First, the SlimPar 56. I fell in love with this fixture the first time I saw it. I was djing a wedding a few years ago and the DJ in the room next to me was using about 20-24 of them for uplighting. I was blown away by how much light such a small unit put out. Slim in size, bright, plus the digital display makes it so much easier to set colors then the dip switches I had on my old school LED 64s. I immediately bought myself a set. Since then, they've become the base of my personal DJ dance floor lighting package (4 Slimpars hanging from a light stand set to the music-activated pattern throws some nice color out on the dance floor), as well as my go-to fixture when wedding clients book me to do their up lighting. When I started working here at ProLightingRental.com, I wasn't at all surprised to see the Slimpar as our most popular event rental light.
This past August, I was tasked with researching and testing some other lights to add a little variety to our uplighting rentals category. The light I found myself most impressed with was the Hex 3, also made by Chauvet. Its a tad smaller in diameter, but has a much more solid build. The enclosure feels like its made from aluminum or metal or some sort of much stronger material than the plastic used for the Slimpar enclosure. It is heavier. The buttons are rubber instead of plastic. The Hex 3 just feels like quality. The best part is the 63 color presets available from the menu. This is awesome. The Hex 3's are an RGBAW+UV light, so that creates many more color possibilities than the SlimPars can do. The white is a much more pure "white", versus the Slimpars white, which is tinted kinda blue. There's a couple shades of Amber available from the pre-sets. I really like all the additional color choices. And UV! That's a huge bonus. Overall, I'm really impressed with the Hex 3.
Which one is brighter?
To get a little technical here, the SlimPars have an illuminance of 876 @ 2m, while the Hex 3's come in at 907 lux @ 2m. So the Hex 3's win. But its very close. In my real-life using them at events opinion, they are pretty much the same. If you are looking to rent a brighter light, we also offer the Slim Par 64 RGBA (1,241 lux @ 2 m).
Which lights should you rent for your event?
If your party is on a tight budget and you just want to have some cool lighting while spending the least amount of money possible, I'd stick with the classic SlimPar 56. We rent them for $17 each, which makes them our most affordable LED par can option and they do a fantastic job. Still the best value, IMHO.
If your event calls for a shade of amber, white, UV/blacklight, A deep purple, light pink, or a more specific color (basically anything thats not a major color group: Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Magenta), then go for the Hex 3. It will give you significantly more color options (64 color pre-sets Vs 7 colors on the SlimPar 56). Its gonna cost you $7 extra each light ( rent them here for $24/each), but the extra cash might be worth it for the better color options.
Both fixtures are a great choice for uplighting, dance floor lighting, stage lighting, etc. The Hex 3's will give you many more color options, but the SlimPars are still the best bang for the buck.