6 Jul 2018

Elation Fuze PAR Z175 LED Wash Fixture

Road Test

Elation Fuze PAR Z175 LED Wash Fixture

By Jim Kumorek. This review was first published in Church Production Magazine

In a nutshell, Elation’s Fuze PAR Z175 is a COB-based LED wash fixture with RGB colour-mixing capability, zoomable lensing, and strobe capabilities. One of its standout features: brightness.

With the advent of Chip on Board (COB) LED technology, LED fixtures have received a huge boost in brightness potential. COB enables LED emitters to be packed tightly together directly on a circuit board, making the matrix of emitters appear more like a solid light panel instead of a spaced-out cluster of packaged LEDs. With the greatly increased emitter density comes higher-power lighting fixtures.

Elation’s Fuze PAR Z175 is a COB-based LED wash fixture with RGB colour-mixing capability, zoomable lensing, and strobe capabilities. It also includes macros for colour mixing automation and colour presets, and it also allows users to manually mix their own colours.


Fuze Par Z175-LT4

The fixture consumes up to 200W of power (the COB LED engine consumes up to 175W of power), and uses powerCON connectors for electrical power. Both three-pin and five-pin DMX in and through connectors are available. Fixture options can be set via the control panel at the back of the unit, or through Remote Device Management (RDM), which allows settings to be changed over the DMX cable from a remote RDM system.

Twelve different profiles are available, providing at its simplest four channels controlling red, green, blue and white emitters.

At the more advanced end, the fixture takes 14 channels to give you access to all features, including colour and colour-mix presets. One of the profiles will provide 16-bit control over colour and intensity for finer levels of manipulation.

On unpacking the fixture, one thing I noted immediately is the weight. This is a hefty fixture, weighing in at about nine kilos. It’s on the large side, but appears to be well-built and sturdy.

Part of the weight is undoubtedly from the motor that controls the zoom feature. Included in the package are a set of barn doors and a gel frame which, in particular, enables you to add colour correction filters, diffusion material or +/- green filters for fine-tuning the fixture’s colour to match other fixtures in your rig.

Set up was easy- just needed to add a mounting clamp, power and DMX. Setting things like address and fixture profile were straightforward from the rear menu system, and RDM control over these attributes also worked well. Having the option of RDM control can make changing parameters after the fixture is already attached to a lighting pipe a lot simpler.

On using the light, the first thing that’s obvious is that this is a bright fixture. Really bright. I was very impressed with the brightness of the fixture even when wide. When zoomed in tight, it’s blinding. At a five metre throw distance at its narrowest zoom setting, I measured 249fc (foot-candles) at centre. The beam radius was about 35 centimetres, yielding a beam angle of eight degrees – exactly what the spec sheet states.

Fuze Par Z175

The field angle I measured to be 14 degrees. (Beam angle is defined at the point where the light measurement drops to 50% of the highest measurement. Field angle is where the light level drops to 10% of maximum.)

At its widest zoom setting, I measured 27.5fc at centre, with a beam radius of 68 inches. This yields a beam angle of 37.5 degrees – slightly more than the spec sheet, but certainly inside any margin of error for the simple measurement techniques I use. The field angle was measured to be 48 degrees.

I was very impressed with the brightness of the fixture, and the zoom function worked smoothly and was reasonable quiet. It’s also nice to have a LED colour changing fixture where, when the lens is visible to the audience, the lens is a uniform colour and not the “chiclet” look of multiple coloured LEDs that you get with older LED fixtures.

On video, the fixture exhibited no signs of flickering, so using this fixture in a video setting would work well. The native colour temperature of the fixture isn’t specified, but from just casual visual appearance, I’d say it’s close to an arc-source lamp — perhaps up around 7,000K.

With the colour mixing capabilities, you can dial it in to get close to Tungsten or daylight if desired. Given that its native colour temperature isn’t daylight or tungsten, this fixture is probably most useful for a stage or wall wash instead of as front lighting. But with careful colour mixing, you could certainly use it for front lighting.

The fixture dimmed smoothly, and you can specify some standard dimming curves via the back panel, or certain fixture profiles provide for DMX control of the dimming curve.

The dimming curve sets a maximum rate at which the light intensity will change; LEDs turn off instantly when the intensity parameter drops immediately to zero. Traditional tungsten fixtures take a little time to completely go out, so these dimming curve settings will help you match this LED fixture more closely to the rate at which other lights in your rig change intensity.

It’s not a cheap fixture, but you get a lot of brightness for your money. And with the ability to zoom and its higher brightness levels, this fixture could take the place of several lower-output LED fixtures, so from that perspective you might see some cost savings.

It’s definitely worth taking a look at for washing your stage or walls.

Fuze Par Z175 RearLT

Brand: Elation
Model: Fuze PAR Z175
Pricing: $1,390 ex GST
Product Info:

First published in Church Production Magazine and reprinted in CX Magazine July 2018 pp.60-63. CX Magazine is Australia and New Zealand’s only publication dedicated to entertainment technology news and issues. Read all editions for free or search our archive
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