Aputure Sidus Link app and mesh network

Aputure sidus link
Key features

  • Mesh network for Aputure lights
  • App control of up to 65,000 fixtures
  • Maximum range of 400m
  • Built-in to all new Aputure lights
  • Backward compatibility via dongle
  • Settings saved to cloud

Aputure Sidus Link is a new networking feature that the company is going to be building in to all their new lighting fixtures. It enables centralised control of all the Aputure lanterns you might be using on set.

All Aputure lights in the future will feature WiFi and Bluetooth and will build out their own mesh network when they see other compatible fixtures.

The tech is designed to be more resilient than either Bluetooth or WiFi on their own. With Aputure’s implementation the network (and more importantly the settings on each light) are maintained even if the controller (your phone, for example) runs out of battery or loses internet connectivity.

Aputure 300d II
The 300d II will have Sidus Link tech built in

All lights act as both transmitters and receivers, with a maximum range of 400m and a maximum distance of 80m between each network node. The network supports up to 65,000 connections (!) and existing pre-Sidus Aputure lights will be able to connect using a new dongle called the Module Link Bridge.

Lighting in the Cloud

Control of your 65,000 lights is via an app which talks to each light and gets a contextual menu depending on what sort of fixture it is. So RGB controls will only appear on RGB fixtures, and colour controls on bi-colour fixtures.

When the hardware supports it the app has Lee and Rosco gel simulation built in, and it can also calculate brightness levels for you.

Source match and colour match mode allow you to pick a kind of light or an object in the world, and the lanterns will match it.

Setups can be saved, stored in the cloud and shared with other users via a store; there’s also a similar store for built-in effects.

Aputure Sidus Link price and availability

The Aputure Sidus Link app will be released at end of the summer at the low, low price of free. The Module Link Bridge that you’ll need to use your existing Aputure lights with the new tech should be available around the same time, and the company is aiming for a price point “under $100 US.”

RGB panel update

But wait, there’s more. After four years of R&D, Aputure are getting ready to release their ‘heavy duty’ RGB panel light. We’ve covered it before, and since then the design has been further refined with new mounting options, a built-in ballast and integrated Sidus Link support.

Aputure are saying it’s brighter and has better colour fidelity than the ARRI SkyPanel S30 – which is quite a claim – but illustrates the type of market this product is aimed at.

What’s different is that they’re aiming for a price of $1,600 US when it releases later this year, selling directly to owner/operators and making it a purchase rather than a rental. We’ll be very interested to take a look when it’s ready…

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