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COLORado Guide: A Fresh Look At Our Famous Series

Posted on July 15, 2015

Want to learn your way around COLORado? Then check out the new road map provided by Ford Sellers, CHAUVET Professional Senior Product Manager. Ford isn’t offering advice on driving to Boulder, Aspen and other scenic spots in the Centennial State, but he does provide plenty of tips on creating beautiful scenes with our diverse line of COLORado LED fixtures. In this column, Ford gives us a detailed guide to understanding the differences between various COLORado fixtures and how they can impact your designs.

A thing that always stands out about COLORado is that it’s one series divided into two lines. So, what is the difference between the COLORado IP and the COLORado Tour lines?
“You’re right, this is a common question – and there’s a very good reason for the division and it stems from how and why the COLORado line was developed. Basically, the COLORado line came to life to fill a variety of needs for the professional theatrical and production/touring markets. COLORado fixtures are currently on tour with both large and small acts, installed in theatres and clubs, and are available from most major rental houses.

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COLORado 2-Quad Zoom Tour at Centerpoint Church

“While many applications are indoor, or at least at covered venues, such as arenas, there are also many other venues where a fixture may be exposed to the elements during the run of the show. Amphitheaters, open air arenas, fairgrounds come immediately to mind here. COLORado Tour fixtures were designed to be tough and tour ready, and to blend into most production and touring rigs easily with Neutrik powerCON connections, and 3 and 5-pin data connections. The COLORado IP fixtures have the same rugged construction of the touring fixtures with the addition of weatherproofing. Some examples that make the tour line different: a Gore-Tex valve allows the fixture to vent heat and moist air without allowing water back in. We also use specialized cables and connectors, which can be exposed to water –and weather.”

Ok, let’s look at some numbers now. There are COLORado 1-Quad and COLORado 2-Quad fixtures. Can you describe the different niches that each fit? When would I use one over the other in an application?
“The COLORado par series has been developed with different applications in-mind. The COLORado 1 fixture line is a high-output LED par. which has been designed to have the most impact at medium throw distances (20-30’). The COLORado 2 fixtures were developed for superior punch and maximum output at longer throw distances, or where fewer fixtures are going to be used to light a large area.”

What about the zoom features in the COLORado 1-Quad and 2-Quad Zoom Tours – how are they used by a designer?
“Zoom is a feature that is often overlooked in static wash lights. One of the benefits of using color changing LED fixtures is that you don’t need to access the fixture and change gels to change the color of your light. With LED wash lights, you have great flexibility in color and intensity accessible via DMX. Having a zoom in your fixture offers that same kind of flexibility in application. For instance, the same fixture can be used to light the same size object from a variety of throw distances. Not only that, but the same fixture can be used as an area wash, and then zoom down into a spot and do double duty. Having zoom in a fixture opens up a wider number of applications. Finally, as an effect, zoom is a great and economical addition to static wash lights. To make the most of your rig, having multiple fixtures doing a zoom chase along with color changing and an intensity chase can add energy that was previously only attainable with a rig of moving lights.”

Sounds good. Now here’s some more numbers: CHAUVET Professional has a COLORado Batten 72 Tour and COLORado Batten 144 Tour. How did you arrive at these two numbers? Why two sizes?
“The COLORado Batten 72 Tour and 144 Tour are extremely popular and versatile fixtures due to their RGBWA color mixing, sectional control, and bright even output. The numbers in the name relate to the quantity of LEDs in each fixture. The COLORado Batten 72 has 72 1-watt Red, Green, Blue, White and Amber LEDs, and the Colorado Batten 144 has twice the LEDs as the 72. When used to light a vertical surface (like a painted drop or cyclorama), we found that although the COLORado Batten 72 performed well, it was not always easy to get an even wash across a tall drop, unless you lit it from above and below. So we developed the Batten 144, which mixes narrow and wide lensing in the same fixture, to allow for even distribution of light across a 30’ tall surface. In addition, as we knew that the Batten 144 would be used as a floor-mounted fixture, we added in a glare shield to hide the LED sources from the audience, without compromising the output of the fixture.”

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COLORado 1-Quad Tour at Lucid Candy

How does the COLORado Batten Quad-9 Tour differ from the other battens in the line – not just in terms of its features, but in the role you intended it to fulfill in designs?
“Battens are used for a variety of applications in live entertainment. They are frequently used for top lighting, to light cycs and drops, to provide side light as vertical toning strips, to provide low profile front light, and even for use as eye candy effects. How the COLORado Batten Quad-9 is different is in both the source, and control. The ability to control each pixel independently gives designers and operators the option of creating a lot of dramatic sweeps of color and effects by mapping the individual LEDs into their lighting consoles and video servers. Additionally, although people love the wide gamut of color available in the COLORado Batten 72 Tour and 144 Tour with the RGBWA color mixing, many people prefer seeing homogenized color come from each lens. By using RGBW LEDs in the COLORado Batten Quad-9, we are able to provide pre-mixed color from each of the nine independently controllable lenses.”

How come there is no indoor version of the COLORado 4 IP? Can this and other COLORado IP fixtures be used indoors as well as outdoors?
“Despite its compact size, the COLORado 4 IP is a monster of a fixture in terms of output. Each of the four individually controllable RGBW LEDs is rated at 40 watts. When we developed this fixture, we wanted to pay specific attention to the applications that our customers would have for it. While we have seen many applications indoors for this fixture, we recognize that festival and arena touring is a major application for this unit. Since there is nothing on an IP-rated COLORado which would prevent it from being used in an indoor setting, we opted to launch this as a single unit that could be used for the widest possible number of applications.”

Why do you think the COLORado Series has been so popular in so many different segments of the lighting market?
“Ultimately, I think it comes down to a few basic precepts that the entire COLORado Series has been built around. Each fixture has been designed with our customers and their needs in-mind. Every product was developed with an eye towards application, and ease of use. They are tough, reliable, consistent work horses. They have always been at the leading edge of performance. And finally, even as industry leaders in innovation and technology, they are affordable, which is always nice seeing as every production has to live with a budget.”