DIY Moving Head Spotlight PAR RGB-LED

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A project to light up the scene of an independent music-festival. The goal is to get 12 small moving heads with a narrow spotlights to create a big effect on stage.

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zero ohm wrote 05/01/2014 at 22:19 point
Like the project especially the commands to run the pan-tilt with DMX. could you share or link me to this info.

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Tim Gremalm wrote 04/16/2014 at 08:02 point
We started out this project without any funding, so our main goal has been to make it as cheap as possible. So far it looks like we're going to make it to half of the market-price for a similar moving head.
I don't think it have been worth the time and effort, it's almost as cheap to buy a commercial one. That's maybe why we don't see many projects like this.

Regarding the lighting, the last few months I've been researching different kind of LEDs and optics.
Our goal is to get really narrow spotlight, maybe 6-10 degrees, and it's really hard to get a narrow beam like that.

There exists a few models of 5/10mm hole mounted LEDs with build in focusing-optics right into the housing ( Those LEDs makes a narrow ~13degree beam which is nice, but the RGB-colors are separated.
When you build an array of small LEDs like this it's working quite well, but it's not a perfect spotlight as it casts RGB-shadows (like this
Another bad thing with smaller LEDs are that it's hard to get bright enough. If I were to but in 192 5mm LEDs it would only give me 15W of LED power.

Another LED-type that I've looked into is big 50W LED-arrays ( with complementing 78mm lenses.
These types of LED-arrays give out it's own LED-pattern when focused narrow enough. You can solve this by adding a diffuser close to the LED-array.
But you would have to add two 78mm lenses to focus down the beam. The narrow beam is the best so far, really crisp and around 6 degrees.
The bad thing is that it weights to much for my small construction, and also it brings upp the cost per unit really much.
Another bad thing is that you'll need active cooling, which also adds to the weight. I used an ordinary CPU-cooler for desktop-computers.

The latest LED-type I've tried is 3W Star High Power RGB (
Ontop of that I've placed a special lens called a Collimating lens. Collimating lenses are directing beams from different angles straight into a column of light, it's best described by this picture (
The lens I tried also have a built in reflector (
This is the best solution for my project so far. I weighs almost nothing, gives me 50W of power in an array of 16 LEDs.
A negative thing about the collimating lens is the beam is much more fuzzy than the two above LED-types. It gives out a narrow beam, but there is a lot of light leaking through around the beam.

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Eric Evenchick wrote 04/17/2014 at 21:51 point
I've wanted to play around with some more powerful LEDs for a while, and this is a really nice overview of what ones to look at. Thanks!

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zack wrote 04/18/2014 at 12:39 point
Wow, great info, thanks! I'm looking forward to seeing this project evolve!

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zack wrote 04/16/2014 at 03:25 point
I really like this project, it's somewhat rare to see self-made fixtures (most projects seem to be only about controllers). I've always wondered about the trade off between many small LEDs compared to a few higher intensity ones with added optics. I assume color mixing is easier with many small LEDs, though I do remember some companies making fixtures with a single high intensity white LED with a CMY wheel in front.

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