Lighting News

Set Lighting Becomes First VL Rental Associate
Wednesday, 7 February 2001

Set Lighting & Sound has become the first UK rental associate of Vari-Lite, having added the Vari*Lite VL2202 spot luminaire to its extensive hire stock. The Based on the VL2201 spot luminaire, the VL2202 features an upper enclosure that houses the control electronics as well as a power factor corrected arc power supply for the 700W short arc lamp. The small, lightweight, and virtually silent luminaire also features a zoom optics system and rotating gobos. Controlled from any Vari*Lite console, it can also be controlled from a wide variety of DMX512 consoles without the need for additional interface equipment. Set Lighting’s Guy Heselden told us: "We are very excited at the opportunity of becoming the first UK Rental Associate, and looking forward to along term working relationship with Vari-Lite. Initially adding the VL2202 luminaire to our hire fleet allows us to supply an ever-changing and demanding hire market." Established in 1992, Set Lighting & Sound is also one of the UK's leading suppliers of Martin Professional’s MAC 500 and 600 luminaires for rental.

DMX512 Revision up for Review
Tuesday, 6 February 2001

ESTA, the North America-based Entertainment Services & Technology Association has announced that BSR E1.11, Entertainment Technology - USITT DMX512-A, Asynchronous Serial Digital Data Transmission Standard for Controlling Lighting Equipment and Accessories, is now available for public review and comment. This document is an updating and revision of the widely-used DMX512/1990, which was originally developed by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology. USITT's DMX512 is being revised to clarify undefined and loosely-defined provisions in the original document and to accommodate new lighting technology while maintaining backward compatibility with products that comply with the existing standard. The new version addresses issues regarding the use of alternate start codes, the undefined data pair, grounding practices, over-voltage protection, error detection, and alternate connectors.

Comments on BSR E1.11 are being sought so that the standard may reflect the consensus of the entertainment lighting industry. The complete public review materials packet includes a copy of BSR E1.11 , a comment form for BSR E1.11, and this instruction page. The public is invited to use these materials to review the document and to offer criticism - both positive and negative - by the comment deadline of 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 24 April 2001. Comments received after that time may not be considered as part of this public review.

New Appointments at AC Lighting
Tuesday, 6 February 2001

AC Lighting Ltd has announced a number of major staff appointments. Mark Tonks joined AC Lighting in 1993 and became a key player in export sales whilst developing his interest in IT. In his new role as IT & Logistics Director, Mark will play a major role in the organisational side of the business. "In the future we believe companies will sink or swim on their ability to exceed customer expectations. As we continue to grow, it is my challenge to establish that infrastructure," says Tonks. Secondly, Peter Searles has been appointed company secretary. Searles joined AC Lighting on the completion of the sale of his successful plastic-moulding company in 1990, and has since held many and varied senior roles within the company, many related to special projects. Finally, a new face in the company’s technical sales department is Martin Savage. Formally assistant head of lighting at the Millennium Dome, Martin comes with a wealth of experience from his days on cruise ships with Royal Caribbean International and touring with, amongst others, the 1998 production of Boogie Nights. His primary role will be demonstrating products to AC Lighting's customers at a technical level and offering training and assistance as required. He will also become a familiar face on the international industry trade show circuit.

A Modern Approach to a Classic . . .
Saturday, 3 February 2001

The lighting for the new season of Classical Spectacular shows was recently pre-programmed at Stage Electrics’ new Virtual Lighting Studio in London’s Waterloo. The show, which performed at arenas around Britain and at the Royal Albert Hall, involved over 200 performers playing 20 popular classical pieces, complete with cannons, muskets and an indoor firework finale.

The show set up on the morning of each performance and had to be technically ready by 2.30pm for an orchestral rehearsal. Promoter Raymond Gubbay has long championed the use of large intelligent lighting systems to accompany the Classical Spectacular experience and expected this system to be used to its full potential with some 500 lighting cues throughout the show.

LD Durham Marenghi, who has been lighting the show for the last decade, utilised over 100 intelligent Martin Professional luminaires with 2,000 control channels as part of his new design. Illuminating the production are 16 MAC 2000s, Martin’s most powerful automated moving head, along with 16 MAC 500s, 72 MAC 600s, 12 Pro 400 colour-changers and 22 conventional lights, all supplied by Stage Electrics of Bristol.

