Uplighting Alternatives – Room Washes With Fewer Fixtures & LSF

August 28, 2017 by Brian S. Redd

I was talking to this friend of mine who does uplighting in banquet halls for maybe up to 200 people and he uses 36 LED fixtures to achieve this. I said to him, look, with 36 fixtures, you can’t possibly be creating focal point in a room anywhere. All you’re really doing is evenly spacing 36 fixtures around the room and essentially creating a blue room. He said, yeah, but my clients like blue rooms. Now, that got me thinking. There’s probably an easier way to create a blue room where you can use like maybe one to six fixtures. Now, one way to do this would be to use large, LED fixtures and what’s called LSF or light shaping filters.

So for demonstration purposes, today everybody get a look at this handsome boy right here. This is the 18P Hex. It has 18, twelve watt hex LEDs inside so you get red, green, blue, amber, white and UV. That’s 216 watts total or 38 watts per color. It’s quite bright. And this is an example of a light shaping filter or LSF. It’s about the same size as the fixture. I’m going to show you how to install this a little later, but first, let me show you the effect.

All right, so here is our light shining a spot on the wall. Let’s go ahead and take the filter, put it in front of the fixture and see what happens. Look at that. All right. So we’re in my backyard. It’s a little after 4:00 in the morning. Sun is coming up over the lake. Real quick, here’s our fixture. I’m going to go ahead and turn it on and give you a color. Look at that white. You can see that 25 degree spot hitting the things that it’s hitting, creating kind of a circle. Notice to the right of the screen, it’s pretty dark. Now, let’s go ahead and add our light shaping filter to the front of this fixture and see what happens. Look at that. Everything is lit up. You can see the fence just fine. It’s increased the beam angle to 60 degree.

So if you like the light shaping filter option and you want to use it, on most of these LED fixtures you get a gel casing like this and in the old days, we used to put colors in here, because this was a white light and that’s how we’d create whatever color we wanted to project or wash onto the dance floor. Now, today we can use these for the light shaping filters. Now, these come in all kinds of different shapes and sizes. This is a square. You can get these in rolls as well. So all you have to do is cut it to fit and in this case, look at that. It’s almost made for it. But what I want to do is just cut the corners off here to neaten it up a little bit.

Okay, now it looks like this. All we have to do is slip it into the gel casing. Yes, I do everything awkward, one handed, so forgive me. Okay, look at that. Nice and neat, no corners sticking out. Now, all you have to do is put it on your fixture and you’re all set and you can put it on here, lock it and leave it or remove it if you don’t want it. It’s that easy. Now, this LSF technique can be used for virtually any LED par fixture, even bars. You can widen that beam angle to 60 degrees with a simple light shaping filter. The cool part about the 18P Hex is that you can do probably a gymnasium, which is one of those lights, if you aim it right. If you’re aiming it in maybe a little different fashion, you may need multiples, but you know, it all depends on what you do as a lighting designer and what effect you want to achieve.

Regardless, you’re not going to need 36 of these to do anything unless you want to light up, I don’t know, a huge stadium somewhere. This is a lot of light. But again, you can do this with smaller fixtures. You don’t need to go with the big, giant light to do this. You can use smaller ones. Widen that beam angle and create wash. You can also do it with [inaudible] you can do it with a lot of things. If you want to see more videos on this technique, let me know in the comments section. We’ll play around with a couple different fixtures, go to some spaces and see what we can do.

Thanks for watching. Questions, answers, practice and enjoy.


Brian S. Redd Brian S. Redd (7 Posts)

Although he can be seen Djing in places like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or even the UK & Europe, DJ Brian Redd is proud to call Milwaukee home. Brian specializes in mobile events such as wedding receptions, corporate events, quinceañeras, parties and special occasions. He has also been a resident DJ at several major Milwaukee night clubs and also performs at Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival. From the beginning Brian has had a passion for music. His talent emerged at the young age of 13 when he was asked to DJ at a local skating rink. After realizing his calling he progressed on to weddings and mobile gigs and by age 18 he was DJing regularly at nightclubs. He understands people & what motivates them music wise, which helps keep them on the dance floor. Brian has been recognized for his work in various DJ publications both domestic and abroad. He has made a name for himself in the DJ community where he is known and respected as an industry consultant. This recognition has led to his contributions as a writer for Disc Jockey News. A true international DJ, Brian travels worldwide to not only perform but to educate and share industry ideas and concepts with DJs everywhere. His career has gone to the next level working with industry leading manufactures bringing new products and services to his peers helping them become better DJs.

Filed Under: Lighting