Lighting News

The Influence of Lighting
Sunday, 13 May 2001

Late March in London saw several industry organisations come together to contribute to an evening of presentations, the theme of which was Entertainment Lighting and its Influences. Members of the Society of Light & Lighting (SLL), the Institute of Lighting Engineers (ILE) and the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) were present to hear several speakers outline their own particular experiences.

Peter Phillipson of Future Group Lighting Design talked about the differences between the disciplines of theatre and television lighting, compared to architectural lighting. To illustrate his point, he demonstrated the differences between a number of lighting fixtures. He also went on to discuss the critical role of the lighting programmer and introduced Stuart Porter, who had worked alongside LD Andrew Bridge on the production of Aida at the Royal Albert Hall. Dave Isherwood of The Moving Light Co, followed with a demonstration of moving lights outlining the benefits they can bring to a production.

PLASA’s Matthew Griffiths talked about the role of the Association and outlined a number of projects where entertainment lighting had been integrated into permanent installations, particularly benefiting educational establishments. Television lighting directors Duncan Brown and Warwick Fielding talked about the role of lighting in television, highlighting their presentations with reference to some of the many productions they have lit.

Empowerment on Display
Saturday, 12 May 2001

London-based Optimusic had an interesting demonstration of a potential application for their product at the Frankfurt ProLight & Sound exhibition in April.

Using just one of the company’s OptiBeam units (see L&SI January 2001), the demonstration featured a display window in a booth, in front of which a single light beam projected down onto a reflective floor-sticker. With the OptiBeam in reverse mode, anyone breaking this beam, intentionally or otherwise, triggers one of a pre-programmed sequence of cues, via MIDI.

Designed by Raymond Haeck of Optimusic’s Belgian distributor Demon, the display was a mock-up of a product showcase. The first cue activated the opaque grey LCD glass, revealing the product (a running shoe!) behind it; subsequent breaks of the beam started the product turning on a revolve, triggered a musical soundtrack, switched on a fan to create a backdrop of fluttering tinsel tassles, then changed the lighting states, and so on, before returning the display back to its original state. This was a simple, but effective, demonstration of how just one of these interactive light units can offer members of the public the power to alter their surroundings in retail, museums, themed attractions, leisure venues, and more.

Optimusic’s Mishka Klotz calls this ‘empowerment’ - placing the power in the hands of a usually passive audience. The levels of empowerment don’t stop there: up to 32 OptiBeam units can control up to 99 pre-programmed cues each - that’s a fair number of cues, just waiting to be created.

Thompson Leaves
Friday, 11 May 2001

Frances Thompson has announced that she is leaving the US-based production industry web venture, Launched last year, offers ‘e-business for show business’ with production resources including online inventory tracking and project management, product and manufacturer listings and crew resources. Thompson, who previously worked for US truss manufacturer Tomcat, was responsible for marketing at She told PLASA Media that was in the process of downsizing in order to concentrate heavily on product development. The company’s Kansas City staff will now handle marketing as well as continuing to provide the level of service already established.

Navigator Hamper
Friday, 11 May 2001

Navigator Systems recently presented Pascale Lecomte of Britannia Row with a Harrods food hamper for taking part in a research and development project linked to the company’s Hire Track Eclipse rental management software. Britannia Row, which has been using Eclipse since 1999, was chosen at random from a number of companies who participated. Navigator will use the results from the findings to further develop the software.

James Thomas Launches Image Plus for MR16
Friday, 11 May 2001

James Thomas Engineering, the company that has put the MR16 ‘Birdie’ lantern on the map, introduces the latest evolution for the Par 16 lantern - the Image Plus. Image Plus is a simple and cost-effective focussing device that attaches to the lantern’s colour frame runners, further increasing the versatility of the lantern. The Image Plus 3 takes a standard size E Gobo, enabling any desired image or logo - in either glass or metal - to be projected onto a surface or wall up to four metres away. James Thomas also offers an MR16 gobo rotator that will rotate one or two gobos. Two types of lens are available - for narrow or wide effect options. There’s also a set of four shutters for beam-shaping and masking of the projected image. For the sharpest focus, lamp types required are either E49 or EXT, both of which are 12V, 50W, the Osram Titan 12V/65W or the EYF 12V/75W.

Any situations requiring precise focussing of the lightsource will find this fitting ideal. The Image Plus and other attachments are suitable for a wide variety of applications including theatres, retail, architectural, museums, heritage centres and art galleries. James Thomas Engineering manufactures an assortment of Par 16 lanterns which house MR16 lamps, including the standard type and those fitted with remote torroidal transformers either above the yoke or to the side, with a dimmable electronic transformer up to 12V/75W.

