Cree LED Launches TEMPO – An LED Luminaire Testing Service

You all know me, I’m not really a “press release” kind of guy when it comes to JimOnLight.com content.  When I find a press release worthy of a nod, I try to get some of the commentary in there that made me want to talk about the release in the first place.  This press release from Cree, Inc made me want to know more about this service they’re starting up called TEMPO.  From the press release at Cree:

Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE), a market leader in LED lighting, announces the commercial availability of TEMPO™ Services, a comprehensive set of quantitative and qualitative tests and analyses for LED-based lighting fixtures and lamps. TEMPO (Thermal, Electrical, Mechanical, Photometric and Optical) Services represent the accumulated advantage of Cree’s extensive experience with customer LED systems combined with the use of calibrated test equipment to give LED lighting manufacturers and end users confidence in LED product designs.

Third-party labs currently provide testing services, such as IES LM-79, which is widely regarded as the most comprehensive LED luminaire test in the industry. However, through years of experience with component LEDs and Cree LED-based lighting systems, Cree has identified many other aspects of end-product quality that are not and cannot be examined by third parties. These aspects of quality include chemical compatibility between materials used in the luminaire and the LEDs, the effectiveness of mixing slightly different color LEDs for enhanced color consistency and TM-21 LED lifetime projections.

Ok, interesting.  What this service provides is an evaluation of a fixture (LED lamp source) by a bunch of standards used by the Department of Energy and Illuminating Engineering Society.  Cree also adds to the service that they have about eleventy billion man hours working with LEDs and creating designs that worked and did not work, and learning from their mistakes.  You know, like Edison said – and I’m paraphrasing here – “I didn’t fail at inventing the light bulb.  I came up with 2,000 ways NOT to make a light bulb.”  I can totally get behind that.  In my head, it’s kind of like taking advice about being an alcoholic from someone who’s never had a drink.  I’d want to know about it from someone who’s succeeded AND failed.

It’s important to look at the standards Cree mentions in their press release regarding the TEMPO service.  IES LM-79, which is the IES’ approved method for “Electrical and Photometric Measurements of Solid-State Lighting Products.”  LEDs, for all-intensive purposes, are solid-state lighting products, in case you hadn’t quite yet put that together:

IES LM-79 tells how to test and get reproducible measurements with solid state lighting – things like using integrating spheres and goniophotometers, measuring Luminous Flux, Efficacy, Intensity Distribution, and so on.  It’s a standard for having a standard way to test LEDs. It also talks about power supplies and regulating voltage, thermal conditions for the products being tested, product seasoning and stabilization, and orientation to name a little bit.  The other IES standard being mentioned by Cree is the IES TM-21 standard, which deals with Lumen Depreciation and long-term lamp life estimating.  TM-21 is a long-term version of IES LM-80-08 in a way, as LM-80-08 (the standard for testing Lumen Maintenance in LEDs and arrays) doesn’t deal with long-term predictions.

It’s so exciting whenever I get to break out my IES Compendium!  NO WONDER I’m single!

I pulled a sample report from the Cree TEMPO Service website to see what kinds of things that would be included in their heaviest service, the TEMPO 21 service.  I have to say that from learning what I learned in Sweden about luminaire inefficiency, this would be a pretty awesome service to have if you were a luminaire designer or LED engineer.  Cree’s TEMPO21 provides the following testing:

Thermal & Mechanical

  • Solder Point Analysis (Tj/Tsp)
  • Thermal Imaging With IR Camera*
  • Qualititive Mechanical Construction Analysis*
  • Chemical Compatibility Analysis*
  • X-ray Of Printed Circuit Board (Solder Joint Analysis)*
  • LED Lifetme Estimate (TM-21)*
  • Review Against ENERGY STAR Criteria*

Electrical

  • Driver Efficiency*
  • Transient Analysis (surge, inrush, hot-plug)*
  • Power Analysis (Power Factor, THD)
  • Vf/Current Balancing Of Series-Parallel Arrays*
  • Hi-Pot (Dielectric Breakdown) Test*
  • Dimmer Compatibility Check*

