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ETC Releve Spot

Brandon Creel • May 2019Road Tests • May 3, 2019

ETC Releve Spot

ETC, headquartered in Middleton, WI, is an evolving company. Their acquisition of High End Systems in 2017 expanded their product portfolio and market reach, and while “ETC” started out as an acronym for Electronic Theatre Controls, the company name now appearing on the homepage of the website,, “ETC visual environment technologies,” also reflects a broader lighting focus.

Despite all that, however, the company is not abandoning its theatrical roots. Their brand new moving light, the Relevé Spot, is designed to serve as an easy-to-program, basic moving light specifically for theater and for use with schools. This is not ETC’s first moving light, nor is it a second generation of the Revolution. It’s a brand new moving light, designed and built from the ground up.

With glam gobo

‡‡         Named After a Ballet Move

The French word, Relevé, refers a ballet movement where dancers rise to the tips of their toes. But to lighting designers, Relevé (rel-uh-vey) is ETC’s new LED based, feature-packed moving head spot luminaire. It is a mid-sized luminaire, with a core feature set including five rotatable gobos, a stamped animation/gobo wheel, additive RGIL color mixing, motorized focus and zoom and frost. ETC lists advantages including its “silent sophisticated movement, high quality light, impressive effects and effortless dimming — the automated fixture designed for your performance space.”

‡‡         The Color Mixing System

The calibrated four-color additive mixing system builds on the success of the ColorSource Deep Blue array offering brighter reds, more vibrant greens, and deeper blues than typical event-focused automated luminaires. The color calibrated LED engine consists of 52 LEDs of red, green, indigo, and lime emitters. The red and green are both primary, the indigo is a really deep blue, and the lime is very much yellow. It can produce a wide gamut of saturated and pastel colors and a white color temperature range of 2700K to 7000K, helping designers create any scene from dusk to dawn or day to night.

‡‡         Luminous Output

At full brightness, and approximately 182 watts of LED, the total light output is 6,000 lumens, which yields 7,070 lux (657 fc) at 10 feet while at the narrow zoom and 1,241 lux (115 fc) while at the wide zoom. Remember that it uses additive color mixing, so it does not need a higher lumen output shooting through layers of dichroic glass to achieve bright colors. The lumen maintenance (L70) is stated at 50,000 hours, and the minimum distance from its head to combustible materials is less than four inches.

‡‡         Gobos

There is a rotating gobo wheel with five patterns plus open — all of which are interchangeable. The stock gobos are mostly breakups but include a rippled glass and a large rectangle, which can be used for some framing type applications.

In addition, there’s a static stamped metal ani-gobo wheel with six different blended patterns plus open. It is half animation wheel and half static gobo wheel with interconnected art between patterns. Although it cannot provide a continuous rotational animation, it can go from dense pattern to sparse pattern and back. Or even scroll (back and forth) between the light, medium, and dark sections of the wheel. You can also use it like a static gobo wheel and scroll to a pattern and stop.

‡‡         Zoom Range and Dimming

The zoom ranges from 18° to 54° for a 3:1 zoom ratio. It covers the infamous standard ellipsoidal lens tubes of 19°, 26°, 36° and 50°. If you need to get narrower, you can utilize the 20-blade iris for those special applications. The fixture comes standard with a Roscolux R132 Quarter Hamburg Frost, but R114 and R119 are optionally available, all of which are often used in ellipsoidals and followspots.

Both dimming and strobe are electronic. While the dimming curve is only 8-bit (with 15-bit internal smoothing), I found it to be smooth and close to linear, fading out to 0 percent nicely. The strobe can flash from 1Hz (times per second) up to a maximum 40Hz, pulse, or set to a random flash pattern. The refresh rate on the LEDs can be set to 1,200Hz (default) or 25,000Hz for flicker free camera control.

‡‡         Two Control Options

ETC has given users two control options to keep things simple but flexible. First, you can select 20-channel (standard) or 25-channel (direct) operating modes. Standard mode simplifies the operation of the RGIL engine to RGB, while automatically factoring in the lime. At full on, the color temperature is perfectly 3200K. Extended mode adds direct channel control of the lime emitters, pan/tilt speed, zoom/focus speed, and beam speed.

The fixture has 5-pin XLRs for DMX and PowerCON in/out, which are actually all on a removable module along with the low-voltage power supply to make serviceability a breeze. Same goes for the display module — just loosen four captive screws and swap it out.

The display automatically flips with the fixture and has a built-in battery, so it can be addressed without powering on the fixture. From the home screen, you can see the address and operating “user” mode clearly. The fans remained quiet while running in standard mode, automatically adjusting speed to keep the fixture cool.

‡‡         Movement

The fixture booted up (and reset) in a blazing 20 seconds, and the 16-bit pan and tilt are smooth and accurate. The speed of the pan and tilt are moderate, measuring about three seconds from 0 to 100 percent. If you are running movement effects, the fixture is quick to respond and change direction. The fixture can be rigged up, down, or side using the mounting brackets, which slide onto the fixture and automatically latch. The base of the fixture has rubber feet to suit floor applications.

Relevé has a patented Whisper Home technology, where users can limit the movement range, which allows tight spacing — tighter than the 24.4 inches standard on center spacing — perfect for catwalks and recessed cove positions. Do not worry about the fixture homing on power up, because of its motionless absolute encoders, it always knows where it is and does not have to move more than 1° upon startup.

‡‡         Wrapping Up

The ETL listed, IP20-rated Relevé Spot weighs in at 67 pounds, consumes 265 (max) watts of power, contains an auto-ranging 100-240VAC power supply, and has wonderful and easy to use pan/tilt locks. Its plastic covers have a smooth matte black finish. Users should have a peace of mind knowing it comes with a complete three-year warranty on the fixture and a 10-year warranty on the LED engine.

This spot luminaire has a useful zoom, great gobos and ani-gobo wheel, a bright beam, and even a soft wash. It performed flawlessly in all modes. Together with the RGIL LED source, this fixture has an abundance of applications and certainly a home in every theater.

At a Glance:

A High-Output Mid-Sized Performer

Relevé is a mid-sized moving spot luminaire that is well suited for theatrical applications. Output is generated from a 6,000 lumen RGIL LED engine. With gobos, a big zoom range, additive color mixing, modular construction and a great warranty with 24/7/365 support, it can keep your stage lit for any type of performance.

Relevé Spot

PROS: 18° – 54° zoom range, additive color mixing, no move homing, simple I/O, modular construction, quiet operation

CONS: No prism; frost is gel


  • Motorized focus & zoom
  • Rotating gobo wheel
  • Ani-gobo wheel
  • 4-color RGIL LED source
  • R132 Frost (R114 or R119 are optionally available)
  • LCD backlit display w/ battery backup


  • Light Source: RGIL LED source
  • Output: 6,000 lumens; 7,070 lux (657 fc) at 10 feet
  • Voltage: 100-240, 50/60Hz (auto-ranging)
  • Wattage: 265W
  • Size: 31.6” x 18.8” x 13.0” (HxWxD)
  • Weight: 67.0 lbs.
  • MSRP: $6,900
  • Manufacturer: ETC

More Info:

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