DMXEtherGate from Enttec
Wednesday, 9 May 2001

Enttec, an Australian manufacturer of entertainment lighting devices, has just launched the DMXEtherGate. This new device is a low-cost plug and play gateway between Ethernet, networking commonly used in computer networks and DMX512 which is the industry standard control signal for entertainment lighting. The DMXEtherGate is available in two versions - an IN box to convert DMX512 to Ethernet and an OUT box to convert Ethernet to DMX512. Both have a 10Base-T Ethernet port that can be connected to any Ethernet equipment such as hubs, switches, radio access points. By using Ethernet, the lighting designer or operator can utilise all the existing infrastructure and the readily-available Ethernet hardware.

Thanks to the RLE data compression included in the DMXEtherGate multiple DMX512 universes can be transmitted on a single 10Base-T link. Moreover by using multiple IN and OUT boxes the system can support up to 256 DMX universes on a single Cat 5 ethernet network. Using a network of DMXEtherGates, the user can also dynamically re-route DMX universes from one input to one or many outputs. All what is needed is Enttec's free software GateConfig and a network enabled computer.

The DMXEtherGate offers interesting possibilities for large venues and complex DMX networks, providing the ability to install and then be able to change the routing or add new access points as required. Also the combination with wireless ethernet solutions can solve many DMX distribution problems, by using a standard wireless ethernet access point, a user can distribute up to 256 DMX512 universes over a

Ian Gordon Joins Christie
Wednesday, 9 May 2001

The Christie Lites group of companies has announced the addition of Ian Gordon, formerly of Westsun International Inc, to the Christie Lites team. Gordon brings to Christie Lites 15 years’ experience servicing the concert industry in North America and Europe and will be working from the Christie Lites Vancouver office. "I’m extremely excited about the opportunity Christie Lites provides for myself and my family. The owner/operator business structure, combined with quality equipment and multiple offices throughout North America provide me with the desirable tools to service today’s concert marketplace. I have admired Christie Lites as competitors and look forward to being part of their team," says Gordon.

Launch for Ground Zero
Wednesday, 9 May 2001

Three European entertainment industry veterans have announced the formation of Ground Zero BV, which they claim to be ‘the first system integrator and show control specialist company in Holland’. The founders of Ground Zero are Sierk Janszen, Rutger van Dijk and Reind Brackman, all well known figures in the worldwide entertainment industry. The company’s main working area will be North-Western Europe and Spain.

Sierk Janszen has worked as applications manager at Avenger Systems in Belgium for the last six years after he had worked as a sound-engineer for several theatre-companies in Holland. Rutger van Dijk has been the manager of Vari-Lite Production Services Amsterdam since it establishment, before which he worked as technical production manager on many musical productions, Cirque du Soleil Europe and Focus Showequipment. Finally, Reind Brackman is the owner and founder of Beo (the Dutch Compulite dealer) and Trekwerk, a company specializing in automatic flying systems and their controls.

Merrifield On The Move for Lighting Tech
Wednesday, 9 May 2001

Moving from an office-based position at Lighting Technology’s headquarters at Park Royal, London, Jerry Merrifield has been appointed to take care of field sales for the South West of England. Field sales manager Rob Williamson said: "Jerry is a tremendous addition to the field sales team. With his knowledge, enthusiasm and drive, he is bound to develop new and existing business in the South West. He is a character well known to suppliers and customers alike." Jerry Merrifield commented: "After 10 years with LTG this is an opportunity and a challenge I needed. The growth during my time with the company has been staggering and the move gives me the opportunity to contribute to the future expansion of Lighting Technology’s business in the South West."

Valiant Lamps Moves and Expands
Tuesday, 8 May 2001

Lighting Technology has announced that Valiant Lamps has moved to the Group's New Malden, Surrey Location as part of an expansion and reorganisation programme. In addition, Valiant is already networked to take advantage of the Group's new Corby National Distribution Centre where a new computerised internal order processing system has been installed to mastermind and speed up deliveries to its customers across the UK and Europe. The new address for Valiant Lamps is: 4 Shannon Commercial Centre, Beverley Way, New Malden, Surrey, KT3 4PT, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 20 8949 3070 Fax: +44 (0) 20 8395 3072

Clay Paky Outlines Plans for New HQ
Sunday, 6 May 2001

Italian lighting manufacturer Clay Paky has unveiled plans for a major new headquarter facility, close to its current base in Pedrengo.

