Depending on optics, a 20w LED should be about the same intensity as a 250w halogen lamp. Unfortunately, there really is no chart to go by since every light is different and optics play a huge role. I would check an product documentation on the fixtures you are trying to compare for a much better answer.
Supporting what he said, the best comparison is based on what the product maker CLAIMS it is. It may not be perfect, but it is considered a starting point at best.
ADJ, among other companies, have been saying how an LED fixture compares to a similar type product with X-type of bulb and wattage. Nearly everyone has been asking these kind of questions, so pretty much all companies have been trying to provide those type of answers.
Depends on what you are looking for and what wattage they are. For example, I am doing a show right now with 14 ColorBlaze 48s and they over power some 575w S4 Lekos I am using for some gobo splash on the same drape. I also did a massive LED shootout in which we saw a Opti Tri Par (54w total) keeping on pace with a 750w S4 ParNel and matching basically on some colors.
I think WhiteSites is maybe talking about some of what I've experienced:
For example, the 64 LED Pros, as much as I like these, don't hold up against a regular Par64.
It is precisely why I have been asking lots of questions and reading the forums and learning things. LED technology is more expensive, and when you add into it DMX functionality, it drives the cost up further. Then, adding better and brighter LED technology, well, again, prices rise as a result.
We have to understand that not all things are equal. We also have to demo things and try things out to find out what works best for our situation.
It is because of that type of work that has led me to buy the Mega Bar 50's and Mega Panels to help things along, which they have. Ultimately, I'm going to have to jump from ADJ to Elation to get some of their LED cans. I won't be replacing my 64 LED Pros, but will redeploy them into another application.
Well, a P64 Pro is about 20-25w total and using 181 10mm LEDs instead of fewer, larger 1w or greater LEDs. No way it will keep up with a 1000w Par 64 or even a 600w or 500w. Since it is a lot of little LEDs trying to join up, it is like over laying two 500w Par 64s vs one 1000w Par 64. Even though two 500w Pars work out to the same wattage, they are blending instead of coming from a single, more powerful point source which will generate more light.
Layering lights doesn't equal double intensity. To double your intensity, you need to double your wattage or get better optics and less wattage. It is like two speakers vs one more powerful, efficient speaker.
Ok let me clarify. If you are looking for PAR fixtures, LEDs are great. we have 8 LED Par64 fixtures and I couldn't say more good things about them. But if you are looking for Moving Mirror scanners I have yet to see any high power LED that comes close to the output of Halogens. Its not to say that high power LEDs are not available, but they just have not made it into a low cost fixture yet.
It's going to be a while before prices drop enough for the LED technology to become cost-effective to out into low-cost fixtures.
Overall, I am pleased with my 64 LED Pros, but as I said, the can't keep up with a regular ParCan. But, I'm an audio guy, and seeing RGB mixing meant "screw gel sheets and larger set-ups", which they've done quite well with. But, as I am being pushed into more complex shows, I'm seeing strengths and weaknesses, forcing my knowledge of lighting to expand, whether I want it to or not, in order to remain a top player and performer in the market I am in.
The only down-side is, aside from the cost, MORE people need to have this hands-on type experience to learn this. There's no other way. Books can teach but you gotta see it to understand it. Then experience is knowledge, and that will stick forever.
The way that I've always seen the LED vs halogen debate is the LED units are just another tool I can use in my designs. They are not a direct replacement for my halogen and discharge fixtures.
In terms of the cheap disco style lights, I am not impressed by the LED effects on the market in terms of brightness, coverage, and overall effectiveness. When I set up a system to light a high school homecoming or similar I still use a system based primarily of classic halogen effects such as the Vertigo and Aggressor, plus a pair of strobes, 4-6 discharge moving heads and my discharge centerpiece effect. No LEDs here, and the system works just fine, if not better than any LED system I have seen at this point. Not to bash the LED effects - I just don't have a use for any. I'd much rather see ADJ produce a line of high output discharge effects.
I'd consider swapping my moving heads for LED based units, but only when I can find something truly comparable to a name-brand 575w mover. I've seen the 5R based units and while impressive and a good alternate to a 250w or 300w discharge mover, I'd still choose a true 575 over the 5R. I think LEDs will eventually yield to the more efficient conventional lamps like the 5R and plasma based sources. When lighting people, I'll never swap my halogen Pars and Lekos for LED.
Now I understand that LED units are great for power tight situations, but realistically you'd want to have your lights on a separate circuit(s) from your sound system. That gives me at least 15A to use for lights, so I'd like to take advantage of that. Knowing that ADJ products are meant more for mobile DJs and clubs, it doesn't surprise me that they push LED fixtures because most of their customer base doesn't have access to 100kW of power on a nightly basis!
I have been considering an LED uplight/truss warmer solution for some time, but right now I don't think it's quite cost effective yet, but I can see making the investment in the next few years.
You'll get no argument from me that sound and lights should not share the same circuits. But, even one better, they should not be on the same power transformer and/or access panel due to noise cross-talk issues.
My mains, running at WFO, draws 130 amps. My monitor system, at wFO, draws 30 amps
Backline? Well, not my problem! But it typically stays under 15 amps even on big shows. One show needed 30 amps via 2 15 amp circuits, and while overkill, we did use more than 20 amps worth of power up there, so it wasn't a bad thing! FOH is a full 15 amps.
Lights can be serious power pigs sa well. Even my small rig, thanks mainly in part to 32 Par48's with 150-watt bulbs, well, and the 2 Color Fusions(they eat a circuit right there) was over 60 amps!
In my case, I'm constantly having to work in environments where power is at a premium, so it becomes a variant of what you said: it's another tool to get the job done. Better or worse(and opinions and facts are valid on this), LED is the way I'm going. Sure, more cost, but less power draw, and I need whatever power draw I can get. At the same time, I am starting to understand and see the harshness in the LED technology, and that's just something I'm going to have to live with based on the choices I've made.
Are incadescent solutions better than LED? Depends on who you ask and what will do the job best. For me, I need more bang for the buck for how much I can put on a circuit, and as a result, I'll have to eat any downsides as a result.
I want to see the LED technology improve, which will in turn drive costs down while pushing features, options and brightness UP. Win-win for those who are fans of LED's.
Should you swap your traditional stuff? Why? I mean, if it's working and gives the results, why screw with a good thing? Use what you got!
What, you mean to tell me everyone doesn't have one of these sitting outside their gigs :
400 kW generator. Ironically, it was only reading 5 kW output right when I took that picture.
LED is still young. The other issue is you have to do some really weird things optically to get them to focus gobos which cuts down quite a bit on intensity. The Platinum 5R lamp is basically a 500w discharge lamp but only needs 150w. For an LED mover to equal that, it would take about 180w. For wash lights, LEDs are great. For spot movers and lekos, not so much.
Lamp tech is still improving while LEDs are relatively new. Also look at the new plasma lamp tech. So I use LEDs for wash lights only, still have my discharge lamps for spot movers.
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