Lighting Up Art

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jc
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Lighting Up Art

Post by jc » Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:31 pm

I am interested in illuminatining a large art sculpture on the playa. What are some different ways you've seen or heard of this being done? Perhaps you could direct me fo mo fo?

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Post by jc » Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:41 pm

I should have clarified that I'm interested in what power sources are being used.

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Ranger Genius
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Post by Ranger Genius » Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:42 pm

Might I recommend an MC?
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Post by sputnik » Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:45 pm

Generators usually. There are super quiet models available. Depending on the size of your art you might even be able to locate it inside. Otherwise I've seen power located a short distance away with an attempt made to conceal the equipment.

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Post by jc » Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:47 pm

Ranger. What's an MC?

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Post by LeChatNoir » Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:50 pm

quiet generators or solar powered yard lights?
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Post by Ranger Genius » Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:58 pm

Molotov Cocktail.
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Post by Wind_Borne » Sun Feb 06, 2005 7:22 pm

How much power does the work require? That may constrain your choices. You can figure that our by adding up the watts consumed by each light. For instance, five lights using 200 watts each will need a source capable of delivering 1000 watts continuously, at the required voltage.

And what voltage is that? It depends on the lighting. Flood lights and Xmas tree lights run on 110 volts A/C. Cool Neon glow wiring can run on 12 volts DC. True neon lighting (plasma discharge) runs on thousands of volts (of course, if you were a neon lighting guy, you probably already know all this stuff).

12 volt DC can come from batteries or via an AC adapter connected to a generator. 110 AC can come directly from a generator, or via an inverter connected to a bank of batteries.

Generators are often used because it's a simple solution, though somewhat brutish and uninspired.

Standard car batteries have the advantage of making no noise; but you'll need a way of keeping them charged. You could use either a solar array or a windmil. Solar arrays of sufficient size would be too expensive; but a small windmill could work. For example I have a small (60 inch diameter) windmill that puts out 600 watts in a 15 knot breeze. Given the wind on the playa, such a windmill charging a bank of batteries all day could just keep up with a 1000 watt/hour demand during the night.

If you're using car batteries, your lights could be car headlight bulbs. A standard quartz-halogen headlight bulb only uses 55 watts and runs on 12 volts (which would eliminate the need for an inverter). You could use such a bulb un-shrouded for general illumination, or installed in a headlight lens for directed illumination.

I'm kind of rambling and tossing out ideas here. The first step is to define your lighting needs. What do you want to light up and how? How many lights? How big is it? How bright does it have to be? What do you want it to look like? With that kind of information we can start making more precise recommendations.
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Post by Ranger Genius » Sun Feb 06, 2005 7:23 pm

Oh, by the way, crossposting really pisses people off and significantly reduces the likelihood of getting any useful information out of us. Just make one thread in the appropriate forum; we'll see it.
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Post by PurpleKoosh » Sun Feb 06, 2005 7:32 pm

Ranger Genius wrote:Oh, by the way, crossposting really pisses people off and significantly reduces the likelihood of getting any useful information out of us. Just make one thread in the appropriate forum; we'll see it.
I'd recommend against PMing everyone currently logged in, asking them to please read your question, as well.
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Post by Ranger Genius » Sun Feb 06, 2005 7:36 pm

Or sending them emails? These seem like either ridiculously stupid gestures, or insidiously calculated attempts to annoy us. Either way, they don't bode well.
“We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.”

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Post by Isotopia » Sun Feb 06, 2005 8:18 pm

Oh, and um, scratch any idea that power will be available there for you or your installation. Not saying that's an assumption of yours but there are folks who think that's the case.

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Thanks

Post by jc » Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:04 am

Thanks for your replys and eticit(?) tips.

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windmill

Post by jc » Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:10 am

Wind_Borne
I like the idea of using car lights and a windmill to recharge the batteries. Wouldn't a deap cycle (marine type) battery work better than the car batteries? Also where can I get a good price on a DC windmill generater?

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Post by geekster » Tue Feb 08, 2005 4:43 pm

Fine but dont RELY on it. There might be wind ... there might not be. There might be three calm days and then 50mph winds and rain, who knows. Might be cloudy too, might be sunny, might be sunny but in whiteout conditions from the dust. Don't make the success of your project contingent on any particular weather.
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Post by Zane5100 » Wed Feb 09, 2005 7:47 am

Wouldn't a deap cycle (marine type) battery work better than the car batteries?
ITYM "deep cycle" battery.

