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Upgrade your Border and Cyc Lights

As LED lighting continues to evolve and become more accepted, more and more customers approach VLS with questions about upgrading their fixtures. One of the most common questions we hear is, “Where do I start?” While LED alternatives are now available for every purpose and position in the theater, there is a common starting point for most performance spaces. We’ve found that beginning upstage and working your way downstage, and eventually into the house, provides immediate benefits and an easy way to stagger the upgrades over time. Replacing cyc lights and borderlights with LEDs is a great way to dive into the LED revolution, and it is more affordable than you think.

The Altman Spectra Strip is a capable replacement for traditional borderlights.

The Altman Spectra Strip is a capable LED alternative to traditional borderlights.


It’s Time To Replace Your Fixtures If ...

  • You’re tired of spending money on color filters that get ruined by the extreme heat of traditional cyc lights
  • You spend half your lighting budget on expensive, hard to find lamps for your old fixtures
  • You want to use less energy
  • You want more color choices

We’ve seen the cost of high wattage A-lamps and long neck BR lamps skyrocket in recent years as they are slowly phased out of production. Unfortunately, hanging on to older cyc and borderlight units will result in an increasing cost of ownership. Beyond lamp costs, there’s also the matter of buying and replacing gels as they inevitably melt or bleach out with regular use. The colored glass roundels found in most borderlights are also becoming more expensive, more difficult to locate, and more difficult to match to existing inventory. Before spending any more money on decades old lighting fixtures, consider the benefits of upgrading to LED cyc lights and borderlights.

ETC ColorSource Cyc lights offer powerful color-mixing and an affordable price tag.

ETC ColorSoource Cyc Lights are powerful and cost effective.


Once You Upgrade to LED Lighting Fixtures ...

  • You won’t have to spend money on color filters or lamps
  • You’ll have access to any color you can imagine
  • You will use significantly less energy to light the stage

Color mixing LEDs provide access to nearly limitless color palettes. Depending on your choice of fixtures, the LEDs may provide red, green, blue, white, amber, lime, even UV emitters. Mix them manually, choose a color from an onscreen spectrum, or pick familiar colors labeled by the make and designation number of traditional filters. You’ll also be decreasing your cost of ownership by drawing less power for your cyc and borderlights. Traditional incandescent cyc lights can draw as much energy as 1,000 watts per cell. Even the most powerful LED alternatives draw a maximum of 200W per unit. In a system consisting of five traditional 3 cell cycs, your maximum draw could be as high as 15,000 watts; but using LED’s you’ll be drawing 1,000 watts or less. To expand on that comparison, the traditional solution would require as many as 15 circuits (more if you have more units, or use 4 cell cycs) but the LED solution could operate from a single circuit. The other 14 circuits can now be used for supplementary lighting or redistributed to other lighting positions.

Additional Considerations

  • Traditional Cycs and borders are controlled by dimming the circuit to which they are connected. LED cyc and borderlights require constant power and a control signal to manipulate the color and intensity of the output.
  • While there are LED-based lamps that fit into some cyc and borderlight fixtures, they are rarely suitable for stage production. Most exhibit unpredictable “pop on” and “pop off” levels which are visually jarring and unpredictable during fades.

You can rely on the experts at Vincent Lighting Systems to provide an LED solution for your middle school, high school or college theater. Our sales staff and project department work closely with the top industry manufacturers to focus on an upgrade plan that suits your space, your needs and your budget.

Contact us today to see how easy it is to get more from your lighting system while saving money on upkeep and maintenance.