LDI 2015 was a pretty great show overall. The atmosphere on the floor was positive and seemed well attended. SEAL had two fully packed days with lots of meetings and booth visits. Here is our impressions of the numerous products from the show floor from LDI2015.
The highlight of the show was the Neal Preston Exhibit of photographs benefiting Behind the Scenes. Everyone who saw it seemed to be thrilled about the experience. It was quite the exhibition titled “In The Eye Of The Rock’N’Roll Hurricane”.
In the moving light world, Clay Paky had some new fixtures, the Spheriscan moving mirror with a neat LED ring on top that gives it a little texture. The Scenius which is their new 1500w big fixture available as both a spot and profile.
They also showed off a couple of prototypes, the first is a discharge wash light, seemed to be based on the supersharpy/mythos chassis. It seems to be the “look” of the moment. The second is a very unique moving batten called the Spazial, much like the many competitors, its a beam batten, or a bunch of LED ACLs that can rotate on one axis, what is unique about the Clay Paky unit is it has some control in the other axis as well by moving lenses. Pretty neat.
Elation generated some buzz with their FLX, including a honorable mention in the LDI awards. This is their Mythos competitor and seems to be better in many ways, better optics, flatter field, better mixing and dimming. With frost in not quite as good, but conversely adds better zoom and focus options in beam mode. All in all, a very serious contender in the hybrid fixture market.
High End has a new, brighter, big profile, the SolaSpot 2000. It doesn’t have the framing, but instead, a second animation wheel and a second rotating gobo wheel. They also are coming out with the SolaWash 2000 which its one of, if not the only, LED wash with framing shutters. Much like many companies, they have their own version of the Ayrton tiny ACL moving light, but the HES version, called the UNO, has a larger optics designed in-house at HES (everyone else uses off the shelf optics) so not only is the beam fatter, its more efficient.
Robe had a few new fixtures, the BMFL wash which is the wash version of the BMFL (no surprises there) The DL7S is a moving head, with framing, animation and lots of bells and whistles, using a 7 color LED system. Additionally they had a white engine LED moving head called the Viva, which is more inexpensive than the DL4 and DL7 versions.
SGM had an adorable battery powered, outdoor rated, beam moving head called the G1 Beam.
Moving on to static stuff, Martin unveiled its LED replacement to the industry standard Atomic 3000 Strobe. The Atomic 3000 LED has every bit as much power as its xenon counterpart including the ability to have it ramp on and off like a xenon lamp. It also has strings of pixel controlled LEDs in the fixture to give it a little bit of texture and animation when not blinding the audience. It has a 4 pin port and built in power supply to drive the Atomic Colors scroller, as well. No detonator yet, but rumored to be coming soon.
Martin also had their new line of architectural fixtures, three different levels of wash fixtures that run on up to 277V! These RGBW fixtures come in 3 sizes, they feature an onboard OLED display (no more DABS!) but that can be fully locked out and even have a plate to cover the screen so once your set up no one will see the screen, out of site out of mind. They also have a graze fixture that comes in 1 or 4 foot lengths, but has a built in power supply so no need for an external PSU/Data like most of the competitors require, should be priced very well. A cove version with wider optics is available. All of the fixtures are elegantly designed and seem to be built very well, just as the old Exterior 400 Series.
Coemar had an addition to their Reflection LEDko line, an exterior rated (IP65) product the EXT. This is about 3/4 the size of the old Source Four XT. It comes in Tungsten or Daylight right now. Coming soon is a new LED chipset that has twice the intensity of the current emitters. Additionally, there will be a tunable white and color-changing options soon. Overall, the build quality seemed top notch, nicer knobs and slides for the internal optics than the now dead S4 XT.
Lycian on the show floor had a prototype discharge spotlight that is a big rethink of followspot optics. Overall the body is shorter, a little wider, but has a knob on the side that through the magic of lenses allows the unit to be short, medium or long throw. It also is significantly less weight, where two men can load it into position at the show site. No pictures or data on it yet as its very much a prototype but might be a great new fixture some time next year.
Osram unveiled a lineup of new Kreios fixtures. Two new fresnels and a profile. They feature an 80w led engine with a nice neutral white. The Fresnels come with barndoors and colorframes, and actually works with spot/flood/ barndoor cuts. Nice and simple operation. There are some DMX features such as dimming curves and last look options. The profile version works as well, some light leaks from where the front and back halves connect but for a small profile it might work for your application.
Altman lighting unveiled a line of LED fresnels as well, these are called the Pegasus line, a small 6″ Fresnel that’s a direct replacement for the 65Q and a larger 8 inch version. It has DMX and line dimming. Altman was one of the few LED mains dimmable fixtures that had a dimmer in the booth to show that it actually works on line dimming. It does everything a Fresnel should and has a very nice high CRI engine. A very solid product offering that won a PLASA dealers choice award.
