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Power To The People

KAM’s LED Powerbar promises to make quality lighting effects both cost-effective and easy. DJmag investigates…

Anyone who has ever lurked around a club during the day will know just how much lighting can effect the atmosphere of a space. By night a club is a glittering thing of sophistication and beauty, but by day all its shabby faults and wear can be seen. So why is it that so many DJs, bands and performers seem to completely forget about good lighting when it comes to putting together their show?

Thankfully, help is always at hand and, with technology constantly evolving, lighting possibilities are always improving. LED lighting, for one, has come a long way recently and the KAM LED Powerbar is a great example of technology breathing new life into old lighting fixtures. The Kam LED Powerbar is a T-Bar with four Par Cans but with LED technology added into the mix. For the uninitiated Par Cans are those big silver lights that were seen in every '80s discotheque of choice. But the new LED Powerbar will do way more than any set of old school Par 56 Cans could ever dream of. The LED Powerbar is the big brother of the award winning KAM Par Bar and it's 375% brighter. Yes, it's true 375%. Which is plenty bright, especially if it's at close range in your face!

So what's so great about the KAM LED Powerbar? For a start each of the Par Cans is fitted with seven ultra-bright three-watt tri-colour LEDs, which means that it is possible to mix colours within each Par Can — try doing that with the old bulb Par Cans and gels! Another advantage of using LEDs is that can easily produce cool effects like strobing and colour morphing. The KAM LED Powerbar makes full use of this with its preset internal programs, as well as a DMX channel dedicated to control of the strobe speed.

Fast And Easy
The Par Cans on the LED Powerbar are flat so they take up a fraction of the space of traditional par cans, which makes them perfect for life of the road. All metal construction of the LED Powerbar's case means it can take a proper pounding without worry and nice touches like the clear acrylic sheets covering each Par Can will help keep the unit in tip-top working order for years to come. The LED Powerbar comes with a rugged tripod stand which is ready to go in seconds and because the T-Bar and Par Cans only weigh in at 16kg setup is incredibly fast and easy.

Power in venues can be sketchy at the best of times and finding sockets with enough power to run conventional bulb lighting can be mission impossible. LEDs are way more efficient than traditional bulbs so they use less power, this means the LED Powerbar will work with pretty much any power socket on hand. This efficiency also means that the LED Powerbar gives off a fraction of the heat of conventional Par Cans, so keeping cool on stage is even easier and no more waiting for the lights to cool down before packing them away.

All of the electronics to power the LED Powerbar are packed inside the T-Bar, as are all the pre-programmed effects, DMX control and other controls. This makes for a quick and easy set-up and breakdown. The back of the T-Bar is where the controls are found, an LED screen and three buttons take care of selecting the various auto-modes or DMX options.

There is a sensitivity knob which controls how reactive the LED Powerbar's in-built microphone is when in sound-to-light mode. The in-built sound-to-light effects are fantastic and the four pedal foot controller means that the LED Powerbar will give great results without having to muck around with DMX cabling and a lighting console. For anyone unfamiliar with lighting, DMX is the lighting equivalent to MIDI and gives complete control of lighting fixtures from simple lights like the LED Powerbar to the high-end moving head lights seen at a U2 concert.

The included four pedal foot control means that synchronising the lighting to the music is extremely swift and easy. The pedals allow for blackouts or to hold the lights as they are, as well selecting the various pre-set programs or sound-to-light mode. All in all, the foot pedal board is a neat solution that gives great control in a very easy to use way.

In that sense, the LED Powerbar is a perfect stage companion for any mobile DJ or band looking for a cost effective stage lighting effect. But there are many other potential uses of this handy bit of technology; the LED Powerbar creates great mood lighting for a studio or chill out space, works great for photography and video shoots, not to mention being the perfect tool to keep the vibe going at an 'all back to mine' situation or a house party.

Verdict

Price   £449.00
Contact   kam.co.uk
Build Quality
  8.0
Ease of Use   8.0
Features   8.0
Value for Money   8.0
Sound Quality   n/a
Hype   Ultra-bright and compact lighting effect that offers a whole lot more than old school Par56 Cans.
Gripe   The tripod stand's height adjustment could be better designed.
Conclusion   A fantastic stage companion for mobile DJs or bands on a budget. Or the perfect house party lighting effect.
Overall Score   8/10
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