Blinder Towers

Josh Ferris from Praise Church in Beaumont, TX brings us these small towers of blinder lamps.

They wanted the feel of incandescent without the cost associated with commercially available products. The most complex issue was designing a system that would allow a certain degree of mapping without requiring a ridiculous amount of dimming. Due to cost, conventional rack dimmers were ruled out fairly quickly. So they started researching low amperage products leading them to the Doug Fleenor DMX24DIM.

Further calculations indicated that by using 45w lamps, they could stack (2) lamps on each dimmer circuit, although barely. Assuming a purchase of (2) DMX24DIM units, they landed on a final count of (48) dimmer channels with (2) lamps per dimmer circuit distributed across (16) vertical towers.

Having seen a few other churches successfully use clamp lights for this type of application, they knew that was the direction to go. However, having overbuilt their fair share of stage props, they were dedicated to engineering a lightweight and sturdy framework. The idea of using 1/2″ EMT (conduit) came quickly, but building an appropriate base took some trial and error. In the end, the towers were very lightweight, quite stable, and sturdy enough to handle an occasional collision from band members.

Material List:

(2) Doug Fleenor DMX24DIM
(96) Clamp Lights
(96) 45w flood lamps
(96) 2 prong AC plugs (Edison)
(2000) ft 18/2 zip cord
(32) 10′ 1/2″ EMT
(1) case flat black spray paint
(20) ft 10/3 SOOW cable (dimmer supply)
(24) ft 2×8 (bases)
(32) ft 1×4 (bases)
(6) people on project
(120) total man hours

Towers1 Towers2 Towers3 Towers5 Towers6.JPG Towers4.JPG

23 responses to Blinder Towers

  1. did u program the lights?can u send me the plan of the the whole lighting setup as i would love to do a similar project…thanks email:

  2. Can u send me the plan of the the whole lighting setup as well; I would really like to do this stage design. Thanks.

  3. Id also like to be included in the Setup email, if possible.
    Definitely looking to do this for our youth conference.
    Looks really great.

  4. I would like the plans as well if possible… This looks great!

  5. Guys, I don’t have anything to send you, but if you’ve got specific questions send me something on email or twitter and I’ll hit you back. Thanks for the compliments!

  6. Hi!
    You could show a picture of how you connected all the dimmer?
    I would like to see the dimmer you used and how you connected each tower to have a clear idea of how are you distributing electricity.
    Thanks from now!

    • Cesar – our dimmers are buried under our stage, but here’s a picture of the exact dimmer we used, it’s a Doug Fleenor Design DMX24.

      In this picture you can see where each of the 24 circuits terminate with a simple 2-prong Edison plug. We cut the plugs off the clamp lights, wired pairs of them in parallel, and ran zip cord directly back to the dimmers. Dimmers are hardwired to dedicated 20A circuits.

      Hope that helps. Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any other questions:

  7. Was wondering if you were able to control with a dmx controller? How was that wired

    • John, the dimmers have native DMX in/out, so we simply placed them in our existing DMX circuit. Dip switches are used to set the address; once that’s done it drops into your DMX console/controller like any other multi-channel fixture. Hope that helps!

  8. Would you mind sending me more information about this set up..

  9. Can I call anyone for help concerning this layout?

  10. could you tell me what those LED strips you’re using are called?

    • Hey Jordan – those are American DJ Mega Tri Bars. They’re fairly inexpensive and have worked well for us.

  11. What specific bulbs did you get? I.e indoor? Outdoor?

  12. What are those green beams next to the blue tri bars. What are the beams called

  13. Hey Josh- Do you remember how many watts those long neck floods were?? Thanks

  14. What type/size clamp light did you use? Thanks

  15. NS – Power Zone PZ-300 8 1/2 Inch Clamp Light

  16. Do you happen to still have the full plan for this project with materials?? I would love to use this!!

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