Jump to content

These here new fangled led's vs good old par cans.....


3shiftgtr

Recommended Posts

  • Members

Goods and bads for both.....who prefers what?

 

And some say don't do both, do either. That par cans wash out the led lighting.

 

Fixin ta spend a little money.....what say you genius bastards (and the occasional genius bastardette)?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Pars put out warmer light, IMO. LEDS are a more harsh or sterile looking light, to my eyes anyway. But they're easier (lots of cans contain multiplecolors) draw less energy, won't pop breakers and won't bake you on stage.

 

A couple of years ago I played a sizeable outdoor festival in May on the Columbia River in central Washington. It was cold out, but we figured the concert lighting would help keep us warm as it had the last time we played it. Turns out they had made the switch to LEDs. Not a single degree of warmth from those things. And the lighting didn't seem quite as bright as previous years, since the lights are 15 feet up on trusses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

To me it depends on what you are looking to accomplish. If your goal is strictly lighting peoples faces, I think traditional par can's are better. We use a few PAR38's for front lighting when needed. However, if you're looking to provide "eye candy" on your backline truss, I think LEDs are much better. One fixture can provide multiple colors and their sound activated programs are much better than traditional chases.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

From my own experience, Par cans make me feel like a burger sizzling under a heat lamp at a fast food joint. LED lights are fantastic for cool effects (fading colors, blinking, etc.). We put my LED system in back of the drummer to give our audience some eye candy, while we use Pars for front lighting with Bastard Amber gels.

 

We experimented with my cousin's Par 64 lights a couple weeks ago, but he uses the traditional blues, greens and reds. He put the green one on me and I looked like the Incredible Hulk or some Star Trek alien. Not cool, so I'm going back to the Par 38 cans with BA gels. Much smaller, less heat and actually brighter with the halogen lights in them. Plus, the Par 64s are just too big and difficult to easily move around, much less pack.

 

 

And the lighting didn't seem quite as bright as previous years, since the lights are 15 feet up on trusses.

 

 

That's the other thing. LEDs seem to show up darker on video and in photos. I want to be seen by the audience, so front lighting with LEDs doesn't seem like that great of an idea unless they are very close to our heads (not something I want to deal with).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

From my own experience, Par cans make me feel like a burger sizzling under a heat lamp at a fast food joint. LED lights are fantastic for cool effects (fading colors, blinking, etc.). We put my LED system in back of the drummer to give our audience some eye candy, while we use Pars for front lighting with Bastard Amber gels.


We experimented with my cousin's Par 64 lights a couple weeks ago, but he uses the traditional blues, greens and reds. He put the green one on me and I looked like the Incredible Hulk or some Star Trek alien. Not cool, so I'm going back to the Par 38 cans with BA gels. Much smaller, less heat and actually brighter with the halogen lights in them. Plus, the Par 64s are just too big and difficult to easily move around, much less pack.




That's the other thing. LEDs seem to show up darker on video and in photos. I want to be seen by the audience, so front lighting with LEDs doesn't seem like that great of an idea unless they are very close to our heads (not something I want to deal with).

 

 

I use an old Peavey light system we bought in 2005 that the controller broke and we lost the special cables to run them (cross between a phone and USB cable) . I just rewired the cans and installed halogen floodlights with clear lenses in them. I use ambers and magentas blended in the front and blues and greens on the sides to light the backstage as a contrast. They don't draw as much juice as PARs,so I can plug both trees right into the wall and never trip a breaker, and they don't put out the heat PARS do but still put out a ton of light.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

the 5 and 10 millimeter LEDs aren't very useful. The 1 watt and up work pretty well. I really like the 3 watt tri LEDs because the mixed colors actually looked mixed it they are pointed at you instead of seeing the separate colors shining at you. But for the audience there isn't much difference. For small bar/club stages the 1 and 3 watt tri fixtures work very well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Lots of these replies sound like you're used to cheap LED fixtures.

 

Once you start getting into the 1W and Tri-LED type things, they look entirely natural and color mix perfectly. Use a diffuser if you don't want to see individual LED spots. The smaller LEDs are annoying as hell to look into both from the audience and the band perspective, but the larger LEDs, while brighter, are way easier.