Photometric and Optical

  • Luminous Flux
  • Radiant Flux
  • Chromaticity (includes CRI, CCT, x-y, u’v’)
  • Spectral Distribution (350 nm to 850 nm)
  • Illuminance (ft-cd, lux)
  • Fixture Optical Efficiency (% loss)
  • Fixture Efficacy (lumens/watt)
  • Binning And Color Point Evaluation*

* denotes a test not offered by other third-party luminaire testing facilities

You need to check out a copy of their sample report, which gives the full range of what the TEMPO service provides for your luminaire.  I took a few screen grabs of the report, but it’s free, you should just go and download it:

Cool.  I’m excited to see how this plays out, this kind of analysis really appeals to me and my nerdiness.

Ignacio Torres’ STELLAR – An Exercise in 3D Beauty

Ignacio Torres, an artist and pretty recent graduate of the University of North Texas, has another beautiful work getting some serious attention.  Meet Stellar, an exhibit that Ignacio created in a 3D sense.  From Ignacio:

This project began from the theory that humans are made of cosmic matter as a result of a stars death. I created imagery that showcased this cosmic birth through the use of dust and reflective confetti to create galaxies. The models organic bodily expressions as they are frozen in time between the particles suggest their celestial creation. In addition, space and time is heightened by the use of three-dimensional animated gifs. Their movement serves as a visual metaphor to the spatial link we share with stars as well as their separateness through time.

You must see these GIFs.  They are actually quite stellar, and I’m not even meaning to pun.  From Ignacio Torres’ studio site:

So beautiful!  This isn’t all of them by any means – make sure to check out Ignacio’s project page on Stellar for more images of the set.  I just posted my favorites.

Obama VS Perry On Energy Policy [INFOGRAPHIC]

I gotta tell you all…  I am NOT looking forward to this next round of political hoohaa that we’re about to experience full-force over television, radio, the web, and pretty much every other place that advertising for candidate A, B, C, or backwards R.  (Sorry, I was thinking about my friend Tatiana from outside of Moscow, I thought I’d throw a joke in for her)

One thing that we all need to keep an eye on is energy policy.  Holy crap is this important, folks.  In order to shape the future of lighting and energy consumption, grid improvements and distribution, sustainable collection and storage, we need to know where everybody stands on this stuff that wants to be our “president.”  We’ve been shown over the last long few years that we need to have a larger collective role in making decisions because unfortunately the people we keep choosing just can’t be trusted to do what’s right over what’s most lucrative.

I find this infographic pretty interesting – here’s a link to the full-size infographic, the one I’ve posted here is smaller.  Check it out:

Laser Powered Broadband? In Space? Wait. What?

Ok, there is something very interesting taking place with NASA this month.  On September 23, NASA decided to approve three projects that are being called “Technology Demonstration Projects.”  A space-based optical communication system (which is what I find the most exhilarating), a deep space atomic clock, and a big ol’ space sail.  From the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist‘s office:

NASA has selected three proposals as Technology Demonstration Missions that will transform its space communications, deep space navigation and in-space propulsion capabilities. The three Space Technology projects will develop and fly a space solar sail, a deep space atomic clock, and a space-based optical communications system. These crosscutting flight demonstrations were selected because of their potential to provide tangible, near-term products and infuse high-impact capabilities into NASA’s future space exploration and science missions. By investing in high payoff, disruptive technologies that industry does not have in-hand today, NASA matures the technologies required for its future missions while proving the capabilities and lowering the cost for other government agency and commercial space activities. 

Ok.  Personal commentary?  What a weird three projects to say “Hey, don’t take our money away, you crazy Congress people and President Obama, we’re NASA.”  I can see the space based laser communication system, that’s pretty cool.  Now granted no one asked me (and I know better that’s probably the main cause we don’t have a space-based laser that can scratch your back), but I’m sure there is reasoning behind these other two projects.  Right?