The new HQ not only represents a major investment for the company (you don’t want to know how many noughts were on the end of all those liras), but also a new chapter in what has been one of the major success stories of our industry. And the timing is perfectly cued, for it’s 25 years since Pasquali Quadri first founded Clay Paky, in 1976.

Over the years, the company has grown to be one of the major players in the lighting market and whilst much of that is down to its roots in the club sector, recent years have seen Clay Paky diversify into the wider arenas of TV, theatre, touring and architectural lighting. Central to all this has been technical innovation - GoldenScan did much to establish the company; more recently the launch of new products like the Miniscan HPE and Stagescan in 1997, and the Stageline in 1999, have been huge catalysts for growth.

The new headquarter facility is therefore a logical step, and since no company moves to make life harder, it goes without saying that it will not only give Clay Paky significantly more space (the new building will be 8,000sq.m with the option for expansion up to 24,000sq.m) it will also deliver a wide range of advantages. The first will be one of consolidation, as the company currently operates across three sites - totalling 6,000sq.m - its main Pedrengo facility being the largest of these. All three will be sold, and all the various links in the Clay Paky chain, from R&D r

Martin Wins Nordlys Lighting Competition
Friday, 4 May 2001

On March 30-31 over 80 of Scandinavia’s top lighting professionals, including architects, engineers and lighting designers, gathered in Aarhus, Denmark for the annual Nordlys Lighting Seminar. A large part of the seminar consisted of the viewing and evaluation of 11 'lighting experiments', each experiment created by a different lighting manufacturer. For four evenings buildings, monuments, bridges, sculptures and open space were illuminated around the town of Aarhus in an impressive display of the possibilities of architectural lighting. On Friday evening, the 80 participants voted for their favorite ‘experiment’.

The overall winner was Bispehave TÃ¥rnet (Bispehave Tower) illuminated by Martin Professional’s local distributor Martin Danmark. Lighting Designer of the winning project was Peer Ostergaard from Martin Danmark who commented about the design, "Being a water tower, the idea was to create the illusion of a glass of sparkling mineral water. We used Exterior 600s to produce a dark blue base with lighter shades of blue nearer the top. Finally we added bubbles created with rotating glass gobos from MAC 2000s for the very top."

Nordlys seminar was sponsored by Denmark’s Lysteknisk Selskab (Technical Lighting Association) in cooperation with other Scandinavian lighting associations from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland.

Rock ‘n Rolling with EST
Friday, 4 May 2001

Those masters of rock industry logistics, EST, are once more in the thick of the action over the summer season. Touring with a list of bands that reads like a roll-call of the top aristocracy of the rock music industry, the range of locations and number of vehicles involved is staggering. The tours are all major Arena and Stadium scale and are forecast to be the biggest gross-earning acts of the summer season. 16 of the familiar yellow and purple trucks will provide logistic support to Madonna’s European tour running from the 5 June until 12 July. A further eight trucks will provide transport for the Eagles, starting in Moscow on 29 May and finishing in Glasgow on 28 July. Another 16 EST trucks will accompany Bon Jovi’s European Tour which starts in Stockholm on 31 May with 16 more shows in locations as diverse as Huddersfield, Hamburg and Zurich before ending in Munich on 30 June.

On top of that, EST will also provide transport for Jethro Tull’s European Tour, centred mainly in Germany, plus trucking equipment to a major Conference of the World’s Ophthalmologists in Istanbul for Face to Face Productions. Last but not least, EST is providing transport for the Barcelona Motor Show in early May which will entail 35 trucking movements each way.

Well Being With Lighting Technology
Thursday, 3 May 2001

Lighting Technology Group has provided equipment for the newly-launched Well Being television channel and website from Boots and Granada that offers information and advice on all aspects of personal well-being. The three-year run of programmes is produced at Yorkshire Television in Leeds with Peter Hardman as lighting director. Equipment supplied by Lighting Technology includes 20 Brightline 1.4d four-lamp phase control dimmable units, complete with accessories such as broad field screens and colour frames plus Osram Studioline 3200k lamps. Further equipment includes 30 Strand Quartzcolor Studio 1k pole-operated fixtures, 15 ETC Source 4 Pars with barndoors and six Dennard pantographs. Peter Hardman detailed the project: "The brief was to light YTV’s Studio 3 in such a way that any action could be shot from most angles and in any part of the set. No lighting expertise would be available, nor adjustment time after the ‘on air’ day. For a 12-hour, five-day, three-year shoot, fluorescent softlights, with their low power consumption and low heat output were the obvious answer. The studio was to be operational within less than three weeks, and after Lighting Technology’s Andy Dodd had demonstrated the Brightline I had no doubt that they would fit the bill. They were delivered from the US in just two weeks and have performed well, producing the level of base light required, about 300 lux, in the manner required." The programme is available on Sky digital, Ondigital and at

