Understanding the Differences Between Single and Multi-LED PAR Lights

Betopper stage light

         LED PAR lights come in various shapes and sizes, including single LED PARs (budget-friendly) and multi-LED chip PARs (a term used broadly since manufacturers often have their own designations). A multi-LED chip contains multiple colors within a single LED chip. These chips can be categorized as Tri-LED (RGB), Quad-LED (RGBA/RGBW), and Hex-LED (RGBAW-UV).

       RGBW chips include a white LED, producing pure white light, while RGBA chips can create a warmer white light by incorporating an amber-colored LED. RGBAW-UV chips feature both amber and white LEDs, along with an additional UV LED for blacklight effects.
      In the images below, the Ayra Compar 20 RGB fixture, featuring a Tri-LED chip, is on the left, and the Ayra ComPar 1, which has separate red, green, blue, amber, and white LEDs, is on the right. A multi-LED chip fixture is often identifiable by its smaller number of larger lights (left picture). As seen, multi-LED chip fixtures produce a superior color mix.
       The Ayra Compar 20 RGB on the left creates a beautifully balanced magenta beam, while the ComPar 1 on the right shows distinct primary reds and blues. Single-colored LEDs can cause a phenomenon known as 'RGB shadow,' where white light mixed from RGB LEDs results in multiple shadows in red, green, and blue. This happens because the individual colors originate from different positions and hit objects at different angles, which can be problematic when lighting uneven surfaces or theater setups. Multi-chip LEDs avoid this issue by mixing colors and directing them at a specific point.

       In my opinion, single LED fixtures are ideal for local youth organizations and small parties, whereas multi-LED fixtures are better suited for rental companies, weddings, and concerts.


         Multi-LED chip (right) versus Single-LED chip (left)

        Difference in colour mix quality multi-LED (right) vs single-LED (left)


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