Right?

Check this out – again,. from the press release at NASA – it’s about this big space laser data communication thingie, called the  Laser Communications Relay Demonstration Mission:

Led by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) will demonstrate and validate a reliable, capable, and cost effective optical communications technology for infusion into operational near earth and deep space systems. The Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) office in the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate is collaborating with the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist in sponsoring this technology demonstration. 

Optical communications (also known as laser communication – lasercom) is a transformative technology that will enable NASA, other government agencies and the commercial space industry to undertake future, complex space missions requiring increased data rates, or decreased mass, size, and power burdens for communications. For approximately the same mass, power, and volume, an optical communications system provides significantly higher data rates than a comparable radio frequency (RF) system. 

High-rate communications will revolutionize space science and exploration. Data rates 10-100 times more capable than current RF systems will allow greatly improved connectivity and enable a new generation of remote scientific investigations as well as provide the satellite communication’s industry with disruptive technology not available today. Space laser communications will enable missions to use bandwidth-hungry instruments, such as hyperspectral imagers, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), and other instruments with high definition in spectral, spatial, or temporal modes. Laser communication will also make it possible to establish a “virtual presence” at a remote planet or other solar system body, enabling the high-rate communications required by future explorers. 

As an example, at the current limit of 6 Mbps for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), it takes approximately 90 minutes to transmit a single HiRISE high resolution image back to earth. In some instances, this bottleneck can limit science return. An equivalent MRO mission outfitted with an optical communications transmitter would have a capacity to transmit data back to earth at 100 Mbps or more, reducing the single image transmission time to on order of 5 minutes. 

The LCRD mission will:

  • Enable reliable, capable, and cost effective optical communications technologies for near earth applications and provide the next steps required toward optical communications for deep space missions
  • Demonstrate high data rate optical communications technology necessary for:
    • Near-Earth spacecraft (bi-directional links supporting hundreds of Mbps to Gbps)
    • Deep Space missions (tens to hundreds of Mbps from distances such as Mars and Jupiter)
  • Develop, validate and characterize operational models for practical optical communications
  • Identify and develop requirements and standards for future operational optical communication systems
  • Establish a strong partnership with multiple government agencies to facilitate crosscutting infusion of optical communications technologies
  • Develop the industrial base and transfer technology for future space optical communications systems

Ok, now that does sound pretty cool.

How do you feel about these projects?  Worth the money?  NOT worth the money?  Leave a comment below!

Coldplay at Glastonbury 2011 – Monday Morning Video Love

Good morning, everyone – I trust that you had a decent weekend with at least a few hours of joy!

I got some pretty awesome video footage from JimOnLight.com reader Emily Holmden (@EmLah on Twitter) about the amazing projections at Glastonbury this year – you have to check out this video, way cool!  I also added another video for the tune “Fix You” (I like it, sorry) and its amazingly beautiful lighting looks.  Paul Normandale is Coldplay’s LD, and he never fails to rock off faces.  Awesome work, Paul.

Check out Every Teardrop is A Waterfall – AMAZING projections!

Check out Fix You – beautiful!

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR Opens Tonight at Oklahoma City University!

So.

I have been chasing this script down to design for about fifteen years.  It’s my favorite non-traditional opera.  Now I can no longer say I’ve never designed it.  I had a hell of a lot of fun designing it – and the performers are tearing my face off nightly.  During final dress, the end of act one sequence went so well, I let out an audible “YEAH!” when the parts of that last cue of the act fired, totally involuntary.  So, all of that being said, if you’re near OKC and want to see a damned great show, come see Jesus Christ Superstar tonight!  The show runs through the weekend.

Wendy Mutz was the production photographer for our preview last night.  I have never had my work look so beautiful as when Wendy shoots it.  Ever.  Thank you for always capturing such amazing moments in time.  If you’re a lighting designer, you need Wendy Mutz.  Have Wendy, will travel.  Wendy’s on Facebook, too!

