Lighting News

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.

PLASA Offers Human Resources
Wednesday, 24 January 2001

PLASA (the Professional Lighting and Sound Association) has recently introduced its latest addition to the range of benefits which it offers to members. PLASA’s new Human Resources service, set up in conjunction with CP Associates HR Consultancy, provides PLASA members with access to professional help and advice with personnel issues. The service is designed to offer practical, independent advice, based on the latest factual information available, and covers areas including contracts & terms of employment; disciplinary and grievance procedures; employee benefits; employment legislation; pay reviews; recruitment and selection; risk assessment; redundancy and absence control.

To use the service, members simply call the PLASA office, and are then given the telephone, fax or e-mail address of CP Associates. They are then entitled to 15 minutes of free advice on any one subject. Where a more detailed or specific consultation is required, PLASA has negotiated highly preferential rates for its members. These might include personnel procedure audits, contracts of employment and staff handbooks, setting a human resource strategy, and new personnel policies or systems. To safeguard the viability of the service, it can only be used by a member company’s PLASA contact or managing director.

PLASA’s Membership Services Manager, Norah Phillips, comments: “We aim to offer our members real advantages in the areas of business and information, and this is the latest in a series of new services which we have introduced with this in mind. We believe that this new fac

Martin Lighting on Tour
Wednesday, 24 January 2001

A number of tours and productions are currently out, all featuring Martin lighting. Southern California punk group The Offspring is on the road again with a tour schedule that has them touring the US and Europe through the spring of 2001. The ‘Conspiracy of One’ World Tour features 33 MAC 500 profile spots and 37 MAC 600 washlights. LD for the tour is Phillip Ealy with lighting supplied by West Coast Concert Lighting through Bandit Lites.

Bandit Lites is also the worldwide lighting contractor for the Carman Heart of a Champion World Tour. Lighting designer Seth Jackson is using 12 MAC 250 and 13 MAC 500 profile spots along with 32 MAC 300s and seven MAC 600 washlights. This massive arena tour is slated for 69 stops in arenas and other large venues in the US and Europe. Seth Jackson will also be doing the lighting design for the upcoming Melissa Etheridge tour which starts in June. MAC lighting will be a prominent part of the lighting rig. Last year Jackson used MAC 500 and 600s on the European leg of her tour. The tour travels to Europe in August and then to Australia in October.

Le Mark is City Theatrical Dealer
Wednesday, 24 January 2001

Continuing Le Mark’s expansion into related lighting accessories, the company has announced that it has become a UK dealer for ‘hard accessories’ manufactured by the award-winning City Theatrical of New York. Le Mark last year became the UK dealer for GAM Gobos, and the company now plans to offer a selection of items for use with the gobo range.

Navigator Extends Service
Wednesday, 24 January 2001

Navigator Systems has announce the opening of their new website designed specifically for registered users of HireTrack and HireTrack Eclipse. This new site will enable members of the Navigator community to instantly access the Navigator Systems library of technical support documents, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, the company has developed a forum of issues, where all users can post suggestions, ideas, and comments. Customers will have the opportunity to share custom reports and/or utilities with other users. The company newsletter will also be maintained, keeping customers apprised of current projects, and new releases of the software.

Vari-Lite Appoints New European Dealers
Tuesday, 23 January 2001

Vari-Lite has announced the first phase of the expansion of its European sales dealer network, supporting the distribution of the new Series 2000 luminaries, with the appointment of Norsk Sceneteknikk a.s. in Norway and HispaLite in Spain. Vari-Lite has already enjoyed a long relationship with both companies, who have considerable experience of the company’s products and the technical resources to support sales customers.

Jan Robert Midtbø, general manager of Norsk Sceneteknikk, commented: "Over the last two years we have dry-hired equipment from the Stockholm office, and thanks to their back-up and our own expertise we found ourselves dealing with most major customers in the Norwegian concert and TV market." Vari-Lite plans to expand the sales dealer network over the coming months.