It was clear that the lighting programme could not be created in one morning on site, so pre-programming was vital. In the past, large, expensive rehearsal spaces such as the Docklands Arena have been used, along with all the necessary equipment and crew, for one week. The show would then be worked through with the orchestra and choir layout marked with tape on the arena floor - a far from ideal method of envisaging

Martin MACs on Ireland’s Millionaire
Friday, 2 February 2001

Martin MAC fixtures are being used in Ireland’s RTE studios for the Irish edition of Who Wants to be a Millionaire - the 77th version of the show to go on air worldwide. Hosting the Irish show is Irish Late Late Show presenter, Gay Byrne. In the Millionaire studio, 22 MAC 600, 10 MAC 250 and 4 MAC 500 moving heads create a stunning lightshow on the set. The ingenuity of lighting designers, Joseph Canavan and Luis Poveda, given the strict guidelines for lighting the show, is highly praiseworthy, says Lisa Mitchell of Tyrone Productions, adding: "Millionaire in Ireland has turned out to be a phenomenon! The Irish public expected a scaled-down version of the British Millionaire Show, but everyone is really pleased. There are over 1.2 million viewers, which tops Gay Byrne’s Late, Late Show figures - That’s phenomenal!"

Hollywood’s Biggest Party
Friday, 2 February 2001

Hollywood recently celebrated its biggest party - the Golden Globes - held in the International Ballroom at the Beverly Hilton. Production Resource Group companies Fourth Phase, ProMix and LSD/Fourth Phase were on hand to help. ProMix Burbank provided all of the audio equipment for the event, which included the press audio and video feeds to the worldwide press audience. All presenters and award recipients were heard through the propriety ProMix ‘pop-up mic’, a robotic system. Front-of-house console was a Yamaha PM4000, driving Apogee speakers and Crest amplifiers. Sound designer for the event was Gary Hardesty with his team consisting of audio supervisor Bruce Burns, system engineer Andrew Fletcher, press liaison engineer Steve Cohen, with Mark King on broadcast audio mix and Randy Faustino on house audio mix.

The interior lighting was designed by Lee Rose of Design Partners, and LSD/Fourth Phase provided the rigging and conventional lighting package for the 11th consecutive year. LSD crew chief Ken Delvo and LSD technician Jeremy Schilling oversaw the installation and operation of the kit, which included ETC Source Fours and Par 64s, controlled by an Expression 2X and Sensor Rack. The exterior lighting, also designed by Lee Rose, was handled by Fourth Phase Burbank. The equipment included a selection of 300 and 650W ARRI fresnels, 125W HMI ARRI pocket pars, 1.2kW HMI Sunrays, 2.5/4K HMI ARRI pars, MR16 Xray strips and 1K Mickey Moles.

PLASA Website's Major Re-Launch
Friday, 2 February 2001

On 1st February 2001, PLASA went online with its brand new website at The new site is the latest development in the six-year history of PLASA’s online presence, and continues the organisation’s aim to provide the premier online resource for the entertainment, presentation and event technology industry worldwide.

The new site further develops the extensive and freely-available information resources offered to the industry by PLASA. Now available are fully-searchable databases allowing fast, easy and flexible access to the full listing of 450+ PLASA members; 1,500 industry news items in the online news archive; a comprehensive calendar of industry events, and over 100 titles in PLASA’s Technical Book Service.

PLASA’s Managing Director Matthew Griffiths comments: "Aside from the great new look of the site, I’m especially pleased with the new keyword-search facilities. We provide the opportunity - for free, and within a matter of seconds - to find every news item that a particular company has appeared in on the PLASA News website over the past 18 months. The same applies for searching the membership database for companies, products and services, or for finding details of worldwide industry events. This is what the industry has been demanding from a website like ours, and we’re pleased to be offering such a truly beneficial service."

In addition to providing a valuable resource to the global industry, the new site has been designed to represent all the diverse aspects of PLASA as an organisation - including the A

Torben Johansen Leaves Martin Pro
Thursday, 1 February 2001

Yet more significant news from the Martin Professional camp. Torben Johansen, the company’s production director, has left the company. A brief statement posted on the company’s website says that Johansen has resigned and that until a successor is appointed his role will be taken on by CEO Kristain Kolding. The management thus consists of CEO Kristian Kolding and group director Lars Dige.

Out of the Boy Zone
Thursday, 1 February 2001

Ronan Keating’s solo material was showcased at the end of last year - and an arena tour has already been announced for this Spring. Mike Mann reports.

