I Feel Ridiculous That I’m JUST NOW Discovering That Rare Earth is Rare Earth

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Laura and I are crashing with my best friend Greg in Ohio for the next few weeks; work’s been kinda tight since I left Canada, and I’m down here searching.  Billions of things go through your mind when you’re looking for a job and can’t find one in the industry – do I look into other industries for a job, or do I continue pushing my own things?  Do I find somewhere to hunker down and get through a rough time?  It’s pretty amazing to be someone who has a wonderful and crafty partner with which to weather the bad times.  I’m so grateful for my life, and it’s amazing to have such good friends.  It is truly humbling.

I was sitting here this morning with Greg and Laura, and Greg put on this great album full of excellent groove.  I had no idea who it was until Greg put on this track, which is about 3 minutes of the total 21 minutes of the tune on the album:

I had no idea this was Rare Earth, and even less idea that they were this good.  I feel like a failure of the funk:

Go get a cup of coffee, sit down on the couch, and groove to this song — just hit play, you know you need some Rare Earth in your Saturday.

Ready?

Set?

Pardon Our Dust, We’ll Return On Monday!

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Hello, world!  Pardon the few days’ post disparity there, Laura and Roxy and I are in Illinois after a two day drive from Durham, Ontario to Peoria, Illinois.  We’re running around and setting up some things last minute, like Laura with a US cell phone and prescriptions and such.  A huge (H-U-G-E) thanks to my sister Samantha and her man Mike for putting us up!  I haven’t spent more than two days in my hometown for decades.

Monday starts an amazing week of posts, videos, and other top-notch content, so give us till Monday to get through one more trip (to Kenosha, Wisconsin to see my Mom for Mother’s Day) and we’ll be back in full force!

 

Updates on the OnLights!

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This is where I got to write all last week — breeze, sun, outside. Peaceful!

Laura and I are on the move this week!  We spent the last week with Laura’s mom and stepdad at their cool house in Durham, Ontario — there is something completely different about Canada when you get away from the city centers.  Toronto is not representative of Ontario, or even Canada really — it’s like a mix of the nationalities you would get by sticking LA, Chicago, and NYC all into a huge cauldron and stirring it up.  Rural Ontario is amazing — the people are friendly, the towns are quaint, and there’s lots of road to be driven.

Tuesday morning we begin the next leg of the trip:  Durham, Ontario to Peoria, Illinois.  In about 10 hours we’ll stop driving and get out of the car to go to sleep!

We’re officially on the way to making Laura a permanent resident in the US, but in the mean time, we know we’re going to have to spend some time apart based on the residency maximums for a Canadian in the US.  It’s ok though, we’re ready for it, and Skype is an amazing thing.  This week is Illinois and my sister’s house in Peoria, IL.  If you’re within an half-hour of Peoria over the next week, send me an email or get ahold of me through the contact form and we’ll Tweet it up!

Our final destination is Dallas, Texas.  We’re heading there to set up camp and start promoting Lumen Buddha Studios, rock the full-time JimOnLight.com, and get back to the warm Dallas sun!

Now we return you to your regularly scheduled lighting adoration!  Have a great Monday, everybody!

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Will You Take A Moment to Donate to JimOnLight.com?

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Good morning, world!  I hope this finds you well, and I hope you woke up happy and healthy!

I’m very humbly writing this post to reach out to our extended Reader Family — Fox and I make JimOnLight.com for a world readership of 193 of the 196 independent countries across Earth, and we’ve covered things from the amazing to the mundane and everything in between over the last six years.  We’ve been growing full-speed every day ever since I wrote the very first JimOnLight post back in 2008!  I’m doing this full time now, and I’m reaching out into the digital international to ask a small but urgent question:

Will you take a few moments and donate to JimOnLight?

We’re not looking for tens of thousands of dollars, we’re just trying to raise between $7500 and $9900 to cover the costs of server space, maintenance, relocating, and allowing us to keep writing JimOnLight.com for you!

If you have a few extra bucks sitting around somewhere and want to help us out, click on the donate button just below here — it takes just a few seconds, and you can donate via credit card if you so desire, it costs you nothing!


We’ve also cut our advertising space costs over 65%, so if you’re a company wanting to get your wares seen in front of one of the top most dedicated readerships in all of the Lighting Industries, get ahold of Jim through email at jim@jimonlight.com or the contact form, at jimonlight.com/contact.  We’ll look forward to your email!