All photos copyright Wendy Mutz, 2011:

Is Your University Making Good Lighting Design Program Choices?

It’s been one hell of a two week period. I have missed my blog; learning and studying light is my therapy. It is my voice. JimOnLight.com has become something that is less about me and more about the world and its people BY the world and its people who work with light.

Something that has been on my mind lately is lighting education. It’s really an age-old question, at least as far as our industry is concerned: are our educational institutions across the world effectively teaching lighting design as the industry evolves?  I mean, if it really comes down to it, the job of Lighting Designer is not that old of a gig.  In the entertainment industry, perhaps arguably only as old as the last 50-75 years.  Architecture and engineering aside of course, as well as research and development of light and lighting design, entertainment lighting design is something that a whole lot of places across the world are teaching.  Whether you see this as fortunate or unfortunate, the reality is that there are myriad programs across the United States alone who are providing degree programs out there for lighting and lighting design.  That’s the reality.  Something else that should probably be touched on in this article – is there a standard for lighting design degree programs across the country that differs from the paid accreditation organizations for schools of theatre?  Should there be?

My hope is that this article makes the screens of not only people who love light, but educational instructors, professors, administrators, and people who make decisions from their comfortable office chairs far away from the theatres and laboratories/studios on which they make their decisions.  In my research into the subject of accreditation and the methods and practices that are commonplace in the Business of University Learning, I’ve come across a few things that are concerning to me.  Hopefully they will be concerning to you too.

Now before you get your underwear in a bunch over this, and before you start saying “oh, well, my school does all of the things you say and we’re recruiting students at an unprecedented level for our University,” let me ask you these questions:

  • If you’re making decisions about recruiting and program growth, are you at all knowledgeable about the subject matter with which you’re involved?
  • Do you have people that you consult with about decisions regarding program growth and teaching content that are involved with the industry of light on a professional level?
  • Are those people reputable and knowledgeable?
  • Do your production budgets and classroom learning budgets include extra money and funding for the kind of equipment and training that could really make the difference in your students’ lives and careers?

If you’ve answered NO to any of these questions, it might be time to reassess your lighting design degree program. 

The story is almost identical all over the United States when it comes to educational theatre and lighting design degree programs.  (Side Note:  If your program is different, then good for you – I am about an inch taller than the national average for people of my height and weight, too.  That and a buck-fiddy will get me a latte.  Let me save you an email – I don’t care how good you think your school is.)  The first few semesters of a lighting degree program are used to acclimatize students to things like properly working with electricity, lighting equipment, plugging and unplugging, coiling cable, fixture types, Physics and Science of Light, color media, accessories, and how not to get themselves dead or hurt on the jobsite.  perhaps the next few semesters are used to teach on some basic lighting design and practical training, like working in the theatre and in other entertainment venues, McCandless AND OTHER METHODS of using light in design, and color theory to name only a few things.  You should also be throwing some lighting design ancient history and modern/contemporary design history in there too, as it is pertinent to know where we came from and where we’re going.  Perhaps a student gets a design or two, perhaps they have an internship over a summer.

The big question after all of this is said and done is what do we teach now?  How do we make sure our students are ready to go out and work in venues by themselves?  Are they ready to grab ahold of a Hog or a GrandMA and patch some moving heads?  Do they know which end of the DMX line is the right line to start with when they have 250 feet of FOH snake to run?  Do they understand signal path?  Do they know what a Fresnel is, what the industry has done to improve that fixture, and what we’re using now that has improved upon that initial fixture design?  Do they know the difference between an MSR series lamp and a tungsten lamp?  Can your students tell which color 445nm is without looking it up?  How about the difference between a Mac 700 and a Studio Spot 575?  Can your kids find out which color is R82 in a handful of other blues and congos?

