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The Benefits of Permanent Stage Lighting Installation vs. Event Rentals

stage lighting

Are the frequent rentals of stage lighting gear for your events making you question the value of a permanent installation? Let's explore the advantages that permanent stage lighting offers over the traditional approach of event rentals.


1. Lifespan Advantage

LED fixtures, designed for long-lasting performance, have become the backbone of permanent installations. Investing in and installing these fixtures ensures a lighting solution with remarkable longevity, delivering sustained brilliance for as long as 50,000 hours, or 10 to 25 years, depending how often they are utilized.


2. Cost Savings

Consider the scale of your venue and your stage lighting needs. The total expense of renting stage lighting equipment on a monthly basis for one year can be 3x the cost of a single permanent installation that will last you twenty.


The cost of renting a single LED stage light fixture typically ranges from $35 to $165 per day, depending on the fixture brand and type. In order for a stage to be properly illuminated, the stage needs anywhere from 30 to 70 fixtures. Taking the average of the fixtures' cost and amount needed, the total for a one-day rental would be roughly $5,000. Say you have a 3-day show, four times a year. That's $60,000 for the year! Let's compare the price with an example of a recently installed project of ours.


At Old Bridge High School, we executed a comprehensive theater upgrade which included the installation of a new audio system, projection package, and a power and DMX control infrastructure package for stage lighting. The stage lighting package featured the furnishing and installation of 10 fixed LED spotlight and 8 LED fresnel fixtures for the front of house position, 6 fixed LED spotlight fixtures for the box boom positions, 30 fixed LED PAR light fixtures for the electric 1-3 positions, and 6 moving LED PAR light fixtures for the electric 4 position; a total of 60 LED stage lighting fixtures.


This package also included the ETC Ion XE 20 digital console to control the entire lighting system with customizable presets, remote processors and interfaces, and add-on wings as well as DMX response gateways and a wall-mounted touchscreen for even more portable control. The total of this entire package including the installation, programming, and training was $167,708. The theater's versatility as a multi-purpose space ensures its frequent use, solidifying this investment as a wise financial decision for the foreseeable future.


3. Code and Safety Compliance

Permanent installations are subject to inspections and annual maintenance, ensuring compliance with safety codes and regulations. This not only enhances the safety of the venue but also provides peace of mind for both venue operators and event organizers.


4. Everyday Usage

Unlike event rentals, which are typically installed for specific shows or events with short durations, permanent installations offer the flexibility of everyday use. This adaptability is particularly beneficial for venues with frequent events or performances. If your stage is within a school's all-purpose room, you can enhance even the smallest of experiences, like an assembly or meeting to keep the engagement high.


5. Integration Capabilities

Permanent installations can seamlessly integrate with existing infrastructure such as the house light controls and audiovisual systems, creating a cohesive operational environment where lighting, sound, and visual elements work together harmoniously and efficiently. These integrations reduce the need for separate setups and configurations for each event, saving time for those who operate them.


6. Control Relay System

The implementation of a control relay system in permanent installations allows for efficient energy management. A control relay system protects the circuit current, eliminating the need for users to manually isolate or change the state of an electric circuit by incorporating a control relay. This system de-energizes the lighting system when not in use, contributing to both energy conservation and cost savings.


7. Reliability During Events

Permanent systems, including the wiring infrastructure and rigging, offer a higher level of reliability during events. This not only safeguards the circuit current and fixture installation, but also ensures consistent and flawless lighting performances.


8. Infrastructure Flexibility

The permanent power and DMX infrastructure laid during installation pave the way for future system changes, upgrades, and expansions if needed. This adaptability ensures that the lighting system can evolve along with the changing needs of the venue.


All in all, the advantages of permanent stage lighting installations are multi-faceted, ranging from cost considerations to enhanced safety and operational efficiency. As venues increasingly prioritize longevity and flexibility, the trend towards permanent installations is likely to continue shaping the future of stage lighting solutions. Depending on your stage lighting usage, you should consider the advantages of a permanent installation.

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