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Will 20 high brightness LEDs or a single high power LED be sufficient to create a visual "wash " of color on a band? Answered

A friend of mine recently asked me to make his shoegaze band a simple light "show."  Designing the control circuit was easy enough, but I need input on the actual lighting.  I'm attempting to keep the total cost low for them (under $75), so I'm restricted in that manner.  I've come to what seem like two potential solutions: numerous "high brightness" LEDs (normal through hole kind found on Digikey etc) per color, or a single high power LED (with lens) per color. 

So my question is this:  would either of those methods even produce enough light to wash a space perhaps 15-20 feet across with color?  The unit is going to be on the floor, in front of the band, and angled up slightly.  

Thanks for your help on a novice question.



Best Answer 7 years ago

You can't get past the immutable fact that lumens = lumens = lumens. If you need 1000 lumens of incandescent light to achieve an effect, you'll need 1000 lumens of led light to do the same. The advantage lies in that leds are more efficient.

So, look into the lumen output of real stage lighting, and see what baseline numbers you need for your project.

I recommend https://www.instructables.com/id/Circuits-for-using-High-Power-LED-s/ for efficient driving of high power leds

high power colour controllable setup...

Numbers to think of - you probably want in the range of 100 watts of led to really dazzle the effect. Scale the project accordingly.

Thanks! You've definitely set me on the right path.

Just a quick observation: What you're asking about is certainly better as portable stage lighting, but you should probably recheck whether that's the kind of light "show" your friend was asking for

There are a lot of traditional light-show effects which can be driven by slide projectors and the like (sometimes modified, sometimes just as a focused light source), or by lasers in some cases -mirrors and speakers/motors/galvanometers and optical components and... Edmund Scientific, back in the 60's and 70's, was a good source for cheap optical light-show stuff and for information about how to do some of the other psychedelic effects; unfortunately that all seems to have been lost when they were bought out. (I used to do some experimentation in that area; I still have a collection of 35mm slides that I reprocessed into abstract art.)

Great food for thought there! Unfortunately my friend just wants me to make something that washes them with a solid, changeable, color.

Thanks though, as I wasn't aware of those possibilities.

Check out my post on trad lightshow FX , under "light shows".