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Old July 8th, 2004, 09:51 AM   #1
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Using stage lights?

I have a ton of stage lights and racks, par cans etc. I was wondering if these could be used for video applications meaning
are there special types of bulbs that can be used in regular sockets that would work for lighting. I don't have a specific
situation but for example a conference room, hallways, whatever.
I know filters, diffusers, etc are needed but I hoping I can in
some way implement what I have for lighting. Thanks!
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Old July 8th, 2004, 11:31 AM   #2
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Why not? Just white balance accordingly. I don't know about current availability, but PAR lamps used to come in various color temperatures. We have used some of the high color temp par cans in the past for special effects on stage. However the lamp life is shorter the higher the color temperature. Look at a lamp catalog for some specifics.
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Old July 8th, 2004, 12:25 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Boyd. Any good ideas on diffusing material?
I'd like to make something.
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Old July 8th, 2004, 01:37 PM   #4
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Well my experience is completely in the theatrical field, not video or film lighting. But there are a number of Roscolux diffusion gels that will probably do the job for you: http://www.rosco-ca.com/products/fil...html#Diffusion

Be careful if you decide to go the 'homegrown' route with fabric or paper or something, those 1000 watt PAR-64's are very hot and you would be risking a fire....
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Old July 9th, 2004, 03:35 PM   #5
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<<<I don't know about current availability, but PAR lamps used to come in various color temperatures. We have used some of the high color temp par cans in the past for special effects on stage.>>>

I've never heard of a par 64 lamp that does 5600K without having to gel,
but I'd like to get some. Are you sure about this Boyd?

Jacques"always have to use booster blue"Mersereau
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Old July 9th, 2004, 05:43 PM   #6
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Sorry, can't point to anything specific. Just looked on Sylvania's site which was very slow and crashed my browser twice! I'm thinking of a number of years back though, when we wanted a lightning effect, but maybe it wasn't a PAR-64?

I know that the lamps for the source-4 PARS come in a variety of color temperatures, not sure about 5600K however. Like I said, my background is theatrical lighting so we don't use these high color temp lamps normally, other than followspots, moving lights and the occasional HMI fresnel :-)
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Old July 10th, 2004, 10:51 AM   #7
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The HPL lamps used in ETC Source Four series of instruments are
halogen. I think the highest color temp offered is 3200K.
I really like the high output lamps, but they burn out really quick compared
to the regular HPLs.

Most intelligent lights (like the MAC 2K) and projectors use HMI lamps.
You can buy a small projector for less dough than a HMI kit.

I bet that 5600K instrument you remember was an HMI.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 01:44 PM   #8
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The only thing about theatrical lights is that I think a lot are vented differently so the whole body will get screaming hot and they are also designed to throw the light farther since their intended subject can be quite a distance away.
Barring that, go for it.

I've recently used Apollo gels and was pleased. Never melted a one. They make a double sided gel tape that works great without melting.

my .02
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Old July 28th, 2004, 02:28 PM   #9
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Well they do seem a little impractical, for instance I have a 'T'
stand and have eight par cans attached to it, while this may
seem like a lot it doesn't add up to much wattage because I
don't think (in this case) par 38's can handle a lot of wattage,
there is nothing on the can to indicate maximum wattage.
I have no idea what the color temperature would be. I have
two 500 watt work lights on a stand and they throw more light and are much more compact. This may seem absurd but this
is not for an interview or something, I'm trying to get non
ambient light well overhead of a band in a dark warehouse setting, large area needs creatively lit not just the band. Having
so many par lights already I was hoping to find out the best way
to utilize them (with safety in mind as well). I need to find some
electrical guidelines for par cans 38, 54, 64, to see how much these cans can safely handle and if the option exists to use a
different type of bulb such as a halogen for a 'whiter' color temperature.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 03:23 PM   #10
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FYI, the number associated with PAR lamps is actually the diameter of the lens in 1/8's of an inch. For example, a PAR-64 would be 64/8 = 8" in diameter. These have two flat blades that plug into a ceramic connector and are generally 1000 watts.

