DTS Brick

by Nook Schoenfeld
in Road Tests
DTS Brick
DTS Brick

DTS is an Italian company that designs, engineers, manufactures and distributes lighting products and lighting effects for entertainment and architectural uses. This month, they sent me a light that is perfect for any architectural application, but also can be used in any theater, concert or live event as a wonderful source for splashing color.

The absolute first thing I notice when I remove this LED wash light from its shipping container is that is lives up to its name. The similar size, heavy duty casing and 22 pound weight are similar to a construction brick. That’s because this beauty was designed to work in most any conditions and take a beating in any type of weather.

DTS Brick, side view

‡‡         Weatherproof to Waterproof

The fixture comes rated at IP65, but DTS does offer an accessory kit that enables the fixture to become IP68 rated, meaning one could submerse the fixture in up to 1 meter of water. But they do remind me that they actually make underwater fixtures more suitable for that actual application. This fixture is 17 inches long by 6 inches wide (10 if you count the yoke hanging straight down).

There are 24 Osram Ostar Stage “N” RGBW cells mounted in a fixture. Each cell is approximately 15 watts. The fixture is then mounted via six screws and watertight gaskets into the waterproof enclosure. The fixture comes with a PowerCON IP65 rated power connector on a one meter tail, which can supply 100-240v AC at 50-60 Hz to the internal power supply.

The fixture itself provides 400 watts of power when run at full, and it does not offer an AC outlet for daisy-chaining multiple fixtures. It is fed signal through watertight Neutrik 5-pole XLR connectors, with inputs and output tails from the fixture.

I stand the fixture up by itself and can easily adjust the tilt via a hand tightened T-handle and an attached yoke. The yoke has holes for any clamp the owner desires. DTS offers various clamps as well as a four-leg, rubber footed stand as an accessory. The fixture can tilt 110° in either direction when on a stand or hung by its yoke. I note upon inspection that the unit features various air inlets and cooling fans. But they are virtually silent. DTS suggests the user maintain an 18” distance between the fixture and anything flammable as the fixture can get warm to the touch.

It is easily addressed and set to a simple 10-channel default mode. Note that there is a mode to just run this fixture via four-channel straight RGBW commands. The display panel is on the side and is protected by a UV shield and is water tight. I choose to send DMX to the fixture to control it, though I note that the fixture can be addressed, run and programmed via RDM if I want to.

One can also select a value of delay in milliseconds for the dimmer to react as well as a dimmer curve. In the menu one can choose the PWM frequency they wish to avoid any camera flickering. One can also expand on life of the LEDs by setting the current to a lower mA per channel value. . I point it at a wall and fire it up with all four LEDs (RGBW) at full.

The default dimming is fine and perfectly linear. It bumps on instantly and can execute a slow fade flawlessly. There is a separate channel for strobe effects, including blackouts, sync, pulse and random modes at various speeds. I shine the beam at a wall some 30 feet away and notice a rectangular beam of light that has a definite hot spot in the center. The default beam size is a very narrow 8°. I take out my meter and I am reading 155 foot candles with all four colors at full and the color temperature set at 8000K.

The fixture comes with various filters to diffuse the beam size including 20°, 40° and 60° x 10° options. These filters are easily attached externally by bending them and sliding them into slots on the front and letting it expand. They can also be easily installed on the inside of the protective glass lens for permanent installations.

‡‡         Color Mixing

I scroll through the colors individually and notice that they are not very saturated. One can achieve a medium blue and red with these lights, but not a deep blood red, for instance. Even the green resembles a L124 and not a primary green. Of course, I can mix thousands of other colors easily, but I wonder as I run through the color macro channel how they came up with some of their labels. The color macro channel of the fixture contains 16 premixed colors one can scroll to. These list such colors as Congo Blue and Primary Red as available, but I do not see them. On the other hand, it does mix a beautiful yellow hue using red, green and white. I am able to get the red to look better by taking the CTO channel down to its lowest setting of 2300° K. The color temperature has a separate channel and can be set in 12 pre-determined increments from 2300° to 8000° Kelvin. The color macro channel also features some premade rainbow chases that can have their speed controlled by another channel.

This light excels as an architectural fixture for many reasons besides the IP rating and CE certification. The LEDs on the face do not break down into quadrants as the Brick is not designed to be an effects light. The single thin rectangular beam is great for uplighting the higher area of a structure with enough lumens while the beam diffusion gel helps with the lower half. These fixtures would make a great foot light in a narrow beam for any concert application, though they can be blindingly bright. The fact that they can be mounted on a downstage truss or laid directly on the floor without any concerns about rain is a major plus.

Among the accessories besides the floor stand, the Brick offers a barndoor module that easily attaches to the fixture with some thumbscrews and has no effect on the waterproof stature.

The fixture can record scenes from outside DMX sources and play them back later, including chasing or slow times between scenes. One also has the ability to slave one fixture from another. Firmware updates are easily uploaded via the Redbox system DTS uses on their fixtures. The clamps for hanging the fixture range from standard C-clamps to half couplers to beam clamps.

The Brick and the Mini Brick

At a Glance

The Brick is a high powered, compact wash light, perfectly designed to withstand the elements and perform as an architectural fixture. But don’t discount its use in the theatrical and corporate marketplace for lighting scenery as well as musicians. DTS also makes a Mini Brick with just 12 (vs. 24) of the Brick’s 24 LED modules; that fixture is a bit over 14 pounds and measures 11.5 x 9.7 x 6.7 inches.

DTS also makes a Mini Brick with just 12 (vs. 24) of the Brick’s 24 LED modules; that fixture is a bit over 14 pounds and measures 11.5 x 9.7 x 6.7 inches.

PROS: IP65 default rating, can be accessorized to an IP68 model. Brighter than most LED products of this size. Easy to change diffusion filters with no tools.

CONS: Lack of saturated primary colors.

STATS

  • Weight: 22 lbs.
  • Size: 17 x 10 x 6”
  • Output Wattage: 400W
  • Light Source: 24 Osram Ostar N RGBW LEDs
  • Metered Brightness: 155FC at 30’
  • PSU: Internal
  • Tilt Range: 220°
  • MSRP: $2,916*
  • Manufacturer: DTS

More Info: www.dts-lighting.it

*Editor's Note: Previously an incorrect MSRP price was posted. PLSN regrets the error.