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I've been playing with my Fathers Day gift (to myself ;)).

I had been looking at Color Kinetics Color Blast units. I found them at a decent price of about $460 each (about $1000 MSRP). In talking to some distributors, I spoke to someone from Tri North Lighting Inc. (http://www.trinorthlighting.com). They suggested that I take a look at another product that they offer with similar light output characteristics. It's called the "Outdoor LED Wall Washer 1" (http://trinorthlighting.com/Store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=94&products_id=520). I checked them out. There were a couple of drawbacks. 1) DMX addressing is accomplished by IR remote control, not by switches (have to buy a remote for $40). 2) No-name brand made in China. 3) Special "outdoor DMX cables" needed to connect them (expensive!). The Tri North rep suggested I take a look at them. I have some connections in our Entertainment department (stage lighting and sound techs), and they said they could convert the oddball connectors to regular DMX cables. And for the savings ($110 savings per unit), I figured I'd give them a try, and ordered 3 of them. So, here are a few pics you might be interested in.

This is of the bottom of the fixture, where all the cables come out. Note there is also a safety eye, for attaching the fixture to a truss as a backup in case the primary mounts fail. This way, the light will not crash down and hurt someone. In our case, we could use those eyes to run a chain or cable through to prevent theft.

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This one is shot from the front.

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Here are the fixtures set up in the studio for testing.

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and

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Finally, these show two of the fixtures lighting the front of my house.

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They seem to work great with the iDMX1000 controller I just picked up at the sale. I'm thrilled with their light output. My wife wants them set up permanently out front, so we can light for EVERY holiday... 4th of July, Valentines day, St. Pattys, Easter... on and on!

D.T.

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DT

Those look pretty impressive. What is the warranty like? Any chance you can get your buddies to write up a How-To on the cord conversion? Do you have any of the Chauvet Colorsplash 200b's? I'd be looking to compare the 2 as that is what I am going with this year.

I have 4 more 200bs to buy, and I could easily get 4 of these and intermix them. The remote control thing is a little concerning.

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Hey Mark...

I am not sure about the warranty, or if it even has one. Let's hope I don't have to find out about it ;). We took the back cover off, and found that all the electronics are sealed in a block of resin, so it appears to be built for wet use. The fixture is rated IP44, which is pretty wet safe. I can talk to the guy who did the conversion of the connectors for me. He should be able to tell me the pinouts (if he remembers them, and I'll be happy to pass them along. I could have done the soldering myself, but they had the equipment to test it right there in their office. They used something called a DMX Pro, an handy little box they use to test their DMX fixtures. Cool Gizmo, and if I had an extra $600 laying around, I'd grab one...

I have no experience with the Chauvet units. I've asked our lead lighting tech about them, and he steered me away from Chauvet and American DJ, saying they are pretty low end fixtures across the board (not to say they won't work for your application).

So far the remote issue is kind of a neat feature. You can place these lights anywhere you have power, and then with the remote, change to any color or preset program, and your all set to go. No controller, no light board, no computer, no data lines necessary. Of course for Christmas, DMX is the ticket, but If I don't have the DMX cables I need before the 4th, I'll be set to go with the remote. ;)

I plan to bring them to the Philly Area mini on July 19th if anyone is making the trek.

D.T.

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Very cool input. Chauvet and AM DJ, well, they are affordable, and I am building enclosures. I will have a total of 16 washes this year. Spendy if I have to pony up $350 a pop. I've managed deals on the 200b's. I may have to pick up a few of these to play with.

I already got all my DMX cables. Came a few weeks ago. Let me know if you need a source, at least I got one I trust.

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Mark - It wouldn't hurt to have a source of DMX cables lined up, but my boys from the entertainment dept are making up some custom lengths for me.

D.T.

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They have a 20 degree beamwidth, which will mean either several of them or place them further out, washing parts of the yard I don't want washed.

The problem I had with the ColorSplash Jrs was the 16degree beamwidth. I've got 8 of them, but it was going to have to have diffusers on each one to get enough coverage and then I just didn't have the intensity.

The ColorSplash 200b's with their 45 degree beam really made a huge difference.

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