Tube light recommendations?

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rickryan.com

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Dec 9, 2009
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I'm kinda getting interested in picking up some tube lights. I've used Chauvet Colorstrips and mini Colorstrips for years but they're almost too bright. Wondering if you guys have any recommendations and pricing? I've seen a knock-off on Amazon for $170 but the Chauvets look to be more in the $700 range. Wondering if there's really much difference.
 
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I'm kinda getting interested in picking up some tube lights. I've used Chauvet Colorstrips and mini Colorstrips for years but they're almost too bright. Wondering if you guys have any recommendations and pricing? I've seen a knock-off on Amazon for $170 but the Chauvets look to be more in the $700 range. Wondering if there's really much difference.
What is the purpose of these lights? Dancefloor lighting? Just to get something new? To Enhance the appearance of the Sweetheart table or DJ booth? If it's for the last option, I don't recommend anything other than the Astera AX1's. Everything else on the market looks aesthetically unpleasing, by either being too tall, too wide/bulky or not clean in appearance. If you're going to dress something up, doing it in a way that benefits is more important than just throwing something in that space and ultimately detracting from it's appearance. Keep in mind, unless hanging them from the rafters , the stands you use also make or break the appearance. I've spent almost $1500 in stands for my astera's to provide a clean look. I attached a couple of pics that I think highlight how tubes should look, and in particular why i like the astera's very clean, sexy, delicate appearance compared to the bulkier lights from other companies.

Unless you're doing this to enhance the appearance of the dj area or the sweetheart table or along a focal point wall... In my opinion your venue is overloaded with lights. It would benefit you more to learn how to better dmx and have a light tech controlling what you have than just throwing another random layer of lights.

But for the sake of this conversation, should you really feel you need these and want them, you should really stay away from the amazon, jmaz, type of tube lights. Focus on the chauvet or both lighting tubes if you're really trying to do this on a budget... but again, it really really comes down to how you control them. Astera's have the best control capabilities right out of the box with an app for the phone that's preloaded with all the programs you need, as well as being super user friendly if you want to make adjustments. If you are hanging them from the cieling... I don't think colortubes are the way to go. Stick with what you have and learn to dmx control them so tyou can adjsut the brightness. There's no benefit of buying tube lights and paying a premium if you're not investing in them for their visual aesthetics. They are also bright like the color strips.

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You can create ones that look similar... but do they have the same color control/programming capabilities. I charge clients for this dancefloor lighting add-on, so a certain level of control and quality is expected... and honestly that's where the astera's stand out leaps and bounds above the others. If he's just mounting them, leaving them one color and calling it a day, maybe the DIY route may be better.
 
You can create ones that look similar... but do they have the same color control/programming capabilities. I charge clients for this dancefloor lighting add-on, so a certain level of control and quality is expected... and honestly that's where the astera's stand out leaps and bounds above the others. If he's just mounting them, leaving them one color and calling it a day, maybe the DIY route may be better.

Taso, your displays are simply stunning. Kudos. As for my purpose, I don't really want them for my venue. You're right, it's already got too many. This is mainly for a soloact that I do. Here's another guy that I'd like to copy his idea (he's out of my area). I'm looking at ordering a retractable vertical banner and I love the look he's getting from the stick lights. This would be mostly for doing bar gigs. Besides that, I would see them being used on mobile DJ gigs (which I still pickup from time to time).

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Taso, your displays are simply stunning. Kudos. As for my purpose, I don't really want them for my venue. You're right, it's already got too many. This is mainly for a soloact that I do. Here's another guy that I'd like to copy his idea (he's out of my area). I'm looking at ordering a retractable vertical banner and I love the look he's getting from the stick lights. This would be mostly for doing bar gigs. Besides that, I would see them being used on mobile DJ gigs (which I still pickup from time to time).

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If you’re using these for mobile and at someone’s special day in any way, then invest in something that is appropriate for that environment and creates a good appearance and ties in appropriately with the music/atmopshere. The worst thing and personally a pet peeve of mine is when I see a slow song being played or something downtempo and the djs lights are acting like it’s a Miami night club. It’s the reason why couples hate DJ lights in general. If it’s for the bar only I can understand why these aren’t as much of a priority. Personally in the photo you shoulder me those lights look like they have little to no output and are simply for the visual effect, as opposed to lighting an area.
 
