Control Options and Accessories
There are a variety of ways to control this light, either through straight DMX, CRMX (LumenRadio) wireless DMX, or app control via Bluetooth to an AsteraBox (not included). Astera includes a variety of control modes, including addressing the pixels as a single block, differently-sized blocks, or single pixels. The fixture includes individual or “all pixels” strobes, adjusting the CCT, and controls for plus or minus green/magenta. To be brief, there’s a workable control scheme for most scenarios. The iOS or Android-based AsteraApp makes it easy to set up colors, programs, and effects and also includes several options for how the lights should respond in the event of data loss. A separate option lets the user set the lights to turn on to bright white in the event of AC power loss to act as emergency lighting.
Additional features include scheduled stand-by and wake-ups, and a BPM analyzer for solo musical acts to sync the lights with their beat. A variety of strobe functions are included, up to 25 Hz.
Beyond the thought that went into the LED emitters and lenses themselves, Astera has a host of accessories and features that advance the state of battens as a class by making deployment and control much easier than previous lights of this sort.
Starting with the simple things, the feet (for ground-supported applications) are high-quality and intelligently-designed, featuring a quick-release mechanism. There’s a large thumbscrew for adjusting the feet side-to-side, and the tracks in which the feet slide are of an “airline track” style to prevent the assembly from sliding around, once tightened. We note that there is a track on both the rear and the bottom of the light for flexibility. For connecting multiple battens together, there are not only built-in alignment guides, but the ends of each fixture also include an IR transmitter and receiver. These allow adjacent fixtures to communicate directly, removing the need for data cabling between them and allowing a line of fixtures to automatically address themselves sequentially via the AsteraApp.
For live events where the fixtures might be physically accessible to the audience or event-goers, the fixtures include a motion sensor that sound an audible alarm and flash the lights if the fixtures are moved. For spill control, there’s attachable barndoors available to direct the output of the light. Finally, there are additional options for flying the fixtures, either with hangars, fly bars, or pins (Babypins) that fit into the track for mounting to hardware like Manfrotto-style stands. Both fixtures also sport an IP65 rating for use on outdoor events, with rubberized power inputs and pass-throughs.