London-based Lighting Technology has announced major developments in its reporting and organisational structure including the promotion of senior personnel within the Group. Garry Nelsson is now group sales and marketing director and Bruce Kirk Group projects director. They have between them ultimate responsibility for the total sales of the Group. Reporting to Nelsson, Ron Knell now takes on the role of export sales manager, Dave Short becomes sales office manager and Rob Williamson field sales manager. Andy Dodd is now Manchester branch manager, enabling Graham Bassett to join the sales force and handle the task of developing the North East of England for LTG products, following the acquisition of Sound Electronics. This branch will officially be known as Lighting Technology Newcastle from 1st March.Strategic restructuring of Lighting Technology Projects has resulted in the creation of Northern and Southern teams. Reporting to Bruce Kirk, project sales will be handled by Ray Dolby and Bruce Tompsett from London and by Ray Scott and Terry Reeves in the North. Eddie Hirad continues as engineering manager. James Jose joins the Projects Team and will focus on retail and commercial lighting, reporting to Ray Dolby. Jonathan Adkins continues to be responsible for technical sales in London, but will become a member of the Projects Team.
VLPS London has started off the New Year supplying equipment to a string of high profile motor industry events across Europe. For Volvo's launch of the new V70 in Brussels, lighting designer Glyn Peregrine used ETC Source Fours, Minuette and Cantata fresnels an Arri desk and Avolites dimmers; in Seville, Ford launched the new Transit, with lighting designed by Mike Sobotnicki, incorporating 12 VL5Arc and 16 VL6B luminaires, along with ETC Source Fours and Par 64s, all controlled via a Wholehog II. Other projects for Ford included the company's exhibition stands at the Brussels Motor Show (lighting design by Andy Offin) and the Amsterdam Motor Show (lighting design by Ross Corbett).
The recent Sports Awards of the Century gala evening at the Vienna State Opera House, with live performances from Eros Ramazotti and Sir Cliff Richard among others, was lit by a large automated rig supplied by Vari-Lite Austria. The rig included 18 VL5, eight VL6, 16 VL6B and 20 VL7 luminaires, programmed and operated by lighting designer Norbert Wolfsberger. The production company for the event was Cataclysm.
Color Kinetics Incorporated, manufacturers of full spectrum digital lighting, has announced the completion of its third round of equity financing, with Deutsche Bank as the lead investor. This round featured significant participation from the company's existing investors as well as from several new investors, and has raised over $13 million for the company. This latest round of capital will enable Color Kinetics to extend the digital technologies in its growing patent portfolio into new markets. It will broaden its product range based on its LED-based Chromacore technology, which has recently been awarded a US Patent - the first issued in its field. The patent covers standalone and network control of multiple LEDs for illumination and display. According to industry analysts, the worldwide LED market is estimated at $1.8 billion, with strong forecasts for rapid growth.
Bruce Jordahl has left High End Systems to become the editor of a new magazine - Pro Light and Staging News. The monthly title will address the touring and concert industries and will focus its editorial coverage principally on the US and Canadian markets.
At the recent AGM of the Society of Television Lighting Designers (STLD), the Society honoured the support it had received over the past 25 years from Strand Lighting. Bernie Davies, secretary of the STLD, presented a special award to Alan Luxford, Strand's long-serving sales manager, who was present at the very first meeting of the STLD which was held at Strand Electric's King Street showroom in Covent Garden, and has supported the society ever since.
Strand Lighting has introduced the ParkNet lighting management and control system. A veteran of theme park lighting tasks with projects recently completed for Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Florida, several Cruise ships and a host of themed attractions, Strand has developed a sophisticated central control system that offers simple point and click access for the control of a wide range of facilities. The new ParkNet system incorporates control for up to 18,000 DMX devices whilst the systems graphic user interface accommodates scheduling of events and includes an astronomical time clock that precisely calculates sunrise and sunset, and can execute events related to those times.
