Why is Everyone Talking About Ape Labs Lighting? An Overview and Review Of the German-Made Lighting

APE Labs Review

Disc jockeys and lighting professionals around the USA keep talking about Ape Labs and some are asking why. The answer is simply because there’s a lot to talk about.

We recently received a demonstration of the products from KPODJ, a dealer of Ape Labs and a key PCDJ software dealer.  We came away very impressed, here’s why:

This small company is disrupting the professional lighting industry in six major ways. View all Ape Labs Lighting Products

#1 – They are made in Germany, not China.

While China is known as a world-wide manufacturing powerhouse, they aren’t exactly known for producing quality products. Germany, on the other hand, is known for percision engineering and quality merchandise.

Ape Labs started producing wireless, battery powered LED lights in 2008. Originally, they were made in China (like all of the other popular lighting brands). However, they moved the entire manufacturing operation to their home country of Germany in 2015 after several different Chinese factories failed to produce to German standards.

#2 – Their Sound Active Feature is Mesmerizing.

Before Ape Labs, most lighting pros stayed away from the sound active feature….especially with wash lights. With most other brands, it’s typically just a stobe effect that changes colors on some low frequency notes.

The difference with Ape Labs is very subtle, but it makes an incredible difference. Rather than flashing, they pulse to the beat. They can be programmed to flash, if that’s your thing, but the native “pulse effect” is certainly easier on the eyes and somehow more interesting as well.

The internal microphones on each light are unique. They automatically adjust to the music volume, so there is no need for a sensitivity knob. And since all Ape Labs lighting fixtures use the same software, their programs match. So you can mix SKU’s without having to program anything with DMX.

Also, the sound active feature can be set so all Ape Labs products are triggered by one centralized microphone….or, for a (subjectively) cooler effect, they can be set to all use their own. When they use their own microphones, all of the lights react the same across major beats, but lighter notes are interpreted differently with each light. This semi-random looking effect is very unique and intriguing to watch.

Check out this clip which is displaying (10) ApeStick 4’s and (4) LightCan’s:

#3 – They Take Wireless Control & Battery Power to the Next Level.

The DMX wireless range on Ape Labs products is rated at over 3,000 ft. The RF remote control range is rated at over 200 ft. And the battery life of their most popular uplight has been tested to run nearly 15 hours at full power. But that’s not all.

Ape Labs fixtures all use the same softare and comminute with eachother. This means that without DMX, a mix of Ape Labs products can be programmed with one remote. You can even create groups of products for indepent control with the same remote.

Check out this remote distance test:

And this battery life test:

#4 – Eveything is Simple & Easy.

The Ape Labs tag line is “Keep it Simple”, and that’s exactly what they do. Their ligthing fixtures don’t even have control buttons on them. Each unit just has a single power button. All controlling and programming is done wirelessly.

This is perfect for rental houses and larger lighting companies that use roadies (not lighting experts) to set up for a show.

Even advanced users will save a ton of time. These lights only need to be set-up once. After the group is selected and DMX channel is addressed, the lights will remember their settings forever (or until you change them). And switching modes from remote control to DMX could not be easier. All you have to do is turn on the Ape Labs wireless DMX transmitter and the fixtures will automatically switch modes. The transition is seamless in both directions. If you want to get a head start on packing up your gear at the end of a gig, simply unplug your DMX transmitter and the lights will switch to remote control mode. The guests won’t know anything changed.

If you’re not into DMX, don’t worry. Their simple, intuitive remote is extremely powerful. Check out the features:


APE LABS Remote Graphic

#5 – Size & Weight.

All Ape Labs products are extremely small and light-weight. The most popular Ape Labs product in the world is the LightCan, which is exactly the size of a RedBull can.

The most popular Ape Labs product in the USA is their traditional uplight called the ApeLight Maxi. This unit is 3.3lbs. A case of six is only 34lbs, including the weight of the charging case. To put that into perspective, check out this video:

#6 – 3-Year Warranty, European Build Quality, but Same Pricing.

On the audio side, most end-users are happy to pay upwards of three times the price of a Chinese speaker to get a high quality product made in Europe. However, the lighting industry is a bit different. Since reliability in lighting isn’t valued as highly as reliability in audio, many are not willing to pay extra for a better lighting fixture.

Fortunately, Ape Labs products are not more expensive than the popular branded Chinese lights. In fact, Ape Labs is less expensive than some of their closest competitors. Check out this comparison chart:

You may have noticed that the ApeLight Maxi is listed as “water resistant” but doesn’t actually give an official IP rating in the specs. To help you understand what they mean by “water resistant”, check out:

More questions? Check out these reviews:

DJ City with Mojaxx


Digital DJ Tips with Joey


Ape Labs ApeLight Maxi & LightCan Review by DJs Unliminted

We hope you enjoyed the review and run down on Ape Labs lighting.  For more information and to review all Ape Labs products please visit KPODJ by clicking the button below.