PAR-38's are usually found in household floodlights (like you might use in your back yard), again, the diameter would be 38/8 = 4.75 inches. They may be availabe in wattages as high as 300 through a lamp vendor, but the typical household variety are 45, 75 and maybe 100 watts halogen and 75 or 150 watts incandescent. The halogens are designed to give longer life, but the color temperature is still quite warm.

For all PAR's there are some standard beam spreads: WFL (wide flood), MFL (mediium flood), NSP (narrow spot) and VNSP (very narrow spot). These would be available in the PAR-64's, PAR-56's and possibly PAR-38's from specialized vendors. But the normal household variety screw-in PAR's are just spots and floods. The beam spread is controlled by a textured suface on the face of the lamp, the filaments and reflectors should be pretty much the same inside.

It's true that these will get very hot (esp PAR 64's), but not any hotter than another lamp of the same wattage. But the difference will be that stage lighting instruments aren't usually designed with any air-cooled handles for you to grab.

Any theatrical supplier should be able to get you these lamps. You should also be able to find spec sheets at the manufacturer's websites, for example here's a page from the BMI Supply catalog listing PAR-64's and other lamps: http://www.bmisupply.com/bmicat/bmi04lamps.pdf
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Old July 28th, 2004, 03:29 PM   #11
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That was priceless Boyd - Thank you
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Old July 30th, 2004, 11:34 AM   #12
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I have used PAR64 500W fixtures tucked out of the way (important) to light the ceiling and increase ambient light at weddings and receptions. Works better than just about any other kind of fixture. I have mounted them on flat plywood stands on the floor to support them, as they do get quite hot. It seems to jazz up the event a bit too. If the ceiling is more than 15 feet or so high, You should use an MFL or NSP lamp. Otherwise, a WFL does the trick just fine.

I have built an 18x24" frame out of 1x4s to hang in front of one or two PAR64s to hold diffusion gels. You can build clips into the frame to hold the gel, or just tape it in place with gaffers. Keep the cans quite close to the frame (you want the light beam to just about cover the whole surface of the diffusion material), and it works great as a diffuse light source.

As I am mostly a theatrical lighting designer, I have a fair amount of rosco diffusion gel around. I mostly use Rosco 100, 102, 113 (which is great for stretching the light to cover more real estate in close quarters) for video.

They don't make 5600k halogen PAR lamps, I am afraid. You would need to make that correction with gels. I have never used such equipment in an outdoor, daylight shoot though.

PAR38s aren't really bright enough to use in this manner. On occasion, I do use them occasionally as a direct source on the subject, but then you are getting into the realm of video/film lighting equipment that is designed specifically for that purpose, and their limitations (unevenness, inflexibility) become quite obvious.
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Old July 30th, 2004, 11:59 AM   #13
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Very helpful post Brian, thanks very much.
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Old July 30th, 2004, 03:33 PM   #14
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Though I haven't really used them, I suspect the little MR-16 mini-PAR cans might come in handy at times for small direct sources (using the nomenclature above, an MR-16 is 16/8 = 2" diameter). I believe the highest wattage for these is 75, using the 115 volt variety with candelabra screw bases. They can be surprisingly bright when used at close range. The lamps and fixtures are pretty cheap, they come with little gel frames, and they're very "cute". As Brian should know, we like to call these "birdies" in the theatre.

Now if you wanted to use the 12volt version of these you might have more color temperature options since there seem to be an almost endless variety of MR-16's for the little bi-pin sockets. You would need some sort of transformer to power them, but that's not a big deal necessarily. At your local home and garden store they sell 12 volt transformers of all sizes that are used to power the low voltage landscape lights.
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Old July 31st, 2004, 12:17 PM   #15
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I use Source 4's all the time in my lighting packages, it can be extremely handy to pick out a detail in the background like a sign or object and not have to set a bunch of flags since the instruments have built in shutters. They can also work nicely as a backlight. Not a great instrument to use as a key, the light pattern is a bit funky for most applications, although if you need to create a spotlight effect such as a speaker at a podium, it will have the right look for that.
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