RML Stocks VL Series 2000
Thursday, 3 May 2001

Vari-Lite has announced that West London-based Richard Martin Lighting (RML) has become the UK’s first Vari-Lite Rental Associate with stocks available for hire of the new VL2000 series. The company, which specialises in automated lighting for the television industry, and regularly supplies to all the main studios around the UK, has taken delivery of a batch of the new VL2414 wash luminaires. RML’s operations manager Steve Wells expands on the decision. "There has always been a high demand for the VL5 wash luminaire and we were extremely interested to see what the new Vari-Lite retail range had to offer. We arranged demo sessions for our clients to see the capabilities of the luminaires and after reports back on excellent colour mixing and high output, we decided to go ahead and become a Vari-Lite Rental Associate."

Zero Says Goodbye to UK Sales Manager
Thursday, 3 May 2001

Malcolm Davis, Zero 88’s UK sales manager, has decided to leave the company for pastures new! In the two and a half years Davis has been with the company, he has become a familiar face to its UK dealers. Before joining Zero 88, he worked for a number of years developing overseas markets and has decided to put that knowledge to use in European markets, although he is staying within the lighting industry. Lorna Parsons will take over his responsibilities in the UK, with Graham Eales and Tim Burt providing back up.

The Corrs
Thursday, 3 May 2001

There’s an orange-haired clown from the USA who 30 years ago perfected a presentational strategy that’s seen his products grow to become a global monster. The recipe for success is to satisfy the appetite with something that’s unlikely to offend even the most delicate palette.

While the three girls and brother Jim can hardly be likened to a hamburger and fries, they do present an inoffensive brand of pop that while delightful, is unlikely to become a healthy diet if taken in excess. It was March ‘98 when I last saw the Corrs, in a sub-2,000-seat theatre on that occasion. Their early singles had begun what’s become the band’s long flirtation with the charts. Have three years been a long enough break? In short, yes. The band’s live performance is much improved in that there is now an edge to them, and, dare I say it, I prefer the songs performed live to their more anodyne recordings.

Lighting & Video
In the words of production manager Ian Caulder, "Willie Williams was brought in to liven things up." That’s no reflection on Liam McCarthy, the group’s original LD from the outset. He and Icon programmer Frank Shields have melded an excellent, well-punctuated light show. But it’s what must lurk in William’s imagination that delights and excites.

Modules of a Screenco LED screen are hung, checkerboard-fashion, behind a white scrim. All images presented upon it are abstracts, computer graphics, flames, the glittering surface of a swimming pool, etc. Why this is a stroke of genius on Williams

CAST Lighting WYG-it
Tuesday, 1 May 2001

CAST Lighting has unveiled the newest member of the WYSIWYG family - the WYG-it. Its plug-and-play USB interface enables PCs running WYSIWYG software to connect with DMX lighting consoles to cue, visualize and virtually render productions. "We have been working in partnership with Pathway Connectivity, an industry leader in Canada, on this particular project," said Gilray Densham, president of CAST Lighting Ltd. "The WYG-it has two DMX ports in for a total of 1024 channels per unit and includes a built-in MIDI for consoles that support AutoFocus. It is a small, portable and an affordable device that keeps clutter to a minimum, because there is no external power supply required." The WYG-it concept was first shown at LDI in October 2000 and then, following extensive Beta testing, was demonstrated for the first time at this year's USITT (March 2001). The technology was then put to use at this year's Juno Awards - Canada's music awards show. WYG-it will be available through Electronic Theatre Controls.

MAD Restructures
Tuesday, 1 May 2001

MAD, the Leicester-based effects lighting company is now trading under the name Mad Manufacturing Ltd. David Summerland continues as MD of the company, whilst David Linger takes up the role of sales director. With many years experience in the lighting industry, he will also oversee the design and project management of product installations. Neil Walton becomes operations manager, and will oversee production and purchasing for MAD’s busy manufacturing facility. Technical support is now the domain of Gareth Fish, whilst Roger Poynor takes up a position in export sales. Meanwhile, Sam Steed is responsible for sales in the UK, Germany and northern European regions. Finally, Paul Williams is responsible for all the company’s marketing activities.