Let me ask these:

  • when was the last time you were at a major market show that was running a handful of old Kliegl 6X8s, rusty Altman 360s, and Colortran 1KLs as their primary illumination?
  • When was the last time that you saw a concert on TV or in a venue that didn’t have some kind of video or projection element or LED emitting surface?
  • When your lighting design students leave your University, are they “theatre people” or are they trained lighting production electricians?
  • Is your University putting enough resources for your students to be able to go right out, drop a resume off at PRG4WallChristieBanditILCTMSTLS, or any one of the major market companies supplying the WOW to audiences across the world and be a viable candidate for a job in lighting?

It’s a Catch-22 situation that people have been calling a Catch-22 situation for many many decades – you have theatres, you have lighting, you have some dimming, and you have some cable.  Great, right?  Well of course it is!  But what happens when you have all of these things, but they’re so old and outdated/mismanaged/poorly maintained/unrepaired that it’s kinda like having nothing at all.  There are so many degree programs out there in which this is the mainstay commonplace.  Please don’t misunderstand – it’s vital to learn troubleshooting duties and how to fix lighting equipment problems when they arise – that’s a job creation skill right there.  But when you spend ALL your time teaching your students how to make stupid and dangerous little fixes in order to keep your equipment running enough to put on your mediocre show, it might be time to look into some capital expenditure monies to upgrade your rig – especially if it’s been paying for itself since the mid-1960s.  Don’t teach bad habits.

There are two types of production personnel – trained personnel and untrained personnel.  As educators in the field, our job is not to do what is expected of us and only what is necessary to get by.  Sorry folks, if you’re teaching lighting, you’re involved in training the next group of production designers and personnel that are going to take the industry and run with it at full speed.  Lighting education isn’t one of those gigs like so many of my Arts and Sciences colleagues who have their TAs, their weekly meetings, teach from 10-11, office hours from 11-12, and home for TV by 1.  Or whatever.  You know what I mean.  There are also those who work in the industry regularly AND teach.  Besides the horrific toll on family and health that takes, do your teachers have industry connections and have the ability to bring to the students the kinds of toys and equipment that they’ll have their hands on the week after they set foot outside of your program?  Is your University helping this happen and providing the kinds of resources needed to help your working professors bring in the kinds of equipment they’ll see out there while beating the pavement?  If your answer is NO to these last two questions, it might be time to re-evaluate your lighting design degree program.

There is one thing that we cannot deny here, and that is that lighting and lighting education is probably one of the most (if not THE most) expensive degree program you will fund.  Sorry everybody –  lighting equipment, lamps, copper, connectors and plugs, and personnel to make it all safe and not a lawsuit waiting to happen is an expensive proposition.  Unfortunately, and in my humble and sometimes overbearing opinion, you cannot effectively teach a lighting design degree program without exposing your students to things like automated lighting and control, touring dimming and distribution gear, LED fixtures, automated accessories (scrollers, faders, rotators, etc) and all of the other stuff your lighting design students are going to run into out in the field on a regular basis.  One of my rock and roll mentors, Benny Kirkham, told a story once about being out with a show in the early 90’s where the production manager came up to him and said “you know, just because you have moving lights doesn’t mean they have to be moving all the damned time.”  It’s not fair to your students and frankly to the industry to not be able to use your University education time to teach that a moving light isn’t a toy, but an invaluable design tool.

I’m interested in your thoughts on this, as there are many of us out there teaching and working ourselves.  This is just part one of a long thought process for me – stay tuned.  I get so many emails from students saying “please help, we want to know more about X and Y but our school doesn’t have it.”  You’re paying for your schooling, it’s about time you get the training you need.

It’s Not Just Shocking…

Do you recognize these warning labels? Do you understand their meaning? Entirely? If you asked me those questions 3 years ago, I would have flat-out said, “No.”

Now, I’m not placing any blame on any person, company or anything else for the lack of information or training. The arc flash hazard is still something that is, in my opinion, making its way into the mainstream even though it has been on the books for years. Like everything else in the safety world, the codes pertaining to everything arc flash are ever-evolving too.

