ROAD TEST

20 Feb 2024

ShowPro ALLIGATOR

by Kurtis Hammer

Innovative Double-Sided Lighting Fixture

Light fixtures boasting a feature list as long as this low-slung reptile appear rarely in our habitat, and the Alligator is versatile indeed. It’s a moving bar with infinite pan and tilt, a beam, a wash, and a strobe… and that’s just for starters.

The Alligator is a double-sided beam/wash/ strobe moving bar with infinite pan and tilt, which technically classifies the unit as a hybrid LED moving head. The front panel of this reptilian wonder features a zoom range of 3 – 37 degrees, which is great for creating wash effects of precise beam projections, while its back features an intense strobe that’s ideal for high energy events and performances.

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The Alligator is essentially half a DiamondBack on one side and a Collider strobe with less output on the other (for those familiar with these units). It can serve as a beam, a wash and a strobe moving bar, giving the Alligator a vast array of uses and applications.

THE LIGHT’S CONSTRUCTION

At 27.1kg, the Alligator has some weight behind it, especially when you consider that it’s not IP65 rated. Although not the heaviest on paper, and far from a two-person lift, the Alligator is low and wide, making it a little awkward to pick up off the ground (like its namesake!). The pan and tilt locks are a must, and it hangs quite easily with two clamps. For transportation, two Alligators fit neatly in one case.

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The Alligator’s aforementioned infinite pan and tilt feature moves quickly and quietly, and stops on a dime, which is impressive to witness in person when you consider how big and heavy its head is. How durable this mechanism will remain over time is a guessing game at this point, but right now the Alligator’s infinite pan and tilt is one of the unit’s most outstanding features.

OPTICS, COLOUR & BRIGHTNESS

As mentioned earlier, the front side of the Alligator is essentially half a DiamondBack, comprised of 7 x 60W RGBW LEDs arranged inline, framed by alternating cool-white and warm-white LEDs. The colour temperature is variable, ranging from 2800k all the way out to 8000k, and according to manufacturer’s specifications, the front panel emits up to 9,600 lumens.

The rear side of the Alligator, meanwhile, is essentially a Collider strobe, albeit not as bright. It’s a 700W LED with RGBW colour mixing. Claimed output on this side of the unit specs out at 18,000 lumens.

Both lights use the same RGBW colour mixing system, making it easier to get matching, uniform colours using the same values.

They’re aimed exactly 180 degrees apart, making programming for positions fairly straightforward.

APPLICATIONS & FEATURES

Naturally, a hybrid fixture will have more applications than a non-hybrid model – no great revelation there. Despite having no gobo or animation wheel, shutter kit or prism, the Alligator boasts a large array of features.

The front side features the aforementioned LED bar and alternating WW (Warm White) and CW (Cool White) LEDs around the perimeter.

Its substantial zoom range gives the Alligator a ratio of about 12:1, and it’s impressive to see how tight the beam is in person, especially over a long throw. When narrowed all the way in (to three degrees), the light has a square beam. Zoomed all the way out (to 37) it makes for a great effects fixture and doubles up as a respectable wash that remains flat almost all the way across, with no hot spot in the middle.

The back panel is a true LED strobe, featuring a massive 70-degree beam angle, essentially making the Alligator a flood into the bargain. A strobe that offers pan and tilt features is uncommon; a strobe featuring infinite pan and tilt is rare indeed. Frankly, when you put your mind to it, the list of tasks this light can potentially perform is truly breathtaking.

And yet, despite how well the Alligator performs its impressive array of tasks, you still may not want to spec (or buy) this light if you’re simply chasing a wash or spot, despite it being advertised as capable of both. You might, however, if you were in the market for a strobe or a bar light for its effects alone.

CONTROL & PROGRAMMING

The Alligator has five different DMX modes, ranging from 26 to 98 channel modes. If you’re going to run an effects-style light, you may as well use the most extended mode your infrastructure will support.

