The Top 3 Things to Know When Purchasing Used Equipment

The industry moves so rapidly with an onslaught of new gear that tempts us every year, and there will always be items that are worth the big-ticket expense, so seek out savings where they can be found. ... Read More.

The Top 3 Things to Know When Purchasing Used Equipment
Among the items that could be considered as a used gear purchase would be a RGBA LED batten, such as the Chroma-Q Color Force 72-inch fixture.
The Top 3 Things to Know When Purchasing Used Equipment
Among the items that could be considered as a used gear purchase would be a RGBA LED batten, such as the Chroma-Q Color Force 72-inch fixture.

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Worship Facilities Magazine, January-February 2018
The January-February 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about the many steps a church had to take in the aftermath of a fire, and another involving a church making the jump to 4K.
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One of the best deals I found online was a Chroma-Q Color Force 72-inch RGBA LED Batten. Hands down, this is one of the best RGBA (Red, Green, Blue, Amber) LED batten wall washing lights. These fixtures are great for lighting walls or backdrops, curtains, or lighting linear set pieces. They make fun eye candy, if you focus them straight at the audience. They are a perfect example of when buying used is the best option, because nothing moves inside of them except for the fan.

Online, I found that Chroma-Q model selling new for $4,300. On a website selling used gear, the same model was selling for $1,700. That is a savings of $2,600 per fixture! A few years ago, I purchased several of the Chroma-Q Color Force battens from a used gear site, usedlighting.com, and they continue to perform well.

We’ve all heard the saying, “You get what you pay for,” so make sure you are spending wisely.

3. Choose your vendor carefully.

Part of ensuring that you get what you pay for (see above), is knowing as much as you can about the equipment before proceeding to buy. This is not only true for the physical piece of gear, but also the vendor that you’re purchasing from.

Have the items been well cared for (maintained regularly and stored wisely), or has it been used and abused? You cannot determine this without knowing the vendor. Making inquiries will only get you so far—you have to foster good relationships.

One of my favorite used gear vendors is usedlighting.com, because I’ve witnessed the pride of ownership that they have. For example, the equipment on their site is used for two years by the parent company, 4Wall, and then resold on usedlighting.com. Everything for sale on the site is barcoded, and you can request the history of the equipment, before making a purchase. Clearly, this has become the model as now other large vendors (PRG Proshop, on the web at prg-proshop.com) are now doing similar things with their inventory.

Among the many used gear vendors that exist online, the following are used lighting vendors that I am comfortable recommending:
Used Lighting
GearSource.com
Solaris Network
PRG Proshop

The industry moves so rapidly with an onslaught of new gear that tempts us every year, and there will always be items that are worth the big-ticket expense.

If you know what those pieces are, you will be surprised at how much money you can save by purchasing used equipment for everything else.

The key to stretching your budget is being willing to do some research and spend the time shopping around; it requires work on your part. Establishing relationships with vendors helps to ensure that what you’re buying has been well cared for, but it isn’t a guarantee that you won’t have problems. Sometimes you get what you pay for, but often you’ll get far more.

Good luck hunting for used equipment!




More About Alex Fuller
Alex Fuller has over 15 years of corporate, church, and live event experience. He spent four years at Saddleback Church before moving his family to northern California this spring. He currently serves Bethel Church and Bethel Music (Redding, California) as the lighting and scenic designer. His passion is to use the technical arts as an extension of worship.
Get in Touch: fullerlights@gmail.com    More by Alex Fuller

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, January-February 2018
The January-February 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about the many steps a church had to take in the aftermath of a fire, and another involving a church making the jump to 4K.


Article Topics

Products · Technology · Lighting · Visual Arts · Lighting Design · Team Management · Budgeting · Chroma-Q · Consoles · Equipment · Fixtures · Gear · Moving Lights · All Topics

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