Understanding RGBA vs. RGBW in Two Simple Steps

October 1, 2012 by CHAUVET DJ

by Nick Airriess, CHAUVET® DJ Product Specialist

When it comes to LEDs and selecting lighting fixtures, there are a lot of options. A hot topic as of late seems to be the difference between RGBA and RGBW fixtures. What is the difference? Which combination is best suited to meet your needs? Read on to learn the difference and discover how each combination can improve your setup.

Fixtures with red, green, blue and amber LEDs create warm, rich colors. RGBA fixtures project a warm shade of white and exceptionally rich shades of gold, yellow and orange. Additionally, adding amber to standard colors broadens the color spectrum. Amber LEDs are a major benefit to RGBA fixtures because it is difficult to achieve the amber color through color mixing.

Fixtures with red, green, blue and white LEDs create vivid, bright colors. RGBW fixtures project a cool shade of white and are ideal for color mixing pastels. Add white to any standard color and adjust the saturation to achieve your client’s desired shade. In addition to creating pastels, white LEDs can be used independently so you do not have to mix colors to achieve it.

Choosing the right LED combination depends on your gigs and the colors you want to achieve. Before you make your purchase, do some homework and check your books to see what colors received the most requests, ask your fellow DJ friends about their client’s requests or log onto a DJ forum and conduct your own poll. Both combinations create an enormous amount of colors — deciding on the shade of those colors is where your expertise comes in.

Filed Under: Lighting for Mobile DJs