What lights to buy in the church world seems to be an argument that is ever increasing these days.
I have not had a chance to get my hands on the MK2 profile or the MK Pyxis yet, but they are on my list of gear to check out this week at LDI.
I feel like every time I hop onto one of the online lighting forums or the Facebook groups that are oriented toward church lighting people who are looking at what gear to purchase. they seem torn between trying to figure out whether to buy a lot of cheap lights, or a few expensive ones.
The core of the questions always come down to "How do I make my church look nice, but also be a good steward of my budget?"
For years, I advocated toward buying used gear and keeping it maintained and repaired in house; by being patient and waiting for the right deals to pop up. By going this route, you can save tens of thousands of dollars and end up with a great looking lighting rig!
Things are changing in the lighting world, though
LEDs have laid their claim in the lighting industry and aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
For a long time, however, the technology was just out of reach for most churches, with fixtures that have the full capabilities of arc source, ranging in prices from $5,000 per fixture and up. Among such options is a new line of LED moving lights recently released by CHAUVET Professional, called the Maverick series, and they are a game changer.
Now I'm not calling these fixtures inexpensive, with the lowest-priced MK2 Wash coming in at roughly $2,800.00 list price, but for a brand new out-of-the-box LED wash, that's really good.
How I landed on the Maverick series, was the result of my pricing out replacing a bunch of moving washes for next year's budget season.
I had always planned on buying used gear like I usually do.
However, the more I started researching, I started to find the MK2 wash really wasn't that much more expensive than the used LED wash that I was originally looking to get, the Martin Mac Aura (which is another favorite fixture of mine).
From there, I had to really start weighing out my options on this one, and one of the major factors in my decision ended up being the warranty; I could get a used fixture and save a few hundred dollars per fixture, but only get a 48-hour warranty. Or I could buy the CHAUVET Professional moving light brand new, and end up with a 3-year warranty out of the box
Pretty easy decision there.
Nonetheless, I also put the two sets of moving lights in a shootout. I had the chance to hang both fixtures for my application and while the Aura did meet every goal I had in mind for my use, the MK2 definitely hung with it.
The zoom ranges were compatible with MK2 being able to get a little tighter and the Aura being able to go a little wider (narrower is actually better for me in this case). The output was definitely comparable, and the colors for both models were great!
Now, there's no replacing the Aura's eye candy effects; I mean they're one of a kind and everyone can recognize them a mile away once you've seen them, but the MK2 offered its brand of eye candy that I liked a lot as well.
The MK2 is the only fixture I have in my current plans on purchasing, and have a done a shootout with, but let me tell you, the rest of the line is not to be dismissed as well.
The MK1 and MK2 spot fixtures have great beam effects! And the MK3 wash, that thing is a beast! It has all the awesome features of the MK2 wash on a larger surface providing higher output and more pixels to play with!
I have not had a chance to get my hands on the MK2 profile or the MK Pyxis yet, but they are on my list of gear to check out this week at LDI, which will be running in Las Vegas as the Las Vegas Convention Center through November 19.
The MK2 profile has the potential to be a great front light option for churches, who want that spotlight look, but can't afford the top dollar fixtures. In short, call your vendor and get a demo set up at your church of the Maverick family. I promise you will not be disappointed.