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Pin spot lighting is something I think has been left behind a bit in the race to evolve all lighting fixtures. While spotlighting has evolved significantly indeed, the trusty little lights used to illuminate table centre pieces, wedding cakes, other decorative pieces, and even mirror balls, haven’t really changed much.

I have a set of six Chauvet EZ pin spots – quite revolutionary when launched and definitely less than 10 years old, yet they come with packs of gels to change the output to anything other than white. They’re still very useful for lighting a small area, but for such a relatively new light to feature a single LED light source seems, well, old. Like much of modern technology, lighting moves at a rapid pace – but some fixture types move faster than others.

Moving heads are the lighting effects which have come the furthest in the shortest time, evolving to the point where you can pin-spot anything, from a good distance, as well as using the light for other effects – often creating huge drama, especially where you have a bit of haze. On the other hand, if you want to light 10 table centre pieces, moving heads may not be the best application of what are very powerful lighting effects. The advantage of pin spots is that they are generally a ‘set and forget’ type of light: focus on an object and leave it.

Now, the new CHAUVET DJ Pinspot Q1Z ILS brings the smaller pin-spot type of light bang up to date. Even better, it brings it under the umbrella of CHAUVET DJ’s ILS-compatible lighting fixtures. In terms of ILS (Instant Light Show), CHAUVET DJ have been moving rapidly and are incorporating the technology into more and more new fixtures. Currently, the company has more than 30 lights on its ILS page. I know a number of DJs swear by the system and every demo I’ve seen has been seriously impressive.

The ILS Command lighting controller has taken the DJ industry by storm – a simple, intuitive and fast way to take control of your lighting, that doesn’t take an absolute age to learn. It was bound to be a winner.

In order to control lights that aren’t in your immediate area, it’s always been a case of using long DMX cables, or plugging one of the many forms of Di-Fi units into the back of your fixtures and using a DMX controller. With CHAUVET DJ's ILS system, you’re easily able to control your light show using their ILS Command.

You can change the colour of the table centre pieces quickly and easily; turn mirror ball effects on and off, instantly; or perhaps even use them for a cake cut. I’ll leave other potential uses to your imagination!

You can also control the Pinspot Q1Z ILS via DMX (there are three DMX mode options: 4-, 6- and 7-channel), and if that’s not enough, you also have a USB point for D-Fi compatibility. You can also control the light directly using the OLED display. So, pretty much exactly how you would traditionally use a pin spot – but now with added colour and control.

The light source is a 20W quad-colour RGBW LED and you can adjust the zoom (5 to 25 degrees) to refine your output to the area you want to light. In terms of size, I’d say it’s a large pin spot rather than a small spotlight – at just over 30cm long (12.1 inches) and weighing 1.36kg (3 lb), it’s a good size and reassuringly heavy.

The light comes with a mounting bracket which can be used to hang from truss, as well as a floor stand for using the Q1Z ILS as a narrow uplighter.

In terms of brightness, this is very good for a pin spot. If you need brighter, you are in spotlight or moving head territory. But for effective and subtle lighting, it’s perfect. Output is 617 lumens, with luminance of 623 lux (narrow) at 2 meters, and 4,081 lux (wide) at 2 metres.

So, what are the most likely uses for the Pinspot Q1Z ILS? I’ve mentioned a few already, but I think the most likely use will be to light small and specific areas – a cake cut is the most obvious. You could use a couple on a mirror ball, but they would need mounting pretty close for maximum impact (it might be better to use a spotlight, or a moving head such as the CHAUVET DJ Intimidator Spot).

I wonder if CHAUVET DJ have a spotlight in the development room, ready to join the range?

The CHAUVET DJ Pinspot Q1Z ILS has a lot of uses and brings the pin spot bang up to date. If you ever need to light features, it’s a quick and easy solution to add to your lighting range. If you are one of the growing army of ILS users, it’s an absolute no-brainer – total control over spotlight moments for any mobile DJ is a quick and easy way to take your events to another level.
The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 125, Pages 84-85.
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