PLASA Publishing has learnt that VLPS (Europe) is to be sold to a European-based consortium. Although the move has not been officially confirmed by parent company Vari-Lite International Inc, VLPS Europe is understood to have all but completed the paperwork for a management buy-out backed by a venture capital company based in Sweden. A letter of intent is in place and confirmation of the deal is expected in the next few weeks. Vari-Lite Europe, together with Theatre Projects/Concert Productions and Brilliant Stages, became part of the Vari-Lite Inc Group in 1994 when the Samuelson Group sold off the companies. It later merged with Theatre Projects to form VLPS London.
The spectacular Millennium celebrations in Newcastle-upon-Tyne centred round the backdrop of the Tyne Bridge - the prototype of the larger Sydney Harbour Bridge, itself the backdrop to spectacular Millennium celebrations. The bridge was lit using City Color architectural luminaires, with design by Illuminatum. Newcastle-based power distribution specialists Innovation supplied six tonnes of cabling to provide one megawatt of power on and around the bridge. The stroke of midnight saw a fireworks display by Walk The Plank, including a stunning 150ft waterfall effect from bridge to river. The majority of the installation was carried out during normal daily activities, until the site became a vehicle exclusion zone on the morning of the 31st. Unfortunately, this also meant that all the production vehicles were ticketed by an over-excited traffic warden!
PLASA EXCLUSIVE: PLASA Publishing has learnt that Philip Norfolk is to leave Lighting Technology after 12 years with the company. He is relocating to Chicago to take up a position with Tech Lighting, who manufacture low voltage and display lighting. Norfolk will join a team of 120 people and will run their national specification sales and special products.
The new Jazz Hotel and Casino opened recently in New Orleans, with Lumenyte fibre optics playing a large part in the design. The lighting design for the building is by The Elwyn Gee Group of Novato, California, who specified the 42ft runs of BRB-LEF and LEF510M fibre optics as a safety feature inside the handrails on the steps and escalators. This method of lighting was chosen because downlights would have been too intrusive on the themed environment. In another application, Lumenyte was used to detail three of the four entrances of the Terrazzo stone steps.
Multiform Electronics has added the DMX 424 - a 24-channel DMX decoder - to its range of control products. The mains-powered decoder is designed to provide the 10V DC analogue control signals essential for dimmer packs, colour-changers, effects lighting, smoke machines and special effects in systems using the DMX 512 control protocol. The 24 output channels can be set to provide control signals of 0 to +10 volts, or from 0 to -10 volts DC.The unit will decode a block of consecutively numbered channels and the BCD switches select the number of the first DMX channel. Other features include Watchdog and Rx data monitors, test programme and user back-up memory.
Strand Lighting has appointed Phil O'Donnell to the new position of group sales and marketing director. O'Donnell has spent 25 years in the industry, 20 of them with Strand, and has recently been responsible for Strand's operations in the Americas and Asia. The development is aimed at improving co-ordination across all Strand companies globally, and to provide a closer liaison with R&D in the creation of new product.
Jands Electronics has launched the new Hog 500 lighting console, a lower-budget version of the Echelon 1K, which was first shown at Entech 1998 in Sydney and has since been selling well worldwide. Features such as auto-menus and palettes for beam, colour, position and groups make initial programming of the Hog 500 fast and easy, while user-definable fixture libraries and auto-menus make patching and set-up very simple. Any cue can quickly be called from memory. 512 control channels are available, and a MIDI interface allows allows reception of MIDI show control, notes, timecode and command strings. A standard 3.5" floppy disk is available for show storage.
An Avolites Pearl was put through its paces by enthusiastic students at Ebbw Vale campus of Gwent Tertiary College in Wales for their end of term concert. All lighting design was devised and operated by students using four Martin MAC 600s loaned by local lighting rental company Fineline, organised by Ian Brown of Martin Professional; four Martin RoboScan P518s on loan from Avolites, plus PAR 64s, fresnels and cyc lights. The house dimmers are Zero 88 Betapacks and the sound system was provided courtesy of Wales-based 24:7 Productions. The show proved an ideal opportunity for the students to get hands-on experience of the skills they had been learning throughout the term.
