30 Apr 2024


by Kurtis Hammer


The Claypaky Arolla Profile MP lays claim to being the smallest and lightest moving head fixture available in its class. It is a moving head profile with a 470W White LED engine. Itweighs 25kg and has dimensions of 250mm(W) x 360mm(L) x 593mm(H). Maximum power consumption is 740W, meaning you could get three to a circuit.

Claypaky is an Italian company with research and development, manufacturing and all other functions located in Bergamo, Italy. You may be familiar with the Sharpy, Axcor, K-Eye/B-Eye or the Mythos – all made by Claypaky.


They were originally founded in 1976. Their founder, Pasquale ‘Paky’ Quadri was an innovative trail blazer who drove the creative and entrepreneurial vision for the company. When he passed away in 2014 the company was acquired by Osram, one of the worlds leading light producers. In 2023, Claypaky was sold to Arri. Although they make lights (think the Arri Skypanel range) they are best known as manufacturers of motion picture film equipment. Building a more compact light with a larger frontal lens and more than a conscious effort to adress noise levels suggests a more TV and film-friendly line up may feature in the coming years.

One thing that really stood out for me when testing it was how bright it was for such a small fixture, as well as its zoom range. We tested it next to a much larger LED moving head profile and found the Arolla to be noticeably brighter, at least to the eye anyway. Something that piqued my curiosity was the fact that the light had 5 different fan speed modes. Simply having the option of a quiet mode seems good enough, but the fact that this has five figures to be a real nod towards the film/TV side of things – an area in which parent company Arri has a significant foothold.

The Arolla has 5 different fan noise modes


1.           Theatre fan mode: 40.6 dBA

2.           SLN fan mode: 40.6 dBA

3.           Standard fan mode: 46.8 dBA

4.           Auto fan mode: 48.4 dBA

5.           RNR fan mode: 48.7 dBA

The Light’s Construction

It’s a sleek well-proportioned light that looks ‘finished’. Claypaky have developed a reputation for building tasteful looking fixtures, the Arolla is no exception. It would seem as though how the light looks is just as important as how it performs.

One of the selling features for the light is something called the ‘eswap’. Essentially it allows you to interchange the framing module of the profile version of the Arolla with the gobo module of the spot. While this isn’t the first modular light where its possible for the framing module to be swapped with the gobo module (think Viper Profile/Viper Performance from 10 plus years back), but there is a difference. These modules can be swapped over, the fixture’s electronics can recognise and configure the fixture to operate with the module automatically. This means you don’t have to make any changes to the patch or to the menu of the light. I personally have not had a chance to do this swap first hand but on paper (reading the instruction manual) and the instructional video, it seems pretty straight forward. There are lights out there where it is harder to change the gobos, let alone the whole gobo module.

Optics, Colour and Brightness

The 470W White LED engine is a native 6000K. The open white is a very crisp, clean white with a flat even field. With 6000K being closer to natural daylight it gives a much more natural look, effortlessly, for camera and in person.

Optics have been a focal point in the development of the Arolla and it shows. The Arolla boasts a 6 to 50 degree zoom range which maintains intensity as you zoom out, a CMY colour mixing system that produces deep, rich colours (including deep red), a seven-colour colour wheel that includes an 88+ CRI enhancement filter and linear CTO.

There are always interesting bits to be found in the specs and the user manuals of new lights. Deep in the Arolla specs, it lists the heat dissipation for the light; something not seen too frequently.

Total heat dissipation for the Arolla: 2527 BTU/hr ±10% / 2664 kJ/hr ±10%

BTU stands for British Thermal Units. It’s a unit of heat measurement, representing the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

Kilojoules per hour (kJ/hr) is a unit of energy transfer rate. It quantifies the amount of energy equivalent to 1 kilojoule being output in an hour.

Will heat dissipation be a relevant metric when it comes to ‘wasted energy’ or efficiency in the future? Could it perhaps be harnessed and stored?

Applications and Features

The Arolla Profile MP comes with one rotating wheel with 7 gobos. There is minimal loss of intensity when gobos are dropped in. It also contains a framing module with 4 shutters and the ability to do a full blackout with each blade individually, a feature that cant be understated from an operating perspective. It also features a rotating animation wheel and a four-facet rotating prism.

It has the option for four different dimming curves, a mechanical iris and variable frost.

Control and Programming

Control protocol options include: DMX, Art- Net, RDM and sACN. It can only be run in one control mode which takes up a parameter footprint of 37 channels. It takes 5 pin DMX XLR in/out as well as ethernet RJ45 in and uses a trueCON for power (powerCON TRUE1). The single personality makes it easier to patch and program.

Pan and tilt range is respectable at 540° for pan and 270° for tilt. Both are 16 bit controllable with 24 bit digital dimming.


Pound for pound it’s a very impressive light that punches well above its weight. It has a great zoom range, it’s bright, the shutter kit does what a shutter kit is supposed to do (full blackout with a single blade) and everything it does, it does really well. The open white is very crisp and it has good gobos. It can get a little iffy around the edges if you really push it though. Put a gobo in, pick a colour, zoom it all the way out, focus it and then set a slow gobo rotate and a slow large ballyhoo it will start to look a little clunky. Use it well within its parameters and it is a fantastic light you can use in just about any (indoor) setting.

Although originally released before the latest ownership change, the Arolla could give us a hint as to the future direction of Claypaky.

The Specs

Light Source Type

470W white LED engine

CRI: 70+ with selectable filter for typical CRI value up to 90

Colour temperature: 6,000K LED life expectancy: 40,000hrs

Photometric Data

Zoom range: 6.2°- 48.8°

22,054 Lumen output

Front lens diameter: 120mm

Control And Connections

Personalities: single mode with 37 control channels

Control protocols: DMX, Art-Net, RDM, sACN

DMX and RDM connectors: locking 5 pin XLR IN/OUT

Ethernet port: RJ45 IN

Power connector: powerCON TRUE1 Built In Web Server

Dynamic Effects

Colours: linear CMY colour mixing, linear CTO, fixed colour wheel with 7 dichroic colours including high CRI filter

Gobos: 1 rotating gobo wheel with 7 HD indexable and replaceable gobos

Framing system: 4 blades with +/- 60° rotation of the full system

Frost: linear heavy frost 5° for wash effect

Aluminium animation wheel with continuous rotation in both directions at variable speed

4 facet prism with rotation in both directions at variable speed

Iris: motorised with variable pulse and random effects

Movement: Tilt: 270° – 16bit, Pan: 540° – 16bit

Accuracy: resolution ± 0.17° (Range 0.54°)


Weight: 25kg

250x360mm (base dimension) – 593mm with vertical head (h)


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