You knew that, sooner or later, LEDs would get moving. Manufacturers would develop automated fixtures using light-emitting diodes as the sole light source, since LEDs have become brighter, smaller, and more cost-effective. LEDs now produce a lot of light—as well as a wide range of colors—and marrying them with a moving yoke, they put color washes just where you need them.
In addition to creative benefits, LED automated lights offer economic and “green” benefits. With no lamps to replace, they have no associated costs of stockpiling spares, and they are lower maintenance due to limited moving parts. This reduces the total cost of ownership compared to traditional fixtures. They have lower power consumption with higher outputs, no ultraviolet or infrared output, long life, reduced weight for rigging, and quick color changes. Many of the LED lights in this overview are more compact than traditional automated lights, saving on truck and inventory space. The output and efficiencies of the current batch of LEDs are generally brighter than traditional discharge or tungsten sources, yet the heat is reduced. Heat is still related to the wattage, and as a lot of LEDs are ganged together, there is still an appreciable amount of heat that needs to be dissipated. While many tout LEDs with a life of over 100,000 hours, 50,000 hours is a conservative/realistic estimate, especially since output drops significantly after 50,000 hours of use. Still, 50,000 hours is a lot better than 300 or even 3,000 hours from tungsten and discharge lamps.
For this overview—arranged by manufacturer—of some of the automated lights available that use LEDs as the source of illumination, we’re looking at fixtures with pan and tilt. While many take a similar approach to fixture design, some also incorporate video capability. Some manufacturers are attempting to match a lens with LEDs to provide a hard-edge light with patterns to make an LED projector. The first attempts need more ”oomph“ to get really usable amounts of light for most applications, but all the luminaires mentioned represent the next step in the LED revolution.
1. The ShowPix™ from Barco/High End Systems was the first in HES’ line of Pixelation Luminaires. Its 18" diameter head features a circular array of 127 3W RGB LEDs. It was designed as not only a wash light, but as a display device with images. ShowPix has a beam angle of 45° and a field angle of 80°. The moving yoke has a pan range of 400° and a tilt range of 240°. The unit measures 23.4"x20.6"x33" and weighs 108lbs.
2. The Barco/High End Systems’ StudioPix™ is the second product in HES’ line of Pixelation Luminaires. Smaller than the ShowPix™, it features a circular array of 61 homogenous 3W RGB LEDs on a 13.5" diameter head. The unit measures 21.3"x11.8"x23.7" and weighs 46lbs.
Both ShowPix and StudioPix are equipped with 411 stock content animations and patterns, and you can upload files and images through the HES Echo™ application, a software program for content visualization and management, as well as RDM management. A user-selectable pixel-mapping protocol also provides individual control of each LED. The DMX Scratch™ feature allows a user to synchronize the frames of a media file to music in realtime. Both units use 5-pin locking XLR DMX connectors for Data-In/Out and have a USB connector for uploading or a Wholehog DMX Widget.
3. The Chauvet Legend™ 4500 uses 54 RGBW LEDs—720mA red, 1,000mA blue, green, and white—and comes with 15° lenses for a beam angle of 10° and a field angle of 22°. An optional 30° lens is also available. It has the ability to adjust color temperatures; preset values range from 3,200K to 10,000K. Functions and features include variable electronic strobe, electronic dimming, remote fixture reset, automatic pan and tilt correction, adjustable fan rate, an LCD display with password protection, and Neutrik PowerCon power connectors. It requires 10 or 14 channels of DMX for control and weighs 37lbs.
4. The Chauvet Q-Spot 150 LED uses one 20W LED coupled with optics to provide a hard-edge light with a beam angle of 16˚. It comes with an eight-step color wheel plus white and a seven-position rotating slot-and-lock gobo wheel with a three-facet prism. A sliding cover provides tool-less access to the gobo wheel. Other features include built-in, automated sound-activated programs and the ability to program and save up to 255 scenes in the fixture without a DMX controller. The pan and tilt, up to 530˚ and 270˚ respectively, are user set for precise coverage and have automatic pan/tilt correction. The unit requires 9 or 11 channels of DMX for control and weighs 13.5lbs.