ETC's Spotlight on WeavingETC's Spotlight on Weaving
Tuesday, 23 January 2001

When textile artist Rebecca Bluestone was commissioned to design a triptych of silk tapestries for the new Federal Courthouse in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she knew that for maximum impact they would require special lighting, so she contacted Dick Hogle of Santa Fe's Hogle Theatrical Supplies for his lighting design expertise. Bluestone wanted the weavings to appear to 'glow' so Hogle chose to employ ETC's Source Four ellipsoidal spotlights. Hogle met several times with the building's architect, who was initially resistant to lighting additions, rightfully concerned that any alterations to his design would detract from the grandeur of the Courthouse's architecture. "But when I demonstrated how the Source Four could be positioned in such a way as to properly illuminate the artwork without invading the rest of the space, he was convinced," added Hogle.

New Distributors for Color Kinetics
Tuesday, 23 January 2001

US-based digital lighting manufacturer Color Kinetics signed 12 new international distributors during the last half of 2000, bringing the total number of international Color Kinetics distributors to 29. As authorized ‘Master Distributors’, these companies will offer Color Kinetics’ complete line of full-spectrum professional digital lighting fixtures. These new distributors join the company’s expanding list of US and international distribution partners, signaling an era of continued growth and success for the company both in the US and abroad. The 12 new distributors represent all regions of the international professional lighting community, including Europe, Asia/Pacific, theMiddle East and South America.

The 12 international companies signing on as Authorized Color Kinetics Master Distributors are: Alto (Korea), Asas Lights (Malaysia), DMS (Turkey), Exton (Iceland), Feixa (Spain), Helsinki Lighting Company (Finland), Impact (France), Light & Motion (Austria), NAXA (Brazil), Soundabout (Cyprus), Sound Support (Belgium), and Stockholm Lighting (Sweden).

CompuDim 2000 Goes Mobile
Sunday, 21 January 2001

Compulite Systems have been at the hub of high-tech development for the entertainment industry for two decades.

The company has recently released a mobile version of its popular CompuDim 2000, which supports all previous features. Designed for theatres, opera houses, TV studios and concert halls, CompuDim 2000 is an intelligent, high precision, fully digital dimming system. Due to its modular design it is possible to offer several cabinet configurations up to 96 dimmers. The dimmers offer both DMX and/or Ethernet communication with status reporting either locally to the control module or to the Compulite console.

Power to Light
Saturday, 20 January 2001

Battersea Power Station became the focus of attention for Londoners as the capital geared up for its festive season. By sheer scale alone, this famous brick behemoth cannot be ignored, but this year it was even more eye-catching, cloaked as it was by a striking, yet sympathetic lighting presentation by Midnight Design.

Dave Bryant of Midnight Design thought manna had fallen from heaven to be offered such a broad canvas as the Power Station: "I knew immediately I wanted to create a design that reflects the power and majesty of the architecture," he said. "The sheer scale of the building exterior has made this a very challenging project."

In keeping with Bryant’s constant search for innovation, Midnight Design is the first company in the UK to purchase the latest Studio Due City Beams from Coe-Tech, included as part of the design. "The City Beams are ideal for the upper reaches of chimney plinths," explained Bryant’s project manager, Martin Toms. "Dave has kept the chimneys proper a bright white using the tight-beamed Philips Arena Vision, the lower plinth is lit with City Colors, and the more collimated output of the City Beams covers the upper plinths perfectly."

Bryant’s design lights each chimney and plinth at four opposing points from five metre high towers on a 30m perimeter of the building, with a further tower within the now roofless turbine chamber. "Each tower doubles as a weather-proof shelter for all the power distribution," continued Toms. "We have over 22km of mains cable running arou

Scientists Claim to Have ‘Frozen’ Light
Friday, 19 January 2001

The Boston Globe newspaper has reported that US scientists say they have stopped light, held it in one place and then let it go again. The Harvard University team is due to publish its findings later this month. It is thought that light, which normally travels at 186,000 miles (300,000km) per second could, if ‘tamed’, be used to relay information around high-speed computers. Scientists Ronald Walsworth and Mikhail Lukin are expected to publish the details of their experiments in the January 29 edition of the journal Nature.

