A final few thoughts about some some of the stuff I saw at LDI, and some pictures! Everybody likes pictures!
Lightwave International Phenom
Lightwave International released the Phenom, a small moving head laser that is rated for audience scanning effects. The company doesn’t say what the laser diodes inside are rated for, but the unit draws only 3A @ 240v, which is impressive. The audience scanning feature is intrinsic to the design of the unit, as the lasers – even if parked straight into the audience – always deliver less than the amount of laser radiation permitted by the FDA. As always, it’s extremely difficult to judge the brightness of lights at LDI, but my intuition was that the lasers would be impressive in anything smaller than a stadium. Sadly, it uses PowerCon, but hopefully Lightwave will realize their error there and upgrade to a TrueONE connector. It’s a sexy little laser for sure.
VER’s Crazy Unnamed Screen Thingy
VER had a very interesting new screen gizmo at LDI – an LCD screen with no back, and no backlight, so that the images simply float across an almost transparent piece of glass. You can’t see the image unless there’s something behind it shining light through it, which is a really interesting effect. Here’s a really terrible picture that attempts to capture the idea.
Perhaps I’m overestimating the utility here, but I think this is a product with an abundance of design possibilities. Like any video product, it’s all about the content that you play onto it. The conceit here is that video is opaque while white is clear – but it’s not like looking through a traditional blow-through video wall, it’s actually clear. Here’s a video for a better idea of what you’re looking at: (That’s my friend Patrick Eaton speaking in the background.)
Ayrton (Distributed by Morpheus Lighting in the United States) is a relative newcomer, at least in the U.S., but they made a huge splash a few years ago with the Ayrton MagicPanel 602, a 6×6 square of LED emitters. No zoom, but full color-mixing and continuous pan and tilt rotation. These were used to great effect in one of Roy Bennet’s iconic designs for American band Nine Inch Nails:
Since then, Ayrton has released a whole range of fixtures with the continuous pan and tilt rotation feature, color-mixing, and optics optimized for large-scale pixel-mapping effects. This includes a linear batten, the MAGICBLADE-R (that both pans and tilts), a small LED beam light, the MAGICRING-R1, and a monster of an LED beam / wash light called the MAGICRING-R9. Seriously, it’s the size of a small European country:
As expected, this light is very, very bright. Based on the demo I saw at the Ayrton booth, it looks like it will be quite excellent at pixel-mapping effects. The speed of the pan and tilt was quite acceptable for such a large head, and I’m the brightness will be more than acceptable for anything but the most ridiculous applications. Ayrton also had on a display the same optics in a static floor or wall tile, the INTELLIPIX-R. This fixture does for RGBW color what the ELIDY did for warm white – very narrow optics that project volumetric space-filling light. It’s an impressive look, and done on a large scale would be absolutely incredibly. Unfortunately, the tiles are rather heavy, weighing 35lbs per tile, which for a tile half a meter by half a meter is a lot. That may not matter for some applications, though, and the INTELLIPIX-R is a very cool product that I’d love to use sometime.
The VL Mystery Fixture
I signed a thing saying I wouldn’t talk about it, but it’s awesome.