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Remember that light CHAUVET DJ brought out years ago, which now seems to be as rare as rocking horse p**p? Used to project onto walls, it produced three cool beams that would spread up the wall, crossing over each other to create unique effects, or ticking like a clock when connected to DMX? Well, that was the CHAUVET DJ Slimbeam.

Us DJs always thought it was an amazing effect; the DMX never seemed quite right but the results were awesome – and if only they had fitted it with a battery. Of course, these days we would be asking for wireless control as well, to save us running miles of cable to connect all the units together to achieve those unique effects! I’m not sure if CHAUVET DJ are mind readers or just brilliant at knowing their market. But with the new EZBeam Q3 ILS it’s almost like they listened, took everything into consideration, and then created an updated version of the Slimbeam that’s geared towards the modern mobile DJ.

In a nutshell, the EZBeam Q3 ILS is the same cool ‘wall accent’ effect, but with wash lenses, a battery, and built-in ILS. There’s even a USB port for connecting a CHAUVET D-Fi USB dongle, so you can control the effect wirelessly on DMX using a D-Fi transmitter.

I was lucky enough to get to play with a few units prior to launch and even tested them out on some bookings. So, before I give my verdict, let’s dive in and check out the hardware.

The EZBeam Q3 ILS weighs in at 3.4kgs (7.6lbs) which is heavier than the original Slimbeam, but then you do have a battery to add into the equation. Size-wise, they’re very similar, with the EZBeam measuring 12” x 8.5” x 3.5” (308mm x 215.5mm x 89mm).

Tilt adjustment knobs allow you to set the angle based on how far from the wall you are – talk about uplighting with a difference – and honestly, like its predecessor, I really see this as the only way mobile DJs will use it. That said, there is a safety cable pass-through if you were ever to hang them or mount them facing your dancefloor. On the bottom of the unit are two standard mounting clamp fixings for rigging.

You’ll find everything else you’d expect on the outside of a CHAUVET DJ product, including the standard four-button menu and screen for settings, power on/off rocker switch, IEC power plus DMX in and out, and a microphone for those DJs who aren’t comfortable with DMX or prefer to use the built-in shows on auto or sound mode. Other notable features I picked up on were the IR sensor (to receive signal from the standard CHAUVET DJ IRC-6 remote), battery light indicator, and the USB slot for firmware updates or connecting a D-Fi USB module.
As a typical DJ, I ripped open the box, didn’t read the manual (in my defence, a manual hadn’t even been made yet when I received the units for review!), and quickly switched the light on. I was immediately disappointed. The three output lenses were creating this wash-style effect – not what I was expecting at all. Just as I started writing a message to CHAUVET DJ asking ‘What the hell is this?!’, I realised there were some magnetic wash lenses in place. As soon as I removed them, the fixture came to life and the trio of beams began dancing around the office.

It was clear straightaway that the EZBeam Q3 is brighter than the Slimbeam, with clearer optics and thicker beams that result in larger circle projections. At this point I knew I was onto a winner, especially if the battery life lived up to expectation and the DMX elements worked as they should.

Some of you will know that I’m an ambassador for the lighting controller brand Wolfmix, so of course I had to try out the EZBeam Q3 with my Wolfmix controller, especially with the BeamFX engine.
As the EZBeam Q3 wasn’t released yet, I first had to build a profile for the light on Wolfmix. I created a profile to match the 6-, 9-, 14- and 17-channel modes and then got the team at Nicolaudie UK to check and tweak it. We were ready for action. In terms of the menu, we have options for setting the DMX channel mode and channel, as well as ILS (CHAUVET DJ’s Instant Light Shows).
ILS guarantees effective lightshows with a faster setup time than ever before and, using auto-sync technology, eliminates the need for DMX programming without sacrificing the experience of a coordinated lightshow across various fixture types. Using the ILS Command unit [reviewed by Ian Forest, i120, Jul/Aug 2023] you can control the unit after syncing. Alternatively, using the brain within the GigBAR Move + ILS will also allow for synchronised shows.

The menu also offers us the standard options I expected to see: Static Colour Mode, Program, Auto Speed, Sound Mode, Sensitivity, Custom Colour Mode, Dimmer Speed and Infrared Mode, which I hope is all self-explanatory. Now that we’ve done the hardware and eco-system, let’s take a look ‘under the hood’!

Powered by 100V-240V, with IEC in and out, you can connect up to 10 EZBeam Q3 units on 110V and 18 units on 240V. Alternatively, there’s that built-in battery that we always wanted. When charging or not using the fixture, ensure it is powered off on the rocker switch. You’ll see four lines of LEDs across the screen as the battery charges and at what stage it’s charged to.
CHAUVET DJ suggest a recharge time of five hours with a maximum run time of 20 hours (single colour) and up to nine hours with all colours on.

In real terms, I fully charged the units I had and used them at three bookings without recharging (typically 7pm to 12am) – once on auto mode with master and slave and twice using the Wolfmix with D-Fi USB adapters. I didn’t have the chance to try them using ILS as I didn’t have an ILS Command or GigBAR Move + ILS, but on all occasions, they performed flawlessly and created an uber-cool effect!
Of course, I’m going to say I much preferred full DMX control and would prefer to have D-Fi built in and not have a USB dongle sticking out. But equally, the auto mode would work well for some events too. As they say, horses for courses.
CHAUVET DJ has fitted the units with quad-colour RGBA LEDs, which are 3.3W each. This means the overall power output is 40W per unit with a 50,000-hour lifespan. The illuminance at 2m is 172 lux per pod. With a beam angle of 16 degrees and a coverage angle of 24 degrees, the built-in shows utilise these very well, and they certainly feel a lot brighter than what’s stated, so I’m guessing we have some very good optics at play within the unit.

In conclusion, the EZBeam Q3 ILS is a unique fixture in the big-brand mobile DJ marketplace; the perfect addition for DJs to upsell uplighting, or for that DJ or décor company that want to offer their clients a different feel for their events. I was super impressed with the weight, size and output of the units. I don’t usually get excited about new kit, but this is special! I believe it won’t be long until we see loads of DJs adding this effect to their inventory. Bravo, CHAUVET DJ!
The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 124, Pages 78-81.
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