Though LD Paul Normandale’s design (based around a couple of 40ft trusses and a 33ft diameter semi-circular Tomcat MD stacking truss) was essentially traditional, the eagle-eyed lamp-spotter would have picked out a quartet of new luminaires in the rig - Normandale was putting the MAC 2000s through their paces for the first time. "This is really an early trial for me," he explained, "and Martin have been very supportive. I never go to tradeshows, and I don’t like trying anything out in the warehouse." Though the 1200W HMI unit is, says Normandale, better suited to arena shows, the more intimate environment of the Keating tour gave him a chance to see more clearly what the MAC 2000 is capable of. "So far, I’m happy - it seems to do everything that other powerful moving heads can do - plus zoom."

The remainder of Normandale’s kit list (sourced from Lite Alternative) included 18 Vari*Lite VL5s, 10 Starlite Mk5s, a dozen or so Par 64s and eight ChromaQ scrollers. A pair of Strong II FOH followspots were augmented by a single rear truss spot. Control (under the direction of Fraser Elisha) was via an Avolites Sapphire 2000 console, with a second unit "to give me something to do during the show," according to Normandale. The set, from Alan Chesters at Hangman and Lite Structures, was largely drape-based, though the addition of plush red velvet riser facings, r

Martin’s Latin America HQ Moves to Buenos Aires
Thursday, 1 February 2001

Martin Professional’s head of Latin American operations, Peter Hald, has moved his headquarters from Miami, Florida to Buenos Aires, Argentina in order to be closer to the main Latin American markets. Hald says: "Miami is the gateway to Latin America, but by establishing a base in one of the most advanced markets in Latin America, we feel confident that we can raise the Martin presence here to a new level."

Martin Professional recently entered into an agreement with the owners of its two Argentinean distributors to establish a joint company in Buenos Aires - Martin Professional Argentina SA, which will handle distribution and service of the group’s products. The move is seen as a natural development in the light of this joint venture. Hald says: "We will be closer to some of the biggest and most important markets in Latin America where the opportunities for development in all segments is enormous - Brazil alone has shown positive progress over the last couple of years and the potential in all mayor segments is great."

Stagetec Product Day
Thursday, 1 February 2001

On March 6th Stagetec Distribution is holding a Product Day on the Compulite and LSC product ranges to be held at The Centre in Slough from 10.00am to 6.00pm. The full range of products from both companies will be on show. This will include pre-release versions of two completely new consoles from LSC which are scheduled to be launched later this year. On show from Compulite will be the new flight cased/touring version of the CompuDIM 2000 digital dimmer, version 2.0 of the CompuCAD 3D lighting design software, the new architectural features for the 4D range and the CompuCAL telephone interface.Anybody interested in attending can register at the website below.

20,000 Celebrate 2001
Wednesday, 31 January 2001

Over 20,000 people celebrated the New Year in Nottingham’s market square. The centre of attention was the Nottingham Council House, an imposing town hall, which provided the canvas for a stunning lightshow by NJD. Images of Robin Hood (Nottingham’s millennium symbol) were projected onto the building using NJD’s Predator HX scanners, whilst eight Datamoons were positioned on columns down the centre of the town square, providing sound activated light beams whose movement and colour was synchronised to the music played through NJD’s 20,000W sound system.

Dome Auction Could be Postponed
Wednesday, 31 January 2001

The planned auction of the Dome’s contents may possibly die before it even gets going if Legacy plc’s bid for the site is not concluded on 14 February as intended. It appears that the Government and Legacy cannot agree terms, and, as a result, the New Millennium Experience Company has reviewed plans to postpone indefinitely the £10m auction, which is scheduled to start at the end of February. We understand that they may, however, proceed with the sale of some of the site’s assets. If the Legacy bid does fall through, it will mean that other potential bidders, including the Dome's chief executive, Pierre-Yves Gerbeau, who has struck an alliance with James Palumbo, property firm Pilton Group and the pop impresario Harvey Goldsmith, may have their wish to keep the venue entertainment-based rather than the business park proposal that was at the heart of the Legacy plan.

Project News
Monday, 29 January 2001

Several new projects have been given the green light this month. Dunfermline Athletic has won planning permission for a business enterprise centre, 60-bedroom hotel, swimming pool and leisure facility at its football stadium in Fife. Meanwhile, maintaining a sporting theme, Grimsby Town is expected to start work on a new football stadium at Great Coates in September, having won the go-ahead from North East Lincolnshire Council. Travel giant Stagecoach has submitted plans for the development of a multiplex cinema and entertainment centre at the bus station site in Exeter, and the BBC has begun recruiting 80 staff for a new £4m TV and radio news broadcasting facility in Sevenoaks.

