MARQ Lighting Gesture Wash 102
How we light our DJ setup is a very personal choice and rarely do I see two DJs with the same lighting arrangements. The current trend for minimalism looks set to continue, driven by customers’ desire to avoid ugly metal eyesores looming in the corner of their function rooms, however many DJs are also now seeking more innovative ways to help enhance the room and theme at their events. Personally, I am always enticed by small footprint lighting fixtures that pack a punch and I was very surprised at the size of the Gesture Wash 102 from MARQ Lighting. In fact, its smart, full colour, glossy packaging seemed overly generous for such a dinky light!
The fixture in question is a distinctive two-sided wash moving head lighting effect with a wide beam angle of 38.5-degrees (another similar fixture – the Gesture Beam 102 – is also available from Marq if you’d prefer a tighter beam angle). It features four 10W RGBW LEDs per side, which allows incredible and energetic lighting show effects to be generated with light projecting simultaneously from the front and back of the head.
The fixture’s build is solid, made from a thick quality plastic with a matt black finish. Its connectors sit firmly in the casing and there is no wobble at all on any of the moving parts. The power supply for up to 15 fixtures can be daisy-chained using the IEC input and output sockets, minimising the number of cables required and making for a quicker setup. It comes with a very sturdy quarter-turn hanging bracket and is suitable for vertical use both right-side-up and upside-down. I also tested the unit mounted sideways, but the movement was unstable and sometimes erratic, therefore not recommended (to be fair to MARQ, the manual does state that it is not intended for use in this way).
As with all such fixtures, the Gesture Wash 102 offers a variety of operating modes which are controlled by the four on-board function buttons (Menu, Up, Down and Enter) with setting options and values displayed on a 4-digit LED display. The menu also provides access to various options including limiting the full 540-degree pan and tilt angles down to 360 or 180-degrees. There is also the option to invert pan or tilt, which can be used to create a striking mirrored lightshow effect or to synchronise the movements of multiple fixtures where some are mounted upright and others are hung upside-down.
For DMX control, the unit supports four channel mode options – 3, 7, 15 and 22 – and the user guide provides clear descriptions of the function of each channel. The full 22-channel option allows for every function of the fixture to be controlled independently, offering a powerful set of programming options not typically found on a lighting effect of this size and at this price point. Each side can be controlled independently – with dedicated channels provided for RGBW colour mixing as well as a master dimmer for each side – while colour macros and pre-set colour chases/fades and movement patterns can be accessed remotely to aid quick programming.
For standalone operation, the fixture is equipped with four Auto Programmes that can be set to run sound-active or at a steady speed. These are ok, but I would have liked to see more thought applied to their programming. They are quite straightforward, especially considering the level of flexibility – and therefore the effects that can be achieved – when using DMX control. And, let’s be honest, we all rely on the built-in shows sometimes to get us by when DMX isn’t an option.
However, where the Gesture Wash 102 does excel is when multiple fixtures are connected together for Master/Slave operation. It offers a 4X Slave Mode that allows contrasting movements and colours across four separate fixtures (or even groups of fixtures) allowing for complex synchronised lightshows without the need for a DMX controller.
The full reviewed can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 85, Pages 78-80.