PLSN Reviews AVERE® 4UV
Reposted from PLSN article originally published on 2/9/17.
Apollo AVERE® 4UV
It’s become trite by now to point out just how much light-emitting diodes have changed things, and matured as a technology. The difference in every quantifiable variable we can look at in a light — the color rendering and gamut, the dimming, the brightness — has come so far as to make most comparisons to the very first LED devices designed for production laughable. Today, LED-based fixtures are beginning to challenge even large-format moving lights.
Yet in some specific applications, arc-based sources have for some time maintained their lead. For instance, electrical arcs are fabulous for creating large amounts of generally unwanted UV energy, which in most intelligent lights is blocked immediately after exiting the lamp by safety glass. It is also, of course, the secret sauce in blacklight effects, imparting a beautiful exotic glow to fluorescent materials. Today, we’re looking at the 4UV, an ultraviolet effect light from Apollo, which uses LEDs to create a true UV effect.
What do we mean by true UV? The blacklights available at the average party store do produce UV light, but generally only mediocre blacklight effects because of the other unwanted frequencies they produce along with it. LEDs handily sidestep this issue, as they are narrow-bandwidth emission devices.
The 4UV is a simple fixture. It does not take DMX, and comes standard with an Edison power connector on the rear for power. On the front of its black anodized aluminum body are six LED dies behind a clear protective lens. These are capped with small TIR lenses to collect and focus the light and give a standard spread of 22°, but versions with 15° or 35° beam spreads are available. The unit also comes in a dimmable version suitable for use with Electronic Low Voltage (ELV) dimmers for situations where dimming control is preferable. (It is not suitable for use with common theatrical Triac dimmers.) The fixture is compact, with the main body being 4.9 inches in diameter and 6.8 inches long.
The output from this light is interesting. Turning it on in the absence of fluorescent materials results in a dull bluish-purple glow, and it appears to give off a deceptively small amount of light. The output wavelength is centered right on 365 nanometers, well into the UV spectrum, and almost all the energy output is outside the range of visible light. Add fluorescent paints or dyes to the area, however, and the colors burst into view, surprisingly vivid for such a small fixture. The output from this light was outside the range that my light meter would register. To attempt to put it in perspective, however, it easily illuminated the fluorescent materials from one end my 20-by-25-foot office. (My running shoes glowed a particularly intense shade of neon orange.) In terms of hard numbers, the unit is rated for 18.5W of power consumption for the standard version, and 21W for the dimming version. There is no fan in the unit; all cooling is via a large heatsink behind the face of the fixture and the aluminum body of the light itself.
The 365nm wavelength is what provides the spectacular UV effects, but it bears saying here that devices such as this come with some precautions. They shouldn’t be used from a range of less than four feet, and one should avoid looking directly into the emitted light, as direct ultraviolet radiation can cause retinal damage. The unit is also IP65-rated for mounting in outdoor or wet conditions. Power input for the standard version is 120V, and the fixture weighs 5.9 pounds. It comes standard with a mounting yoke for attaching the rigging hardware of your choice. The unit also has a range of optional accessories including top hats, a bandpass filter, cord lengths and customization options.
The Apollo 4UV is petite, but packs a punch in terms of UV output, and would be at home with purveyors of special effects, theme parks, or any production that needs bright and eye-catching UV effects.
At a Glance
Compact, with True UV
Powerful UV effects don’t need bulky power supplies and ballasts anymore. This LED-based UV effect light provides all the punch of arc-sourced based versions without the heat and size associated with those units, and provides a true 365nm blacklight effect.
Apollo Avere 4UV
PROS: Small, powerful, true UV effect
CONS: Dimming control only
- Size: 4’9” x 4’9” x 6.8”
- Weight: 5.9 lbs.
- Wattage: 21W
- IP Rating: IP65
- MSRP: $1,185
- Manufacturer: Apollo Design Technology
- More Info: www.apollodesign.net