5. The Coemar iWash LED, distributed in the US by Inner Circle Distribution incorporates 37 1.2W Luxeon LEDs—12 each RGB and one white—and comes with a 12° lens with an optional 30° lens kit. It features an electronic dimmer and strobe with synchronized, random pulse effects. The unit has a pan range of 538° and a tilt range of 230°. Setting and addressing can be done at the LED display or remotely, and the fixture requires 12 channels of DMX control and uses 3-pin locking XLR DMX connectors for Data-In/Out. Power consumption is 0.6A at 230V, 1.2A at 115V. The unit measures 18.5"x13.8"x13.2" and weighs 25lbs.
6. The Elation Professional Impression uses 90 Luxeon K2 LEDs and is available in two versions: an RGB version with 30 LEDs per color and a white version with 60 cold white LEDs and 30 amber LEDs, so you can adjust the color temperature. The fixture includes a color calibration feature as well as internal color presets, and it has 660° of pan and 300° of tilt. The optical system features a collimator cluster with an interchangeable lens carrier with 10° beam angle as standard and an optional 25° lens. It has a low-noise ventilation system with overheat protection. The compact design allows these units to be hung on 14" centers, and the fixtures use 3-pin locking XLR DMX connectors for Data-In/Out. It is constructed with a die cast aluminum head and industrial lightweight plastics so the fixture weighs 16lbs.
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7. Elation also offers Impression XL, an RGB wash light with 240 Luxeon K2 LEDs—78 red, 84 green, and 78 blue. Like the earlier version, it also includes color calibration and internal color-presets, and it features the same lens system and pan/tilt. The unit requires 14 DMX channels and features a backlit graphic LCD with scroll wheel menu control. At full power, the unit pulls 1,000VA and can run from 100 to 240V with an auto-sensing power supply. It can be convection cooled, if necessary, and has a temperature-controlled ventilation system with overheat protection. Both 3-pin and 5-pin DMX connectors are included, as well as a Neutrik PowerCon for power input. The unit measures 21.65"x20.28"x 7.9" and weighs 48.5lbs.
8. The Elation Design Wash LED Pro is a 13-channel DMX fixture that uses 108 3W Rebel LEDs—52 red, 22 green, 22 blue, and 12 white—and comes with a 25° lens for a 39.5° beam angle. The unit features built-in color, strobe, and dimming macros and has a built-in EWDMX receiver for wireless DMX, as well as 3-pin or 5-pin XLR DMX locking in/out connectors. Pan is 630° or 540°, with 265° tilt, and a digital LCD display with a battery is also onboard. This LED unit has a 98 to 240V multi-voltage internal power supply and draws 360W 3A at full power. Fan cooling is via automatic regulation or via DMX control. The unit measures 17.2"x13"x8.6" and weighs 20.6lbs.
9. Fine Art Lighting has a range of LED moving heads with either 22 or 36 RGB LEDs and a choice of 1W, 2W, or 3W units. Beam spreads are available as 10°, 15°, or 25°, and pan range is 540°, with tilt range at 280°. The strobe varies from one to eight FPS, and the units require 12 channels of DMX, with eight internal programs triggered via DMX, running independently, or with master/slave control. The units feature an auto-switching power supply, measure 12.1"x14"x10.5", and weigh 19lbs.
10. The JB-lighting JBLED A7, distributed by Creative Stage Lighting, offers 108 Luxeon LEDs packed in a high-density array for a maximum range of pastel colors, including white. It also features a customized and efficient lens system, the front of which is shaped as an array, individually covering each LED. Designed for quiet operation during zooming and movement, additional features include a zoom range from 8° to 28°, 0 to 100% dimming, and a flicker-free setting. The unit measures 12.6"x14.6"x7.87" and weighs 17.6 lbs.
11. The Main Light Industries MF/V comprises an LED fixture with a moving video panel, specifically using five sections of LED panels that are 30 pixels wide by 36 pixels high with 15mm spacing. It has a video mapper for pixel-to-LED mapping, with one LED representing each pixel. The pixel-mapper accepts VGA or DVI inputs. Control is run with a Cat5 cable from the processor, daisy-chaining the units, with a loop run back to the processor. The moving yoke requires six channels of DMX for pan, tilt, speed, and reset control. This is separate from the video control cable. With a pan of 540° and tilt of 252°, the unit measures 31"x28"x23" and weighs 82lbs.
