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scottylmt
07-17-2012, 10:09 AM
If you are setting up in a parking lot, or a plot of land that hasn't been built on (like where a fireworks tent would be) what do you do for power?

Is there a way for the power company to hook up a temporary power source, or would you need to run generators?

Also, those of you with outdoor haunts, what do YOU do for power?

Thanks.

Frightener
07-17-2012, 10:43 AM
I've seen small haunts in parking lots be solely off of generators, but they were smart in using only 2 fog machines and almost all LED lighting. Almost no pneumatics except for ankle ticklers and one face blaster. But the haunt was still very fun.


About the temporary power, I would have to say at least around here, I doubt they'd do something like that, but you never know until you call and ask.


Dewayne

BigT
07-17-2012, 11:29 AM
Generators, or at least one large generator. When we do outside concerts we typically get a generator on wheels that will power an entire show, but these get expensive and you probably don't need that much power. If you use LED lights you should be able to do quite a bit with a 5Kw generator.

scottylmt
07-17-2012, 12:01 PM
Ok that's what I was thinking. Thanks guys.

Frightener, that's funny because that's almost exactly what im drawing up! As for the lighting, im wanting to do the whole thing in 12dc landscape lights (credit Brother M for that one) and possibly a couple standard power strobes.

rfsystems
07-17-2012, 09:13 PM
Most power companies will hookup to a temporary power pole but it is generally up to you as the customer to provide the pole and everything after the meter base. (some will sell you their meter base or tell you what brand and type they require) I'd call and ask about it. Other than paying someone to put together the temp pole, the cost has to be cheaper than gas for the month you'll be open. Wiegh your options before you commit to building everything AC or DC. Just a thought...

Jim Warfield
07-18-2012, 12:25 AM
I have rebuilt, repaired those dam things so many times and right now half of them look like crap, don't work. I have used screws to hold them together, this helped some. My problem , I think, are Raccoon/vandals.
My newest 12 volt lights use the old socket now inside a metal hex electrical box with a thick plexiglass lense over the open end, all screwed to the metal walls, using steel conduit to run between the lights. I estimate a very large Raccoon could hang on this system without it falling of the wall or disturbing my lighting.
So There! Nah!"

BrotherMysterio
07-18-2012, 12:27 AM
If you use LED lights you should be able to do quite a bit with a 5Kw generator.

Okay, so, let's assume that that's what we want to do. What does that entail? How much would it be, what would be fuel costs, and how would we go about it logistically?


As for the lighting, im wanting to do the whole thing in 12dc landscape lights (credit Brother M for that one) and possibly a couple standard power strobes.

:D


Most power companies will hookup to a temporary power pole but it is generally up to you as the customer to provide the pole and everything after the meter base. (some will sell you their meter base or tell you what brand and type they require) I'd call and ask about it. Other than paying someone to put together the temp pole, the cost has to be cheaper than gas for the month you'll be open. Wiegh your options before you commit to building everything AC or DC. Just a thought...

And as with the generator option above, same questions.

C.

scottylmt
07-18-2012, 11:49 AM
In my research I have found that 5kw generators run $800-3000 new. The more expensive ones seem to be propane and the reviews say those are MUCH quieter and reliable. I haven't been able to find anything about gas costs.

So far, the best reviews have been from BEEM propane generators. Many of the reviewers have said their BEEM has been much better and less hassle than any other, and have owned multiple generators.

Rfsystems, thanks for the reply. I will def look into the ac option. Seems like there might be a bit more red tape and safety concerns that way, but it might be more convenient as far as wiring.

Jim, do you remember the make/model of your new, more reliable lights?

Also I would like to second B mysterio's question on cost of gas.

Thanks guys.

BigT
07-18-2012, 04:54 PM
Gas generators are more expensive to run. The gas lasts for about 8 hours in mine, but you have to change the oil every 24 hours as well. If you run every night for 5 hours, you'll be changing the oil every day (most generators have an oil cutoff switch so they just stop running when the viscosity gets low). As mentioned previously propane is a better way to go but these are more expensive.

