Avstage purchased their new gear from DWR Distribution and they were used on the same day of purchase
South Africa - With a background in electronic engineering and having followed the development of LED lighting for many years, Julian Cohen, owner of Johannesburg based rental company Avstage, had been waiting for LED technology to catch up with discharge lamps.

Three decades ago he designed and manufactured large display panels using discrete LEDs and now at last the opportunity came along to purchase new lighting including 12 Robin 300 LEDs, an Avolites Tiger Touch 2 and a haze machine.

In the greater rental market, Avstage caters for corporate events. This environment is unlike rock concerts where lighting is a major element of the production. "Most of our clients are non-technical and when catering for gala dinners or conferences, lighting is more about creating ambience and is only an element of the entire event. It's not about which light is being used and its technical specifications," commented Julian.

While the Robin 300 LEDs may be used to wash a room in the company corporate colours or to carry through the theme at a wedding, the units are also suitable for live entertainment performances, which often form part of these events. The fixture has zonal control for eye candy effects and its zoom capability creates a uniformed feel of coloured light for an evenly distributed wash on stage.

Avstage purchased their new gear from DWR Distribution, and they were used on the same day of purchase. "The timing worked out right," said Julian, "And my staff are impressed."

He always relies on his staff to make the final decision on purchases. "To be honest, there is a variety of brands to choose from, but more important for them was the support. We are buying the company and not the product," he explained.

As for LED technology, Julian knows it's going to become increasingly more important to use less power for events. "The newer lights use a fraction of the power of the old traditional fixtures." He adds that the new units are also smaller and lightweight cutting out the need for larger trucks for transportation.

With days long gone when venues would give rental companies a couple of days to set up at no additional cost, new technology makes the units easy to carry and faster to rig.

Avstage also purchased an Avolites Tiger Touch 2. "It works and it looks good," said Julian. "But I don't mind what the control is. I just want to be able to pick up the phone and chat to Duncan Riley, and if there is a problem, ask how to sort it out. That's what it's all about."

(Jim Evans)

Latest Issue. . .