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If you’re using these for mobile and at someone’s special day in any way, then invest in something that is appropriate for that environment and creates a good appearance and ties in appropriately with the music/atmopshere. The worst thing and personally a pet peeve of mine is when I see a slow song being played or something downtempo and the djs lights are acting like it’s a Miami night club. It’s the reason why couples hate DJ lights in general. If it’s for the bar only I can understand why these aren’t as much of a priority. Personally in the photo you shoulder me those lights look like they have little to no output and are simply for the visual effect, as opposed to lighting an area.

Agree and yes, I don't see these being used full brightness. More of just an ambiance thing to add some visual. I may use my venue to stage a few variations and see what works best. I'm also a big fan of Martin Acrobats, but then again that gets into "bouncy lights during slow segments". Thanks for your input.
 
I really don't see the appeal in using tube lights that way. It looks like the deck of the Millennium Falcon - where are the Jedi?

I'm sure there's creative uses for for tube shaped fixtures and I've seen some pretty cool applications, but I don't think putting them on sticks is it. The space starts to look like someone's yard display at Halloween or Christmas.
 
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I have eight (two sets of four) of these...I got them for kids parties. At $200 list, there is a 20% coupon that has been in place since the beginning of the year. For $160 ($320 for two sets of four), these have been a fun lighting option to have.

They have reasonable brightness, several programs including a sound sensitive program. Battery life is at least 5 hours. One downside is that these are not dmx, and can not be sync'd. So, they can all be made the same color, but if you randomize the pattern the lights will all do their own thing.

 
I have eight (two sets of four) of these...I got them for kids parties. At $200 list, there is a 20% coupon that has been in place since the beginning of the year. For $160 ($320 for two sets of four), these have been a fun lighting option to have.

They have reasonable brightness, several programs including a sound sensitive program. Battery life is at least 5 hours. One downside is that these are not dmx, and can not be sync'd. So, they can all be made the same color, but if you randomize the pattern the lights will all do their own thing.

I've only seen or worked with DMX tubes. Mostly Astera. Usually it's to enhance built out light up decor or sets - not a stand alone feature. It's also possible to make very large tubes using other DMX fixtures and rolled translucent sheets and other materials.
 
I have two of these in my living room for ambient lighting. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BXWQHYVQ

These have sound active modes but no way to link them together so each does its own thing. This would just look chaotic for a party. We typically keep these facing the wall in a fixed color. I will demonstrate the sound active mode only if someone asks then go back to fixed colors.
 
Do these not have 360 degree illumination?

The only ones I'm familiar with behave more like a fluorescent tube - illuminating the full tube in 360 degrees.
No, they don't. They are advertised as corner illumination lamps. They have a 180 degree plastic lens. I place them right behind my living room speakers (which are on vertical stands). They basically aren't visible until they are turned on. These are consumer products all the way. They probably wouldn't last long with the rigors of the road. OTOH, my wife loves them.
 
My curiosity got the best of me, so I bought a set of the knock-offs from Amazon. They are 3ft sticks, as opposed to 4ft on the Chauvets, but I'm amazed at how good these are (based on the price). For $160 I got 4, 3ft sticks, with tripods that are taller than the Chauvet bases. It also came with 4 remotes and 4 USB power cords (no transformers). I wasn't able to sleep last night so I went ahead and broke these out and set them up in my dining area. They don't look as sleek as the Chauvets, but it gives me something to play with (cheaply). Thought I'd pass it along. BTW, these do not go 360 degrees. More like 240. They put out a lot of light and have some interesting patterns. Not sure if there's a way to sync them or not.

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BTW, here is the retractible banner that I'm planning to use on solo gigs (musician/singer), along with the tube lights. It's 81"X47" from VistaPrint. I'm trying to pickup some live musician gigs this summer. It should be here by Monday.

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I would've put a QR code on that (on the top half) and taken off the phone number. The info at the bottom won't even be noticed if the banner is behind you or obscured by gear, people or even something as small as a beer bottle.
 
I assume you're using DMX?
Astera has already done the most common and useful programming and placed it in their app. Using your iPad and Astera's wireless link you simply select the applicable colors, pattern, and speed all on the fly. You really don't need to know anything about DMX at all to have oustanding effects. No cables, no complex controller to learn.

Downside, their wireless communication has a distance limit of about 100 feet line of sight, and many of their compact products do not have a provision for a DMX or a wired connection. We need to take that into consideration if the intent is to control many fixtures across a larger tent or venue.
 
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