Strand Sets Up London Base
Thursday, 18 January 2001

Strand Lighting has established a new base in London. The company’s new split-level mews studio in the Fulham/Chelsea area will not only become a Strand Academy Training Centre, but will also provide a southern base for Strand’s project managers and sales representatives. Ivan Myles, Strand’s general manager of UK trading, said: "The reason for setting up this office is to enable us to reinitiate our training programme, to be closer to our customer base and to give better customer support. As well as being more convenient for the international project manager, it is strategically-placed to allow us to meet our domestic architect, consultant and production-based customers."

Among the senior personnel based at SW6 will be Ivan Myles, Vic Gibbs, Bill Richards and Lucien McQueen, while Strand has now appointed James Vaughan as sales administrator.

New Managing Director for Strand Italy
Wednesday, 17 January 2001

Bill Campbell, managing director for Strand Europe, has appointed Ian Roberts to the position of managing director, Strand Italy. He will take up his new position on February 1. Roberts, who has been with the Rome-based company as sales director since 1997, will remain very active in his sales role. The outgoing managing director, Ing. (Engineer) Giuseppe Toia, has made a substantial contribution to Strand taking the company through the development and launch of a complete new range of studio and daylight luminaires, bringing to fruition 23 new products in the record time of two years. Having successfully completed that task he now moves back to his native Milan for professional and personal reasons.

Robert Bell Joins Rosco
Wednesday, 17 January 2001

Robert Bell has joined Rosco/ET as Horizon product manager. Bell is best known as a founder of CAST Lighting Limited, and was instrumental in the development of WYSIWYG software. While at CAST Lighting, Bell worked closely with ROSCO/ET’s Horizon product development team. This joint effort won Software Product of the Year award at Lighting Dimensions International 1999. Bell is also an accomplished board operator and lighting designer; recent credits include support for the opening ceremonies of the Sydney Olympics, U2’s Pop Mart Tour and Ricky Martin's Liv'n La Vida Loca. More recently, he founded Shock Lighting, a company that handles board operation and lighting design projects.

ESTA Website Difficulties
Tuesday, 16 January 2001

The ESTA website has been having some difficulties since Monday, January 8th. Wybron, which hosts the ESTA website and all its e-mail aliases, was forced off-line when its service provider went bankrupt and terminated all service without notice. Wybron has been able to create a temporary dial-up connection for the ESTA server, which should allow email through, although access to the website will be very slow. ESTA wishes to apologise for any inconvenience caused. Until the problem is resolved, all ESTA web services will have limited accessibility. Therefore, please use the following alternate email addresses to contact the ESTA staff, in order to ease strain on the temporary connection:

Mike Falconer Heads to AC Lighting Inc
Tuesday, 16 January 2001

After six years handling technical sales and support on the company’s exclusively-distributed products, Mike Falconer is leaving AC Lighting Ltd and heading off to its US operation at AC Lighting Inc in Los Angeles.

Steve Howard moves to Martin Pro, Maidstone
Tuesday, 16 January 2001

Steve Howard has relocated from the Martin Manufacturing plant in Louth, Lincolnshire to its UK headquarters in Maidstone. He made the move in mid-December and becomes the senior engineer responsible for Jem smoke machines. He will be responsible for the service of Jem smoke machines and providing training and technical support for Jem products.

Le Maitre Fires Dome’s Record Pyro Show
Monday, 15 January 2001

On New Year’s Eve, the largest indoor special effects show ever staged in the UK was fired at the Millennium Dome, Greenwich. It took seven technicians seven full nights to wire and rig the pyrotechnics, manufactured by Le Maitre at their Peterborough factory, across the 400m span of the Dome. A total of eight firing stations were used to ignite the effects, some of which have never been seen before by the British public. The effects included airburst effects under the walkways which encircle the roof, while glitter, confetti and streamers dropped from the ceiling for the finale, engulfing the entire central arena of the Dome. The show was the culmination of Le Maitre’s involvement with the Dome, which started with the high-profile opening ceremony in front of Her Majesty the Queen, and continued with three pyro shows per day throughout 2000.


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