The lighting simply plugs into the generator. LED lights use a transformer (AC Adaptor) so you plug them into a 110 outlet on the generator. You would still have to run wiring but I use speaker wire for my lighting runs instead of extension cords. That way I am running all low voltage stuff throughout the haunt to a central point where I have AC. Dark Light has a great set of LED lights as well as accessories for connecting them to a power source. These work great for small areas but if you want to light a larger area, you will need larger lighting.

Depending on the area you want to light and the length of the "throw" (distance from the light source) you may need to use "par cans" for lighting large areas. They can be put outside, and you can use different wattage lamps in them for the amount of area you want to light. I have used anything from 300W to 2500W in these. Color is provided by adding a "gel" to the front of the fixture (Iw as pleased to see my friends from Rosco at TW this year). Rosco has a huge selection of these gels with every color you could possibly think of.

Hope that helps out!

scottylmt
07-18-2012, 06:24 PM
Ok that's really close to what I've been drawing up, so im on the right track thanks to these forums.

Travis, are THESE the lights you're referring to?
http://www.darklightsystem.com/precision-z-pro/

If so, ouch. Lol $60 a pop will add up quick.

Using speaker wire to wire all the lights is a great idea btw, you can get spools of that very inexpensively.


I've read that with propane generators, your tank needs to be much larger than you think. Something about the initial burn when starting up, and how much stuff is drawing on it when it starts? Does anybody know more about that? Ex: what size tank would one need for a 5kw generator?

Also, on gas I've read you need to draw less than 80% capacity if running for long periods of time. Also not to get too big of one for what you need. Is this true with propane as well?

Thanks again for all the help.

BigT
07-19-2012, 04:17 PM
Yeah Darklight Z-series is what I use for general wash. They are a little pricey, but not when you consider the alternative. If you use a par 64, you will pay around $35 for the can and lamp, plus you need to wire it using extension cords or run AC. Not to mention the cost of the electricity to run those things (even a 300W lamp runs a lot of current when you think about having a bunch of them). I decided last year to make the investment in LED lighting, and glad I did because it saved me in wiring, and in electricity. It also eliminates the issues of heat.

With standard par cans you have a real heat problem and you have to be careful where you mount them. LEDs produce little to no heat so they can go most anywhere. Plus it gives you ultimate control over your light. With par cans you get a lot of back splash, and in some scenes you might have to use aluminum wrap to get rid of the back-splash (they make a black aluminum wrap just for this purpose). I make my own LEd lights for up-close spotlights where I want to highlight specific things like portraits, or certain props. They blend in real well with the set, and again, can be wired using speaker wire.

I saw someone earlier posted they use low voltage garden lighting. I wired my yard with those and still have a bunch of supplies in the garage but will never use them again. The sockets are not well made and the lamps go out constantly (or the sockets get hot and corrode, breaking the circuit). I thought about using those systems but glad I went with something else.

scottylmt
07-20-2012, 10:57 AM
Very interesting about the heat issue disrupting the circuit. Is there a less expensive, LED alternative to the darklight series you would recommend for a first year outdoor haunt?

I've been shopping them for a while and found this site...
http://autolumination.com/controllers.htm


Pretty cool its also got a large selection of 12volt LED STROBE lights. The whole site is all 12 volt!

BigT
07-20-2012, 07:38 PM
Cool site. I saw a few things in there I might use next year!

There are lots of cheaper LED lights out there but not in the professional series like Darklight. The difference is in the amount of light you get from their Z-pro series. Its pretty amazing. When we first started we used all kinds of things we hobbled together. Even those clamp-onlights you get at the hardware store (which I still use in some opt my scenes). I have always had a bunch of the par cans around given my work with bands and theaters, but they cost as much as an LED light.

scottylmt
07-21-2012, 02:02 PM
So im assuming the best thing to do is just start buying and experimenting...

Yeah, I've been holding onto that site for a couple weeks now and haven't had the excuse to share it here until now :)

Dark Tiki Studios
07-21-2012, 02:30 PM
Seems like I heard someone talking about running their outdoor haunted trail using car batteries, but I don't remember any details...

scottylmt
07-21-2012, 04:27 PM
Yeah I think I've seen that somewhere... and also remember they were talking about battery chargers...