Throwback: Gallons of Light

Christopher Law from SpringHill Camps brings us these bucket lights. (Originally posted August 2013)

The main element, the matrix backdrop, was constructed from 3.5 gallon buckets with standard lamp bases mounted in the bottom of each. A lattice of 1″x3″ wood was constructed so that buckets were friction fitted into the lattice with screws securing them.

A single G30 100W half silver dipped lamp was used in each of the buckets. These were driven by 112 dimmer channels made up of house circuits, a 36 channel dimmer rack and a number of dimmer packs. The front of the matrix was covered with scrim so it appeared as a solid wall when not in use and allowed them to throw color and patterns at it for transitions and speaking.

The second level/ramps/drum riser was built by their construction department with standard stage decks placed on top.

A kabuki drop was used for the opening element which they used as a projection surface during countdown and which then dropped to reveal the stage and band. They used it again in a later session as a double drop midway though the session. These drops and the lighting elements can be seen in the video.

IMG_0388 IMG_0441 IMG_0622 mi_wtr_2013_wk6_photo_0285 mi_wtr_2013_wk6_photo_0287 mi_wtr_2013_wk6_photo_0288

15 responses to Throwback: Gallons of Light

  1. Michael WInders August 14, 2013 at 10:28 am

    What was the cost of this Set. It is really well done and looks like something I would do.

  2. Do you have any pictures of the lattice bucket project? I would like to see how it looks in construction or even an up close picture of it? Thank :) Great job though on the entire set, turned out great and I love the countdown kabuki drop opener, fantastic reveal!

  3. Michael- Buckets were $1 from craigslist, bulbs about $1.20 from bulbtonics, the majority of the sockets were already purchased from other projects. We made 2′ lamp cord jumpers to go between the buckets and the dimmers one of the big box hardware stores had lamp cord 2 conductor plugs which I think were around $.50 each. The frame for the whole thing was scrap wood. All in all I think we spend around $1000 or less excluding the kabuki sewing and drop system. We had a number of dimmers but were purchasing packs for no more than $40 from ebay/craigslist.

    Desiree- If you send me an email ( I’ll be more than happy to get you a pic or two.

  4. I noticed you dont have a drum shield set up. The kit seems pretty close to the front row how is the cymbal noise and overal drum spillage? I love the way it looks without an ugly drum cage.

    • Rob- I’m not a big fan of shields from an aesthetic and audio quality standpoint. We do have to put one up occasionally for loud drummers or younger age groups. Our room is very well treated acoustically almost to the point of being too dead and we also run in the 100-105 dBSPL-A range at FOH. We are primarily do youth events.

  5. Who is that band in the picture? Their cute.

  6. What lighting controller did you use? Thanks! Keith

  7. Could you share in a little more detail the hardware and software used for the lighting?
    You guys did an amazing job with this.

  8. Keith & Sheldon… The backdrop, kabuki, intel & conventional lighting was all run from a Jands Vista i3 running version 2.2. We ran the majority of the even cued but take manual control for some sections. Everything was interconnected via DMX. The kabuki fell using long pull dryer solenoids connected to a dimmer pack (solenoid pulleld a pin, allowed a tube to twist, kabuki fell).

    The Vista lets you map a matrix across anything. The bucket lights were on some of our house circuits (Universe 1) and dimmer packs/racks (Universe 2).

  9. This all looks really fun. I love the huge light wall in the background.

  10. A point of clarification….

    When you say some were on UNV1 and some were one UNV 2…would you please elaborate on the dimmers that were used? I am sort of seeing how this works, but I need just a bit more “under the hood” if you will.

    btw….looks AWE…..wait for it……SOME!!!

  11. Will,

    We run a Jands Vista i3 console that has physical outputs (2048 channels) Like some other modern lighting consoles it allows you to grab any number or type of fixtures conventional or moving and map and effect or chase across them regardless of what universe they are connected to.

    For this set we use some house dimming off UNV1, dimmer packs and intels off UNV2, and a 36 channel dimmer rack ran off UNV3, all 100 some channels were made into a MATRIX FIXTURE and we were off and running.

    In our situation..

    Universe 1 only connects to our ETC dimming rack for all 192 channels of conventional dimming and power distribution.

    Universe 2 is distributed across our room and is intended for intelligent/led/dimmer pack control

    Universe 3 is a home run line from FOH to a box next to our 200A 3 phase disconnect switch. This gets used if we had a show come in that had their lighting or if we needed to add additional dimmers, in the case of the set listed above.

  12. Do you have any pictures of the back of the set, as well as the kabuki system? I have an idea of how your system worked, but want to see if I’m right.

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