Details courtesy of UK Business Park.

Reeves Returns to Stage Two
Monday, 29 January 2001

Stage Two Ltd, the Watford-based audio-visual, sound and lighting company, has announced that David Reeves has returned to the company as business development manager to consolidate the company's position in the conference equipment hire and presentation field.

Westsun to Open First US ‘Super-Hub’
Monday, 29 January 2001

Westsun International Inc. has announced the creation of Westsun’s first regional ‘super hub’ in Las Vegas, Nevada. When making the announcement on behalf of the company’s executive Board, Rob Davidson, CFO and acting CEO of Westsun, stated: "This is a natural step in our development strategy, one that will allow us to provide our customers with even greater access to our comprehensive equipment pool. It will also shorten lead times, thereby further improving our market-leading service to all of our clients." This new facility will operate under the Westsun Las Vegas banner. Dick Wright, vice-president of West Coast operations, will lead the operation. Anticipated to house in excess of $15 million worth of stock, the new expansion will be complete by May 1, 2001. During the transition, Dick Wright will work closely with Scott Jevons of Westsun Los Angeles. Scott Jevons will lead the Westsun Los Angeles sales team as sales manager, and ensure that it remains a key component of Westsun International’s sales and marketing efforts. Westsun remains committed to providing a high level of personalized service to its existing and new clients.

Showmagic 3.6
Sunday, 28 January 2001

The latest version of ShowMagic, the sound and lighting control system, was released in December. New features include a device library for RS232 control - plain English commands can now be used for devices listed in the library (VTRs, switchers etc); extra support for laptops (Sunlite USB DMX device); new MIDI control features for external audio processors; ‘Latest chase takes precedence’ option; lighting control output through DMX, PMX and MIDI simultaneously and an updated fixtures library.

OptiMusic: Bringing Interaction to Light
Saturday, 27 January 2001

In the run-up to Christmas, L&SI’s Lee Baldock visited the offices of OptiMusic to learn more about the success of its versatile OptiBeam system . . .

Born from an idea to create a musical instrument consisting of multiple beams of light, played through movement and dance, the OptiBeam is a system by which beams of coloured light can be used to trigger sound, or other effects. When the beam is bounced back from a reflective surface, it triggers a pre-programmed action via MIDI. The system - one of the ‘Millennium Products’ so designated by the Design Council - consists of the light unit itself, which can be either the standard seven-beam version, or a single beam; the dedicated light-to-MIDI control box [OM-1] and any MIDI keyboard, sampler or sound module, to generate the sounds.

From there, it can become increasingly complex: groups of OptiBeams in sets of up to 32 units can be programmed via PC to produce up to 99 sequential or simultaneous steps apiece. The MIDI signals can be converted to virtually any other protocol, including DMX. Alternatively, you can place a reflective sticker on the floor beneath a beam, and reverse the operation to trigger when the reflected beam is broken - in this way, a person or object passing through the beam will trigger a cue.

The inventor of the system is Guy Sigalov (inset, left), a talented musician and innovator; working alongside him is commercial director Mishka Klotz (inset, right), and between them, they look after R&D and commercial development from their base in North London. They are joined by Anna Prie

Celco Trio
Saturday, 27 January 2001

Celco has entered the New Year with a trio of new product developments.

The Ventura console has had a software update. Version 3 incorporates an easy-to-use, yet powerful, effects generator, WYSIWYG mode for cue programming and MIDI/SMPTE (previously a chargeable upgrade). The software can be downloaded free of charge from the re-styled Celco website at

The company has also extended its control range with the Platinum (pictured) - a powerful 1024 channel PC-based lighting control system for generic and moving lights. The Platinum utilises a stable Windows NT environment and features include connection to any DMX-controlled desk for playback, drag and drop patch features, unlimited number of presets, cues, sequences, and a graphical shape editor for pan/tilt movements.

The Fusion 2000 is a new 12 x 16 amp rack-mount digital dimmer which complements the existing Fusion range. The specification includes two extra non-dim auxiliary channels, 30 memories and three sequences for stand-alone use. Fully flexible soft patch, choice of dimming curves and Socapex/Harting outlets are fitted as standard.

