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A cheaper alternative or waste of money ?


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I have recently got some modest funding together - 2K in fact; to purchase a lighting desk and some moving heads for general use at a church and also for our young people to learn with.


Having read a lot of the posts it seems that unless you use a frog and any moving head made by martin or Robe - well you might as well not bother with anything else.


Obviously my meagre budget will not run that far and having trawled thru Thoman I am probably going to go for

GLP messenger 2 desk - 700 quid

2 stairville - mv 250h moving heads -410 quid

2 stairville - mh 250s moving heads - 1000 quid


has any one used any of this stuff before and can give me any guidance or is it a cheapo pile of crap that I should do my best to avoid and get 1 mac250 and look at it longingly!!

Seriously any advice would be appreciated




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Some one is going to ask it, why such a big rig, as in movers for a small venue - a church.


Also sums dont add up.

1. Four small low-budget moving heads and a little controller hardly counts as a big rig.


2. Why do you assume that just because it's a church it's small venue?


3. The sums might not add up exactly, but £110 over-budget isn't really much in the overall scheme of things ... :D


To the OP, I'd say this ... I've never seen one of the controllers that you mention, so I have no idea what they're like. I see on the Thomann site that the MV250H is only a 250w tungsten source (can't find any info on the MV250S, but I'm guessing it's something similar). Possibly worth bearing in mind that the output from something of that spec is going to be pretty weedy, and if you're intending to use them alongside other stage lighting there's every possibility that they're going to get pretty well obliterated as soon as they have to compete with the rest of the rig. Instead of buying four units with little tungsten lamps like those, why not just get two units with 250w discharge sources, and then look at raising funds to add another two in due course? Going for a 250w discharge source over a tungsten source of the same wattage will really make a difference in terms of brightness.

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Out of interest - why do you feel that moving lights are necessary?


The only advantage I can see is that they don't need dimmers, but that's not very significant as you can get decent 2nd hand units pretty cheaply.


You can do a lot with a static rig, plus generics generally need very little maintenance - change lamps, clean the lenses and do the relevant electrical testing.

When it goes wrong any vaguely sensible person can fix it, and parts are generally cheap.


With a mover you do all that and more, plus when it goes wrong *you* usually can't fix it, and you have to send it off at great expense to the dealer/manufacturer.

Even if you can fix it, parts are generally expensive.

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Thanks for the input so far guys

1/ Thankyou gareth for making the points I would have made to 'the kid' but I did ask that any advice would be helpful so I guess I asked for it.


2/ The idea behind the rig is that it has to be portable to use

a) in different halls within our church complex

b) use with a band on the road

c) easy enough to understand and use by our young people


3/ Here are the links for the lights and controller on Thomann





I know its 110 over budget but I think I'll be allowed

thanks for taking the time to give your advice



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To be hounest them two fixtures are not that great.


They are basically rebadged ACME/chauvet products.


The smaller moving head is only 250w halogen, so it will not stand a chance in very ambient lighting, or along side the other moving head you are looking at. The fixture is very noisey, and with accoustics in a church its just gonna make it sound worse.


The larger movin head is again re-badged chauvet, (I Spot). Again its not that great, it does have rotating gobos and a remote focus which is a bonus. It also has a an MSD250 lamp which is quite good brightness, but the optics on the fixture let it down, also the lamp changing is a nightmare, it took me almost an hour to get one out, ist so fiddly, and I very close to brake down.


Niether of the two fixtures dim.


the controller I cant coment on as I have never heard of it, but from what I can gather it hasnt got many free programable scenes, or chases!


Do you have to have moving heads?


Why not get some decent scanners, you can get 4 x EVL scanners, with superbright 250wMSD lamps, roto gobos ect, And a pro controller suited to the scanners for under your 2k budget.


EVL controller

EVL pro scan



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Indeed, not all churches are small with candles! See Here! and here!


We're looking at a possible upgrade to the lighting system in our church in a few years, and we're staying clear of movers for the time being and building up a generic rig before anything else.

