Understanding the Pixel-Mapping Effect

by Allan Reiss, CHAUVET® DJ product manager

Pixel-mapping effects add eye candy to setups and enhance stagnant LED lighting displays. To some mobile entertainers, pixel mapping seems like an out-of-reach effect. However, there are fixtures — like the PiXPar™ series — on the market that are specifically designed for pixel mapping. Or if you’re creative, you can use multiple fixtures to craft a grid and simulate the effect. To understand the basics of pixel-mapping effects, read on.

Pixel mapping is the ability to control individual LEDs. It allows you to display low-resolution graphics or videos using multiple fixtures. When properly used, it creates a look that demands attention and adds movement to any lighting setup. There are a lot of options when it comes to selecting the right pixel-mapping fixture for your setup. For example, the PiXPar™ series is available in two sizes: the full-size PiXPar™ 24 or the compact PixPar™ 12. For added versatility, pixel-mapping fixtures generally double as a powerful wash light.

If you do not have pixel-mapping fixtures in your setup, you can use multiple wash lights or moving heads to simulate the effect. For example, create a grid using 16 SlimPAR™ wash lights. Attach power and DMX cables, and then address each fixture so it is operating in three-channel mode. To address your fixtures properly, assign channels accordingly so your first fixture is on channel 1, your second fixture is on channel 4 and so forth. You will then have individual control over each fixture in your grid.

The world of lighting is constantly evolving. Don’t be afraid to dive in, experiment and let your creative juices flow. You might incorporate a new effect into your setup and absolutely hate it — or it might knock your socks off. Stay up to date and don’t be afraid to try something new.

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