SHEHDS released a new version of their popular par 18x18W and send me a unit to review.
The SHEHDS 18x18W par is a compact and powerful LED par that features RGBWAU lights. More info on the product can be found on this webpage: shehds.com/products/aluminum-alloy-led-flat-par-18x18w-lighting-dj-par-cans-dmx-512-light-wash-stage-lighting
I received two units from SHEDHS, the older version, and the 2022 version. The two lights are identical and only differ in their cooling system. The older model received some feedback about the fan noise. In the new model, this is addressed by using the same fan but a larger heat sink and a lower fan speed.
Both devices look identical and the light they output seems the same. This means that both devices can be used concurrently on the same production.
If we open the device, we can indeed see that the components are the same but that the new model has a slightly larger heat sink. It is larger in surface area and has taller and thicker fins on top.
The fan on both fixtures is the same. Let’s put them to the test.
I reviewed both units without knowing which was which at first. There doesn’t seem to be a big difference in the amount of noise generated by the fan. The noise level can be compared to a spinning 3.5" hard drive or a Godox SL-60W LED light for those who know that fixture. That’s really good!
Both fixtures keep cool after prolonged use of two hours. The noise level is not to differentiate between the two.
My conclusion is that the new model is a bit quieter than the older model, but not a lot of improvement. Fortunately, the old model is already silent, meaning that the new model is silent as well.
If we compare it to a generic and cheap 18x3W par light from an unknown brand, we can hear a big difference. The cheap light makes a lot of noise compared to these 18x18W par lights! This is demonstrated in the video below. The fixture on the left is the new model, the center fixture is the old model and the fixture on the right is the 18x3W par light. Note that the audio level is increased and this was filmed close to the devices. The 18x18W is hard to hear from a couple of meters’ distance while the 18x3W can sure be heard from 10 meters away!
These lights are bright and feature red, green, blue, white, amber, and UV lights. The beam angle is quite wide with a large hotspot in the middle and a gradual fall off. The colors are shown in the pictures below, the camera exposure is kept the same for all the images.
The light matches well with the SHEHDS 19x15W moving head wash light. Red, blue, green, and white seem the same. This par also has amber LEDs inside, meaning that this color seems much richer than when combining red and green LEDs in the moving head.
The par has a wide beam angle and can be compared to the zoomed-out moving head. There is a big hotspot in the middle but with a gradual fall off to the sides making it great to light wider spaces or throw light from a short distance to a wide wall.
The light also matches great with cheaper LED pars. Below is the 18x18W par compared to a generic 18x3 par light.
The picture above also shows that the beam angle of the 18x18W is quite wide compared to the 18x3W par light. I’d say that the 18x3W is almost a spot light and the 18x18W is more a wash light.
The big advantage here is that the LEDs are really close together and are combined instead of separate red, green, blue… lights. When mixing colors, you can really see the difference in light quality. With the separate LEDs, the colors don’t mix that well. This is best seen when creating white or yellow light.
In the par light with sperate LEDs, red and green resembles yellow but seems more light alternating red and green light. In the 18x18W par, the color mixes together much better and resembles yellow much better. But when the amber LEDs are used, the yellow color is much more vivid than mixing only red and green LEDs.
The same is true for creating white light. In the left part of the image, we create white light with red, green, and blue LEDs. In the right part of the image, we create white light with the white LEDs.
The SHEHDS 18x18W LED par is bright, produces great colors thanks to the integrated RGBWAU LED’s. The new model is more silent than the old version, but not that much. The fixture is listed for $88,00 on the SHEHDS website, which seems like a really good price! Compared to the cheap pars (18x3) which cost $20–$30, these light seem like a much better investment. The 18x18W LED par is of course brighter, makes much less noise, produces a wide beam angle and produces more vivid colors. Finally, the build quality of the 18x18W par is great. It’s made out of aluminum and feels really sturdy. I don’t think it would break if it falls of a case on the ground — I didn't test that of course.
TL;DR: amazing light, worth the money, less noise than the old model but not that big a difference. Definitely recommended!