What gear do you have already? Id be more inclined to go for generic fixtures personally.

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The Church owns HUGE areas of the country. This is the let at the highest level of rent that they can achieve... And this in turn enabled them to build the most expensive buildings in the land.


Did you know that Salisbury cathedral was the tallest building in the world for over 1000 years? (So I have been told)

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Sorry I should have properly explained my self more. As Tomma and Vinny said do you need movers? If it’s not a necessity then you could use 1/2 to improve your current rig and keep the rest to gain more money for 2 Mac250's or the like.


Admittedly I have never seen a "lit" church

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I bet all that wasnt bought with sunday service donations.


That church in particular (Hillsong, Sydney) has 2 campuses, with 11 services going on each sunday. That church is huge, and can hold over a thousands at a time. So, it would soon probably add up. Anyway... (sorry, going a bit :D there!!)


I would echo what has been said, I'd go for more generic fixtures and dimmers etc.

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can I just ask does the church already have other lighting. If not I can tell ya know those movers are a complete waste of time. Surely it would be more appropriate for band/ service use to have something like the following.


8x Par 64 or 56

2x T bars

2x 4 ch multidim

then a cheap desk. I mean a scene setter would do.


I mean alternatively you could go for wash movers which I realy like.


I wouldnt reccomend the smaller of the 2 movers for on the road use and it wil be drowned out by the other one.


either try what ive said above or go for 4 wash movers.



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I do all my lighting around Churches and I have a portable rig.


I believe that you need to start with generics (Pars and Fresnels) and using some lighting from behind and from the floor can help. I then added a couple of scanners (as movers were far too expensive for me back then) - to use movement with scanners or movers you really need to include in your budget a haze machine and consider whether or not your Church will mind you using it. I have found that I use my movers (I have 2 of these now as well :) ) and scanners as much for gobo projection as movement - this is really good for worship.


Vince has a good point about considering scanners as they will deliver the effect at a much reduced cost.


You also need to consider where you will position any movers bearing in mind your portability issues - I assume that you will need to put them on the stage rather than mounted in some inaccessible position (they tend to be rather heavy)? Consider what stage furniture and people will get in the way - I find that I can only use my movers in certain circumstances and end up using the scanners on stands instead to get some height advantage.


Also for people to learn control etc. make sure that you go for a desk which is fairly intuitive and has a back up facility so that you don't lose any of your programming when they opt for the Clear All command!


I would start smaller with good stuff and build from that - I have found that once a Church gets a feel for what they can do with lighting then they are much more inclined to invest in it. Perhaps consider hiring some additional bits in for special concerts and show them what can be done if you had a little more money.


Enough waffle for now methinks...



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Guest lightnix

I'm afraid I'm with the "do you really need movers?" lobby. As many have already pointed out, the Thomanns are not going to be bright enough to cut through the rest of the rig and will be of little value lighting-wise; they aren't very good quality, will be more expensive to maintain and won't automatically make for "good" lighting :)


Have a look at desks with moving light capabilities by all means, that way you can hire movers in on an "as needed" basis for larger shows. Don't consider them as being a necessity, though.


Another question to bear in mind is what sort of power you have available to run the system. Do you have 3 phase supplies with Ceeform outlets, or just a couple of 13A sockets? If it's the latter, then PAR56s with 300W bulbs might be a better way forward.


I'd follow GeekyChris's and amillar's advice: start small and build up the system over the years to come.


Just my €0.02

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Dont waste the budget on movers and beware the ELC one ELCs are £5 - 10 and last 35 hours then they have to be accessed to replace them.


Budget PAR 56's on a crossbar and stand with a dim pack and a simple desk will start you on the road to lighting deign, add a couple of profiles and you can project gobos.


Most important; Check that your rig will be safely supplied with power. Getting power in Churches and even worse Church Halls is perhaps this forum's biggest nightmare.


Budget about 25% for cable.

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