11 Dec 2023

Ayrton Argo 6 FX

by Kurtis Hammer

IP65-rated LED effects wash light

A 19 x 40W RGBW LED moving head wash with 4 to 56 degree zoom, 13,000 lumens, 19 x 50mm frontal lens, 14:1 zoom high resolution optic system, and up to 86 CRI. What’s not to like?

The Ayrton Argo 6 FX is an IP65-rated LED wash light with a built-in effects spiderweb running between its LEDs that the manufacturer calls ‘LiquidEffect’. Driven by an RGBW LED engine, this cutting-edge, weather- sealed effects light is also available as an Argo wash, which is essentially the same light albeit without the LiquidEffect between the LEDs. Here, the gap is simply blacked out and serves no lighting function.

The Argo 6 FX boasts a couple of impressive statistics: a zoom ratio of 14:1 and a zoom range between 4 and 56 degrees. Onboard, the light has nineteen 40W LEDs with an RGBW additive colour mixing system that can obtain light output of 13,000 lumens.

For those familiar with the Ayrton range, the Argo 6 FX is essentially like an IP65-rated Zonda FX – think Zonda 9 FX without the outside ring of LEDs or IP65 rating.

Light Construction

Central to the construction of the Argo 6 FX is its minimalist, weather-sealed design that tastefully avoids those bulky, crude hard plastic looks common to so many other IP65 fixtures. The light is so refined looking, you might be forgiven for thinking that it’s an IP20-rated fixture that’s only capable of indoor use.

Ayrton have done a great job on the light’s aesthetics, making for an attractive looking, simple and lightweight fixture that’s capable of working in all weather conditions.

The Argo 6 FX weighs a touch over 23kg. By comparison, the Zonda 9 weighs 28kg and the Zonda 3 weighs 11kg. The light draws 950W of power; pretty thirsty for a medium-sized LED fixture, which essentially means only two lights can be accommodated on a single 10A circuit.

One thing Ayrton has done to improve weight reduction on the Argo 6 FX is to move the pan and tilt motor into the head and base of the light, not the yoke, which makes a difference on an IP65-rated fixture where the head and base are sealed and there’s no access for internal maintenance. But even with the emphasis on reductions to both weight and size, the 6 FX still feels like a sturdy, solid wash light with a high-end finish.

Optics, Colour, and Brightness

The Argo 6 FX contains 19 individual 40W RGBW LEDs coupled with 16-bit dimming. Theoretically, the colour choices are almost unlimited here (4.29 billion colours). The open white is a crisp, cool white, which maintains the same colour temperature across the entire dimmer curve.

Output is also measured at 13,000 lumens; bright enough for most stage applications, although given that many modern outdoor spots and profiles are heading up into the 50,000-lumen range nowadays, you may have to think about how many Argo 6 FXs you’d need and what you’d spec them with.

In between each of the LEDs runs the aforementioned ‘spider web’ described by Ayrton as LiquidEffect. This feature is only found on the FX model and this is where you run content though the fixture. It’s described by Ayrton as a high-definition liquid effect fitted between the main lenses of the luminaire used for creating complex graphic effects.

Using RGB-signalling LEDs, equipped with a black enclosure and internal reflector provides a greater level of contrast. The 6mm space between pixels guarantees quality diffusion of the liquid effect. To send light through the system, the guide’s convergent profile channels all the light to the output surface between lenses. Its shape prevents any leakage of light to the main lenses.

Applications and Features

The Argo 6 FX is effectively a two-in-one fixture: a wash and an effects light. The wash light has a large zoom range starting at a tight four degrees, expanding from there to 56. For reference, a MAC 101 pin spot has a 7-degree beam, and most lights are considered ‘floods’ from about 45 degrees outwards. The zoom range sounds impressive on paper, but it’s even better in the metal. It also goes from narrowest to widest point very quickly, as well as zooming in and out smoothly and effortlessly. The light is also a quick mover, fast and accurate, with infinite pan and tilt, and with options for 8- or 16-bit movement.

Each of the Argo 6 FX’s RGBW LED engines can be individually controlled, giving choice to innumerable colours and intensities, making it a great ‘eye candy’ fixture, and the light has a Colour Rendering Index in the high 80s, which is excellent.

The face of the light is a respectable 280mm in diameter, and judging by the rest of the Ayrton range, it’s likely that the Argo 6 FX will eventually sit in the middle of the range if smaller and larger IP-rated units become available at some point. The size of the light’s face means that it will also show up well when having content run through it. For those familiar, the lens face would be similar in diameter to that of a Quantum Wash.

Control and Programming

The Argo 6 FX can be controlled via five-pin DMX, wireless DMX and through an ethernet cable. It’s also RDM compatible. There are three DMX modes available, the largest being 127 channels. They can also be pixel mapped and have video content run through them.

But if none of that matters, the Argo 6 FX can simply be used as a standard wash light. In its extended mode you can fit four to a DMX universe – just. They look neat with content running through them, the LiquidEffect adding an interesting layer of visual texture.

As the lines between vision and lighting continue to blur, this fixture will certainly find countless uses next to, above or below an LED wall.

The Verdict

After bursting onto the moving-head profile scene a little over five years ago with the popular Ghibli, Ayrton has leveraged this success by expanding its product range, saturating every corner of the intelligent lighting market. And with the release of the Argo 6 FX, Ayrton is moving confidently into IP-rated wash/effects fixtures.

The Argo 6 FX works beautifully by itself as a wash light suitable for TV, while the FX component represents the icing on the cake, making it a significant player in the market into the foreseeable future.

We are already almost exclusively LED-based when it comes to new moving-head wash lights, and companies are starting to refine their offerings in the space. As far as current trends are concerned, moving-head wash lights that are compatible with content run via media servers as well as being IP rated, are becoming the norm. In the Argo 6 FX, you tick both these boxes.

Point it at the stage or point it at the audience; the Ayrton Argo 6 FX is a quality fixture that we’ll be seeing more and more of in the future.

Product Info:

Distributor Australia and New Zealand:

The Specs

  • Beam aperture: 4° to 56°
  • 19 x 1,000 lumens RGB+W high-power LED sources.
  • Total luminaire output: up to 13,000 lumens.
  • CRI: up to 86
  • Rated life: L70: up to 40,000 hours Moving-head range:
  • infinite pan & tilt rotation
  • Sophisticated RGBW colour mixing
  • 4.29 billion colours
  • Virtual colour wheel, including variable colour temperature
  • 2D & 3D graphical effects capabilities
  • Effects can be coupled with beam, wash or matrix applications
  • Built-in pattern effects with speed and fade controls for scenic applications
  • Individual control of each pixel Dynamic, eye-catching LiquidEffect
  • Dimensions: 436 x 536 x 280 mm (l x h x d) Weight: 23.2kg


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