Jands Stage


CPM reviews Stage CL

CPM cover

Reviewer / Jim Kumorek


LED lighting has come into its own over the past few years, becoming a viable replacement across the board for traditional incandescent theatrical and house lighting fixtures. Their lower power requirements and reduced heat make them ideal for converting retail/warehouse spaces into worship space, as well as retrofitting older traditional church facilities with more modern lighting capabilities. However, not all of these spaces need the complexity of a moving light console to achieve user-friendly control of the color capabilities of LED fixtures. A church may simply want to add the capabilities of setting a mood through changing the color of the lighting, and may not need functionality more sophisticated than basic scene presets or simple cueing.

For these churches, CPM takes a look at the Jands Stage CL lighting console (MSRP $1,495). This is a fully self-contained console designed to operate up to 24 fixture groups (512 channels) of LED lighting (or standard theatrical lighting, as well). Shortly after receipt of the review unit, it was upgraded to the latest version 1.3 firmware from Jands’ website for this evaluation.


The Stage CL has an attractive form factor: large enough so that the controls aren’t packed in too tightly, but small enough to not take up a lot of precious tech booth real estate. Its built-in touch screen monitor provides all the visual feedback you need, as well as control to system functions, so no external monitor is needed.

Twelve faders are used to control two pages of channel faders and four pages of scene controls. Each fader has a bump button for flashing a channel or scene to full intensity. And each channel also has a selection button, saturation knob and hue knob for controlling color.

At the center of the console is the master fader and buttons for scene activation, snapshot activation, selecting the page currently mapped to the faders, shift, and clear.

In three sections on the right side of the console are the scene control section with its master fader, four scene buttons, and a scene fade timing knob. Next to that is the cue list control section, with release, back, pause, and play buttons, as well as the cue master fader. And to the far right is the chase master section, with controls for four chase activation buttons, a timing knob, tempo tap button, and chase master fader. And lastly, at the top-right of the console is the record and undo buttons

“The Stage CL has a number of very interesting features, including ease-of-use. The scene preset section is exceptionally well thought out.”

Stage CL front panel


The Stage CL is very simple to operate, which is the main point of this console. Patching fixtures is as simple as using the touch screen to select one of the 24 ‘slots’ that a fixture can be assigned to and setting its type and address. Most major fixtures are represented, and with LED fixtures, their DMX profiles are pretty standard, so if the fixture you are using is either not found in the library or is simply unknown, one of the generic fixture types will probably work for you.

You can patch up to 24 fixtures into the console, which are presented as two pages of 12 to the user through the fader section. If you have more than 24 fixtures, you’ll need to start making some grouping decisions. For example, if you have six fixtures that you use for backlighting, and you can live with always setting those fixtures at the same color and intensity, then you can give them all the same DMX address and treat them as if they are one fixture in the console.

Once patched, each fader strip works as a hue, saturation and intensity (HSI) system, with the fader controlling intensity, and the two knobs controlling hue and saturation. You can also influence the color via the touch screen’s color mode, where you can pick specific color squares, use a color-mixing pallet, or adjust RGB values.

To access channels 13-24, you turn on the page button, and the faders and knobs now work with those channels. However, the console does not have motorized faders that ‘snap’ to the current setting for the new page. Therefore, to have the fader take effect, you need to move it through the point where that channel was previously set for that channel. For example, if you set channel one to be at 50%, then press the page button to use the same fader to work with channel 13, you need to move the fader down to zero (the current value of channel 13) before the fader starts to change the value of channel 13. If you then switch back to page one, you need to move the fader through 50% for the fader to start changing the value of channel one again. This support for 24 channels was recently added in this latest firmware upgrade. As with any con¬sole that tries to ‘double up’ on controls like this, it’s a little clunky, and I’d prefer not to run an event manually this way. But for program¬ming scenes or a cue list, it’s not bad.

There’s a colored LED right below the select button for each channel that reflects the intensity and color of the fader, so you can get an idea of what the output of the console is without looking at the stage. You can also see this on the touchscreen using the mimic setting of the monitor window, where the current output value for all 24 channels is displayed.

If you use the select buttons to select multiple channels, the hue and saturation knobs for one channel in the selection affects all selected channels, which is rather handy.

There are several different ways you can run lighting for a service with the Stage CL. First, you can simply set levels for each channel via the faders. If you want to do a smooth transition to a second look like you might do with a two-scene preset console, you can press the ‘Snapshot’ button and the output of the console is frozen. You then adjust the faders and color knobs to the new values you desire using the LED for each channel to see a close approximation of the color you’ll get, and press the Snapshot button again. The console output now crossfades to the new settings.

