- by Brandon Creel
in Road Tests
You probably recognize the name of the France-based lighting manufacturer, Robert Juliat, for their followspots. The company has now developed a purpose-built cyclorama wash light, the Dalis 860. (It’s spelled differently, but pronounced just like the city in Texas.) The fixture boasts a double row of 24 LEDs, an eight color mixing system and a new rigging method. Let’s dig a little deeper to see what makes this unit so innovative.
The Dalis 860 looks like a typical linear batten wash light measuring 1 meter (39.37 inches) long and has two rows of 24 LEDs (Image 1). Not requiring any floor hardware, like trunnions, it stands a marginal 6.3 inches tall. The leveling feet provide plus or minus 5° of tilt adjustment, which can be monitored from the internal angular sensor. The sensor also displays the levelness of the fixture up to a tenth of a degree. In my testing, I didn’t find a need to adjust the tilt or check for levelness. I only adjusted the distance away from the cyclorama until I found the sweet spot about three feet away. This varies depending on the height of your cyclorama, but check the manufacturer’s data sheet, which contains a helpful chart with suggested placement of fixtures varying on the height of the cyc.
The rigging system for clamps and safety cables is a clever track that runs the length of the unit and allows locking adapters to be placed anywhere along the mounting track (Image 2). This is extremely fast, but also ideal for hanging fixtures on a truss with pesky diagonal supports that often get in the way and force you to shift the fixture further away from the intended hang point.
Power and Connections
The fixture consumes a max of 275 watts and can operate between 100-245 VAC. The power input and through utilize the PowerCON True1 connector, and up to six fixtures can be daisy-chained when operating at 120V (12 at 208V).
Along with the typical 5-pin DMX in/out, there is also an EtherCON (RJ-45 in an XLR shell) in for either Art-Net or sACN control. When using standard off-the-shelf network patch cables (without EtherCON connector), it is very difficult to remove the locking RJ-45 connector because of the position and orientation of the connector. So try to use EtherCON network cables whenever possible. When controlling the fixture by Ethernet, the fixture can act as a node and output hard line DMX. The fixture supports Remote Device Management (RDM), which allows the user to remotely access most of the menu options including, fixture address, factory defaults, invert the display, view operating mode (personality), and view time information like fixture hours.
Optical & Color
The fixture has 48 nodes, each consisting of four LEDs. The arrangement is proprietary. Half of the nodes (every other one) are tunable two-color white chips. By mixing warm white at 2,200K and cool white at 6,500K, the fixture can achieve powerful whites at varying color temperatures. The remainder of the nodes are four-color chipsets which alternate between [Red, Green, Blue, Amber] and [Red, Green, Royal Blue, Cyan] and [Blue, Royal Blue, Cyan, Amber] for an evenly lit wash.
Each LED node has its own asymmetric reflector (Image 3). Robert Juliat calls them, “micro optical asymmetric reflectors,” which spread the light evenly across a vertical cyc. The reflector system outputs a 90° vertical beam of light, but the beam width is narrow. Therefore, it’s important to know that these fixtures are designed to be placed adjacent in a continuous row. Furthermore, Robert Juliat states that the fixtures can be spaced, if desired, up to 19.6 inches apart without affecting evenness.
There are six operating modes which range from a basic seven channels all the way up to 72 channels (depending on level of control required by operating the fixture in 1 or 4 cells) and 8-bit or 16-bit resolution. I tested the fixture in Mode 3, which operates the fixture as one cell with individual color control in 8-bit. Changing modes and other settings is intuitive in the on board menu (Image 4). The strobe duration channel only adjusts the length of each flash from 1-85 milliseconds. I’d like to see this get expanded in the next firmware version from 1-2000 milliseconds (up to 2 seconds). The speed channel adjusts from 5.8 Hz to 11.5 Hz which is the number of flashes per second. Strobing the white LEDs is impressively intense.
The Dalis cyc fixture also features a “response time” channel. It adjusts how fast the fixture responds to a command, or in other words, fade time. If you want the fixture to be lickety split, set it to off. If you want it to operate like a halogen cyclorama light, set it somewhere between 2-3 seconds. I personally found 50 percent, which is about two seconds to be ideal for simple one color washes. If you use a 4-cell operating mode, I’d suggest leaving this feature off and use the console timing instead.
At a Glance
Cyc Lighting, New and Improved
The Dalis 860 is designed with an improved approach to cyc lighting. Using their exclusive asymmetric reflectors, Robert Juliat provides perhaps the smoothest lit cycloramas in the business. With an eight-color mixing system, viewers are going to have only positive things to say about the color spectrum of hues on the backdrop fabric. The fanless fixture is compact, bright, has no interchangeable lenses to mess with, and weighs 28.6 pounds at a meter long. It comes with a standard two-year manufacturer’s warranty. In any configuration, ground row, top row or both, the Dalis 860 is sure to impress all.
- Wide color spectrum
- High efficacy (>74 lm/w avg.)
- Multiple control methods
- Convection cooled (no fans)
The orientation of the EtherCON connector when using non-EtherCON cables makes it difficult to remove the locking RJ-45 connector. (Works better with EtherCON cables.)
- 8-color mixing system
- Asymmetric (fixed optics) reflectors
- Ethernet port
- Neutrik PowerCON True1 in/out connectors
- Adjustable QuickRig mounting system
- Adjustable feet for focusing
- Size: 39.6” x 6.3” x 5.6”
- Weight: 24.2 lbs.
- Power: 275W
- Output: 20,479 lumens
- MSRP: $4,500
- Manufacturer: Robert Juliat
- More Info: www.robertjuliat.com; www.actlighting.com