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Ushio NanoPix Slim 1440 Footlight

by Jim Hutchison • in
  • December 2018
  • Road Tests
• Created: December 7, 2018

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Ushio NanoPix Slim 1440 Footlight

 

It isn’t very often that a company produces exactly the right product for an application.

Product development comes in cycles. You will always find something different you could have done to sway a product in a different direction with a different feature set, perhaps even deviate from your original idea in order to solve a problem you think is important. This often leads to missing the original idea by bloating the product with good ideas that might not be great ideas for an application. Face it, we live in a world with so much competition in products that it takes a true visionary to hit the application target right in the bulls eye.

It also isn’t very often that I get to write about a product that solves so many issues related to an application that you could call that product “essential.” But this is exactly what I found in a product called the NanoPix Slim 1440 distributed by Ushio. They have a footlight fixture that combines size, height, brightness, form factor and feature set into one package — and they have solved the issue of which footlight to use for your rig. If you’ve not had your hands and eyes on the NanoPix Slim 1440 and you’re looking for a footlight solution, this footlight ramp is a major contender that you need to demo.

Ushio actually has two outstanding fixtures that are worth a mention, one being the NanoPix Slim 1440 in this review, and the other is from the HP line of Ushio NanoPix softlights — the NanoPix 2880 HP. Both of these fixtures are impressive in scope and intensity. If you’re looking for a bright and feature-rich RGBW mappable fluorescent replacement batten, I’d stop and take a look at the NanoPix 2880 HP. These NanoPix soft battens are being used in studios, theaters and on tours because of their wide range of functionality — their linear design integrates extremely small micro LED chips in RGB with Warm and Cool White for maximum color attenuation. Also impressive about the NanoPix 2880 HP (and sister fixture, NanoPix 1440 HP) is how tightly packed in the LED arrangement is and how wide of a beam spread it throws — around 150 degrees. The units can be connected together end-to-end and side-by-side, with integrated barn doors for shaping the light just how you need. A high CRI of 93, super-wide color temperature balancing range (2700°K to 9000°K) and 16,000 lumens output are other hot points to visit. But, we can get to that in another review.

‡‡         NanoPix Slim 1440: First Impressions

When you first see the NanoPix Slim 1440, you’re going to notice that the fixture is just under two and a quarter inches tall — 57 millimeters to be exact, which is 2.244 inches, or only a quarter-of-an-inch taller than a round microphone stand. The fixture has a ramped shape towards the illuminating surface. NanoPix Slim 1440 is low profile that would be virtually invisible to most in the audience. It’s not going to get in your camera shots, it’s not going to be in the photographer’s frame or the audience’s view of the talent, and it’s low enough to the ground that you’re not going to tip it over if the talent decides to walk past the monitor cabinets. Consequently, it’s just shy of six and a half inches deep, so it sits flat and flush on the floor by design — an ideal footlight form factor. The LED surface is also angled to make the best of wherever you decide to place it onstage to get the best coverage out of your footlight system while minimizing height. Each NanoPix Slim 1440 unit is also lightweight, at 12.34 pounds, so it’s manageable without being bulky. A continuous, tough alloy casting gives the luminaire strength, an excellent profile and total faith in the survival of the unit in our often rugged touring conditions.

Another problem solved by design is heat management. NanoPix Slim 1440 is passively cooled — via convection, with no fans. That’s a welcome attribute, since the footlight is going to be so close to the front of the stage, sharing space with microphones and recording gear. Speaking of close quarters, the NanoPix Slim 1440 also provides incredible coverage at a very close proximity — the talent can be as close as four inches without getting a big nasty bright spot, something that very much impressed me when driving this fixture around the block. Fixture configuration is also a major problem solved by the luminaire. You can lay them out individually, or you can connect them end-to-end for a long, continuous line of footlights that blend into the deck. Integral connectors on each end of the units allow for continuous configuration, and the connections carry both power and data, which either gets connected to the next unit and retracts back into the fixture for a tight, seamless look, or to the power and data whip that gives you access to individual or group layouts. This is a very well-thought-out fixture.

‡‡         Bright and Well-Designed

NanoPix Slim 1440 is just so low to the ground that I have to mention it again. (It’s really low profile.)

The “1440” part of the product’s name refers to the unit’s LED count. There are 1440 tightly packed LEDs, shaped for maximum spread in the form factor. There are several choices for output color in this fixture. Users can choose from RGB LED output, Warm White (WW) output to give that nice warm incandescent glow on your gig, Cool White (CW) for getting the balance perfect for recording. The unit’s variable color temperature ranges from 2700°K to 9000°K, giving users a full range of white light for any applications.

‡‡         Made for High Value Production

NanoPix Slim 1440 has strobe functionality and adjustable PWM for making it “flicker-free” on high definition broadcasts. Users can choose between 5.8kHz and 8kHz PWM for removing flicker if you happen to detect it and strobe functionality runs all the way up to 25kHz for all of the retinal abuse your audience can handle in those high intensity strobe moments. Dimming is also step-less and pristine.

The NanoPix Slim 1440 has a succinct number of fixture profiles, which is limited to five, and designed to give you as much or as little control over the fixture that you want. The luminaire is controlled via DMX512. The five channel profile gives you control over the RGB colors, warm whites and cool whites without needing a master dimmer or strobe functionality. The six channel gives you colors (RGB/WW/CW) and intensity. NanoPix Slim 1440’s seven channel profile is the most popular, with 8-bit interpolation over RGB, WW, CW, with intensity and strobe. The two last profiles, ten channel and eleven channel, give you 16-bit control over all colors, with the eleven channel profile giving you strobe control as well.

Within the control channel of the fixture, you have a multitude of excellent feature sets as well: three dimming curves; a safety feature that allows you to have a color at a set intensity for when the stage intensity fades out or blacks out to provide some illumination for people entering or exiting the deck; and the NanoPix Slim 1440 can function as a work light that turns on when you call on it. On the exterior of the unit, a built-in shutter to limit the top of the beam angle when you need it, two screws and you have access to the top shutter. If you need to limit the bottom of the beam, a simple accessory is available for the fixture to do exactly that, as designed.

Ushio NanoPix Slim 1440 Footlight

Slim — and Not at All Shady

Ushio’s NanoPix Slim 1440 meets the need for a bright, feature-rich footlight without being bloated with options that users won’t need. Measuring 2.244 inches high, the 1440 LEDs are shaped for maximum spread. At 12.34 pounds, this fixture is no heavyweight, but a tough alloy casting gives the luminaire strength. The unit’s variable color temperature ranges from 2700°K to 9000°K, giving users a full range of white light for any applications.

NanoPix Slim 1440

PROS: Sleek, small and sturdy. Large range of color temperature settings, built in manual shutter for cutting off the uplight.

CONS: None

FEATURES

Light Source: 1440 LEDs (RGB, WW, CW or custom)

Variable Color Temp:        2700°K to 9000°K

Power Consumption: 80W maximum draw

Cooling: Fanless (convection)

Strobe: Up to 25Hz

STATS

Size: 47.36 x 6.42 x 2.24” (L x W x H)

Weight: 12.34 lbs.

Control: DMX512

Control Channels: 5, 6, 7, 10, or 11

MSRP — Contact Dealer

Manufacturer: Ushio

More Info: www.ushio.com

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