set up I saw all those years ago (i believe they have an overhead rig now) as a dream solution. The coinsidence if this is the rig you where responsible for is amazing!

I've been getting some feedback from a few different forums. Flood lights with barn doors seem like a possible solution I'm leaning towards. Of course I understand its not going to be anywhere near "TV usable" but I think it may be a nice addition for our live show.

Any further advice on budget ideas would be much appreciated.
 

Mike85

Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
Location
UK
I realize you're touring; if you could count on ceilings always being light coloured / more reflective than absorbing, facing your lights up and angled towards the centers of the ceilings would result in bounce lighting providing good, glare free, neither in anyone's eyes (wrestlers or patrons) nor camera lenses.
The KREIOS FLX 90W LED is as you suspect.
I'll use Control Booth's 'Bat Call' to summon @DELO72 to your post.
@almorton @Mike85 is one of yours; can you be of assistance?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
Thank you for your reply, the bounce lighting solution sounds really interesting. Would this work with flood lights? It may not work in all our venues, some of the sports halls are super high roofed but its worth me experimenting with when I get the lights. While I'm keen to add basic lighting im also worried about it ruining our video output or annoying the audience.
 

What Rigger?

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I just want to take a moment to ask "How many forums exist online where two people fluent in "lighting/wrestling" bump into each other on the first go?
This place is weird and kooky. Think I'll stay.
WOOOOOOOOOO!!!
 

TimMc

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I just want to take a moment to ask "How many forums exist online where two people fluent in "lighting/wrestling" bump into each other on the first go?
This place is weird and kooky. Think I'll stay.
WOOOOOOOOOO!!!
"They're all together ookey, the C.B. fam-i-ly."
 

gafftaper

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So I haven't done wrestling but I have designed lights for theater in the round and the problem is similar. You need the lights very high and tightly controlled. I think @Mike85 you are missing a key thing from @egilson1 's post. He was using six ETC SourceFour PARs in each corner of the wrong. My guess is he had fairly tight lenses on them. High placed, narrow beams of light pointing down into the ring so they are easily controlled to cover the whole ring without blinding half the audience.

If I remember correctly, the previous question was focused on doing this with the least power consumption possible while looking good on camera. Krieos is a great solution for that combination. But if power consumption isn't a issue for you then I would definitely go with a non floodlight. A theatrical fixture like an ETC PAR and it's ability to change lenses and use barn doors, or an Elipsoidal with shutters will give you much better control so that the people in the front rows aren't blinded by the light.
 
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Mike85

Member
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UK
So I haven't done wrestling but I have designed lights for theater in the round and the problem is similar. You need the lights very high and tightly controlled. I think @Mike85 you are missing a key thing from @egilson1 's post. He was using six ETC SourceFour PARs in each corner of the wrong. My guess is he had fairly tight lenses on them. High placed, narrow beams of light pointing down into the ring so they are easily controlled to cover the whole ring without blinding half the audience.

If I remember correctly, the previous question was focused on doing this with the least power consumption possible while looking good on camera. Krieos is a great solution for that combination. But if power consumption isn't a issue for you then I would definitely go with a non floodlight. A theatrical fixture like an ETC PAR and it's ability to change lenses and use barn doors, or an Elipsoidal with shutters will give you much better control so that the people in the front rows aren't blinded by the light.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I haven't made a purchase last night but had someone advise that a theatre flood light with barn doors would work. I'm fully aware I'm not going to get this perfect or TV standard on the cheap but just looking for a temporary solution to add to our show presentation with a plan to upgrade again in a few years once we have recovered financially from the pandemic shut down.

I've now research the availability of ETC PAR's and have found them available cheaper than the flood lights but I'm assuming I would need more on each stand than just one.

Could any one advise on the pros / cons of each solution?

I'm also still a little confused as to what I would need to buy in addition to the lights themselve (we already have the high t-bar stands). I'm assuming some sort of cable extensions and a DMX controller (or would it be a DMX dimmer??). I know these type of lights can't be "programmed" but do they work on such a system to turn them up and down? I've learned a little bit in the past couple of days but am still struggling with the terms (dare I say on a lighting forum I'm "in the dark" haha).

The specs on some of the producs I've seen are -

Theatre / Studio floods -1000w Halogen

ETC Source 4 Pars - HPL575W lamp

Thanks for everyones help and advice.
 

RickR

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Spokane, WA the great "Inland Northwest"
Incandescent, Halogen, Quartz, Conventional all refer to traditional fixtures that require dimmers to change brightness, NOT LED! Dimmers can be manual or DMX (US$100 to 500 ea. I don't know UK prices) or some other remote control type. As you've probably noticed theatrical incandescent are pretty high wattage. Putting 2 or 3 on a plug is usually the limit. From your description, large scale power might be hard to find. 2 outlets on separate breakers would be the bare minimum!

LEDs are not giant heaters, but electronic devices that come in a dizzying variety. Most don't dim well on dimmers. The Krieos FLx90 are a major exception, they do quite well on most dimmers. Given their low wattage, high quality and high output they are very popular for simple needs.

DMXable fixtures have special dimmers built into the fixture. Multi color units have one for each color. But even the simplest DMX set up can handle more than you would ever want. DMX LED PAR type fixtures are a main stay of the theatrical world. Cheap imports can probably fit your budget, but get spares!

Whether DMX dimmers or fixtures, to build a system you need a controller of some sort ($100 to $1000 for basics) and the cables to string it all together. A console to a single dimmer setup is as easy as it sounds. Console to dimmers or fixtures at each corner means cables circling the ring. Y or T connections require more money for an electronic device, skip it. And everything still needs power! Whole books have been written on the complications possible, but that's the basics and it's proven reliable for just the sort of thing you're doing.

I suggest you price out systems for incandescents, Krieos, and a DMX LEDs. Look at the setup time and venue issues as well as maintenance/ repair costs.

And when at a venue, try pointing all your lights straight up. Then you can decide for that place, if it's better.
 

egilson1

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The biggest headache touring with both ECW and ROH was finding power for the lights. I WISH I had LEDs. I could have lite the entire ring on 2 -3 circuits.
 
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What Rigger?

I'm so fly....I Neverland.
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Location
PPT.
So I haven't done wrestling but I have designed lights for theater in the round and the problem is similar. You need the lights very high and tightly controlled. I think @Mike85 you are missing a key thing from @egilson1 's post. He was using six ETC SourceFour PARs in each corner of the wrong. My guess is he had fairly tight lenses on them. High placed, narrow beams of light pointing down into the ring so they are easily controlled to cover the whole ring without blinding half the audience.

If I remember correctly, the previous question was focused on doing this with the least power consumption possible while looking good on camera. Krieos is a great solution for that combination. But if power consumption isn't a issue for you then I would definitely go with a non floodlight. A theatrical fixture like an ETC PAR and it's ability to change lenses and use barn doors, or an Elipsoidal with shutters will give you much better control so that the people in the front rows aren't blinded by the light.
@gafftaper I think you're trying too hard. For the smaller shows, you are quite often using house lights for whatever VFW hall you're in or county fairground warehouse type structure. If you, as a wrestler, can get over in those scenarios, getting over on Monday Night RAW is easy (until Covid shuts everything down and you have to do it with no audience at the NXT venue which was Full Sail for while. Yes, WWE at Full Sail. But now they are back at the WWE Performance Center.


Here's a guy I knew in high school, Shane Ballard, doing it for any number of the smaller/regional shows he's been in. Look at that lighting design! That's what you get. @Mike85 man, "A" for effort at the very least. Hit us with some shots of the finished product.

btw2101408modest_ballard.jpg
 

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