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By Carl Hirst.
All of us, I’m sure, continually look out for new equipment, especially that which we can offer our clients as additional services. Preferably, we’re looking for new stuff that is quick and easy to set up but also gives that wow factor to any event.

If we’re going to go to work, we might as well maximise our earnings – especially if that something can also be a bit of a USP, something that your client will decide sets you apart! For example, popping a client logo or their names on the outside of a venue, personalising and therefore elevating the entrance for their guests, making them feel that little bit more special. Sounds good? Well, CHAUVET DJ have done it again, with the Freedom Gobo IP!

CHAUVET DJ have been producing their fantastic range of Freedom fixtures for some time now. You have probably used some of them, and most likely still do. I’ve always been impressed with the products CHAUVET DJ design, as generally they are very well built, reliable units that never let you down. They always seem to nail the build quality and ease of use, with the user always at the forefront of what they do, as well as being great value for money.

If you supply lighting, especially outdoor lighting, you will know the benefits of battery-operated units. Outdoor units, which of course need to be IP rated, are especially great; high impact with minimal-fuss effects. Plus, saving yourself running miles of cable, or taking out those miles of cable, sometimes in poor weather, is always a bonus. Let’s face it, when it comes to the end of a night, you want to be away as quickly as possible.

CHAUVET DJ really understands this and the new Freedom Gobo IP is a game changer in terms of providing an outdoor-friendly light that provides big effects and is quick and simple to set up. With a rating of IP54, the Gobo IP is designed for temporary outdoor use, and its battery operation makes it extremely versatile for pretty much any environment. And it's also extremely quick to put in and take out – no more muddy cables to clean the next day!

The body is well constructed and comes with a hanging bracket that can also be used as a floor or surface mount, allowing for maximum flexibility in positioning at the desired location on any surface. The unit also provides a safety cable eye for when you need to rig at height. There are manual zoom toggles of between 16 and 31 degrees, for enlarging exposure and ensuring a good focus. Weighing 2.5kg, the light takes up a foot space of 293x118 x201mm (excluding the bracket). So, it’s fairly compact to allow for mounting in a discreet location.

Light is provided by a single cool-white 16W LED, rated at 940 lumens projector – it’s as bright as it needs to be for this type of effect. There is a simple-to-use rear LED screen for changing all settings. While the Freedom Gobo does not have direct DMX input or outputs, it does offer wireless DMX with 1- or 3-channel modes. You can select the wireless mode to both transmit and receive, so you can use any wireless transceiver. However, CHAUVET DJ does recommend its Flarecon Air and D-Fi Hub. The unit also comes with an IRC remote for running in stand-alone mode, which will be especially useful for controlling its output from ground level if it’s been placed up high.

A run time of eight hours will be enough for the majority of events, and that’s from a single charge of around 2.5 hours. Run time does depend on the intensity at which you set the light, so it could be shorter. However, there is a battery life indicator, so you will always know how long you have left. There is also an AC external power cord, which can be used to charge and run the light at the same time, but this is for indoor use only.

The Freedom Gobo IP comes with 10 wedding-ready gobos, including decorations such as hearts, bells and stars, but it’s compatible with any gobo made from thin metal or even transparent acetate. The design makes the gobos very simple to change on the outer body, with the gobo holder magnetically attached to the unit. There aren’t even any screws – ideal for a fast changeover.

So, how does the Freedom Gobo IP perform? Well, I tested it by shining it onto a wall at a good distance, using the supplied gobos, and I have to say I’m really impressed. The spread was excellent and the focus of the gobo itself was sharp. At £599, the fixture offers excellent value and – due to the ease of use and the versatility it offers for any event as a quick and simple add-on – it’s worth every penny.

If you supply projections, such as couples names on walls or company logos for corporate events, you should definitely check out the Freedom Gobo IP. Not only will it save you time, but it could make you some money by giving your clients that extra ‘wow’ factor.
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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 106, Pages 94-96.
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