Blizzard Lighting won best big booth with their partnership with Mod Truss. This booth featured a giant claw machine completely made out of the mod truss. Very high on the “fun” scale.
Blizzard had a very nice LED blinder with two warm white 100w LED chips. What is unique about the fixture, called the “Solar Cell”, is its outdoor rated (want to say it was IP55) with outdoor powercon True 1 in and out and some outdoor rated XLR ports, that will accept regular XLR connectors (just not watertight with regular style). Both cells can be controlled individually and units can be ganged together to make larger fixtures.
ADJ had a plethora of new products on display, some of the same products we have seen but in white, but two products that we see sales of semi regularly and are unique from ADJ are two small gobo projectors, the first is the IKON Profile. This looks similar to the altman micro elipse but longer. It has a built in gobo rotator, and onboard DMX, 32w of white LED, and pass through power. Seems to be a nice usable fixture. Second is the PinPoint Gobo Color, this is a small battery powered gobo projector that has color changing, they also offer it in a white only LED package. Again small usable gobo projector we may see requests or customers wanting. Elation had in the Antari booth some new LED blacklights, seem fairly good 365nm, fluoresced well, had some visible but would need to be tested in a more controlled environment. They had a few form factors including outdoor rated, spots and floods.
Chauvet also had a ton of new gear. There were highlights from both the DJ and Professional sections of the booth. On the PRO side, a new Ovation Ellipsoidal which has a claimed highly efficient new optical system worked very well, including when softening a breakup gobo or the bare beam. There also are a couple of single source LED pars, one that zooms and one that doesn’t, and a couple of new flavors of their mini ellipsoidal which uniquely in the market dim on 0-10v. You can check out all of the new products on a handy single website. On the DJ side, the very popular Freedom Par Quad now as an IP rated version, just for temporary use, but has all the features customers love about the indoor version in an outdoor case. Also the Core Par series had added a UV version to this nicely packaged line of COB fixtures.
On the control side MA had a new switch that has some very nice features for lighting control. It has the full suite of things you would expect on a managed switch, but then adds port filtering in simple ways that lighting guys can understand. The different colored LEDs on the face show what kind of filtering is going on per port, which is all configurable through a web interface.
Pathway added, and almost glossed over a long awaited feature into their VIA switch line. You can now configure any port to convert ARTnet to sACN!
Both ETC and Chauvet have released small relays. The ETC ColorSource Relay you cannot control through DMX. It works (How it was explained to us) by turning ON when it sees DMX & turns OFF, after a specifed delay time, after DMX has been lost. in that it powers on when it sees DMX present, and powers off after a specified delay time after DMX is lost (or so it was explained to me). The ETC unit uses City Theatrical ShowDMX in its wireless versions.
The Chauvet Synapse 4 you can control the relays via DMX and has a built-in opto splitter.
Chauvet, also on the control/configuration side, released a small pocket tester called the RDM2go that features RDM. It can save scenes and configure illuminarc products. It has a very nice OLED display that is easy to read and comes with a belt case and 3-5pin DMX adapters.
American DJ has a pretty nice wireless control the Airstream Bridge system that uses (At least on the show floor) an iPad. We played with it for a little bit… It lets you write a patch, set scenes, even draw paths for moving lights with your finger. It sends DMX out via Wifly and a 3 pin out port on board.
On the other side of the aisle, Elation had a slightly full-featured iPad controlled show controller as well called Emulation Touch. This is licensed from Visual Productions, and is a well laid out powerful lighting control tool. It does require an external wireless router but that doesn’t cost much these days.
The simplest of the phone to DMX devices on the show floor was from Gantom, the GPLEX. This palm sized device uses the headphone port on android (and soon iOS) devices to convert to DMX, right now a simple control of sliders for a full universe of DMX, you can then save and recall presets. Its battery powered and a nice simple controller, a good option for demos or simple setups vs. using a pocket console or LP-612.
Tomcat has a new collapsible truss called the EVO. Not a lot of info online about it so far, and since its got the Tomcat name its probably a real thing. Leave it to Tomcat to rethink, redesign & re-engineer the old standard stick of 12×12.
Just as we see an innovation in truss where we never thought we would, Antari surprised everyone with an innovative and well designed new snow machine. The S-500 remotely mounts the loud blower and pump down into a roadbox, then a 30′ long clear hose runs to a head which you can then mount far away from the blower. The blower is much quieter than most snow machines, but since its remotely mounted, can be off away from the head where it can disturb even less of a production. Antari also offers a remote pan head so you can cover even more area, all-in-all, a great rethink on the snow machine that surely people will clamor for.