Ian Gordon Signs With Christie Lites
Tuesday, 1 May 2001

Ian Gordon, formerly with Westsun International Inc, has joined the team at Christie Lites in Vancouver. Gordon, a touring industry veteran, takes with him 15 years experience servicing the concert industry in North America and Europe. Established in 1985, Christie Lites is an owner-operated organization which focuses on the stage lighting market. With offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Dallas, and Orlando - it provides full service rentals to the concert, corporate, theatrical and educational sectors, as well as extensive sales support for manufacturers including Martin, MA, ETC, Robert Juliat and Spectrum Manufacturing.

City Lights
Sunday, 29 April 2001

The citizens of Birmingham recently treated the Mayor of Lyon to a spectacular reception. The cause of the celebration? - the fiftieth anniversary of the twinning of the two great cities. Lyon has been appointed European City of Light for 2001 and kicked off the year with a spectacular display of architectural lighting over the Christmas and New Year season. Birmingham took this as the key to their event, commissioning installation artist Colin Pierce to conceptualise something comparable.

"Birmingham City Council Arts team has visibly moved a long way and diversified from the idea of stainless steel sculptures outside buildings," explained Pierce. "I first made a site-specific exposition for them under Spaghetti Junction in 1993 and over 10,000 people attended. Since then, we’ve done other things, most recently ‘The Gallery in the Trees’ which ran through 1999-2000. The thing is, they (BCC Arts team) have recognised that something temporary can still have a very strong impact."

Interestingly, BCC used the event to kill two birds with one stone: "They wanted to use the event to showcase colour-changing lighting, how it can affect the environment, to developers, planners and urban architects." Pierce went on to explain that Birmingham City is currently undergoing a great deal of re-development: "They are drafting a Lighting Strategy and will invite developers to have a ‘lighting policy’ as an integrated part of their planning application. What the BCC wants is lighting that makes the city safer, more attrac

Clay Paky With Days of Light & Sound
Friday, 27 April 2001

Clay Paky, via its Argentinian distributor PSL S.A., was the exclusive sponsor of the ‘Jornadas de Luz e Sonido’ (Days of Light and Sound) event, which took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from the 2 - 4 April. Organised by the Argentine specialist magazine Tecnopolitan, the event was attended by more than 1000 show lighting professionals. A highlight of the event was a seminar held by Luc La Fortune, the renowned Cirque du Soleil lighting designer. La Fortune spoke of his artistic experiences, particularly on how a designer’s creativity is born and develops, and how he finds his own inspiration for the lighting of the world-famous Cirque du Soleil shows. A long-time user and supporter of Clay Paky products, La Fortune said: "Clay Paky projectors have always given me the possibility of implementing all my projects in the best way, thanks to their power, versatility, colour qualities and uniformity of beam. This is why I have often agreed to take part in initiatives organised by Clay Paky, such as the tutorials in previous editions of LDI."

Other well-known lighting designers took part in the event, including Eli Sirlin, Ernesto Diz, Marcelo Cuervo and Ariel Del Mastro. Ariel Del Mastro remains a central figure in Argentina’s lighting industry: he is the technical manager for the majority of musical shows internationally produced by Argentina’s two most important domestic production companies. Among the most recent installations in the theatre sector are over 60 Stage Line projectors used in the Saturday Night Fever and for The Lit

Personnel Changes at Bandit Lites
Friday, 27 April 2001

Bandit Lites has announced new additions to its staff at its world headquarters in Knoxville, Tennessee. Jim Guinn has been named director of computer resources globally at Bandit Lites. Guinn joins the company from Techmer PM where he was a team leader within the Information Services Department. Nathaniel Dawson has been named Shipping and Receiving Specialist. Prior to Bandit Lites, he specialized in theater at Las Vegas Academy.

Sagitter Relaunches Website
Friday, 27 April 2001

Italian lighting manufacturer, Sagitter has launched its new-look website. The website gives full details of the company’s lighting ranges, which encompass architectural, colourwash, professional and theatre products. Each product on the site is allocated a page where full technical information is laid out, alongside graphic illustrations as well as accessory information. The website also contains a news site - where all the latest information regarding the company’s activities can be found, a contacts page, and a full price list. The website can also be accessed through the website of Sagitter’s UK distributor, Multiform Technology Group.


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