For a small church stepping up to color-changing led lighting in their facility, the stage cl is well worth consideration

Cue programming was equally straightforward. Set the output levels via the faders, press record and then the Play button in the cue list section, and a new cue is recorded. You can also insert new cues in the middle of the cue list, delete cues and edit cues—the functionality is pretty robust for this level of console.

There are also two ways of programming scenes with the console. First, you can set up a look or scene with the channel section, press Record and then one of the four scene buttons. To activate a scene, you simply press the scene button. To release it, you press that scene button again. Sort of. More on this later.

Alternatively, you can program scenes into one of the scene pages for the fader controls. When you switch into Scene mode for the fader section, the faders then control up to six pages of 12 scenes each.

The Chase feature is pretty cool and sophisticated. You can select a set of channels and easily program in a nice chase by selecting one of the pre-defined chase patterns in the console. Or if none of those will suit your purpose, you can program your own sequence manually. Chases affect both intensity and color.

When running cues, chases and/or scene buttons, you can monitor what’s affecting your lights through the touch screen and select specific items to release—or release all if desired.


The Stage CL has some very interesting features, and is quite simple to use. The Scene preset section is well thought out, and its behavior in different situations is rather logical. If you happen to have a scene activated, and instead of activating another scene button like you intended you accidentally press the current scene button causing your lights to start fading out, you can press that same button again before the fade is completed and it will immediately jump back to that scene’s full intensity instead of fading, providing a quick recovery to an ‘oops’ situation.

When a scene is up, pressing its button again causes it to fade out. But, if you bring up another scene whose recorded channels overlap the first scene, and then you press the button for that first scene again, it replays that scene again instead of fading it out, to reassert its overridden attributes. I could see a user preferring for it to just fade out, but I think this makes the most sense. The Scene mode of the faders also worked great.

There are options in the color palette for applying a pattern effect to the currently selected lights, and this is pretty cool to get some nice color chases with almost no effort. The selection of options here are very nice and useful.

Bottom line, the Stage CL console offers a full-featured, reasonably priced option for a church wanting simple control over LED lighting for their facility.

The console was clearly originally designed for controlling just 12 channels. I can see Jands getting requests to be able to control more than that, and thus their work to add in an additional page of fixtures. It does work well, but I think I’d prefer to go with the Vista software solution over the Stage CL if I needed more than 12 channels. But that’s just me—I’ve never been a huge fan of doubling-up on controls if it can be avoided.

For a small church stepping up to color-changing LED lighting in their facility, the Stage CL is well worth consideration.

JIM KUMOREK is owner of Spreading Flames Media, providing video production, photography and writing services. He has also been an editor at Church Production Magazine and a church technical director responsible for audio, video and lighting systems. He can be contacted at james@spreadingflamesmedia.com

© Church Production Magazine

Stage CL awarded two WFX New Technology Awards

WFX Award winner

Fred Mikeska, VP of US Sales & Marketing for Jands’ distributor, A.C. Lighting Inc., receives the WFX award on behalf of Jands from Brian Blackmore, Editor of Church Production Magazine.

Jands Stage CL lighting control console has been awarded two Worship Facilities Expo (WFX) 2013 New Technology Awards for innovation in Dallas, Texas.

The WFX New Product Technology Awards are an integral element of the high profile annual WFX show, and are designed to honor the most innovative and pioneering entertainment technology products for the House of Worship market.

A panel of distinguished members of the WFX Advisory Board and WFX Management, and Editors from the industry’s leading specialist Worship magazines, selected Jands Stage CL as Winner – Best Conventional Lighting Console; and Winner – Best Overall Lighting Product.

The response from the market to the needs of churches over the past few years has been astounding,” says Jim Wagner, Managing Director of WFX. “As a result, the competition to be recognized as best in category in the WFX New Product Technology Awards is more fierce each year. The Jands Stage CL Lighting Console entry was evaluated by our panel of judges, who selected it as the winning entrant and a worthy recipient of the 2013 WFX New Product Technology Awards. Congratulations.

New tech product awards 2013 winnerDesigned to get the most out of LED fixtures for smaller lighting rigs, the Jands Stage CL offers simple, intuitive manual controls and easy storing of looks. Each of its twelve channels has a Saturation encoder and a Hue encoder that LDs can adjust to set the desired color. As the dials are turned, an LED on the channel shows the color being created. And of course, each channel has the traditional fader and flash button to set the intensity of the light. The Stage CL also offers a wide selection of quick, easy to use pre-set colors and effects via its touch screen interface and can control up to 512 DMX channels, connecting either through the DMX-512 output or the Ethernet output (if the fixtures support Art-net).

