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Chauvet DJ caught my attention with the release of the completely wireless Freedom series. The series, which consists of Freedom Par and Freedom Strip Mini wash lights, boasts up to eight hours of battery power, a built-in D-Fi 2.4 GHz transceiver and optional infrared remote control. Every type of mobile entertainer can appreciate independence from messy and time consuming power cords and DMX cables. I was curious to see how these lightweight, battery-operated fixtures compared to my other fixtures that require every type of cable imaginable. I got my hands on a couple of each, charged up the batteries and started experimenting.
Go Wireless with Chauvet's Freedom Series
As a lighting junkie, I'm always waiting, very patiently, for the release of new gear. Chauvet DJ caught my attention with the release of the completely wireless Freedom series. The series, which consists of Freedom Par and Freedom Strip Mini wash lights, boasts up to eight hours of battery power, a built-in D-Fi 2.4 GHz transceiver and optional infrared remote control. Every type of mobile entertainer can appreciate independence from messy and time consuming power cords and DMX cables. I was curious to see how these lightweight, battery-operated fixtures compared to my other fixtures that require every type of cable imaginable. I got my hands on a couple of each, charged up the batteries and started experimenting.
First up for review - the PAR can-style Freedom Par wash light. To easily direct and control light, the LED array that houses all 198 RGB LEDs is manually adjustable. I wanted to test the fixture's uplighting and downlighting capabilities, so I placed one on the ground and mounted another one to the truss - both were equally as effective. I always customize my light shows using DMX, but was curious to see what types of automated and sound-active programs were built in. I was pleasantly surprised with the variety of animated effects that moved across the four sections of the LED array and created incredible eye candy. I really liked having the option to control the programs using my D-Fi 2.4 GHz transceiver or my IRC remote I previously purchased to control my COLORrail IRC. It's safe to say that Freedom Par is a versatile and flexible fixture that projects a bright and saturated wash.
Freedom Strip Mini
I was really excited about the Freedom Strip Mini, which is a linear wash light powered by 192 RGB LEDs. It's designed to look just like my Chavet COLORstrip Mini fixtures and will fit right in with my rig. The lightweight fixture, which weighs just over six pounds, has metal brackets so you can easily mount it to truss or set it on the floor and angle it as needed. I decided to mount it to my truss and run the automated and sound-active programs. Just like the Freedom Par, the built-in programs created eye-catching effects and projected a seamless wash.
Freedom Par and Freedom Strip Mini fixtures are powered by a lightweight rechargeable lithium-ion battery that takes approximately six hours to charge. They each provide up to eight hours of illumination and operate even longer when the units are running chases or in sound-active mode. I'm a huge fan of DMX and customization, so I was happy to see they included a D-Fi 2.4 GHz transceiver to send or receive DMX signals wirelessly. I set up my D-Fi 2.4GHz as a transmitter and set the Freedom fixtures as receivers and they worked flawlessly. Both fixtures work in master/slave mode with COLORstrip, COLORstrip Mini and other Freedom Par and Freedom Strip Mini fixtures so they will be a great addition on my rig. I was blown away by the ability to choose programs from the IRC remote on one unit and run the other three in master/slave mode through the wireless DMX. This is a great feature that I will use at all of my upcoming gigs. When it comes to setting up for a gig, I'm always busy looking for outlets, untangling cables and taping down a ton of wires. Set up took a fraction of the time with the Freedom series and I had a lot of extra time to dedicate elsewhere. Best of all, at the end of the night, all you have to do is walk around and pick up your lights. Breaking down the event will take less than half the time because I don't have to worry about cleaning up sticky tape and cables. In short, these fixtures save a lot of time and I see a future home for them on my rig. When Chauvet DJ says Freedom, they really mean it.
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