The trend of “upselling” uplighting over these last few years has exploded beyond belief. Of course you already knew that, unless you live underneath a rock. But you also probably thought that wireless, battery-powered fixtures were well beyond your budget and way beyond your clients’ means.
So, you continue to haul 4,000 feet of DMX cable and enough IEC cables to power every computer in the western hemisphere into every venue. You curse yourself every time you use two rolls of gaffer’s tape at an event, trying to make sure that the all those precious little ones orbiting the room at 900 miles per hour don’t bust open their picture-perfect faces on your cabling. Which, even after $40 dollars worth of tape, some remains uncovered.
Well, I’m here to tell you that there is a solution to your cable conundrum: Battery-powered (and wireless) uplighting systems are here. One of these system, the 6 CSL LP60 by Colorado Sound N’ Light, is a complete turnkey system that I recently had the chance to test drive. Here are my findings…
The 6 CSL LP60 system comes with six uplight fixtures, each one featuring 60 10mm RGB LEDS. Each light, in turn, also has (in its plastic casing) 30 battery units, which allow the fixtures a run time of 14 hours. For practical use, the frames of the lights are made up of hard plastic and metal, and can withstand a hard kick from a guest (more on that later). Once more, the whole system comes in a convenient briefcase that even includes the chargers connected to a power strip, ready to attach to the lights and be plugged into the wall for charging.
Not only is it battery-powered, the CSL system is also remote-controlled. When purchasing the 6 CSL LP60 system you have the option either the simple clicker-style controller that features four buttons plus on/off, or the CPod RF color-mixing controller (my choice). This handy remote is able to fade the brightness up and down, make all of the fixtures go white instantly, fire off built-in programs, and activate the system’s color mixing wheel.
The CPod’s color mixing wheel is really, really neat. It’s essentially a touch-screen portion of the controller with an interactive color wheel; pressing a color’s location on the wheel changes the lights to that static color. I have not only found this controller handy for events, but also consultations with couples. There, we can dial in their wedding colors, and adjust hue to the wall color to get the perfect shade of their desired accent color. What this translates to is the “color of money”—easy money.
In the two months I’ve had to play around with these lights, they have become one of my favorite uplighting sets. They are EXTREMELY bright, for which you can thank the 10mm LEDs. The fixtures also are quite durable—proven when they survived a child running at full speed and “accidentally” kicking a light, causing it to flip over. While I have my suspicions that the little “angel” was actually trying to play “lightup soccer,” I was relieved to find that the fixture didn’t get damaged and also didn’t move that much, due to its sturdy construction and rubber feet, which helped keep the fixture from sliding after its 180 degree somersault.
I have used the 6 CSL LP60 system for a variety of events, including weddings, school dances (the teachers loved them), and even a university president’s going-away party with his senior staff. I loved the flexibility of the system and the clients loved the cable-free environment.
I mentioned at the outset that most mobile entertainers think wireless, battery-powered fixtures are outside of their budget. The 6 CSL LP60 from Colorado Sound & Light might surprise you. With a list price of $1,499, and a direct-sale price (from CSL’s website) of $1,199, this system is actually quite reasonable. Also, consider the fact that you’ll never have to string a cable with this system, the savings in man-hours can add up over time.
So to be free of cables, free of power issues, and in control of your uplighting without hours of programming, I would suggest one look at the CSL LP60 from Colorado Sound N’ Light as a viable solution to your cabled-uplighting woes.
Filed Under: Issue #143, Lighting
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