12. The Main Light MF/3 was the company’s first moving yoke LED fixture, featuring three Martin Professional Stagebar LED strip lights with RGBAW LEDs mounted into a six-channel DMX-controlled moving yoke. For controlling the LEDs, the DMX can be set from three to 90 channels, depending on how fine a control is required. It draws 4A, has an auto-switching power supply, and uses an L-620 connector for power input. The pan range is 540°, and the tilt range is 252°. The unit measures 24"x23"x22", and clamps add 6" to its height. The unit weighs 90lbs with the clamps.
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13. In final development is the Martin Professional MAC 401 Dual™, an LED washlight with a plug-in feature that gives it dual functionality, for example as an LED video panel. The plug-in feature takes advantage of future video modules and other options. It has a low weight, double-sided design that uses 36 multicolor, single-point source LEDs, grouped in four pixels. It is designed to eliminate issues with rainbow shadows and multicolored lens looks. Colors are fully blended before they leave each lens for consistency across fixtures. The MAC 401 Dual includes a linear zoom for beam spreads from tight to a wide wash.
14. The XLED 590 from PR Lighting—distributed in the US by OmniSistem Lights & Effects—uses 90 5W Osram Diamond Dragon single-chip SMT LEDs (30 each of RGB). The standard beam angle is 22°, with 10° and 35° optional, and the unit includes ten preset fixed colors. Color temperature is linearly adjustable (3,200K to 10,000K), with four preset fixed color temperatures (3,200K, 5,600K, 7,200K, and 10,000K). Additional features include strobe from 1 to 25 fps; 540° pan and 270° tilt; three optional control modes of standalone, master/slave, and self-test; RDM-readiness; and automatic power shutoff. The adjustable LCD control display includes usage time. The unit requires 8, 13, or 17 DMX channels, and the DMX connectors use 5-pin XLR. With a chassis constructed in composite plastic and aluminum, it has a rating of IP20, measures 13.78"x9.92"x13.9", and weighs 24.25lbs.
15. Robe Lighting’s REDWash 3-192 has 192 Luxeon Rebel LEDs (RGBW) and provides a rectangular field with a narrow beam spread of 12° without the 25° lens-array that comes with the unit. Optional lens arrays include 45° and 45°x15°, and additional frost filters also fit on the fixture. The pan range is 530°, and tilt range is 280°. Features include built-in color macros, adjustable strobe sequences, a dimmer, adjustable color temperature, and LCD display. Control is via DMX, auto-trigger, or audio-trigger. In DMX mode, it can use 8, 16, 24, or 28 channels, and all effects can be controlled from the control panel. It supports Art-Net protocol, RDM, and is ready for ACN. An IR remote control is an optional accessory. The unit uses both 3-pin and 5-pin locking XLR DMX connectors for Data-In/Out and has an RJ-45 Ethernet connector for Art-Net. It draws a maximum of 450W in economy mode and 750W in maximum mode. The unit measures 23.2"x20.2"x12.9" and weighs 48.5lbs.
16. Also from Robe is the REDWash 2-36, with 36 Luxeon K2 RGB LEDs (12 of each color) and a preset white. The standard beam angle is 6°, with optional 25° lenses available, and soft and dense frost filters are also included. The unit dims from 0 to 100 %, and effects include preprogrammed colors and rainbow effects, and the ability to strobe in any color. Pan and tilt, as well as control options, are the same as in the 3-192, but the 2-36 can use eight or 14 channels in DMX mode. It has six built-in programs and three user-editable programs up to 30 steps each. The unit uses 3-pin locking XLR DMX connectors for Data-In/Out. The maximum power draw is 180W. The unit measures 16.5"x12.8"x14.3" and weighs 19.3lbs.
17. Among the soon to be released units is the much anticipated Vari-Lite VLX™ Wash luminaire, with 630W of LEDs and a modular design that allows for easy swap out of optical and mechanical components. With the removable zoom system, you can configure the luminaire with a fixed focal length of 22° or a variable 3:1 zoom. The unit produces a wide range of colors without color shadows, and it has fast color snaps and strobing with a variable color temperature that can be adjusted from 3,200K to 6,000K. It is similar in size and weight to the VL500, with a pan of 540° and a tilt of 270°, and measures 27.5" tall with the head pointing up. It is estimated to weigh 55lbs. All specifications for the VLX are preliminary.