24 Apr 2024


by by Marcus Pugh, Business Development Manager / Senior Account Manager, Harry the hirer Productions

Coming into Prolight + Sound, most of the chatter was around ‘The new Viper’ which was the centre of the Martin booth.

The MAC Viper XIP with its 760W proprietary LED engine consisting of 55 x 20W 56,000K LEDs (and for the mathematically inclined, yes that equals 1,100W total), but Martin are only driving the LEDs at 75% to extend the life of the LED engine, reduce heat, and improve light quality. It pumps out 28,000 Lumens (2,000 more than the original discharge Viper) and clocks in at 36.8kg (about 2kg heavier than the original. The Viper XIP does have IP in the name which may lead you to assume that it has an IP 65 rating, but just like the MAC Aura XIP, it is rated at IP54, which basically means that it isn’t ‘dust tight’ but protected from most dust ingress and is protected against splashing water, but not ‘jets’ of water.

The next unit which was getting a lot of talk ahead of Prolight was the new laser-powered Robe iBOLT.


This being Robe’s 30 year anniversary at their ‘home tradeshow’, they pulled out all the stops. Theirs was easily the biggest and brightest stand with the usual hourly ‘shows’, some featuring dancers and aerial artists and others being more technical presentations featuring all the facts on each of their current product lines (you know which one I enjoyed more?). The iBOLT runs a 500W LSW-5 White LASER firing through a 300mm diameter front lens. This whopping unit (830mm H x 542mm W x 392mm D at 54.4kg) is a sight to see, so much so that Robe produced a ‘gold’ version for this year’s PL+S stand.

The iBOLT with it’s 0.4° – 8.5° beam angle is in a new-ish category of modern sky trackers following on from last year’s Claypaky Skylos. Both units could easily replace a traditional 7kW discharge sky tracker at a fraction of the size. I could see it fitting into a stadium or arena rig doing mid-air beam effects.

German Lighting Products (GLP) certainly brought their A game to this year’s PL+S with a great booth location and design featuring a bar, food, and a raised seating area which fast became the go-to spot at the show.


The star of the GLP Booth was the new JDC2 which brings all the features of the much beloved and spec’d JDC and adds a video element surrounding the strobe line (consisting of 84 x 10W RGB LEDs), and an IP65 rating. The JDC2 can now run low-res video through the 1,728 RGB LEDs through the 377mm W x 232mm H tilting face which can run off an NDI source. It also boasts on-board video effects, controlled like a gobo through the lighting desk. GLP devised a creative solution showing off the IP65 rating having a constant supply of its namesake, Jack Daniels and Coke, being poured on the unit.

SGM brought their latest static wash fixture, the P-3 Vision, which adds to their expanding P range of wall-washers/eye candy units.

The P-3 adds 112 SMD LEDs grouped in fours to the array of 18 RGBW 10W LEDs, adding an extra element to the P-3 Wash. SGM have been in the IP65 game for many years and know how to produce a reliable weatherproof fitting. This is the most polished and robust fitting in this category.

The Ayrton booth was impressive and well positioned, with hourly lighting shows which were a jaw dropper for the number of fittings used and sheer amount of time that must have been put into pre-programming.

The star of the show had to be the new Kyamlami, which admittedly I had not heard about before PL+S. The Kyamlami draws on the design aesthetic of the Ayrton Magic Dot and fits firmly in the ‘beam effect’ category of fittings boasting a 100W, 9,000K source and a 1° beam aperture with no zoom to speak of. It features 29 static gobos, colour mix and colour wheel, and infinite pan and tilt, all in an impressively small head (265mm L x 460mm H x 320mm D, 14.5kg). This could be the surprise package of the show.

PROLiGHTS were out in force this year with one of the best stands at the show, plenty of product at eye and hand level, and lots of useful info and staff on hand to demo the gear.

The Astra Hybrid boasts a 330W source 28,000 lm output, dual gobo wheels (one rotating one static) animation wheel, colour mix plus colour wheel, two overlayable prisms, and onboard WDMX. While the Astra isn’t going to blow anyone away, it ticks a lot of boxes in a solid build.

Chauvet had a good stand design incorporating their control partners Chamsys, though they were a little overshadowed by their Czech neighbours in Robe.

While the PXL Curve 12 was officially released at PL+S last year, it featured prominently not only on the Chauvet stand but a few other none-mover brand stands, showing the industry’s appetite for this multi-tilting head design. The IP65 12 x 45w RGBW LEDs that can also zoom (5.76 to 36.3°) have been sneaking their way onto riders and TV shows the world over, and I feel they will continue to show Chauvet as a serious player in manufacturing.

I was excited to see the Claypaky Rhapsodya pre-PL+S, being the first real moving head offering colour mixing from its RGBAL source.

This means that the Rhapsodya is a 1,200W unit and a quite sizable 860mm H x 452mm W x 416mm D, weighing 48.1kg to incorporate the 6.6° – 61.8° zoom range.

Elation is another brand that have been leading the way in the IP65 world. Their new offering is the Paragon Profile L&S, which also comes in a cool white for max output and warm white for light quality.

One thing I was impressed with is that the units can be purchased with interchangeable lenses to change the profile into a wash without having to buy a second unit. The Paragon range have all the features we’ve come to expect from a modern moving profile in what has to be the most robust housing on the show floor. If I were spec’ing an outdoor installation with movers, I would be going in Elation’s direction.

Special mention must go to Minuit Une, the newest players on the block who continue to innovate with their laser-based designs.

While they didn’t have a booth at the trade hall, they demo’d offsite in an underground nightclub; a perfectly dark and hazed venue with our undivided attention to show off their niche product. Minuit have obviously listened to their customers, coming out with a more robust, compact and modular design in the IVL Dice. My photos don’t do the demo any justice, but props to the team.


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