Hands-On Review:Chauvet Lighting: Dazzling engineering, quality manufacture, and great prices


Value, innovation, performance-Chauvet Lighting took those words seriously and has built from them a rarity in this age-a company that actually delivers what it promises. After 14 years of dedication to providing truly spectacular lighting that will last for years of hard road work for prices that working DJs and club owners can afford, Chauvet has arrived.


Home-grown excellence
Chauvet Lighting started humble-making only rope lights-but soon ventured into the broader market of DJ lighting. Most DJs at the time were struggling with exorbitantly high pricing for traditional lighting effects that weren't always reliable. The situation was especially clear in Chauvet's home town of Miami, which boasts one of the hottest club scenes in the nation. To be certain they were responding to the actual needs and wants of DJs, Chauvet staffed itself almost entirely with those who knew the scene most intimately-DJs, club designers, and expert show lighting retailers. The result is that now the senior staff collectively share a huge number of years of direct experience in the industry.

Chauvet Lighting

Chauvet listens
Most of the staff have been mobile DJs themselves, several have built nightclubs, and all are in regular contact with working DJs playing venues all over the country. Extensive beta testing reveals any flaws in new Chauvet designs so that by the time these lights reach the street they've been used in real shows by real DJs, who have discussed them at length with Chauvet's engineers. These dedicated designers never hesitate to go back to the drawing board. Their driving passion is to get it right, before it goes on the market. But you don't have to have any inside connection to be heard by Chauvet. Chauvet takes communication from any customer quite seriously. They never turn up their nose at a good idea.


Running the gauntlet
All that beta testing only happens after Chauvet's engineers have put their designs through alpha testing that's way more brutal than anything they'll have to contend with on the road. Each new light has to pass the acid test in Chauvet's warehouse in Hollywood, Florida. In a non-air-conditioned space, the lights and effects are pushed to the edge of their performance envelopes and beyond-literally beyond to the failure point. When a Chauvet light goes to market the engineers know precisely how much it will take. The recommended usages for each piece are well within known safety margins. (This doesn't mean you should exceed the recommendations, they're developed to guarantee maximum system life so that you get the most out of your investment.)


The incubator
But just as important as how well a light or effect will work is what it's designed to do in the first place. This is where Chauvet really shines. The designers are given free reign to create true lighting marvels utilizing the most advanced technologies available. The only limitation on their creativity is that the ultimate fruits of their labors must be affordable to working DJs. And these people are obsessed with their work. It's not unusual to find Chauvet's research and development labs buzzing at midnight, populated with engineers so driven by their latest ideas they simply can't pull themselves away.


Superb support
Chauvet puts a premium on lighting that's easy to set up, easy to operate, and tough to kill. But, as in any technical field, there are always contingencies that can't be foreseen-new lighting combinations, venues with unusual restrictions, and so on. So they've super-trained team of specialists to apply their considerable brain power to any problems you might encounter with Chauvet gear. If something confuses or frustrates you, their customer support people will be happy to work you through it; chances are they've been there before. And they'll be very happy to give you suggestions for the most impressive uses of Chauvet gear. If something does break down, Chauvet has the most responsive repair team in the business, with a 24-hour turnaround time on repairs and a fully stocked parts department.


A perfect partnership
It was the brilliant results of their burning enthusiasm that first attracted Musician's Friend to Chauvet. We saw in them a manufacturer after our own heart, one who could produce genuinely exciting gear for prices real working performers could afford. Over the years of our association, they've proven time and time again to be a professional, flexible, and highly service-oriented organization. And their lights are truly astounding, check out these amazing values:


Mini Line DancerMini Line Dancer
This high-powered but affordable effect generates fan-shaped, multicolored beams that shift with the music and provide coverage for the whole room. 26 colored lenses and innovative Chauvet design produce an effect wild enough to make a great centerpiece. It doesn't weigh much and features switchable 110V/220V power.

This phenomenal system packs enough punch to be your only lighting effect if you're just getting started. Four independent heads each have eight moving lenses generating multicolored beams. The heads work together in 16 different sound-activated built-in chase patterns.


CH-211 StarburstCH-211 Starburst
Also substantial enough to handle a whole room by itself, this 4-head system can make a dent in the space-time continuum. Its reality-altering effects are owed to 18 multicolored lenses per head, all dancing in 16 sound-activated patterns plus 16 automatic patterns, flash, chase, and all on.


Laser WizardLaser Wizard
For super high-tech stimulation, your set definitely needs a laser. This is a great one to start with. Its 16 preset complex geometric patterns transport your dance floor straight into sci-fi weirdness. You can even create your own patterns manually or set it to speed or sound-activated modes. For its diminutive price, this is definitely one of Chauvet's coolest effects.


F750Bonus Value Lighting Pack
As a holiday special, Musician's Friend and Chauvet put this package together for DJs who are just getting into lighting. The F-750 fogger cranks out mondo fog with a 700W heater, while the Power Star moonflower makes a stunning centerpiece and the Techno strobe gives you the power to slap 'em all down when the spirit moves you.


And these are just the tip of the iceberg. Click here and check out Chauvet, and witness a whole wild, weird world of lighting effects, all waiting to take your act to places no DJ has gone before.