Automated or Intelligent Fixtures
These terms refer to fixtures containing electronics and motors onboard to vary the position, color, and intensity of the beam of light. Some have onboard dimmers. Most of them contain several "gobos" on a wheel and an "iris" for making the beam large or small. Automated fixtures also have a method of coloring the beam in pre-set colors or any color you desire.
The fixtures come in two basic styles: "moving-yoke," where motors control the pan and tilt of the entire fixture; and "moving-mirror," where a rotating mirror is mounted on the front of the fixture. As the mirror moves, so does the beam of light.
The functions of the fixtures are controlled by a "DMX" data signal from the main control console. They are used for "special effects" or placed in hard-to-reach locations where it is difficult to change color filters and aiming positions for every show. However, these fixtures do require routine maintenance and their lamps will eventually burn out, so they cannot be placed in a completely inaccessible location.
Once only utilized in large scale concerts, automated fixtures are now more affordable and easy to program, leading to their increased use in schools and community theaters.
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