The Beam Fixture
The beam fixture is a cool, new breed of lighting fixture that has a near-zero degree beam of light output from it’s large diameter lens.
Not only does it throw far, but it is also small and lightweight – which means it can move very, very fast. If you’ve watched any concert in the last few years, there is a good chance you’ve seen these fixtures in action.
One of the biggest pluses with these fixtures is that you are able to see the beam of light without any atmosphere like haze in the room. This is a big help in venues that don’t allow or are costly to add atmosphere.
What can you expect to see inside these fixtures?
While every brand and model of fixture does vary, the basics include a few gobos, color wheels and a dimmer. Some units are also hybrids, allowing the light to no longer be a one-trick pony.
As moving light technology continues to improve and change, one of the great improvements is the ability for a fixture to function as a hybrid wash, spot and beam fixture. Most of these hybrids combine 2 of the fixture types, but some are now beginning to combine all 3.
For example, the Chauvet Rogue RH1 allows you to switch between a beam and spot mode interchangeably.
Another great example is the Varilite VL3500 Wash FX – this unit switches between beam and wash mode smoothly, and is a lot of fun to play with!
These modern hybrid fixtures are a big improvement to early hybrid fixtures that weren’t really good at either of the functions that they tried to be! They’re fun to play with, and can provide great effects for bands, churches, corporate events and even theatre!
And did I mention that they’re really fun to play with?
How to Use Beam Fixtures In Your Lighting
Beam fixtures really thrive when you use them to add dynamics to your show. (Learn more about adding dynamics to your show right here – and double your lighting’s effectiveness today)
Their unique gifting is to cut through everything else on stage and bring fresh energy to a look that is already maxed out.
Or, if it’s completely dark, you can cut on your beam fixtures to create incredible awe and surprise the crowd with the cutting beam.
In addition to moving, sweeping and multiplying the energy of the band, you can also use your beam fixtures to highlight soloists on stage and other moments that you want to highlight.
This is especially helpful on a faster song, where you may have all of your other lights up bright.
In this situation, simply taking your spot fixtures and using them to highlight the soloist won’t do much good – they won’t cut through the wash! But your beam fixtures will…
Top 3 Beam Moving Lights:
Hard edge fixtures like beams are increasingly popular in designs for their long throws, cutting light, and overall brightness. They’re a staple in the festival market where outdoor stages are commonplace and big crowds and massive stages are the norm. If you’re looking for an affording moving head light, that is still rider-ready and in the “pro-lighting” category, then check these lights below out.
Chauvet – Rogue R2X Beam (MAP – $1699)
Rogue R2X Beam is the light cannon of the Rogue series, boasting an intense 134,000 lux at 15 meters from its 231 W Osram Sirius lamp. This fully-featured beam can be focused down to 1 degree for extremely focused aerial effects, and comes with 14 fixed colors in a fully scrollable, variable speed color wheel, which also provides split-colors perfectly. Additionally, the unit features individually controllable and overlapping 8 and 5-facet prisms for an endless supply of creative and dynamic beam looks. Frost and focus options ensure even light distribution and the unit is equipped with RDM and DMX protocols.
Elation – Platinum Beam 5r Extreme (MAP – $1,880)
Affordable, gig ready fixture with robust design and built in Wireless DMX. A bit lacking on brightness but works great for indoor venues. Armed with an 8 facet rotating prism and frost effects, super fast 16 bit 3-phase pan/tilt motors, strobe (1-18 fps), dimming 0-100%, and focus, (12) colors including UV, CTO, CTB, and white, (8) metal rotating, indexing, interchangeable gobos & more.
Clay Paky – Sharpy (MAP – $1,995)
Sharpy is a 189W moving beam light with an unprecedented brightness, Sharpy produces a perfectly parallel, laser-like beam with an incredible output. Sharpy is also groundbreaking for the purity of its beam, which is sharply defined and free of any halo or discoloration around the edges. It offers 14 different colors and 17 gobos, allowing you to change the shape of the beam and create an array of spectacular mid-air effects. It is your standard go-to Beam fixture for many productions.