Lighting art installation

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Burner123
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Lighting art installation

Post by Burner123 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:38 pm

Hi folks,

I am building a wood frame, flat top pyramid and stretching spandex across each side to make fabric walls. Ill be lighting the structure from the inside. Ive been looking all over the forums but want to see if there are some ideas for bigger structures like this.It will be about 10ft tall and 10ft wide on each side, 4 sides of course. I am going to use either white spandex or a very light color. Has anyone used LED strip or LED RGB rope lights to line a wood frame like this? Or do you suggest pointing a light at the backwall on the inside?

Cheers!
:P

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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Lighting art installation

Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:34 pm

I kind of like the back-lighting idea, it makes the whole piece glow. It's probably a lot less expensive too.
Then again, "Both" has a lot of merit!
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andy
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Re: Lighting art installation

Post by andy » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:53 pm

Yes, I did this for Playuzzle last year. In our case we had 4 pyramids, 10 feet tall but only 4 feet on a side, and of course tapering to 0 feet wide on top.

I used cheap white stretch fabric, be aware that the very thin fabric is a dust magnet on open Playa and after a day you lost seriously 80% of the brightness until you beat or wiped the dust off the fabric.

I used 2.5 meters of 14.4W/m RGB LED per tower, and on dark playa it was quite good (see www.fb.com/playuzzle for a video clip). Note that the 5050 comes in different powers, and the max power is only when you are running white (because there are 3 different LEDs, so for instance full blue is not all that bright to the human eye).

I had a 5th tower in our camp, using a more expensive fabric, that fabric caught much less dust, I don't know if that was mostly because of the fabric or partly because of the location.

Any other questions let me know!

Andy

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trilobyte
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Re: Lighting art installation

Post by trilobyte » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:09 pm

I'm giving this a nudge over to the Power & Illumination board, since that's a better fit for general preparation questions and discussions about lighting.

In response to the question, it'll likely depend on the lights you're using. Most general purpose stuff would probably be brigt enough (though 'bright enough' is subjective), some could even be too bright, and there is stuff out there that may not meet your needs. If you're able, get a sample of the stuff and do a test (even if it costs a few bucks, that's a tiny price to pay compared to getting what you're not happy with).

You may well have already considered this, but since you didn't mention it in your post I'll point it out anyhow. You'll want to make sure you've got an incredibly solid and secured framework. Spandex and similar fabrics stretch and breathe, but not enough to prevent them from becoming sails on the playa. If you haven't used spandex in an outdoor playa installation, you might be a bit surprised.

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daft
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Re: Lighting art installation

Post by daft » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:35 pm

Yea, I had an idea about the same but using white mesh nylon fabric (outdoor wilderness fabric). Shade spot in the day and a light show at night. Lit from underneath. Chairs underneath with a cooler of gatorade and cliff bars and music.

Burner123
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Re: Lighting art installation

Post by Burner123 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:18 pm

Awesome responses! I will definitely being doing tests, in the dark to make sure it glows enough. And I have considered the sail danger- The frame is purdy darn sturdy, so this shouldnt be a problem, and the shape of it should stop that from happening. I will see how well just the strip does and if its not bright enough, ill be pointing 4 lights from the inside to each "wall". Andy, what was the more expensive fabric you used for the 5th tower at camp? I am going to buy fabric in a few weeks and im thinking stretch lycra or spandex material in light blue and other very light colors.

THANKS!!!!

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Jovankat
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Re: Lighting art installation

Post by Jovankat » Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:44 pm

If the strip is not bright enough consider doubling it up or going to a higher power strip, if you light from the centre you'll get much more shadow from the structure so it won't look quite as neat. Also if you get the colour mixing LED strip its really not hard to set it up to not just change colour but do all sorts of patterns and stuff too for not *that* much effort or money.

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Zhust
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Re: Lighting art installation

Post by Zhust » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:35 am

Back years ago I worked on a project of similar scale and lit it with 6 1W LEDs with narrow-focus lenses. Each LED was placed inside a housing that was made of a pair of 2x4's cut to a shallow trapezoidal shape connected together with sheet metal to make something that looked a bit like a wheel chock. The LED inside was mounted on the inside of one of the 2x4's with a hole cut to let the light through. I used some constant-current LED drivers and a deep-cycle battery to power them all; wires ran just under the Playa surface to each light. (I actually used RG-59 because I had a bunch around, and came close to matching the 50-ohm line impedance to the 20-ohm-ish impedance of a pair of LEDs.)

The light level was adequate for safety but relatively unimpressive. The structures that held the lights held up quite well. A couple were pretty obviously run over by vehicles and still stayed shining in the right direction. If I were to redo it, I'd use 3-watt LEDs instead and make the mounts like ramps. I'd probably try to put a battery in each light that would run dusk-to-dawn with enough juice to run for several days (e.g. 1 7AH 12V AGM battery could run 3 watts for about 3 nights.)
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Burner123
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Re: Lighting art installation

Post by Burner123 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:43 pm

Awesome thank you- I will have to see how bright just the strip I an see if I need to double up I use both bulbs and strip- trilobite (sp?) where have you shopped for fabric? I am going to look at stretch lycra and spandex in sf this weekend and I'm wondering if you recommend any stores over others, I noticed you had posted about that on a different thread. This structure is 4 walls, ten ft wide by 10 ft tall- I realize its going to be expensive, also just now beginning to realize they may not sell lycra ten ft wide! Yikes! I am also considering bleached cotton

Cheers!!

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