A Paris Welcome from Lighting Technology
Friday, 26 January 2001

Lighting Technology Group has opened a new showroom in Paris. Located in the City’s 13th arrondisement, four kilometres east of Notre Dame, the Bibliothèque Nationale Metro station is just a five minute walk away. The launch of the 125sq.m showroom follows Lighting Technology's acquisition of the French distribution company Durango in November 2000. Under the care of Jean-Francois Cheron and Brigitte Delehaye, who are well known in the French entertainment technology industry, a comprehensive range of products has been set up for permanent hands-on demonstration. Companies represented include Anytronics, Andolite, Aureol, Atomis, Brightline, Blackout, Color Kinetics, DHA, L&E, MAD, Powerdrive, Rosco, Strand, Spotlight and TIR. Lighting Technology is running a series of Open Days open to anybody attending the SIEL event between 4-7th February when senior UK personnel will also be present. Contact information for the new showroom is as follows: Immeuble Berlier, 15 Rue Jean Baptiste Berlier, Batiment A, 3rd floor, 75013 Paris, telephone (+33) 1 56619430.

Protec At Dubai’s Media CityProtec At Dubai’s Media City
Friday, 26 January 2001

Dubai-based Production Technology LLC (Protec) recently staged a spectacular, integrated sound, light and pyrotechnics show to launch Dubai Media City to an invited audience of 2000 VIPs. Guests were granted stunning views of the production from a grass amphitheatre in front of the three state-of-the-art buildings, during which a 24m x 9m backdrop of the stage was lowered, opening up sightlines to the glass edifices which became the focus of the show. The buildings were then lit in yellow, red and blue, virtually creating a large scale replica of the Dubai Media City logo. The entire six minute sequence was choreographed to a specially-commissioned musical composition which flooded the site through a 50,000W sound installation, culminating in a vivid pyrotechnical display that boasted over 6500 effects. Over 1500 lights were installed inside the buildings to illuminate them and a further 180 intelligent luminaires were used to light the arena and surrounding landscaping, using over 260Km of cabling.

Ministry Rocks Skyscape
Thursday, 25 January 2001

The Ministry of Sound staged their high-profile New Year Event in Skyscape at London’s Millennium Dome. The show was spectacularly lit by LD Phil Haines, using the house rig of Coemar fixtures supplied by Coe-tech to the venue for its Millennial Year of operation. Additional lighting equipment and production co-ordination for the Ministry show was by Lighting Unlimited, project managed by Mick Scullion. For the main room, Phil Haynes used 24 Coemar CF1200 hard-edge luminaires, 26 Coemar CF1200 spot luminaires, 12 Coemar 2.5K NAT Zooms, assorted other moving lights plus over 200 generics. He also ran the show himself, assisted by Barry Dennison, for the 12 hour duration (9 p.m. till 9 a.m.) using a WholeHog II.

His core lighting design core revolved around making the DJ booth altar-like in appearance. It was raised up from the stage decking, which in turn was 1.5m above the dancefloor. The CF1200s were rigged over the stage and dancefloor and the NATs were positioned down each side of the room. This arrangement gave maximum flexibility, with fixtures able to target all areas of the room.

Lighting Technology Adds White
Thursday, 25 January 2001

Following the opening of Lighting Technology's new sales office and showroom at The Business Design Centre in Islington, London, the company has appointed Graham White as sales manager. He joins Lighting Technology Projects after working extensively in the commercial lighting projects market with Parkersell, Barrel Lighting and, most recently, Absolute Action. Joining Graham at the Islington Showroom from the Park Royal office will be Clive Tallent and Sarah Davis. Jonathan Hilton will also be part of the new sales team but will remain based at Lighting Technology's office in Manchester.

HES: Wiseman VP World Sales
Thursday, 25 January 2001

High End Systems has appointed John Wiseman as vice-president of worldwide sales. Wiseman recently served as vice-president of special projects with specific responsibility for sales efforts in Europe and Asia. The promotion gives Wiseman total sales responsibility worldwide. Wiseman, an industry veteran, has served High End Systems in several capacities since joining the company five years ago. He was also instrumental in establishing the company's West Coast sales and demo facility in Van Nuys, California. Reporting to Wiseman are Sean Hoey, America's sales manager; David Catterall, European sales manager; JR Chai, Pacific Rim account manager; and Karen Bowler, worldwide sales operations manager. Wiseman will continue to operate out of Van Nuys, supported by Reina Evans.


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