Would you believe us if we told you that a simple uplight and a remote could change your events from start to finish? Today, we’re going to explore exactly that claim as we take a look at the Ape Labs Maxi. The Maxi is the premium uplight in the Ape Labs suite of products. These powerful, battery-powered, wireless uplights are strong contenders for the best uplight around.
Here at The DJs Guru, we’ve had a lot of experience with the Ape Labs Maxi. From the very first time we heard about Ape Labs, we’ve had our hands on this uplight. Now, we’ve put it through a large variety of tests in many different environments. Let’s take a look at it, shall we?
Let’s get nerdy
We’ll start from the top – specifications. What we have is a NIHM battery-powered uplight that’s going to last you up to 14 hours on a charge. Well, we call it an upright but in reality, it’s extremely versatile. Thanks to the built-in handle/mounting bracket, you can easily attach a clamp and point the light downward from a stand. The light only weighs around 3.3 pounds, so even 12 units are coming in around 40 pounds or so. With (3) 15 Watt RGBW LED Diodes, that are extremely bright and vibrant you’re not sacrificing performance whatsoever as we’ll talk about more later.
Looking at the light itself you might be wondering to yourself, “Is that chrome?” In fact, the sturdy exterior is made of aircraft-grade aluminum. Why is that important? We’ll give you three reasons: It’s 1) super strong, 2) super light, and 3) super resistant to corrosion. What does this add up to? Well, without any type of IP rating on them, they can be used outdoors. Oh, and did we mention they are 100% German-made?
Wireless tech and other goodness
Built within the Ape Labs Maxi (and all Ape Labs products) is a suite of wireless technology. This tech interacts with the Ape Remote, which we think is a total gamechanger. If you’re a solo-op or someone who is working independently and don’t want to focus on lighting, the Ape Remote is the answer. It allows you to look like you’ve got a programmed light show when, in reality, you don’t. And the best thing is that it’s super easy to use (trust us).
What else do we love? How about one-button control on the light itself. Hitting the single button turns the light on and off. We’re also big fans of the single prong power connector, which is MUCH easier to push in than an IEC cable. Simplicity is the name of the game and is evidence of great design work. Did we mention that Ape Labs offers a “supercharger” for the Maxi? This power supply allows you to charge up to 6 lights on a single plug. For an even easier workflow, you can purchase the tour case and charge the lights where you store them.
Setting things up
One button push. That’s all it takes to get a killer light show started with the Maxi. Once it powers on, it automatically syncs up to the Ape Remote. The remote light starts flashing and, once it stops, you’ve got complete wireless control. On the remote, you have on/off and a button to cycle through color macros. You can adjust speed, strobe, and brightness right from the remote as well.
We aimed our light against the wall in the studio to do a little testing. As expected, they had no issue shooting 14ft up to the ceiling. We’ve used our lights outdoors and in locations with ambient light, however, and they have had no trouble keeping up. The color mixing is incredible, with no discoloration or hotspots evident to our eyes. The colors are rich and dynamic in a way that many uplights can’t recreate. Where some manufacturers go for brightness only with their lights, Ape Labs really knocked the color out of the park.
Putting them to use
The lights have some standard built-in automatic color modes that work well. For those that prefer a slow color fade or speedier color jump, those are available. If you’re looking to do a bit of architectural lighting, perhaps light up a tree or two, these modes work perfectly.
However, one of the biggest benefits of owning Ape Labs products is their “Muzik Mode.” This is the sound-active mode to end all other sound-active modes. It’s easily one of the biggest selling points of the light. While in music mode, the light responds to whatever is playing better than any other light we’ve seen before. It truly looks like the light has been programmed via DMX. The color and intensity changes really integrate well with the song that is playing.
Bringing it home
The Ape Labs Maxi truly is a contender for the best uplight. From the sturdy aluminum case to the killer sound-active “Muzik Mode,” the Maxi is a phenomenal tool to add to your lighting arsenal. Looking to pick some up? Make sure to check them out here. Have you tried the Ape Labs Maxi out yet? Leave us a comment down below and share your experiences!