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Thread: Magician in need of a beam...

  1. #1

    Default Magician in need of a beam...

    So I'm not sure this is the place for this, but you all seem like you have an affinity for creating beams of light, and I thought I'd give it a shot.

    As the title says, I'm a magician, and I am looking to create a table capable of producing a short beam of light. I've been told that it would be pointlessly difficult, but I think otherwise. If I could get 2 feet, or even a single foot of somewhat of a visible beam, I'd be happy. Obviously with a little smoke or fog it would be easy enough to do, but would it be possible otherwise? I looked around the site and saw some pretty big lights. I don't need a 30" wide beam of light, but something that would be a little out of the norm... wider than a flashlight.

    I really have no clue. I'm usually rather handy, but never made any attempt to create something like this. Not sure if it would be possible to simply purchase something.

    Anyway, any thoughts?

    Thanks!

    -Nick-

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Magician in need of a beam...

    So you want a very focused but intense beam of light? Sounds like a Maxabeam to me. It would damn sure give you more than 2 foot of visible light though! (No fog or smoke necessary!)
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    *Flashaholic* Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Magician in need of a beam...

    According to your description, virtually any high output light will do including LEDs.

    Are you trying to limit the beam to only 2"?

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    Default Re: Magician in need of a beam...

    draw a picture of what you need


    do you want a column of light that stops at a certain height ? it is doable but you need a lot
    of $etup to pull that off (collimator and basically a hologram of a light column, and some way to display it)

    or just a strong upward beam ? that part is easy and all you need to worry about is optics to shape the beam.
    posted by jh333233
    Dont cheat me, im expert in using crap light

  5. #5

    Default Re: Magician in need of a beam...

    Hmm, I just typed out a response and it killed it for some reason. Weird.

    Anyway, thanks for the response. In the process of searching the forums, I came across the maxabeam, of course. It seems a little overkill and pricey, though I guess I could be fooling myself if I think I can get what I want without going crazy.

    I thought about putting together an array of super bright LEDs, but I didn't think I would be able to actually get a visible beam out of it.

    Here is a rough idea of what the stage will look like:



    If I could put a beam right to the ceiling, I wouldn't complain any. I just don't NEED it to go to the ceiling even if I think it would be much more visually appealing. Of course I also have to work around the light for the bit that it is on, and would rather not melt my eyeballs.

    Anyway, I appreciate the feedback! Thanks, again!

  6. #6

    Default

    I think it might be difficult to have one whose beam just stops short like that. However, I would guess that any modern led thrower would work for what you describe. Especially one with an aspheric lens I would imagine, though I don't have any myself. I'll let others chime in on examples, as I tend towards flood edc lights.

    Sent from my HTC Sensation 4G using Tapatalk

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    Flashaholic* AnAppleSnail's Avatar
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    Default Re: Magician in need of a beam...

    Can the whole inside of the column be used? The easiest way is to project a cylinder of light upwards. Rectangles require tougher optics. Having the full height (Or at least the top 2 feet), just put a grid of stock MagLEDs in, focused and pointed up...

    You won't need a full grid, an outline of a rectangle should be enough with the mag Lites. The D-cell ones make a beam about 3" wide.
    Last edited by AnAppleSnail; 04-10-2012 at 02:16 PM.
    My biggest light-hog is my camera.

  8. #8

    Buttrock Re: Magician in need of a beam...

    LOL

    Yeah, its easier to get a beam that is going to hit the ceiling than to stop short of it....if you don't want the light to disperse when it hits the ceiling (Which would create an indirect lighting source from the ceiling bounce, etc...), you could make the beam go up through a hole or into a flat black tunnel/collar, etc.

    You could go to home depot/lowes, etc...and get a 3D LED Maglite and a HID spot light, take them home, and see what it looks like when you shine a beam...to get a feel for the physics.

    Last edited by TEEJ; 04-10-2012 at 01:56 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Magician in need of a beam...

    Quote Originally Posted by AnAppleSnail View Post
    Can the whole inside of the column be used? The easiest way is to project a cylinder of light upwards. Rectangles require tougher optics. Having the full height (Or at least the top 2 feet), just put a grid of stock MagLEDs in, focused and pointed up...

    You won't need a full grid, an outline of a rectangle should be enough with the mag Lites. The D-cell ones make a beam about 3" wide.
    Yes, absolutely, and it doesn't need to be a rectangle. A circle would be fine, provided it was wide enough to not just look like a flashlight on a table, haha. Do you really think a grid of mag lites would give me a visible beam? I'm not opposed to the idea, but I really wonder if it would be bright enough.

    I hadn't considered what would happen when it hits the ceiling. That is a good point. I think the curtains across the stage would block it for the most part, but a cylinder for the light to shine into would be easy enough to put up.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Magician in need of a beam...

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkslide632 View Post
    Yes, absolutely, and it doesn't need to be a rectangle. A circle would be fine, provided it was wide enough to not just look like a flashlight on a table, haha. Do you really think a grid of mag lites would give me a visible beam? I'm not opposed to the idea, but I really wonder if it would be bright enough.

    I hadn't considered what would happen when it hits the ceiling. That is a good point. I think the curtains across the stage would block it for the most part, but a cylinder for the light to shine into would be easy enough to put up.


    This is a beam shot at a tree ~ 405 meters away with an LED flashlight...no special effects.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Magician in need of a beam...

    I still don't understand what type of lighting you want.

    What is it you actually want lit up and what don't you want lit up?

    If you want the shaft of light to be visible in the air you'll need a smoke generator. - only a green laser is bright enough to light up the dust particles in the air.

    If you want a well defined shaft of light you'll need baffles.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Magician in need of a beam...

    Ideally? The vision in my head? If I could snap my fingers and make it happen? It would look like the Luxor hotel, on a smaller scale.

    http://youtu.be/-PxSPibCNCo

    The question is how difficult it would be to create a facsimile of it on a smaller scale. Again, I'm clueless about it, but in the process of searching for ideas, I came across the site and thought I'd ask.

    I appreciate the feedback, regardless!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Magician in need of a beam...

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkslide632 View Post
    . . . It would look like the Luxor hotel, on a smaller scale. . . . .
    The crawling lights towards the peak . . . . or the white pyramid . . . . or the vertical column of light . . . . or all of the above ?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Magician in need of a beam...

    Just the column of light. I put a picture up above that kind of shows what I envisioned.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Magician in need of a beam...

    If you want the shaft of light to be reasonably wide I suggest using a Fresnel Lens that you'll find at the base of an Overhead Projector.

    But the shaft still won't be visible unless you have a smoke /fog generator running in the room

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* AnAppleSnail's Avatar
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    Default Re: Magician in need of a beam...

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkslide632 View Post
    Yes, absolutely, and it doesn't need to be a rectangle. A circle would be fine, provided it was wide enough to not just look like a flashlight on a table, haha. Do you really think a grid of mag lites would give me a visible beam? I'm not opposed to the idea, but I really wonder if it would be bright enough..
    Buy one mag LED (2D or 3D) and play with it and a fog generator. I think modest fog will give you a visible beam against a dark background, BUT I don't know how bright your stage lights are. Stage shows use 100-watt and bigger arc lamps to project bright beams of light.
    My biggest light-hog is my camera.

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