At NAB 2022, Aputure unveiled the MT Pro to the world, and I had a first look at it with Ted. Many wondered if and when they would enter the tube lighting segment. Well, a few months later, here we are.
The MT Pro is a one-foot 7.5W output Pixel-Mappable RGBWW Mini Tube LED light. It features 36 pixels in the 1′ tube. That’s a lot of pixels!
I think the MT Pro is a preview product as 1′ tube light is a bit limiting, but you have to start somewhere, and the tech is impressive in the small fixture. If these sell well, I’m sure we will see more sizes. Below is the live stream that goes over the MT Pro’s coolness. Enjoy!
MT Pro Key features
- 7.5W Output Pixel-Mappable RGBWW Mini Tube LED
- Industry-leading Pixel Density: 36 Pixels in 1 Foot
- Ultra-Fine Pixels: 0.8cm (0.3in) Wide
- Ultra-Thin Bezels & 180° Aperture
- (D56): 73, SSI (Tungsten): 84
- Fully Tunable CCT from 2,000K to 10,000K
- Fully Tunable Green-Magenta Adjustment (Full Plus/Minus Green)
- Built-In Lithium-polymer Battery (approx. 120 min. @ Max
- >90% of Colors Within Rec.2020 Color Space
- Advanced HSI with White Point CCT Control
- Industry-standard X,Y (CIE 1931) & RGB Tunability
- 0-100% Stepless Brightness Control
- Multiple Control Methods: Sidus Link Bluetooth App
- Control, DMX/RDM*, LumenRadio CRMX
- Supports SidusPro® FX, Including Manual FX, System FX,
- Picker FX, Magic Program, and Music FX
- Save Up to 10 Custom FX and 10 Music FX for Quick
- 19 DMX Profiles: High & Low-Density Pixel Controls
- 9 Built-In System FX: Fireworks, Fire, Paparazzi, Faulty Bulb,
- TV, Pulsing, Cop Car, Lightning, Party Lights
- 7 Built-In Pixel FX: Color Fade, Color Cycle, One Pixel Chase,
- Two Pixel Chase, Three Pixel Chase, Rainbow, Pixel Fire
- Included Carrying Case for Light Fixture, Tripod, and Grid
|MT Pro Kit|
|45° Fabric Light Control Grid||1|
|Mini Tripod with 1/4-20in Ball Head||1|
|USB Type-C Charging Cable||1|
Who Are The MT Pro Lights For?
Tube lights are somewhat a niche specialty fixture. I like them, but they are not for everyone, and to get the most out of them, you will need several in different sizes. Not to, say a couple won’t come in handy as they can be used as a fill or adding a splash of color to a scene.
Its compact size, magnets, and built-in battery allow it to be easily hidden and while tucked away, it can be controlled remotely using LumenRadio CRMX or direct Sidus Link App Control. These same features, combined with its thin bezels, make the MT Pro ideal for on-camera practicals that can spice up a scene. If you do tabletop work, the 1′ size is more manageable, opening up a lot of possibilities for rich colors or as a key /fill using the CCT range of 2,000k to 10,000k.
For users who want precision pixel control for close-up or practical lighting effects, the MT Pro has 36 pixels that can be controllable via DMX and CRMX for customization. You will need lighting design software for custom animations.
Build Quality and Battery
The MT Pro has a good build quality. Its housing is all metal, and the bezel is thin, which keeps the fixture fairly compact.
With the built-in 15.5Wh lithium-polymer battery, the MT Pro can operate at maximum output for approximately 2 hours. The fixture is charged via the USB-C charging port on the end. You can use the MT Pro while it’s charging. It takes approximately two hours for a full charge. With so many output options, the battery life will vary.
The MT Pro has three mounting points. A 1/4 20″ tap on the end as well as on the bottom, plus on the back are two strong magnets. The magnets have a good amount of strength and will keep the light in place when mounted vertically.
You can also use the magnets on a steel arm and hang it overhead or on speed rail, but be careful. You don’t want it to come down on someone if the stands get kicked. I’ve done this with the Quasar Science Q-Lion Linear Battery lights without issue but adding some tie-downs is a good idea.
These tubes look great as hair lights as they are soft with enough output for a subtle scratch light.
As with most tube lights, you can use a variety of clamps to get the light mounted. You have to be a bit more creative.
At 7.5 watts, the MT Pro isn’t a powerhouse, but it is surprisingly bright and plenty bright as a background practical where high output isn’t needed. They will work better in lower lighting conditions where the colors will pop more.
Here are the Lux readings in the CCT and HSL settings. All tests were performed with a Sekonic C-700-U SpectroMaster at a distance of 1m /3.3′.
