Working Review: ADJ WiFly NE1 Battery

March 15, 2018 by Jordan Nelson

There are some products that I come across that are so useful and efficient I wonder how I ever functioned without them. The American DJ WiFly NE1 Battery is one of those products. When American DJ sent me one of these controllers, I thought to myself “Perfect, a nice wireless way to program my uplights.” The NE1, however, turned out to be so much more than your typical mobile DJ DMX board.

Right out of the box the NE1 looks different. It’s very compact, and instead of a large number of sliders, you’ll find mostly function buttons, a few encoder wheels, and a screen. This simplified layout hints at its functionality; at the heart of the NE1 is an easy-to-use effect generator that quite honestly blew my mind. Instead of having to program movements, color chases, and gobos individually for each light, I simply selected a numbered button and within a millisecond the lights were running through a scene that would have taken 5 minutes to program on a traditional DMX board.

And making this magic happen was easy; all I did was load the fixture profile from ADJ’s website for my uplights onto the included USB stick and all of the fixtures’ attributes were automatically transferred into the controller. The best part? I didn’t need to look up which channel controlled the blue LEDs or what values made the light strobe; the controller just knew. Once I added my moving heads to the mix, previously advanced programming tricks such as phasing (shifting the movements of the individual heads slightly from one another) were accomplished with a simple wheel turn. How something this revolutionary slipped past me for the past few years is beyond me. 

The functionality of the NE1 doesn’t end with its simple programming. The built-in WiFly synced up perfectly with my Element HEXIP pars, so I was able to quickly add a bright strobe effect to my grand entrances from across the room. In addition to the wireless DMX, the NE1’s internal battery can run for up to 10 hours on a charge, meaning that when I showed up for my wedding I was able to set up my uplights and controller without a single wire to any of them. How’s that for convenient?

The cons list to the NE1 is almost non-existent. While very capable, the WiFly NE1 is probably best suited for uplighting and moving heads due to the available function buttons. Just like any controller, you will have to take some time to learn the ins and outs of its functions (head over to Youtube for some great tutorials). While the ADJ website has many fixture profiles, there are definitely some that are missing. ADJ offers a downloadable program that allows you to create your own fixture profiles to remedy this issue, although the program is not the most intuitive around. Despite these drawbacks, even having to create fixture profiles will take less of your time than programming on a traditional DMX board.

Overall, the WiFly NE1 Battery is my new #1 recommendation for anyone looking to gain control of their lighting quickly and cheaply. On top of its ease-of-use, the wireless DMX and battery technology make this controller one of the most convenient, hassle-free way to program your lighting.

Jordan Nelson Jordan Nelson (67 Posts)

Jordan Nelson is the owner of SLC Mobile DJ in Salt Lake City, UT. A native of the tiny southern Utah town of St. George, Jordan began his mobile DJ journey as a junior in high school. After traveling to Salt Lake to attend the University of Utah, Jordan completely revamped his business and invested heavily in sales and master of ceremonies training, turning his $400/event company into a $1,500/event company in under a year at 22 years old. Jordan developed a strong passion for lighting and lighting programming during his early DJ years and has written 2 books for mobile DJs on the subjects. When he is not spending his weekends at weddings and events, you can find him at the local gun range or hiking with his beautiful wife.

Filed Under: Lighting for Mobile DJs