It wasn’t until I started my job with Cirque du Soleil that I finally heard the term arc flash. My first impression on just the term was that it sounded like something terrible but how does it affect me? Well, let us get a quick run down of arc flash. Take it away Wikipedia:

An arc flash is an electrical breakdown of the resistance of air resulting in an electric arc which can occur where there is sufficient voltage in an electrical system and a path to ground or lower voltage. An arc flash with 1000 amperes or more can cause substantial damage, fire or injury. The massive energy released in the fault rapidly vaporizes the metal conductors involved, blasting molten metal and expanding plasma outward with extreme force. A typical arc flash incident can be inconsequential but could conceivably easily produce a more severe explosion (see calculation below). The result of the violent event can cause destruction of equipment involved, fire, and injury not only to the worker but also to nearby people.

In addition to the explosive blast of such a fault, destruction also arises from the intense radiant heat produced by the arc. The metal plasma arc produces tremendous amounts of light energy from far infrared to ultraviolet. Surfaces of nearby people and objects absorb this energy and are instantly heated to vaporizing temperatures. The effects of this can be seen on adjacent walls and equipment – they are often ablated and eroded from the radiant effects.

Isn’t that something. But really, where would I ever come into contact with something that grandiose? Great question – go flip a breaker in your “found everywhere” (if you’re in the U.S.) 120V service panel. Depending on what kind of work you have done on that panel or, more likely, downstream on wherever the circuit terminates, you could come in contact with an arc flash. Now it may not be as extravagant as the following, but the potential for harm is still there. Check these out:

These guys were lucky – they are still alive. I’ve even met an arc flash survivor who is happy to still be here but was really lucky to have survived and has some major scarring to show for it.

I really just want to put some awareness out there on this topic. The training session that is provided for us at Cirque is about 3+ hours for NFPA 70E, which only touches on arc flash. On the label to the right, you can find every bit of information on the panel, switchboard, or, in this case, dimmer rack that tells you how you should go about working on the equipment. All of your gear should have something along the lines as this label. It may not have all of the information this one does, but it should still warn of the risks.

If you aren’t already aware of arc flash, using the safe practices required or generally trained in these matters, STOP YOUR DAILY ELECTRICAL TASKS and ask your employer or professor or whomever else may be responsible in training you to give you that training. Chance is, they may be unaware just like I used to be. If they are unaware, go ahead and direct them to the NFPA 70E material because further chances are that they are unaware of a lot of other things that could impact the everyday safety of you.

Here are some more resources to help you understand arc flash and that with proper training and personal protective equipment (PPE), there is nothing to fear:

  • Arc Flash Forum – A global community about arc flash and electrical safety
  • NIOSH Arc Flash Awareness Videos – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
  • Arc Flash Documentary from Con Edison – Con Edison is a manufacturer of flame resistant (FR) fabrics
  • Westex Video Library – Westex is another manufacturer of FR fabrics which has a great library of multiple levels of arc flash videos with treated and untreated fabrics on mannequins. They also have a free DVD that you can order with their test videos to share in the classroom!

Just remember, if you don’t feel safe doing something, you have every right to not do it. Just make sure you voice your concerns and ask for the proper training.

Stay safe!

-got fox?

Rest in Peace, Little Lumen.

I haven’t posted in about a week.  I know that I probably upset David, and I’m sorry to all of you.  Lumen has been so sick and I have been right near him this whole week.  Writing has been the furthest thing from my mind, I hope that you all can understand and appreciate it.  I have two shows going on right now too – tech this week for one, and tech next week for the other.  Talk about excellent timing.

Please let me say thank you publicly to everybody who has sent their well wishes via Twitter and Facebook.  Holy crap, what a shit day.

