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REVIEWED
REVIEWED: AFX Light Hypnotic
When it comes to creating unforgettable
atmospheres on the dance floor, we think about the music, the client, and, at the top of the list for me, the lighting. At any type of event, you can use effective lighting to completely change the atmosphere for your client and their guests.

As a mobile DJ, weddings are the source of much of my work. And during the course of one evening, I need to be able to change the look and feel of the room in subtle ways, adding colour to a space which could otherwise look boring with standard warm-white lamps. When the bigger moments come, such as the cake cutting or first dance, I like to change to a slightly more dynamic effect, either in white or using a colour from the couple’s theme. Then, as we enter the night-time, I want to re-energise and dramatically alter the look of the room again.

What I love about being a mobile DJ is the freedom we have to choose which lighting we use. It’s not often we work in venues with built-in lighting, so we really have no choice but to keep up with the latest trends and try out the newest and most exciting effects on the market.

Of course, when a large mystery box turned up at my door, I was excited to find out what had been sent for review. And it turned out to be a pair of the new AFX Light Hypnotic RGBW DMX strobe panels. It was a delight to find a PowerCon lead in the box; this is my preferred power connection because it always feels better connected than the standard IEC.

I immediately plugged one of the panels in and switched the power on, resulting in a huge flood of very bright light! Even with just the single Hypnotic panel, I was easily lighting up a large area – with an output of 135 degrees, the light will reach into all the corners.

Measuring 300x300mm, the panel is also fairly large – a standout feature in my opinion – and this is partly down to the need to house 1024 5050 LED chips (that is a lot of LED points to pack in!). Heat is not something we normally have to think about with modern LED lighting, but the fact that these units come equipped with fans to force-cool the LED chips gives you a good idea of just how powerful they are.

I can see the AFX Light Hypnotic working really well in pairs, but it’s fair to say that the more you add, the bigger the effect. This is especially true if you use DMX to control your lighting. You have a choice of 4-, 6-, 13-, 16- and 32-channel DMX modes, giving you everything from basic to advanced control. Setting up and saving a range of programmes, plus the all-important strobe effects, will bring a huge amount of drama to your dancefloor.
If you do not use DMX, you still have plenty of choice. Utilising the built-in programmes via the easy-to-navigate menu, there are a total of 15 in-built static colour modes and a huge 55 auto effects, plus four different sound-to-light modes. AFX Light also gives us dimming from 0-100% and flash from 0-25 flashes per second, meaning you can set them up and forget them – although to utilise the Hypnotics at their best, you could do with controlling the output to suit different moods and moments.

In terms of positioning them in the room, I’d love to see a huge square of them framing a big DJ booth. You could then use their clever programmes to work as eye candy, whilst also adding atmosphere with increased brightness and, of course, strobing for those big drops. It’s definitely the sort of light which will work so much better if you have a large area and can use lots of them.

Any overhead bar would definitely be enhanced by a set of Hypnotics, but you could also use them on podiums, trusses and even speaker poles. The included hanging bracket makes it easy to mount the unit to bars and podiums, but also means you could use it as an advanced uplighting fixture. The hanging bracket comes with thumb screws for ease of use and with the light weighing in at 3.5kg, it’s reassuringly heavy and robust.

I know lighting technology has come a long way over the last few years and seems to be forever improving, but I can honestly say the Hypnotic is unique. I recently had a great discussion with a client who sparked my lighting imagination and since then I’ve been considering how I can achieve a range of new effects. What a great fit the AFX Light Hypnotic will be for re-building my lightshow!

In the past, I’ve tended to find that lighting is used either as a projected effect, or the light itself becomes the effect – otherwise known as ‘eye-candy’. Well, I’m pleased to say the AFX Light Hypnotic manages to achieve both; it’s great to look at but can also flood the room with colour washes. I can definitely see how the pulsating colour-to-strobe effects will bring a fantastic level of drama to the big musical moments whilst also enhancing the overall atmosphere of my lightshow.

I’m really impressed with these flexible new lights from AFX Light – no doubt dancefloors across the country will be energised by the Hypnotic’s output. One question remains: just how many do I buy?
The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 124, Pages 82-83.
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