The two WFX new Technology Awards follow the Jands Stage CL’s win at the SIEL Show in Paris, France. One of the premier international tradeshows for the live shows and events industry, the Stage CL was recognized with the prestigious “Les Etoiles du SIEL 2013” Lighting Product Award after impressing the expert judging panel with its easy operation and innovative design.

The Jands Stage CL continues to be a major success for us,” says Fred Mikeska from A.C. Lighting Inc., which is the exclusive North American dealer for Jands. “We’re thrilled that the Jands Stage CL is being recognised with so many awards and that it’s making a real difference to lighting control and design in so many venues globally. It offers the flexibility to be a powerful control for experienced LDs, and intuitive enough so that users with little experience of lighting can achieve great results – making it ideal for the Worship market.

Although designed specifically for LED fixtures, the Jands Stage CL is just as suitable for conventional lights and is incredibly easy to use.

Previous WFX New Technology Awards Winners include the Jands Vista lighting and media control system and Chroma-Q® Inspire™ LED house light – both exclusively available from A.C. Lighting Inc. in North America.

For more information or to arrange your demo of the Jands Stage CL, please contact:

North American Sales:

A.C. Lighting Inc.
Tel: +1 (416) 255 9494
Email northamerica@aclighting.com
Web www.aclighting.com

European Sales:

Jands Europe
Tel: +44 (0)1494 838 365
Email info@jands-europe.com

PLSN Magazine reviews Stage CL

The October 2013 issue of PLSN magazine features a ‘Road Test’ of the Stage CL Console by Justin Lang

Twelve sliders directly control 12 fixtures — or up to 24 with a recent software update that allows for two pages of fixtures. The two knobs above each slider are for Hue and Saturation control — and the CL also makes it easy for users to record their looks for small LED and conventional rigs. The Jands Stage CL might not be the go-to console for an Olympic opening ceremony, but for a wedding or small church outreach function, it’s simple, portable and ready to travel.

Read the full review >>

AC-ET Hosts ‘LED for Theatres’ UK Workshop

Les Miserables

Photo © Thomas Juul

A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) Ltd, one of the industry‘s leading suppliers of specialist LED lighting and control solutions, is hosting a one day ‘LED for Theatres’ UK Workshop on Saturday, 17th August 2013 in the idyllic production environment of The Kings Theatre in Portsmouth.

With huge technical advances being made in LED lighting and control in recent years, more and more theatres are taking advantage of the latest generation of LED solutions when upgrading their lighting systems.

The ‘LED for Theatres’ Workshop has been organised in response to customer interest and follows a number of high-profile theatres and touring productions utilising LED technologies supplied by AC-ET.

The informal event will enable attendees to get ‘hands-on’ with the very latest in LED solutions designed for theatres – chosen from AC-ET’s impressive portfolio of over 200 technology brands – and
compare like-for-like LED and conventional lighting fixtures in the perfect production environment.

Brands showcased include various LED fixtures from Chroma-Q™, Spotlight, ETC and Philips Selecon, along with lighting and media control solutions from the Jands Vista range.

Although the event is geared towards LED technologies, AC-ET staff will be happy to discuss the company‘s complete ’one stop shop‘ of theatrical technology products, accessories and consumables.

Anyone involved in production for a venue, an amateur theatre group, a hire company, or that’s a freelancer, is invited to pop in at any point on the day between 10am – 5pm, and then join the AC-ET staff for a drink afterwards.

To register your interest, please visit:

Alternatively, please contact the event organiser, Bob Allen of the AC-ET Southern UK Sales team, on Tel: 01494 838378 / email: bob.allen@ac-et.com

Scene Change boost their lighting inventory

Scene Change

Scene Change in Sydney has given their lighting inventory a boost with the addition of more ETC Source Four Profiles, Jands 4PAK-D four Channel Dimmer/Controllers and the new Jands Stage CL lighting console.

Vicken Hekimian, director of Scene Change Sydney, says that the Jands Stage CL is a smart entry-level console and ideal for controlling LEDs.

“It’s really easy to set up, simple to use and has a lot of features for the price point,” he said. “The menu structure is very good so it’s intuitive and easy to operate. It’s a great little LED control surface that simply just works.”

Vicken describes the ETC Source Four Profile as a particularly good value item saying that the cost for what you get is amazing.