 

My best advice to anyone starting out is to use some LEDs as eye candy but get a few standard Pars or white LEDs for the front and gel them with a Bastard Amber gel. The gelled lights will bring out skin tones and make the band look natural, and the audience still gets the eye candy of the LEDs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
It takes a very expensive LED fixture to provide as much light as a $75 PAR fixture, that's the bottom line. I think fixtures with 10 watt quad LEDs are the bare minimum.
:idk:

Terry D.

well two of my 38 Tris are definitely brighter than a single Par 56 with a 300 watt bulb.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

It takes a very expensive LED fixture to provide as much light as a $75 PAR fixture, that's the bottom line. I think fixtures with 10 watt quad LEDs are the bare minimum.
:idk:

Terry D.

 

LEDs are competitive in every aspect but price. Standard lights are competitive in price.

 

Much like anything else in life, there's a cost compromise that must be considered. If you've got the money, LEDs give you tons of benefits. If you don't, you go with the cheaper option and deal with the downsides (single color, no strobe, no internal patterns or chases, heat, weight, size). If LED fixtures put out the same light for the same price as standards, standards would be obsolete immediately.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I know that to my eyes, the Colorstrips are freaking bright, even matched with the standard, often quite powerful house lights. It's also nice knowing that wherever you go, no matter what, you can be certain that your lights won't cause power problems. Cheap LEDs have also done the job in lieu of house lights, but they definitely aren't ideal. In the other thread I recommended the 4Bar/4Play combo. They did the job for us when we they were the rental set for a dark room, but it sounds like replacing the 4Bar with traditional cans would be a better value. And if you do any effects, do not skimp on the hazer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

It takes a very expensive LED fixture to provide as much light as a $75 PAR fixture, that's the bottom line. I think fixtures with 10 watt quad LEDs are the bare minimum.
:idk:

Terry D.

 

Hey Terry,

 

What's comparative to say a 4 rack of PAR 56's in LED's.... in terms of "as much light".....I don't need something as strong as 64's for club work, but they need to be powerful enough to be versatile.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

...A couple of years ago I played a sizeable outdoor festival in May on the Columbia River in central Washington. It was cold out, but we figured the concert lighting would help keep us warm as it had the last time we played it. Turns out they had made the switch to LEDs. Not a single degree of warmth from those things...

 

And, to me, that very thing makes it feel "unnatural".

 

I just think about the line from "Turn The Page". I believe you're supposed to be hot and sweaty when you play music! :thu:

 

Just my opinion,

 

jamieb

+++++

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I just think about the line from "Turn The Page". I believe you're
supposed
to be hot and sweaty when you play music!
:thu:

 

One who relies on the stage lights to make them hot and sweaty when playing...

 

 

...is doing something wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Hey Terry,


What's comparative to say a 4 rack of PAR 56's in LED's.... in terms of "as much light".....I don't need something as strong as 64's for club work, but they need to be powerful enough to be versatile.....

 

That is THE question that everyone wants answered. :)

 

Par56 is a size, the lamps come in wattages up to 500 I believe. The lamps are also available in spot, medium flood, and flood, so these things factor in to the comparison.

 

I borrowed some measurement gear from my workplace and I'm going to hang some instruments and measure their output, as well as do some carefully controlled photography.

 

Laboratory work has shown that to give the same light output as a 60w incandescent bulb has the following power ratios:

 

Incandescent (non halogen) = 1:1 obviously

 

Compact fluorescent: ~ 4:1

 

LED: ~ 6:1.

 

So, if you accept the above numbers, you'd need about a 80w LED fixture to match a 500 watt conventional lamp.

 

However, it's not that simple as the lamp in a conventional PAR can is halogen and, more importantly, has a built in very efficient parabolic reflector in the lamp so that the beam is more tightly focused than an array of LEDs. The figures above were derived in a study of household lighting where the lamp radiates in a hemispherical pattern (i.e. down and wide like your home lighting fixtures).

 

So, one would expect that a Blizzard Q12A, which draws about 60w, would have somewhat similar output to a conventional Par can with a 300-500w lamp in it. Subjectively, it seems sorta in the ballpark (to me) when the Q12 is completely lit up, i.e. full amber/white in this case. But it also (subjectively) seems much wimpier than a PAR can when using a single color.

 

But now you have the issue of color. If you set your LED instrument to be a primary color (e.g. red) you're immediately losing 2/3 or 3/4 of your output since only some of the LEDs will be on. Similarly, the conventional PAR can loses some of its output when you put a red gel over the bulb.

 

For me, the only way to know the real numbers is to measure them. I have several LED fixtures, and a bunch of conventional fixtures, I'm gonna run out the numbers on them.

 

Terry D.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
. Similarly, the conventional PAR can loses some of its output when you put a red gel over the bulb.


For me, the only way to know the real numbers is to measure them. I have several LED fixtures, and a bunch of conventional fixtures, I'm gonna run out the numbers on them.


