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#49058 - 02/26/05 06:58 AM Theater lighting controls
Jps1006 Offline

Registered: 01/22/04
Posts: 609
Loc: Northern IL
I'm curious what the difference between theater lighting controls and say something like a lutron grafik eye.

If I only had maybe 5 different scenes (for a church service) and don't anticipate needing flashing sequences of lights with an "all on" setting to fire in time with a cymbal crash, is a theater setup a little overkill?

Would a theater system have more noise suppresion?

I'm curious about anyones experineces. What have you all seen for stage lighting control, particularly in a contemporary church or similar situation.


Thought I'd add..... they are talking about wanting to add a couple small racks of the multicolored type lights. Do those genrally need special controllers?

[This message has been edited by Jps1006 (edited 02-26-2005).]

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#49059 - 02/26/05 07:46 AM Re: Theater lighting controls
mhulbert Offline

Registered: 10/19/04
Posts: 133
Loc: Anaheim, CA USA
If you just want 4-16 scenes you are OK...but I think where you might run into problems is the load on each channel. A Grafik Eye can do 800W per channel, with a maximum of 2000W total per unit. 1 stage light could be 400-600W! So maybe you would want a Grafik 4000 system that uses a seperate dimmer rack instead of bringing everything through the controller. A major difference in architectural dimmers vs entertainment dimmers is the dimmer rise time - ie the amount of time it takes it to go from 0 to 100%. Entertainment dimmers can do it very quickly, but Grafik Eye stuff is slowed down (on purpose, you can overide it on some of their stuff).

Most colored lighting is controlled by DMX512 which is a stage lighting control protocol. You would need a lighting board to control these lights, as they usually have at least 2 channels of control each, color and brightness, and if they are moving lights, they could have 10-14 channels EACH. You could feed the Lutron system with that same board for church services, and then have a few Lutron keypads to activate scenes for baptismals and stuff. The keypads would not change the colored lights, but just what's hooked up to the Lutron setup. Most of the Lutron dimmers can be made with 2 inputs- a dmx512 and then their standard control link for wallstations and such, and when it's getting DMX512 from a board, the wallstations are disabled, and when you put the board away, the wallstations can be used by the cleaning crew,etc.

Also, I think an entertainment sys would have better noise suppression. The chokes on those are HUGE and the dimmer modules are probably a bit better made...not that Lutron isn't!

Check ouy ...they have a bunch of 8-12 channel systems that can take DMX and support wallstations, I think they also have a timeclock and they all use entertainment grade dimmers. I think it's called the UNISON line.


[This message has been edited by mhulbert (edited 02-26-2005).]

#49060 - 02/26/05 09:02 AM Re: Theater lighting controls
SolarPowered Offline

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 615
Loc: Palo Alto, CA, USA
I've worked with ETC stuff. I'll second the recommendation for ETC lighting controls.


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