“It’s a good, even light source and is very reliable,” he added. “We own many ETC Source Four Profiles and we’ve never had a problem with any of them. It’s a good robust light that just keeps on giving.”

Vicken states that the Jands 4PAK-D is handy due to its compact size and it has DMX so if needed, they can set the Jands 4PAK-D up remotely.

Stage CL Console becomes the Wizard of Oz

Oz Management Entertainment

Tony Jex, managing director of Oz Management Entertainment is thrilled with his new Jands Stage CL console, the little winner designed specifically for LED fixtures but just as suitable for conventional lights. Put simply, he loves the Stage CL’s capacity to control LED lights in an easy, old-school fashion with flash buttons and faders.

With some of the small DMX consoles you almost need a calculator to work out which fader is going to control which element of the DMX functions on your fixtures, ” commented Tony. “With the Stage CL, Jands has recognised that and seen a gap in the market. I did look at some software options as well but I prefer to ‘play’ the console like a musical instrument. A lot of the work I do is with bands that I may be working with for the first time and the Stage CL allows me to easily interact with them.

One feature that Tony particularly favours is the ‘one channel strip per fixture’ which helps him to change colours easily as well as fade in and out. He also likes the record feature that allows him to easily bring up a scene, hit the record button and in two steps it is locked away.

You can lock a scene away in a variety of places then recall it quickly and easily in a number of different ways making it perfect to use on the fly, ” Tony added. “I also like the snapshot (hold) function as well as the preset modes for colour mixing and chasing.
In the Mimic mode you can see the digital fader position, level of luminosity and colour for each fixture as it is all graphically laid out for you on the screen, as are elements such as individual steps of chases making editing super easy.

Oz Management Entertainment specialise in corporate events, small bands, weddings, conferences and gala dinners and they don’t carry large amounts of inventory compared to some of the larger AV companies, however what they do have, they own unlike most of their competitors.

We aim to provide a quality production but within the budget range of our marketplace, ” stated Tony.

CX magazine reviews Stage CL

Click to download a PDF of the CX review

Click to download a PDF of the CX review

Writing in the November 2012 edition of CX magazine, Jimmy Den-Ouden reviewed an early model Stage CL console running beta software.

The popularity of affordable LED fixtures has answered a lot of questions for many users, but at the same time it’s generated another, bigger question. How to control the darned things?

Typically people have gone down one of two paths – they use a standard 2 preset console which leads to confusion about which channel is intensity, and which channel does what colour, and so on. This sucks, but so does the alternative of buying a big moving light console (way more console than you actually need for a few LEDs) and only using a fraction of it. Stage CL represents the middle ground and it answers the above question.

Jands Stage CL leads the way in simple LED control

PLASA, 9 September 2012:
Jands announce the release of the Stage CL console, ‘Made for LEDs’

Jands have created a console designed specifically for LED fixtures. The Stage CL provides twelve direct fixture control channels, powerful yet simple storing and a touch-screen interface, all packaged in compact and elegant chassis you can carry in one hand.

CEO Paul Mulholland said “LED fixtures are rapidly becoming popular as a cost-effective and flexible lighting solution, but until now there hasn’t been a console that gives you simple direct control of their colour and intensity. We saw that there was a whole group of people who would benefit hugely from the ability to harness the true power of their LED fixtures, that’s what the Stage CL is all about.”

Designed with smaller venues and operators in mind, the Stage CL is ideal for rental applications, audio-visual suppliers, clubs and other venues, karaoke bars, retail spaces and houses of worship.
As well as providing the features to get the most out of what LED lights offer, the Stage CL is designed for the novice user.

We understand that lots of the places that use LEDs don’t have a dedicated ‘lighting guy’,.” says Mulholland, “and the Stage CL is designed to be so easy to use that people with little or no knowledge of lighting can create an impressive visual impact.”

To give this freedom, each of the Stage CL’s twelve fixture channels has a Saturation encoder and a Hue encoder that you can adjust to set the colour you want—as you turn the dials, a mimic LED on the channel shows the colour you’re creating. If you need to speed things up you can group any number of channels together and use just one set of controls to set the colour for all of them.

One thing that inexperienced users often find difficult is storing,.” says Mulholland, “so we’ve given the Stage CL a ‘one-press’ recording system. To record you just press the Record button, then press where you want to save it.. All in all, it’s about as simple as it’s possible to make it..”

The Stage CL represents an entirely new level of sophistication for smaller venues and low-cost lighting applications,.” says Mulholland, “we’re pretty confident that people who use LED fixtures will see its potential immediately..”

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