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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Blue LED "Sconces" (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Blue LED "Sconces"
Adam Wilbert
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 590
From: Bellingham, WA, USA
Registered: Mar 2002


 - posted 01-06-2006 02:54 PM      Profile for Adam Wilbert   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Wilbert   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The 2wenty thread got me thinking about my last experience at a Regal. Sometime since I saw Sky Captain, the Sunset Square Regal in Bellingham, WA has replaced their incandescent wall sconces with superbright blue LED strip lighting. These are at sconce-height (about eight feet off the floor) along the entire length of the auditorium. They're overly bright, don't dim with the house lights, and are incredibly annoying. Throughout the whole movie I had a blue glare in my peripheral, not to mention the blue wash on the screen which muddled any dark scenes. They're bright enough to cast shadows as if it were a full moon night. I hope this isn't a company wide trend. Has anyone else seen these? I only have two other theatres in town and they're both Regals. I literally would stop going to the movies if these lights show up at the other two locations.

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Cory Isemann
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 500
From: White Plains, MD, USA
Registered: Jun 2004


 - posted 01-06-2006 03:21 PM      Profile for Cory Isemann   Author's Homepage   Email Cory Isemann   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've never seen that... I thought the sconces were supposed to dim with the other lights.

Do you have any pictures?

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Adam Wilbert
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 590
From: Bellingham, WA, USA
Registered: Mar 2002


 - posted 01-06-2006 03:23 PM      Profile for Adam Wilbert   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Wilbert   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was watching for it, and didn't notice any dimming. I don't think LEDs can dim. Aren't they either on or off?

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 01-06-2006 03:32 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
LEDs can dim. Light output varies with current.

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Dominic Espinosa
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1172
From: Boulder Creek, CA.
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 01-06-2006 04:00 PM      Profile for Dominic Espinosa   Email Dominic Espinosa   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw this at another Regal somewhere. I can't remember where.
I agree. They're annoying as all hell.
The problem is that LED lighting is too harsh. Incandescant is the way to go!

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17687
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 01-06-2006 05:00 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Last month a theater I service installed 12V led aisle lighting. They were so freakin' bright that when you killed all other lighting the screen glowed blue! During the movie, all of the colors were off. It was horrible.

I went to Home Depot and picked up a generic 600W incandescent dimmer and cranked them down. Works fine now and they are still plenty bright. Cost was about $10.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12447
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-06-2006 05:44 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Our seats have LED lights at the ends of the aisles. They are on a dimmer that looks just like a wall switch but has a small slider right next to the switch to dim the lights. Works great.

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 01-06-2006 09:39 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Brad Miller
I went to Home Depot and picked up a generic 600W incandescent dimmer and cranked them down. Works fine now and they are still plenty bright. Cost was about $10.


Not sure what supplying the dimmer's SCR-chopped AC to a step down transformer in the 12-volt power supply will do. Probably okay, but be sure nothing is heating up abnormally.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10702
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 01-06-2006 09:55 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The people installing those LED systems probably just bought some cheapo trash. Or they screwed up and installed LED components meant for outdoor use but put them indoors. Outdoor rated LEDs are much brighter.

If you want LED lighting that is fully controllable, dimmable and very kick ass, Color Kinetics should be the first choice. They have products for ambient lighting, effects lighting, custom concept developments, color changing signage and more. Check the showcase link to see a wide range of examples of what their products can do.

LED lighting sure isn't crap (generally speaking). More and more of the channel letter signs my company makes are being lighted using LED systems. Neon is holding on in popularity, but mainly in exposed glass tube use. LED can't convincingly imitate that look.

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David Buckley
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 522
From: Oxford, N. Canterbury, New Zealand
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted 01-07-2006 12:11 AM      Profile for David Buckley   Author's Homepage   Email David Buckley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Bobby Henderson
Color Kinetics should be the first choice
Thats an interesting opinion; it is true they have some nice product, but their competency is is using the patent mechanism to prevent innovation and competition rather than actually doing anything original. All of which would be fine if they had something innovative and had patented it, but what they actually did was get a patent for technology that was in use prior to their patent application.

One of those companies it is better to avoid giving one's custom to.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10702
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 01-07-2006 12:45 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Color Kinetics isn't patenting LEDs and basic principals of their use. Companies like Daktronics, Barco, Lektron and more are still able to make everything from color video message centers for football stadiums to border lighting for the canopies on Sonic Drive-In restaurants without running afoul of CK's patents.

Color Kinetics patents lie in the computer-based controllers for their specific products. They have a lot of stuff that is completely unique. They have a lighted tile system that can be fully animated. Wynn Casino put in a huge installation based on that product. If only that were around when "Saturday Night Fever" were made John Travolta's dancing on lights thing would have been quite a bit more cool looking.

Color Kinetics also deserves to patent and protect their unique products. The LED business is an extremely competitive business, particularly with a lot of Chinese firms trying to infringe every patent or at least try to price cut competitors out of business. Pretty easy to do when you have the state to subsidize the operation.

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Brad Allen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 688
From: Evansville, IN, USA
Registered: May 2000


 - posted 01-07-2006 01:36 PM      Profile for Brad Allen   Email Brad Allen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Bobby, what kind of life do these type of fixtures have?

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David Buckley
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 522
From: Oxford, N. Canterbury, New Zealand
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted 01-07-2006 02:32 PM      Profile for David Buckley   Author's Homepage   Email David Buckley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Bobby Henderson
Color Kinetics isn't patenting LEDs and basic principals of their use
Well, yes they are. OK, not LEDs themselves, but the basic principles of LED use in entertainment lighting.

"Everyone knows" that PWM is the way to control LED intensity, but CK hold a patent on that.

CK also have a patent that covers using DMX512 to control LED lighting. "Everyone knows" that DMX512 is the universal way that lighting is controlled, but nope, CK have patented that.

There is plenty of innovation out there, and CK do some of that too, but these patents are not about advancing the state of the art. Given the choice, I'd shop elsewhere.

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

Posts: 4428
From: prospect ky usa
Registered: Mar 2005


 - posted 01-07-2006 04:48 PM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
No patent will "hold up" if there is "prior art." Louis

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10702
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 01-07-2006 07:36 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Brad Allen
Bobby, what kind of life do these type of fixtures have?
If you left the LEDs on at full power and never turned them off any decent LED system should give you at least 10 to 12 years of life. Naturally no one is going to leave the things on at full brightness 24 hours per day. So its safe to say you could get 20 years or more out of a fixture provided no one vandalized it or impacted it.

Don't know about the life span of the computer controller systems Color Kinetics sells.

quote: David Buckley
Well, yes they are. OK, not LEDs themselves, but the basic principles of LED use in entertainment lighting.
If Color Kinetics had a full corner on the market then a huge number of other companies making LED-based products for border lighting and ambient lighting purposes would not even be in business.

As far as the patents go, I say congratulations to Color Kinetics for getting them. The LED business is sadistically dog eat dog. What they did is no different than Dolby Labs patenting their technologies, or Adobe getting a hoard of patents for what they did in Photoshop. They deserve to be able to make a living off of providing a great product.

But if that is too much of a problem, I'm absolutely sure there's about 188,943,788 companies in China offering patent infringing equivalents for a lot less money. Lord knows our government could not care less about enforcing patent or copyright protections -at least when Chinese government sponsored operations are doing the infringing.

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