27 Nov 2023


by Kurtis Hammer

The MAC Aura PXL, made by Martin is marketed as a multi-source wash light. It is a small to medium size RGBW moving head wash light with pixel mapping capabilities and control.

Martin Lighting have a well-established worldwide reputation for making a range of some of the better high end intelligent lighting products we see on the market today. Starting off with the MAC 500 and MAC 600 back in 1997, they have continued to invest heavily in the research and development of high end intelligent lighting fixtures. These days, they are best known for fixtures such as the Viper range, the Quantum range, the Encore range, the Era range, the MAC 101 and the MAC Aura range, just to name a few.

Although a new fixture, the Aura PXL is already best known for its tight beam field, large wash area, bright output and pixel mapping capabilities. It is well on its way towards being the industry standard small/medium size wash light for many high-end applications. This light is all about the optics and the output. It will also be known as the light that takes up a whole Universe (512 channels)! It’s called “ludicrous mode”, and for good reason.

With a power draw of 560W, it is relatively thirsty for a compact size LED wash light. You can fit four on a standard 10A circuit. For reference the original MAC Aura consumed 260W, less than half of the PXL.


Like all Martin fixtures, it has been well designed, well put together and built to last. The PXL is a solid light now, and if it is reasonably well maintained it will likely be a solid light in 10 years time. Some of the earlier Martin wash fixtures had a bit of light bleed in between the cover panels, but that does not seem to be the case with the Aura PXL.

It weighs a bit over 15kg, a bit bigger than a standard Aura but not quite the size of a Quantum Wash. It would still be classed as a small/medium/compact fixture, just like the regular Aura. Again for reference, the original Aura weighed 5.6kg.

As it is well built, you can tour with these fixtures and reliably count on them if you were a production company looking to cross hire or hire them out.

Optics, Colour, Brightness

The Aura PXL is a very bright light, much brighter than your standard MAC Aura. Don’t be fooled by the spec sheet that claims a 10,500 lumen output. It is a relative term anyway, as there are three very different ways to measure lumen output, giving vastly different results.

The beam portion of the light is driven by 19x 40W RGBW LEDs. The Aura is powered by 141 x 0.3W RGB LEDs. It has a flat beam/wash field, meaning there is no hotspot in the middle.

Also helping make it a high-end wash light is calibrated colour temperature control, ranging from 2,000K – 10,000K, as well as a tungsten emulation option. The optics are good and suit film and television applications. It works well as a wash light lighting up a stage or set piece, it also works well as an ‘eye candy’ type fixture projecting out into an audience or in the background of a camera shot.

Features, Application

The Aura PXL features a 6-59° zoom range, giving an impressive 8:1 zoom ratio. Pan range is 540°, tilt range is 268°. Infinite pan and tilt would have been advantageous but not essential. The focus for this light is the optics more than the features.

Each of the 19 beam pixels are individually controllable. The 141 LEDs that make up the Aura section are pixel mappable. It’s enough to run video through it and can be used in conjunction with a LED wall.

Pan and tilt, colour mixing and dimming are all 16 bit functions. It moves fast. It changes colour fast. It zooms and focusses fast. For all lights in general, it would be handy to have some data in the specifications sheet that tell us how fast a fixture can pan and tilt, and how fast it can change colour and zoom. The PXL does all very quickly, making it an excellent candidate for a nightclub or somewhere where playback speed is paramount.

Control and Programming

It has the same Martin on-board menu that all users of Martin brand gear are familiar with. It is well laid out and those familiar will know where everything is. There are four DMX modes available; 17 channel, or compact mode, 32 channel, or basic mode, 89 channel, or extended mode, and 512 channel, or ludicrous mode. If you get these in, make sure you have the parameters to support them if you want to use one of the more advanced modes. You can use it as a basic wash light or as a light to pixel map and run content through. There is a mode for every application and operator.


The light is significantly better than the specs would suggest. A punchy light for its size with very good optics. A pixel mappable wash light, although a relatively new and novel concept, could become much more prevalent in the future, especially amongst high end fixtures. Being able to effectively run content via a media server through your wash lights further blurs the line between vision and lighting. Definitely an upgrade to a standard Aura, and just about any LED wash light in this size. Although it’s called an Aura, it’s really not a fair comparison. An IP rated version would be next on the list, but you have to compromise somewhere, especially for a compact size light. It would be interesting to see a large face moving wash with the same pixel mapping capabilities as the PXL, but like making an IP rated version, this may add substantially to the cost, potentially making it an unviable investment. We may come to expect pixel mapping capabilities from our top of the line wash lights much the same as we are expecting high quality LEDs today. As one of the first to market, the PXL is paving the way for the next generation of wash lights with pixel mapping capabilities.

Product Info:

Distributor Australia:

Distributor New Zealand:

The Specs

  • 10,500 lumens RGBW light output High narrow intensity: 940,000 cd Pixelated Beam: 19 x 40W RGBW LEDs Pixelated Aura: 141 x 0.3W RGB LEDs 6-59° zoom
  • RGBW colour mixing
  • Calibrated CTC control: 2,000 – 10,000K Tungsten Emulation Option
  • Virtual Colour Wheel
  • P3 video mapping of fixture Beam pixels and/or Aura pixels
  • P3 Mix allowing crossfade between video looks and DMX looks
  • Weight: 15.60kg


Published monthly since 1991, our famous AV industry magazine is free for download or pay for print. Subscribers also receive CX News, our free weekly email with the latest industry news and jobs.