MTFX has expanded its range of smoke and aroma machines. It now stocks three Jem Heavy Fog 6500 smoke machines and has recently invested in The Effects Company's new Aroma-Tech machines, capable of producing a variety of aromas. MTFX used them to good effect recently when they produced an orange aroma for the Tango Conference at the ICC in Birmingham.
Strand's SL theatre luminaire range, which recently raced to 15,000 units sold inside six months of production, has expanded with the announcement of a new series dedicated to the architectural market. The new spotlights house metal halide 150W CDM lamps available in two colour temperatures - 3000 degrees for a warm, tungsten look and 4000 degrees for a cool, daylight appearance. There are six fixed angle fixtures in the range., as well as two zooms.
Le Mark has appointed NDC as its dealer in Switzerland. The company, run by Nicholas de Courten, will handle the full range of Le Mark products. It already has strong ties with the major TV studios, theatre and production companies across Switzerland and is looking to expand into the conference and exhibition markets. NDC's appointment follows a series of new appointments by Le Mark including that of Strong In Spain.
White Light has been appointed as the lighting supplier for the London production of the hit Broadway musical Fosse. White Light Group member The Moving Light Company will supply automated lighting equipment to the production. A celebration of the work of legendary Broadway choreographer Bob Fosse, Fosse opened to critical acclaim on Broadway last year - and won lighting designer Andrew Bridge his third Tony Award for Best Lighting. For the London production, which opens at the Prince of Wales Theatre in February, Bridge is re-creating his award-winning design with a rig that includes 19 High End StudioColors, nine Martin MAC500s, five DHA Digital Light Curtains and a conventional rig composed largely of ETC Source Fours, all controlled from a 1500 channel ETC Obsession console.
Martin Professional has entered into an agreement with the owners of its German distributor to establish a joint venture, creating a new Martin subsidiary - Martin Professional GmbH.Martin will hold 51% of the shares in the new operation, which will officially begin trading on January 1st. Located in Karlfeld, near Munich, this latest venture brings the number of Martin subsidiaries to six. The company has 20 employees with a yearly turnover of nearly $10 million which will result in a positive return for Martin Professional from the outset.
Michael Irwin has replaced Christian Choi as the friendly voice of technical support at California-based AC Lighting Inc. Irwin will answer all programming- and software-related questions regarding the WYSIWYG range of programs, the grandMA lighting control console from MA Lighting, along with the Jands and Zero 88 product lines.
Intercom DFB trade Distributors has announced new developments in its trading operations. The company has relaunched itself as Intercom Sound & Light Warehouse. Building on its existing trade business, the company will additionally provide retail sales to the club market. Aimed specifically at DJs, mobile discos and pro sound, Intercom Sound & Light Warehouse will supply equipment from some of the leading manufacturers in the industry, including Altai, Skytronics, Celestion and Denon.
In the United States, ABC TV has taken on the highly successful UK game show 'Who wants to be a Millionaire?' and, as with the UK version of the show, much of the dramatic lighting comes from a rig of Vari*Lite VL5 wash luminaires and VL6B spot luminaires.The VL equipment was supplied the Dallas VLPS office, and put together by lighting designer Deke Hazirjian, president of New York City Lites. Hazirjian employed 32 VL5 washlights and 12 VL6B spots around the 360 degree mirrored-floor stage, where higher stakes are accented with increasingly complex lighting effects.In contrast to the UK version, the top prize ($1million ) has already been won – by Internal Revenue Service tax agent John Carpenter.
AC Lighting has reported a strong response following the launch of the new Jands Event 4 lighting control consoles at the recent PLASA show. The first shipment of consoles, which arrived at AC's HQ recently, were distributed to European dealers within a very short time. This new range combines the familiar layout of a two preset lighting console with an added section capable of controlling up to 20 moving lights and 80 colour changers.