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DIY Stage Lighting - need wiring help advice (pics posted)

DIY Stage Lighting - need wiring help advice (pics posted)


Old 09-14-12, 10:56 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1
DIY Stage Lighting - need wiring help advice (pics posted)

I play in a three piece sludge metal band and I am in the process of making some portable footswitchable stage lighting. I want it to be safe and convenient, however I'm not toooo knowledgable when it comes to electrical wiring/ideal parts for ideal application, etc...
Below are two images of my plans so far, but I could reeeeeally use some help in the issues/questions addressed in the images. If anyone can shed some light (no pun intended) on this I would greatly appreciate it. Please be as specific as possible.
Portable footswitchable Stage Lighting for my band.
I think we will be using 65-100watt incandescent lights.
4 momentary white lights (2 per side)
+ 4 on/off white lights (2 per side)
+ 2 color lights (1 per side).
- What wire to be used to connect couple labeled sockets?
(two momentary, two on/off in each side box. both sides
triggered at same time)
- How do I wire the labeled sockets?
Are they connected just like how itís drawn?
- Can those footswitches be used with this set up/light sockets?Or do I need a different type/rated footswitch to do this?

- How can I connect and disconnect (for transport) RIGHT BOX to LEFT BOX and power both sides to one footswitch?

ALL help and advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 09-14-12, 12:02 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Welcome to the forums!

You list a total of 10 lamps, up to 100W each, That's a total of 1000W. Not a lot for stage lighting, but well within the allowable load on a 15A circuit, so that part is OK.

You show 3 power cords going to 3 different receptacles. One cord to one receptacle should be able to power everything you've described.

You do not need and should use a 3-way lampholder. The lampholders also need to have concealed terminals and to be mounted so that the lamps are protected. What kind of light fixture, reflector and lens are you planning to use? Will the colored lights be colored using gel?

What is your intent for the strips you show attached to plywood?

The footswitch you show can handle the load, but you need to have one that is momentary and two that are on/off. Are they available in those two different configurations?
Old 09-14-12, 06:08 PM
GregH's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 9,750
One thing that you should keep in mind is if you are using these lights in your bsmt or garage then ok, but if you plan to use these in a public venue you need to think twice.

Electrical devices need to be approved and yours would not be legal.
Not sure about your area but where I am many places that host bands will make a cursory equipment check and not allow home-built equipment.
There is a great deal of liability for a building owner should something go wrong.
Old 09-15-12, 08:21 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,251
A few suggestions:

If you can use a socket like this
I think it would be better since the terminals are protected.

I'd also recommend using outdoor type spotlights for what you're looking to do, they will likely hold up better and 'look' brighter than the indoor bulbs.

Nashkat mentioned that these bulbs will be using about 1000w. Add that to the other amplifiers and such that you'll be using and you'll want to ensure you're pulling power from at least two separate circuits in whatever venue you're using it in. A tripped breaker or blown fuse won't hurt anyone, but will certainly slow down your performance.

Also, when you get the cable to connect the lamp sockets to the foot switches, I'd suggest you get cable with the plug ends already attached. (One less thing to wire). Home Depot and other stores have what's called SJ cable that looks like this:
It's a heavier duty cord than "zip cord" and is already half-wired for you.

Good luck!
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