Posted in materials on September 14, 2015 1:49 pm EDT

Review: A.C. Lighting Inc./Chroma-Q Inspire House Lighting Fixture

While the fixture is designed to deliver a very bright white output, it also offers complete color mixing and provides deep, rich color options.


 

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TAGS: design, lighting, review, sustainability,

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By Jim Kumorek

The move to LED lighting for stage use has been underway for a while now. The color changing capabilities, lower heat emissions and lower power consumption, combined with the great improvements in performance over the past few years, have all combined to make the selection of LED fixtures pretty clear.

Fade curves were smooth and would match tungsten fixtures perfectly, and the light from the fixtures looked fine on video—with none of the flickering issues that some LED fixtures have.

Manufacturers are now turning their attention to the other half of the lighting equation for a church worship space or auditorium: the house lighting. While houses The move to LED lighting for stage use has been underway for a while now. The color changing capabilities, lower heat emissions and lower power consumption, combined with the great improvements in performance over the past few years, have all combined to make the selection of LED fixtures pretty clear.

Manufacturers are now turning their attention to the other half of the lighting equation for a church worship space or auditorium: the house lighting. While houses of worship, which use standard medium screw base lamps in their house fixtures, can use the LED replacement bulbs, this doesn’t give optimal performance in situations where high-quality dimming is desired.

Chroma-Q is one of the pioneers in designing an LED house lighting fixture for performance spaces (and indeed, any high-ceiling location where high-quality dimmable LED lighting is desired) with the offering of its Inspire house lighting fixture.

Overview

The Inspire is a pendant-style, downward-projecting luminary using LED emitters as the light source. Six each of red, green and blue LEDS, plus another 18 white LEDs, are combined through lensing that completely homogenizes the beam into one consistent color. This prevents colored shadows from being formed by objects in the beam, and eliminates the “skittles candy” appearance when looking at the fixture itself. While the fixture is designed to deliver a very bright white output, it also offers complete color mixing and provides deep, rich color options.

The fixture is controlled through standard DMX cabling and [requires] constant power applied (i.e., these are not fixtures to be connected to dimmers for lighting level control). A variety of control modes are available, including some that access a built-in effects engine that can limit the colors available, set fade times, and provide options such as strobing. It should be pointed out that while these effects are available, they do not have to be used, and control modes exist that don’t provide access to the effects engine if your client wants to make sure that no one can possibly use them. (One could picture a teenager discovering the capability and deciding that strobing the congregation during “Amazing Grace” would be an awesome idea.)

The rear of the fixture sports a display with buttons for selecting options such as DMX address and operating mode. Power, DMX in and DMX through jacks are also on the rear of the unit.

While primarily designed for suspension from the rear yoke, a ceiling mount kit is also available to use the fixture as a “can light.” Care should be taken, however, that the space above the ceiling where the fixture will reside won’t exceed the fixture’s 104-degree Fahrenheit ambient temperature limit.

Specifications

The Inspire is seven inches in diameter with a height of 16 inches, and weighs less than 14 pounds. It will accept power ranging from 100-240 volts, and at full output draws 120 watts of power. On standby, the fixture draws seven watts of power. Cooling is via convection, therefore, the fixture operates silently.

Total hot lumen output (the light output when the LED chips are fully warmed up) with all emitters on full is 4,390 with the narrow lens; 4,120 with the medium lens; and 4,390 with the wide lens.

The narrow lens is stated to deliver a 32-degree beam angle (the angle within which the light output stays within 50% of the highest value), with the medium and wide lenses providing 42- and 65-degree beam angles respectively. The fixture is rated at a color rendering index (CRI) of 90.

Evaluation & Observation

A.C. Lighting, the North American distributor of Chroma-Q products, provided us with a medium lens fixture to evaluate. To do so in a proper environment, I brought the fixture to Crossroads Fellowship Church in Raleigh, N.C., where Technical Director Larry Leake assisted me with hanging and evaluating the fixture in the church’s auditorium. We hung the fixture 25 feet off the floor. We then connected the DMX input to the existing lighting console.

As part of this review, I learned something about evaluating LED fixtures. Standard light meters do not work well with LED lighting, and they misrepresent the actual output level of the fixture, in part due to their inability to “see” much of the blue light of the fixtures, and also due, in part, to the narrower light spectrum emitted by each primary color. Newer meters in the $1,700 price range are designed to handle LED fixtures better; my older $100 light meter does not. Therefore, I will not present my measurements since they would be inaccurate. Instead, I think I can accurately state that based on my measurements of the house lighting at the test facility and visually comparing the brightness of the Inspire fixture to the house lighting, that AC Lighting’s calculated brightness level of 12 foot-candles at the center of the beam at 25 feet from the lens is accurate, if not a little low.  continued >>

 

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