As for protocols, the unit is compatible with both 3-pin and 5-pin DMX as well as RJ45 input and output. You can run DMX, RDM and ArtNet, making the Alligator well and truly up to spec, and on equal footing with other high-end moving lights of today.

It’s worth pointing out here that while there are a lot of new high-quality, feature packed LED fixtures coming out, many of these are relatively thirsty on the power draw. Gone are the days where one could hastily assume that a light drew ‘next to no power’ were it an LED fixture. This fallacy could land you in big trouble with the Alligator! The reptile draws 920W of power, meaning you can only get two to a single 10A circuit. As a crude comparison, a Martin Mac Viper (a full-sized moving head profile with a discharge lamp) draws 1194W. It’s not too far off the power draw of a lot of the moving head profiles from yesteryear. Both the VariLite VL3000 Spot and the Alpha Profile 1200 draw 1200W.

VERDICT

Although marketed as a wash/beam/strobe hybrid fixture, the Alligator really is the ultimate ‘eye candy’ light. Overall, it’s a fantastic concept that has been very well executed and has the look and feel of a sophisticated, high-end effects light. It’s a double-sided moving bar light with infinite pan and tilt, a strobe on one side and half a DiamondBack on the other. What more could you ask for? Individual zoom control of the 7x LEDs would be cool, as might be the ability to break down the strobe into more than seven segments, but this would no doubt increase the cost of the unit.

The double-sided light concept is a unique and distinguishing feature. With the release of the Alligator into the wild, I suspect we’re glimpsing the future of the hybrid light.


FEATURES

  • Creative double-sided design provides flexible solutions for different applications
  • Up to 9,600lm (front beam/wash panel), up to 18,000lm (back strobe panel)
  • Speedy infinite pan/tilt movement
  • Motorized wide-ranging zoom of 3° – 37°
  • Four dimming curves with 16-bit high- resolution control
  • Selectable PWM frequency for flicker-free video
  • DMX, RDM and Art-Net control 5

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Light Source:
    • Front panel: 7 x 60W RGBW 4-in-1 + 280W WW&CW
    • Back panel: 700W RGBW
  • Lumen Output:
    • Front panel: up to 9,600lm
    • Back panel: 18,000lm
  • Lux Output:
    • Front panel: 52,000lux @ 3M
    • Back panel: 800lux @ 3M
  • Colour Temperature: 2800~8000K
  • CRI: Ra ≥ 68 DUV: 0.0001 – 0.009
  • Wavelength:
    • Front panel: R: 620nm G: 526nm B: 453nm
    • Back panel: R: 623nm G: 526nm B: 457nm
  • TM-30-15rg/rf: 98/83 TLCI: 70
  • LED Life: 20,000 hrs
  • Beam Angle:
    • Front panel: 3° – 37°
    • Back panel: 70°
  • Field Angle:
    • Front panel: 4° – 51°
    • Back panel: 124°
  • Pan Movement: Infinite Tilt Movement: Infinite Colour Mixing:
  • Front panel: RGBW+WW+CW
  • Back panel: RGBW
  • Zoom: 3° – 37°
  • Motorised Strobe: 0 – 30Hz
  • LED Refresh Rate: 600Hz/1200Hz/2000Hz
  • /4000Hz/6000Hz/25kHz
  • Dimmer: 4 dimming curves, 0 – 100% adjustable
  • Mains: 100 – 240VAC, 50-60Hz
  • Consumption: 920W @ 230V (strobe: 1500W @ 230V) Fuse:
  • T15A Power Connections: PowerCon In Power Factor: 0.96 @ 230V
  • Protocol: DMX512/RDM/ArtNet
  • Data Connections: 3- or 5-pin XLR In/Out for DMX RJ45 In/Out for ArtNet
  • DMX Channels: 26CH/50CH/84CH/98CH
  • Display: 2.83-inch TFT
  • Housing:
    • Flame-retardant nylon with black finish
  • Operating Temperature: 0 – 45°
  • Cooling: Low-noise fan for forced air IP Rate: IP20
  • Dimension: 713 x 244 x 451mm
  • Weight: 27kg

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