CCT Kelvin Output
HSI Mode Output
|Red 0°||54.5 lx|
|Yellow 60°||84 lx|
|Green 120°||94.9 lx|
|Cyan 180°||92.8 lx|
|Blue 240°||24.2 lx|
|Magenta 300°||47.6 lx|
The MT Pro kelvin performance is very good as the accuracy is close to the kelvin settings. Below are the setting versus the readings. To get the best reading, I placed the meter right in front of the fixture to not have any light pollution.
- 10,000K – 9108K
- 5600K – 5500K
- 4000K – 3941K
- 3200K – 3136K
- 2000K – 2068K
Since the MT Pro is a full-color fixture, it has the ability to fine-tune the output with +- Green. This is handy when mixing them in with other lights that might lean towards green or magenta.
Overall the MT Pro in 3200K looks very good, with an extended CRI of 91.38.
In 5600K, it performed even better with an extended CRI of 94.01.
The main menu is located on the back of the MT Pro with the on/off button on the end of the light. I think Aputure had to decide to keep the size as close as possible to 1′ by not having the menu display on the front or make it fatter to put it on the end. I can understand its location. The only issue is when it’s mounted to a surface the menu isn’t accessible anymore and would have to use the Sidus Link app to make changes. That isn’t a bad thing as Sidus Link is a very good app for controlling Aputure and amaran lights.
As I mentioned, the power switch is on the end alongside the USB 3 charging input. I think this was a good decision as you can power it down without moving it and charge it.
The menu is simple to navigate. When it is first powered up, you get the Big Stick popsicle colors, and then it settles into the current setting. The MT Pro remembers the last setting before shutting down, so you don’t have to reprogram the setting.
Unique to the MT Pro is its pixel density with 36 ultra-fine RGBWW pixels inside of a 1-foot LED tube. With so many pixels in the small form factor, the MT Pro produces smooth pixel chases and effects with the ability to transition between pixels at high speeds. It’s an impressive look.
The MT Pro has nine built-in System FX commonly found in full-color Aputure and amaran fixtures, including Fireworks, Fire, Paparazzi, Faulty Bulb, TV, Pulsing, Cop Car, Lightning, and Party Lights, and each with several layers of variable control.
What sets the MT Pro apart is the Pixel Effects that utilizes its 36 pixels. It has 7 built-in Pixel FX that include Color Fade, Color Cycle, One Pixel Chase, TwoPixel Chase, Three Pixel Chase, Rainbow, and Pixel Fire.
While having one 1′ unit is a bit limiting, imagine several tied together in the background, or mounted on the side of metal objects for some fill. The colors are very saturated and look really nice.
RGBWW LED Chipset
The MT Pro features critical color controls, including advanced HSI with white-point adjustability, industry-standard xy (CIE 1931), 1and RGB tunability. The MT Pro has an RGBWW LED chipset for full-color functionality and can also reproduce over 90% of the Rec.2020 Color Space.
You have several options for controlling the MT Pro. LumenRadio CRMX, DMX/RDM, or directly through the Sidus Link mobile app, the MT Pro Having the industry-standard LumenRadio CRMX chipset built into the MT Pro allows you to operate the fixture from a distance.
You can also control the MT Pro externally via wired DMX with the USB-C to 5-Pin XLR In & Out DMX Dongle. The Aputure USB-C to 5-Pin XLR In & Out DMX Dongle is sold separately.
Of course, just like all Aputure lights, the Sidus Link is a great way to control the MT Pro. You can fine-tune the output, select your color with pinpoint accuracy, and access a multitude of lighting FX, including built-in System FX, SidusPro® FX including Manual FX, System FX, Picker FX, Magic Program, and Music FX, and even Pixel FX.
In a short time, the tube market is getting large, with Nanlite, Godex and amaran on the more affordable range plus Quasar Science and Astera on the high end. When shopping around, you have to decide on features that you need, such as internal battery and control options. Mounting is always a big one, and each company has their own approach.
As for the shorter 1′ tube, lights a few come to mind.
When you move to the longer sizes you have even more options, including amaran T2 series that come in 2′ and 4′ options.
I like tube lights as they open up creative possibilities for backgrounds and have a full-color spectrum, and fine-tunable pixels make them powerful. The pixel design is one that sets the MT Pro apart from standard RGB tube lights that basically have solid colors one at a time. The rainbow look is very cool, and that is achieved because of the pixels, not just LEDs.
You do need to know and have the ability to customize several together in a lighting designer. I think Aputure has only just started to enter this space, and I look forward to the next longer versions that are sure to come.
Tube lights have come a long way over the years from simple CCT to full color, and now we are seeing these blends of color that can be programmed with software.
Mounting them is getting easier, but I think it’s still expensive to manage if you use many of them together.
At $199.00 for the 1′ kit, it doesn’t break the bank to get a few and spice up your lighting kit.