Yes, they are better than car batteries--car batteries being designed for providing a lot of power (current * voltage) quickly, whereas deep cycle batteries are designed to provide power over a long term load. You also need to figure out your amp hour requirements, assuming that your voltage requrements are in 12 VDC area. If you want AC power, you are getting into inverters.

BTW, it will help you a lot if you know Ohm's law (V=I*R) and Watt's Law (V*I=W). You will need to use both equations at some point in this.

Solar panels and wind generators can help, but you will need to know how fast you're going to suck down a battery before you invest in panels or windmill, so you don't get out there and find that it takes a day to recharge the battery and an hour to suck it dry.

If you have more than one battery, it's best to recharge them separately than in parallel.
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Post by geekster » Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:09 am

AGM (absorbed glass mat) sealed batteries are the best. They are just a little more expensive than other deep cycle batteries but have some serious advantages particularly for Burning Man stuff. They don't leak, even if the case is ruptured. They can handle very high charge rates. They can be used in any position, even upside down. They can sit for long periods (up to 2 years) without charging and come back into service. There are no vents for dust to get into, they dont leak gas.
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Post by geekster » Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:17 am

Concorde is one popular manufacturer of these AGM batteries but there are others. Concored makes them for aircraft, military, solar power, and RV uses.
AGM batteries have several advantages over both gelled and flooded, at about the same cost as gelled:
Since all the electrolyte (acid) is contained in the glass mats, they cannot spill, even if broken. This also means that since they are non-hazardous, the shipping costs are lower. In addition, since there is no liquid to freeze and expand, they are practically immune from freezing damage.

Nearly all AGM batteries are "recombinant" - what that means is that the Oxygen and Hydrogen recombine INSIDE the battery. These use gas phase transfer of oxygen to the negative plates to recombine them back into water while charging and prevent the loss of water through electrolysis. The recombining is typically 99+% efficient, so almost no water is lost.

The charging voltages are the same as for any standard battery - no need for any special adjustments or problems with incompatible chargers or charge controls. And, since the internal resistance is extremely low, there is almost no heating of the battery even under heavy charge and discharge currents. The Concorde (and most AGM) batteries have no charge or discharge current limits.

AGM's have a very low self-discharge - from 1% to 3% per month is usual. This means that they can sit in storage for much longer periods without charging than standard batteries. The Concorde batteries can be almost fully recharged (95% or better) even after 30 days of being totally discharged.

AGM's do not have any liquid to spill, and even under severe overcharge conditions hydrogen emission is far below the 4% max specified for aircraft and enclosed spaces. The plates in AGM's are tightly packed and rigidly mounted, and will withstand shock and vibration better than any standard battery.

Concorde AGM batteries are not a gelled electrolyte. It is considered a "Recombinant Gas Absorbed Electrolyte" battery. Loss of charge due to self-discharge is 3 to 10 times better than with conventional gelled, and 5 to 50 times less than with flooded batteries. The gasses recombine almost 100% within the battery, reducing Hydrogen emissions to a level far below most battery types, and less than half the lower explosive limit for Hydrogen. In addition, they do not have the charge and discharge current limitations that most gelled batteries have. The Concorde is highly recommended by Trace Engineering.

By comparison, Gel Cell batteries can be effectively ruined with just one sustained overcharge.

The AGM battery has an extremely low internal electrical resistance. This, combined with faster acid migration, allows the AGM batteries to deliver and absorb higher rates of amperage than any other sealed batteries during discharging and charging. In addition, AGM technology batteries can be charged at normal flooded lead-acid regulated charging voltages, therefore, it is not necessary to recalibrate charging systems or purchase special chargers. Concorde AGM batteries can be bulk charged at extremely high rates without damage - up to 10 times as fast as gelled cells, and 5 times as fast as flooded batteries.