Terry D.

true, but if you replace 4 regular cans with 4 LED cans, you have 4 of them putting out light instead of just one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

LEDs use way less power (which is huge when you are going from location to location especially private parties where you cant blow power).

They can do more colors more evenly I would think.

 

Some can do special effects that pars cant do

 

they arnt hot

 

you dont have to replace bulbs.

 

 

some people find that leds are cooler feeling (visually) and some dont like that.

They dont tend to fade out like par cans do (but I suppose you could program them to)

 

leds generally cost more

 

leds generally cost more to be as bright

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

That is THE question that everyone wants answered.
:)

Par56 is a size, the lamps come in wattages up to 500 I believe. The lamps are also available in spot, medium flood, and flood, so these things factor in to the comparison.


I borrowed some measurement gear from my workplace and I'm going to hang some instruments and measure their output, as well as do some carefully controlled photography.


Laboratory work has shown that to give the same light output as a 60w incandescent bulb has the following power ratios:


Incandescent (non halogen) = 1:1 obviously


Compact fluorescent: ~ 4:1


LED: ~ 6:1.


So, if you accept the above numbers, you'd need about a 80w LED fixture to match a 500 watt conventional lamp.


However, it's not that simple as the lamp in a conventional PAR can is halogen and, more importantly, has a built in very efficient parabolic reflector in the lamp so that the beam is more tightly focused than an array of LEDs. The figures above were derived in a study of household lighting where the lamp radiates in a hemispherical pattern (i.e. down and wide like your home lighting fixtures).


So, one would expect that a Blizzard Q12A, which draws about 60w, would have somewhat similar output to a conventional Par can with a 300-500w lamp in it. Subjectively, it seems sorta in the ballpark (to me) when the Q12 is completely lit up, i.e. full amber/white in this case. But it also (subjectively) seems much wimpier than a PAR can when using a single color.


But now you have the issue of color. If you set your LED instrument to be a primary color (e.g. red) you're immediately losing 2/3 or 3/4 of your output since only some of the LEDs will be on. Similarly, the conventional PAR can loses some of its output when you put a red gel over the bulb.


For me, the only way to know the real numbers is to measure them. I have several LED fixtures, and a bunch of conventional fixtures, I'm gonna run out the numbers on them.


Terry D.

 

First, that is an awesome answer:thu:...thanks for being so generous...I learned a lot from that post.

 

Second, let me know what you come up with.

 

Sounds like LED's have more downsides than the "cool new thing" hype they are getting.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

One who relies on the stage lights to make them hot and sweaty when playing...



...is doing something wrong.

 

 

I believe Bluestrat's quote said "...Outdoor festival in May on the Columbia River in central Washington. It was cold out." Not that conducive to working up a lather. Now, I'm not a drummer, so I am not quite as physically active as you are, I'm sure. I guess it might be comparing apples to oranges.

 

jamieb

+++++

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

First, that is an awesome answer:thu:...thanks for being so generous...I learned a lot from that post.


Second, let me know what you come up with.


Sounds like LED's have more downsides than the "cool new thing" hype they are getting.....

 

 

The only downside they have is light output per dollar when being compared to traditional stage lighting. I don't see where the other downsides are.

 

My newest laptop is smaller, lighter, and more power efficient than my previous one. It has a brighter screen, a backlit keyboard, and a more responsive touchpad, as well as a matte screen to see outdoors easier. But it also cost twice as much. To me, the added cost was worth it for all the benefits it gives. To some people, the added cost would be too much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

The only downside they have is light output per dollar when being compared to traditional stage lighting. I don't see where the other downsides are.


My newest laptop is smaller, lighter, and more power efficient than my previous one. It has a brighter screen, a backlit keyboard, and a more responsive touchpad, as well as a matte screen to see outdoors easier. But it also cost twice as much. To me, the added cost was worth it for all the benefits it gives. To some people, the added cost would be too much.

 

Well, when they first became affordable to "reg-a-lar" musicians they hype was that they blow everything away, and they are gonna do away with traditional lighting etc. Least, that's what I was hearing. That was a few years ago....now that I'm in the market of course, I'm hearing different. Remember I'm just a 'tarist.

 

Used to be, when sound guys go all tech about PAR's and cans and such, my eyes would glaze over and I'd start thinking about the mixolydian mode and sweep picking and stuff. Just like when I talk to them about sweep picking and the mixolydian mode and THEIR eyes glaze over and they start thinking about....well....what ever the hell you light guys think about.....I reckon it's PAR's and cans and LED's and such.....:wave:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...