LED Lighting

 LED (Light emitting diode) technology has advanced so much over the last 5 years that we can now use them to light up our theatre shows, live music and corporate events. They have many advantages over their “traditional” counterparts that I will try to outline in this help page. 

  • Low Power Consumption LEDs use a fraction of the power of a traditional type bulb. This is great for the environment and your pocket while allowing users to use more lights than ever before through a standard 13amp socket. 
  • Low Heat Output LED stage lighting outputs a minimal amount of heat compared to its light output, this means safety is vastly improved both in terms of fire risk and to the people operating the lights. This also means that fixtures can be moved straight after operation for the next show. 
  • Lightweight and Portable: Because LED lights can be packaged into less robust and heat insulating casings it means they are generally a lot lighter than traditional lights, again this is very useful when installing and transporting large amounts of lights and cuts down install times. Old style dimmer packs are also not needed for LED operation, meaning less equipment and cabling is needed overall.
  • Colours When three different primary coloured LEDs are used in a lighting fixture RGB colour mixing becomes possible and there is need for different coloured gels and filters. 
  • Size LEDs can be packaged in casings directly suited to their purpose, for example small bright coloured lights than colour mix without having to reinstall bulbs etc for exhibition stands etc. 
  • High Brightness LEDs are much more efficient than traditional bulbs and are very bright considering the power that they draw. As bigger LED’s are produced this becomes more and more useful. A 100W LED will produce around the same amount of light as a 1000W halogen theatre spot and while producing little to no heat!

 

LED lighting has followed the industry standard for control of lighting systems, using the DMX512 protocol. Different DMX Channels control the red, green and blue LEDs while additional channels may be present for control of master brightness or special chases and sequences. Please read our DMX address guide for more information on this topic. Most LED fixtures can also operate in a standalone mode without a DMX controller, although features may be limited.  

So LEDs are more efficient, cheaper, smaller and doesn’t get as hot as traditional lighting solutions. It also allows colour mixing without the use of gels and filters. What’s the catch? Well there a few things you might like to know about LED fixtures before buying. 

  • Colour Mixing Has Its Limits there are a few colours RGB colour mixing just cannot produce. White being the most important one. When all three colours of LEDs are on a blueish white light will be produced, nothing like the colour temperature of tungsten or halogen lights. While LED technology is fast advancing in this area we have not come across a white LED that is suitable for lighting people on stage for a fashion show for example and we would still recommend traditional style lights for this purpose. 
  • Colour Mixes Better Over Distance Because three colours of LEDs need to mix to produce the shade of light you want the mix gets better the further away from the fixture you go.