Affordable band/stage lighting for small venue - suggestions please!

Discussion in 'music, bands, clubs & festies' started by editor, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I'm putting on live shows at the Effra Social in Brixton. The venue looks great in a retro way and the stage almost untouched since the 1970s. The only problem is that although there's lighting behind the parapet above the stage lighting up the DJs, there's nothing on the bands.

    There's no space (or power) to mount lights directly in front of the stage so I'm looking at maybe having temporary two Par lights mounted on the awnings either side of the stage.


    It's coming out of my own cash and I'm looking at something pretty damn basic and that can maybe be programmed to spit out a decent amount of white/coloured light just to make the band visible.

    So how about a pair of these?

    Or one of these (at the top of my budget)
  2. sim667

    sim667 Licking windows on the 303 bus.

    If you're wanting to light an entire band, you may want to look at wash's rather than spot parcans?

    Let me ask what our wants are, they're about £35 each and have lasted 4 years of abuse so far.
  3. sim667

    sim667 Licking windows on the 303 bus.

    editor likes this.
  4. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Maybe a wash would work too - the back of the stage looks great (!) but it's hard to see the singer (see pic below)

  5. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Thinking about it, one of those T Bar things might be the most practical way of sorting out the lighting - trying to balance them on the wooden awnings could be problematic.
  6. sim667

    sim667 Licking windows on the 303 bus.

    Yeah, the legs that come on parcans are really for putting them on the floor and pointing them up, or hanging off a t-bar. Pointing them down of the side ledges would be problematic, especially for securing them.

    With the t-bar set up, you may well be able to make your money back by dry hiring them for say £50 for a night..... do that 2 nights and you've paid for them.

    I suggested wash's because you might find with a spot if the band member you've pointed them at moves, then they're back in the dark.. Just something to think about.

    Edit. One thing with the t-bar is will it block the fire exits at the sides of the stage?
  7. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I'm thinking that I could put the stand for the T Bar thing just a bit back (removing one of the tables by the side) and that should keep the fire exit clear. It would have to be quite a bit forward from the stage anyway to get the angle right to light it up. You think that the one I linked to earlier would throw enough light out?
  8. sim667

    sim667 Licking windows on the 303 bus.

    I'd say so, although if you've got a guesstimate of the distance the light needs to throw, I'd ask it as a question and see if anyone answers on the amazon page.
  9. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    This looks loads better. Opinions?

    Equinox MicroPar Bar System
  10. sim667

    sim667 Licking windows on the 303 bus.

    Yeah, I think its more suitable for what you want, 4 LED Pars as opposed to 2 LED pars and 2 non descript "lighting effects" like the one you found on amazon.

    For the price I'd be surprised if you get anything better without really digging around..... Its a non recognised brand so you've got that aspect, but you're clued up on electricals and tech, so I'm sure you're well aware of the pitfalls and bonuses of non recognised brands.

    I'd suggest getting a safety string per par...... they're about £1 each, and it means if they drop they won't land on someone's head, and they won't hit the floor..... It may also be worth seeing if you can stash a couple of sandbags somewhere at the effra club, so you can stick those on the feet for extra stability.
    editor likes this.
  11. pesh

    pesh Well-Known Member

    i'd stay away from the whole all in one bar type things, they're just a load of cheap junk cobbled together for people who really don't want to be doing anything to do with lighting...

    not that i have a problem with cheap junk in the right situations, but you might as well do it yourself better and cheaper with the same bits... you can get those lights for £9 each on their own... 12 LEDs 8CH RGBW Color Mixing Par Light - £9.14 Free Shipping|

    and if you're positioning them off centre you're going to want light sources coming from both sides to stop it looking daft and leaving half the stage in shadow.

    personally i think at 12w those are going to struggle to light the stage up properly from that distance anyway, i'd get a couple of much more punchy lights and put them up on the walls where you marked on the photo in the OP. saves having to rig them each time, nobody will fall over them and they will do a lot more..

    a pair of these will be bright as hell
    Sol 36 x 3W LED Par Cans by Gear4music, Pair at Gear4music

    something like this won't be as bright as those ones but will have much nicer whites as it has amber LEDs to warm up the cool white LEDs.

    i'd get a tiny DMX controller to stick at the sounddesk as well.
    editor likes this.
  12. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Cheers for the feedback. Sadly the two decent ones are right out of my price range. How about this one: 36W RGB LED Flat Par Stage Light - $26.72 Free Shipping|

    I get what you're saying about the cheapo T Bars but that's probably what I'm going to need as these lights won't be installed permanently and something portable would come in handy for when I get hired for DJ gigs at parties/weddings etc. I don't want to be faffing about plugging loads of things in and trying to find places to hang lights.
    Badgers likes this.
  13. beesonthewhatnow

    beesonthewhatnow going deaf for a living

    For front lighting don't worry about colour, you don't need it. White stage wash with colour backlight. Standard basic stage lighting since time began.
    skyscraper101 likes this.
  14. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    They unearthed a couple of old school extra-hot pars but they're so stark that they make the singer look like he's been caught in a prison breakout.
  15. beesonthewhatnow

    beesonthewhatnow going deaf for a living

    Sounds like they should be on a dimmer circuit controlled form a desk, which I guess has long been lost to the mists of time there!

    (did you sort the PA weirdness by the way?)
  16. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I'm still using my Mackie Thump 15s and the Martin sub which provided just about enough sound. The room is surprisingly big and that solid wall facing the PA provides a horrible echo. I'm going to keep moaning on until we get a curtain or some other way of controlling the sound.

    I haven't had chance to look at those speakers which do appear to be fucked. I'm not sure they'd provide much more - if any - power than the Mackies anyway. What do you reckon?
  17. beesonthewhatnow

    beesonthewhatnow going deaf for a living

    Hard to tell without a proper look. I'll try and sort another day to come down as soon as I can.
    editor likes this.
  18. AnnO'Neemus

    AnnO'Neemus Is so vanilla

    editor likes this.
  19. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    AnnO'Neemus likes this.
  20. AnnO'Neemus

    AnnO'Neemus Is so vanilla

    Double-check with them, when they sold off BBC White City stuff the lots were put online and you could place bids on them online.

    So I thought the reference to viewing might be for people who wanted to see stuff first. If you're happy to buy online sight unseen, if you know what you're looking for, it might be possible.
  21. rutabowa

    rutabowa YUPPIES OUT

    You have to pick up from the location tho... I got some stuff from the BBC Bush House auction, and everything was to pick up from Bush House.
    editor likes this.

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