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Par Can questions


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#1 Jamie Lewis

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 09:08 AM

I've seen people mention par cans a few times on here as a cheap way to get a lot of light. I have a few questions.

How hot do par 56 and 64's get?

I'm assuming since they come out of a tube they're pretty directional, would using a wide flood alleviate this to a good extent?

Is there a minimum distance that they should be used because of the throw?

Has anyone used the LED versions of these, and if so, how bright were they and did you need a controller?

That's all for now. I'll probably have more questions pop into my head.

Also, has anyone bought from www.cheaplights.com? That looks like the place I'll be getting them from if I choose to do so.
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#2 David Desio

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 09:29 AM

I've seen people mention par cans a few times on here as a cheap way to get a lot of light. I have a few questions.

How hot do par 56 and 64's get?

I'm assuming since they come out of a tube they're pretty directional, would using a wide flood alleviate this to a good extent?

Is there a minimum distance that they should be used because of the throw?

Has anyone used the LED versions of these, and if so, how bright were they and did you need a controller?

That's all for now. I'll probably have more questions pop into my head.

Also, has anyone bought from www.cheaplights.com? That looks like the place I'll be getting them from if I choose to do so.


As far as how hot they get, I wouldn't touch them without gloves if they've been running.
As for flooding, I'm not so sure you can control flood/spot with these particular lights. Pretty much just turn them on and point.
As for minimum distance, again they have gotten pretty hot so I would guess that using your best judgement for the safety of your actors would do.

Anyone feel free to elaborate and correct me if I'm wrong.
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#3 David Auner aac

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 09:32 AM

How hot do par 56 and 64's get?

I'm assuming since they come out of a tube they're pretty directional, would using a wide flood alleviate this to a good extent?

Is there a minimum distance that they should be used because of the throw?


Hi Jamie,

yes, they do get hot when running long periods, but not that hot on the outside of the housing. But be careful when using VNSP globes, these burn holes into gels pretty quickly. When asking for minimum distance are you asking talent or gels?

Yes, the spot globes are really directional, the WFLs have a wider throw. But when using them to light talent or evenly colored surfaces be sure to use some kind of diffusion. The bare bulb makes a pretty ugly light and you'll have hot spots.

And be aware that there are PAR 64 par cans with the long tube and PAR 64 without. Same goes all the other types AFAIK.

HTH, Dave
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#4 Jamie Lewis

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 09:49 AM

David A, distance from actors/actresses and I guess from the gels also. But I think I would be using them for mostly lighting the backgrounds though and other crevices. I have 2 600w Smith-Victors and 1 250w Lowel Pro that I'll use as my primary source.

Right now I'm looking at the longer ones but wouldn't the shorter ones be less directional and therefore more versatile?

Thanks for the responses guys.

Edited by Jamie Lewis, 08 July 2008 - 09:50 AM.

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#5 David Auner aac

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 12:11 PM

David A, distance from actors/actresses and I guess from the gels also. But I think I would be using them for mostly lighting the backgrounds though and other crevices.

Right now I'm looking at the longer ones but wouldn't the shorter ones be less directional and therefore more versatile?


Well, as stated above, the spotty globes burn through dense gels rather quickly. Also try holding your hand in front of one of these. They do have a hot light, so back them away from anything combustible just to be sure and from talent to ensure their comfort

I have 6 PAR64 cans am pretty happy with them. Very versatile and putting out a lot of light. I also own 4 PAR56, the short variant. Also useful to light background and the like. I don't really find these to be more versatile due to their shorter build, but it's harder to compare these since I have no PAR64 short or PAR56 long.

Cheers, Dave
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#6 Jamie Lewis

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 09:30 PM

Got ya, Dave! Thanks for the insight!
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#7 David Auner aac

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 01:31 AM

Oh, and of course it depends on the wattage of the globes. E.g. you can put in 500W globes in a PAR64 as well, there a number of different wattages for every size. I haven't used the LED variant yet.

Cheers, Dave
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#8 JD Hartman

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 09:38 AM

Also remember that the shape of the beam of a par can is roughly rectangular, not round as the beam of a fresnel would be. Thats why the cans have the ability to rotate the lamp indepandant of the housing, so you can make small adjustments in coverage. Don't waste you money on barndoors, they are somewhat ineffective.
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#9 Jamie Lewis

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 09:40 AM

Here are the specs for the LED ones. Foot candles: 86.4 @ 1 meter, Lux: 930 @ 1 meter.

I don't know squat about foot candles other than the obvious "the more foot candles the brighter," and leds. Compared to say a 250w and a 600w tungsten, how bright are these? Also, since there are three colors (r,g,B) does that make a white light impossible?

Edited by Jamie Lewis, 09 July 2008 - 09:44 AM.

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