Concorde AGM battery technology has continued to develop and offer improvements over other sealed battery technologies. AGM technology has become the next step in the evolution of both starting and deep cycle sealed batteries for marine, RV, and aviation applications. These are the same type of batteries that the Navy and Air Force used in their F-18 and F118B "stealth", and in the Marine Corps "HumVees".. This "next generation" technology delivers increased safety, performance, and service life over all other existing sealed battery types, including gel technology. All Concorde AGM batteries carry a one-year full warranty - most gelled cells carry only a 90-day warranty.

AGM batteries such as Concorde have much better resistance to vibration and shock due to their construction than most flooded batteries. The plates are packed in with the glass mat, reducing plate movement and vibration to nearly nothing. In addition, because the glass mats are not totally saturated and the liquid does not expand to cause plate and case damage, AGM batteries can withstand freezing.

Concorde AGM batteries meet MIL-SPEC B8565J and FAR 23.1353, 25.1353(c), 27.1353, 29.1353(3), 25.853(a). All Concorde AGM batteries are shippable without restriction by any means of transportation, including air. Hazardous labeling is not required.

In AGM sealed batteries, the acid is absorbed between the plates and immobilized by a very fine fiberglass mat. No silica gel is necessary. This glass mat absorbs and immobilizes the acid while still keeping the acid available to the plates. This allows a fast reaction between acid and plate material. Even if the battery is broken, no electrolyte will be spilled.
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Post by Rian Jackson » Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:18 am

My original thought to this thread was, of course, flamethrower.

But i guess that's not what you meant.
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Post by Cardinal » Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:31 am

Um, that cite is not totally accurate. AGM batteries ARE sensitive to overcharging. If overcharged they can develop voids in the gel next to the plates which can cause a voltage drop. A good charger is essential to prevent that.

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Post by geekster » Wed Feb 09, 2005 10:30 am

From what I have read from both vendors and people that have used them in off-grid applications, they are LESS affected by overcharging than other types they have used. I would not go so far as to say they are unaffected but I have so far not read anything saying they are any MORE affected by overcharging.
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Post by Zane5100 » Wed Feb 09, 2005 10:47 am

It comes back to what is it that they're trying to light.

From the other cross-post thread, it looks like a fuckton of EL wire is the way that they might be leaning, but that has it's own challenges.

Before diving into the minutiae of batteries, it sounds like the need to figure out what they're going to light, how bright they want it, and if it's going to run 24 hr or just at night.
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jc
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The grid

Post by jc » Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:44 pm

Power off the grid. Florescent paint. Consealed black spot lights. What you think?

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Post by Rob the Wop » Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:52 pm

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Zane5100
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Re: The grid

Post by Zane5100 » Thu Feb 10, 2005 2:43 pm

jc wrote:Power off the grid. Florescent paint. Consealed black spot lights. What you think?
You could use these:
Image

or if you're on a budget:
Image

Both found here:
http://www.proformance.net/blacklite.htm

The question is: how much coverage do you need? If you want to blanket a lot of space, then you'll need lighting instruments that can give you the coverage.

Do you have an accurate map of your installation, preferably one that's to scale? You'll do yourself a big favor if you have one.

BTW, UV LEDs are not really that good for wide coverage or having a long throw.
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Post by Ranger Genius » Thu Feb 10, 2005 7:10 pm

Yes, but you could actually pepper the surface of the installation with the UV Blacklight LEDs or clusters of same, and have a very engergy-efficient and fairly uniform lighting, without fixtures on the ground or surface to get stepped on or crushed.
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Post by jc » Thu Feb 10, 2005 9:28 pm

You know I just realized I could probabley mount whatever lighting I use on the top of the structure and shine them down ward. I still like the idea of using a paint that will only glow under a black light. However the paint will have to be durable enough to stick to metal for a 1 wk period and be as playa storm resistant (water,dust & wind) as possible.

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Post by jc » Thu Feb 10, 2005 9:28 pm

You know I just realized I could probabley mount whatever lighting I use on the top of the structure and shine them down ward. I still like the idea of using a paint that will only glow under a black light.

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Post by jc » Thu Feb 10, 2005 9:29 pm

oops. too many click.

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Post by Ranger Genius » Thu Feb 10, 2005 9:31 pm

Happens to the best of us. Bear in mind that if it's not OBVIOUS that your structure is not to be climbed on, people are probably going to climb on it, lean on it, crawl under it, et cetera.
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