Friday, October 26, 2012

LDI re-cap, a follow up blog post...

Solus Lighting LTD Lead Designer, Maureen Patterson, is back in Cleveland from her trip to Las Vegas for LDI.  Below is her re-cap and thoughts about what she saw at the conference and what is on tap for the future.  So, as promised, read on & enjoy!

"At first glance, the LDI show this year was not very impressive.  Attendance was down for both exhibitors as well as attendees.  I suppose in the age of technology, most information and specifications can be found on the internet (not to mention countless demo videos).  However, I’m old school.  I want information first hand – to experience things in person.  After all, any piece of gear can seem quite impressive in a controlled demo room and even more amazing in a video that is specifically trying to showcase and sell that equipment.   In this age of technology, we must not forget that there is no electronic replacement for the tangible.  Seeing the newest fixtures, comparing the output of the latest atmospherics, and programming the newest consoles in person provides a wonderful experience to know what new toys are worth the hype and which old reliable workhorses are worth standing by. 

Most vendors were showcasing LED fixtures, as had been the trend for quite a few years now.  However, I do mean almost everyone.  Even some of the smaller companies presented some extremely impressive LED fixtures.  As the technology advances, we are seeing better optics, more advanced color mixing, smoother fades, friendlier color temperatures for flesh tones, longer battery life on wireless fixtures, and several flicker free models for studio and television.  That being said, are LEDs ready to take over completely?  Not by a long shot.  Although the technology is improving, it is still cost prohibitive in most permanent applications.  That being said, the amount of competition that has crept up over the last few years will no doubt help push the manufacturers to focus on fine tuning their products to meet and exceed the expectations of old school theatre folks, such as myself.  What I found more interesting was the various applications LEDs are being used for beyond entertainment, such as streetlights as well as healing.

Of course, as lighting people, we are drawn to gadgets.  It’s always fun to see what I can control from my phone – foggers, hazers, playbacks, cue stacks, and architectural systems.  On top of just being cool, these apps and networks create powerful tools.  Need a remote focus unit?  Need to launch a cue stack or playback a specific look for a display?  With the right control system in place, you can do it all from your phone – even drive your console.  Pretty slick.   

I encourage everyone, no matter what your industry, to get out there and get your hands on the tools of your trade.  Information is abundant, but a product description, spec sheet, or demo video online will never be able to take the place of hands on experience.  As a professional, you know what challenges you face and problems you need to solve, whatever your niche may be.  Get out there, get your mitts on it, experience it, learn from it, and grow."

If you would like any additional information or would like to chat about some specifics, please do not hesitate to contact us - visit our website today!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

25 years of Live Design International

LDI is in it's 25th year and has become the largest tradeshow in the U.S. for all production toys in lighting, sound, projection and special effects.  With well over 300 exhibitors, this is the place to be where you will find anything you are looking for and then some.  LDI is a great place to go for some hands on demonstrations of the latest and greatest gear that is out on the market.  From manufacturers, to production companies to huge touring/rental houses - they are all there and ready to give you the knowledge to go forward in your designs with the best technology out there today.  Many vendors are willing & encouraging their clients, or potential clients, to set up a meeting at their booth for some one-on-one interaction.  This makes a giant tradeshow feel a bit more easy to manage.  We take full advantage of this with some of our vendors, LDI can be a bit overwhelming...we want to see everything as soon as possible!  If you schedule yourself some meetings or make a list of must sees it can help you stay focused and quell the visual over stimulation.  For your convenience as an attendee there is an app you can find here with a complete list of exhibitors, info on classes & training, an interactive floor plan and much more.  Check it out.

Although the focal point of the conference, LDI is not only just about the show floor.  There are several special events and training seminars that you can attend.  Many people attend classes in the workshops at LDInstitute, there is also a chance to study up for and take the ETCP certification exams.

Solus Lighting wil be attending LDI this year to see new products, catch up with some colleagues and meet some new vendors.  If we cross paths on the show floor, in a class or at one of the special events stop and say Hi!  If you can't attend this year stay tuned here as we will have a full report on what's cool from our Lead Designer, Maureen Patterson, upon her return to Cleveland.  We'll see you in Vegas!!!