29 Nov 2018



ADJ PAR Z100 3K and 5K

by Jim Kumorek.

Styled in the traditional Par Can format, the Z100 fixture from ADJ has a 100W COB (chip-on-board) LED light engine; beam angles of nine through 30 degrees with detents at nine, 15, 20, 25 and 30 degrees; five-pin DMX in and through; PowerCon AC power in and through; and weighs about 3 ½ kilograms.

Three DMX personalities are available, with the most sophisticated providing a 16-bit dimming attribute and an eight-bit strobe/pulse. I performed my testing using this profile. Also, the fixture is available in a 3,000K or 5,700K colour temperature.


The Z100 is a solid, well-built lighting fixture with professional five-pin DMX connections. It is easy to configure – the rear button-operated menu allows you to select the fixture profile, dimming curve, DMX address and other options. Having in and through connectors for both DMX and power makes it easy to daisy-chain up to 15 fixtures (limited by the power cabling).

The fixture’s beam angle is also easy to adjust from a tab inside the front of the barrel.

As stated earlier, the adjustment mechanism has detents at the 9-, 15-, 20-, 25-, and 30-degree points, but the mechanism could theoretically be set to any beam angle in between – the lens would not be fixed into that angle, however, and could potentially change over time due to vibration or gravity until it hits one of the detents.

On firing up the fixture, the brightness was impressive. I measured 80 fc at four metres at the 30-degree beam angle; at the 9-degree beam angle, the centre brightness was 744 fc. While not up to the power of a high-end theatrical tungsten fixture, it packs a pretty significant punch, and would likely work well in creating an all-LED lighting plot. It could easily replace the tungsten fixtures in the small Christian youth theatre where I do volunteer lighting work.

The fixture exhibited no flickering on camera at any shutter speed or dimming level, and the dimming was quite smooth. The 3K version of the fixture, with a specified colour temperature of 3,000K, matched my Arri tungsten fixture very well, and I measured the colour temperature using my video camera’s white balance feature at 3,000K – a perfect match to ADJ specifications.

While I could see a slight colour difference, that difference would be unnoticeable to anyone who wasn’t looking for it.



The 5K version of the fixture, with a stated colour temperature of 5,700K, matched the light from the sun quite well, and my measured colour temperature of 6,000 was close to the stated 5,700K for the fixture. The fixture exhibited no flickering on camera at any shutter speed or dimming level, and the dimming was quite smooth.

As with most LED fixtures, the dimming curve did not match my Arri fixture (used with an Elation theatrical dimmer) very well – it dimmed both up and down faster than the tungsten fixture. Applying a sine or damping dimming curve via a Jands Vista controller brought it close to the Arri fixture’s dimming curve. The strobing and pulsing built-in effects worked well, and the DMX control assignments for the fixture were quite logical.

I was very impressed with both the 3K and 5K ADJ Z100 fixtures. This is one of the most cost-effective fixtures I’ve found for this level of brightness. I would not hesitate to explore using this fixture in a stage plot in any scenario, including as the key light.

A special thanks to A.C. Lighting for providing a license for Jands Vista to assist in my lighting fixture reviews.

Lead image: ADJ PAR Z100 5k






First published in Church Production Magazine. Reprinted  CX Magazine November 2018CX Magazine is Australia and New Zealand’s only publication dedicated to entertainment technology news and issues – available in print and online. Read all editions for free or search our archive
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