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inexpensive lighting setup?


kayak

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I'm looking for a small, inexpensive lighting setup for a band playing small bars. Just bright enough that we can be seen. Low enough current pull that I don't have to worry about tripping circuits. Gels are optional. Any suggestions? Homemade is acceptable also.

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To start you could use a few 150 watt flood lights. You can often find them with xmas lights in varios colors. They just screw into a normal light bulb socket or you can get the kits designed for xmas lighting.

 

Beyond that their 300watt PAR-56. Yorkville makes a nice little system that has 4 PAR-56 cans mounted on a bar thats has built in dimmers.

 

You shouldn't have to worry about tripping circuits with just a few lights, just don't run your PA, lights, and 1/2 the bar's fridges all on one circuit.

 

You can get atleast 1700 watts out of most circuits which is enough to run 5 300watt PAR-56. Most places should have 20 amp circuits which will give you around 2200 watts to work with. Also in most cases you won't have all of the lights on at one time, so you should have no problem running 8 lights off a 20 amp circuit.

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The easiest and quickest (also really cheap) way is to get some clamp on halogen worklights at a hardware store (about 15 bucks each). These are extremely bright, so two or three is probably enough for any stage. You can always get regular work lights with the metal domes and clamp them to spare mic stands, speaker handles, or whatever. It looks kind of funky, but at least you can see the other band members and the audience can see you.

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Originally posted by Revol:

I've been wondering how well do PAR-38s work? They're only about $20 usually, and seen like they could make a decent small set up.

 

 

 

Years and years ago I had a Par 38 set up. 4 per side. Worked wonderfully. and was all home made. I wish I still had that gear.

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Originally posted by meegaleedo:


Years and years ago I had a Par 38 set up. 4 per side. Worked wonderfully. and was all home made. I wish I still had that gear.

 

 

Nice, I actually was just thinking about building some cans similar to Par 38s, do you have any advice on how to go about doing that?

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Lord Garack is right about the halogen lights- stay away from them. I don't know why but they do come across as cold and "cheap" when used for lighting. The link to building the par 38 cans is great. You can also build your own footlights by putting floodlights in a box to be put on the floor. There are other threads on this subject if you look back.

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Originally posted by Soundude:

...There are other threads on this subject if you look back.

 

 

Give me a hint what keywords to use for the search. My recent searches have turned up nothing; I assumed that during the recent re-working of the forums a lot of the old stuff was lost.

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I thought the thread on this would still be on this page but it was not. I guess it was from late last year. Anyway, I built some footlights using the Christmas light bases like you use to spotlight your house. I put 4 in a box I built, trapezoid shaped so the light could spread out. I have been finding it harder to buy the 100 watt colored flood light bulbs. The best price I have seen on these is at Home Depot for about 4 dollars. The clamp lights work okay if you use these bulbs as well. You can but these at times at Big Lots for 3 dollars or so. I have clamped them to the speaker stands before but you can hang them from a light stand (40 dollars and up) if you buy one. A switch box for turning 8 lights on or off can be bought for about 25 dollars. If you buy lights, don't waste your money on pinspot lights if you are looking to light up your stage. These only light up a very small spot (you probably already knew that).

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Originally posted by Soundude:

...don't waste your money on pinspot lights if you are looking to light up your stage. These only light up a very small spot (you probably already knew that).

 

 

I suspected that, but I'm not making any assumptions (at least not intentionally) because lighting is a whole new game to me. Right now it looks like I am going to build the coffee can spotlights, which it looks like I can build for under $5 a piece, plus the cost of the lamp. I'm going to be using four lights per side, a total of eight lights, for lighting our five piece band in a small bar (dive) type setting. Should 150 watt lamps per fixture be the way to go here?

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I would run the cans with 150 watts at home after I built them to be sure they didn't get too hot. I would think it would be okay- maybe someone who has made these could answer that question. The 100 watt bulbs are not bad as long as you are not using dark gels, like blue. The 85 watt bulbs are simply not powerful enough. Good luck and let us know how it turns out. -

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