My little man is gone – around 1030 we had to euthanize Lumen, he was suffering big time and his kidneys were two times their normal size.  After the last vet visit he perked right up, and when I got back from Jersey on Friday, he was all about hanging out and being awesome.  Saturday afternoon he became a bit lax, and then just inside himself.  Sunday I kinda knew that he probably needed to be set free of his pain, he had an absolutely terrible day. The final diagnosis from my vet Dr. Graham was that Lumen had an acute form of leukemia that just destroyed his body quickly, even though the test on Thursday showed a negative.

I have a few cutie pictures of this little adorable guy, I never really got a chance to post any of them.  I did get to do something awesome though, I got to see a kitten turn from a baby into my little stinker.  Daddy’s gonna miss you, pal.  You made my life so much better for that short time we had together. It was awesome to love you, buddy!

I'm a bored kitty.

whatsamatter, daddy?

lumen sleeping

look at me walk!

Lumen on Daddy's shoulder

big kitty stretch

Crying yet? How about Lumen’s first day home?! BAHAHA! CUTE!

Meet Lumen, the Super Kitty!

Oklahoma, you can suck it. You’ve taken my two best friends. It’s too bad Lumen never got to meet Rutherford, holy crap, that would have been a crazy party.

dude, you woke me from my nap

WHY Does Behind The Scenes STILL Have Holiday Cards?!

So, for those of you who don’t know, there is a pretty cool organization called BTS, or Behind the Scenes.  They’re always at the tradeshows, and the people in their booth are great folk.  BTS is an initiative of the ESTA Foundation, aiming to help out industry folks when they’re down and out.  BTS does a good thing, and has helped some very, very talented people get back on their feet after falling from the sky because of illness or injury.

UPDATE:  Something TOTALLY crazy, I realized today that I know a BTS recipient!!!  “Heavy Metal Mary,” as she is called, is a friend of a friend.

Right now, BTS is trying to get all of their Holiday cards ordered up – and the deadline is SEPTEMBER 8!  They have four awesome designs, all done by people working in the biz to benefit the biz.  All of the proceeds from this Holiday card sale go to benefit Behind the Scenes recipients.  I don’t know of a better way to help than this without having eleventy trillion dollars to donate, which I don’t have.

From BTS about the cards:

The 2011 Behind the Scenes Holiday Cards were created by an impressive lineup of all-star designers—Andrew Hefter, Seth Jackson, Derek McLane, and Jim Youmans—and proceeds go to Behind the Scenes, a charity helping entertainment technology professionals who are injured or ill.

Seth Jackson has designed tours for two decades for Don Henley, Jason Mraz, Hilary Duff, Melissa Etheridge, American Idols Live, Barry Manilow, Carrie Underwood, and Toby Keith, to name a few. He’s also a two-time Parnelli Award winner, and has received the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Award of Distinction.

Derek McLane is one of today’s most sought after designers, with designs seen on Broadway in this year’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Anything Goes revivals on Broadway. His design for 33 Variations won him a Tony Award, and his Ragtime and Pajama Game revivals each earned Tony nominations.

Jim Youmans has designed award-winning scenery for Broadway and other live events, as well as for television and media environments. Some of his many designs have includedGypsy (Patti LuPone) and Swinging on a Staron Broadway, as well as Matt and Ben, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Jeffrey, and The Swan (Public Theatre) Off-Broadway, among others.

A perennial favorite, talented young photographer Andrew Hefter returns with an encore performance of his popular design from 2008 in response to requests from those who missed out on this sold-out card the first time around.

Three ordering options are offered, including personalized cards with a company logo and custom message (minimum 250 cards), card packs of 10 with a standard greeting, and electronic versions to be sent via email as a jpg, gif or pdf.

Orders will be taken until September 8, 2011 to arrive by early November. All proceeds benefit The ESTA Foundation’s Behind the Scenes program. View and order cards at the link below. For more information, please contact Kacey Coffin at +1-212-244-1421 or [email protected].

Check out the card designs – very cool:

 

…and perhaps my favorite…

Jump on it, everybody.  Help our industry help ourselves.