Getting to Know the LED Ellipsoidal Generation – A JimOnLight Series Introduction

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I’ve done a lot of shows in my career so far. I’m lucky as hell, don’t get me wrong – but because of it, I feel like I have a real “bond” with incandescent and high-intensity discharge lamps (HIDs) that we use in this industry. It’s almost creepy sometimes – in my head, I know how a good ol’ no-color Source Four looks in a dark theatre. I know how an Altman 360Q looks in a theatre sitting next to it, too – and how it looks sitting with a Shakespeare, also uncorrected, next to a Source Four. As I close my eyes to write this, I can see how an old Strand 30-degree feels inside of a theatre or outside during an outdoor performance, and how a tried-and-true PAR64 can burns so beautifully bright and amber when it’s going through red shift during a nice slow fade-up during a song in an arena. Even awesome old Kliegl 6×8’s have a good beam still, as long as the optics are changed from those miserable step lenses!

As a side note, I listened to Vesa Honkonen tell a story when I was attending graduate study in Sweden about “trusting” the light from a certain type of reflector, and how that trust cost him time and money on a project.  So as a bit of an aside, with every statement is an equal anti-statement!

I have gotten to know the fixtures in our industry very well because I’ve been fortunate to use them in a real variety of performance situations and installations. When you get to know something like an ellipsoidal fixture with an incandescent lamp in it and you use it over and over and over again, you get to trust the fixture.  I can say with ease that I trust the light that comes from the business end of a Source Four; at the same time, I trust the light that comes out of an Altman 360Q as well, whether it has an HX601 lamp in it or an old FEL lamp.  As a designer, as an artist — I know what that light from an incandescent lamp in one of the “typical” variety of ellipsoidals is going to do for me in a scene on actors of any skin tone, or on a presenter during, or on film and video, and whether it has a chunk of R26 or L181HT in it.  I know that kind of light.  I trust that light.

In the world we live in now, incandescent lamps are slowly becoming forcefully shunned by a growing portion of the lighting industries as a whole (and politicians, sadly), with LED replacements becoming the forced norm by pretty much all of the companies that at one time were pushing an incandescent based fixture.  These companies are all now driving quickly on the road of a really good trend: to produce a fixture that provides the same kind of light or better than that of an incandescent lamp based fixture with a lot less power consumption and without losing any light quality.  Sounds easy enough, right?

There is a strange, edgy, “new car smell” feeling towards the new strains of LED fixtures making their births into the industry.  We are inundated with them at the trade shows in our business, just like we were with the incandescent conventionals.  Manufacturers, this is perfectly acceptable, and I think that it’s one of your biggest assets in this industry.  It’s your job to make us trust your fixtures, through hands-on videos and “shoot-outs” between incandescent and LED fixtures out there.  My informal surveying of conference attendees over the last three years has seen many responses like “TOO MANY LEDS” and “If I see another crappy wannabe LED fixture at another trade show, I’m going to die.”  Believe it or not, this is a really good thing — it provides an opportunity for the exceptional equipment to rise to the top of the Diode Ocean, as I like to call it.  Lately, these exceptions are overcoming their inferior rivals, much to my happiness.

Users, we have a job to do, too — we have to give the manufacturers the chance to trust LED light.  We have to learn how it is different than its incandescent counterparts.  We’ve had all of these decades to learn how to work with incandescent light (and HID light too, for what it’s worth), and we know it.  We trust it, and we love it.  But why is that?  It’s because it’s what we know, and it really is that simple.  Once we give the LED ellipsoidal generation a chance, you know we’re going to trust that too.  This isn’t to say that LEDs are done developing, this obviously isn’t true.  But I am noticing some unbelievably incredible advances in LED engines and output technology lately, especially after LDI in October 2012, and I have to say that I am finally ready to learn to trust LED conventional ellipsoidals.  It’s hard not to at this point to see that LED ellipsoidals are becoming the obvious choice, with the color temperature tuning we see now and the low power requirement that they provide — and to argue against energy consumption and power conservation is just not in my DNA.

Over the next 2 weeks I’m going to be comparing the LED conventional ellipsoidals we see in Entertainment to their incandescent counterparts over the next month, starting with ETC’s new Source Four LED line first, followed by Robert Juliat’s Zep and Tibo ranges, then moving on to the RevEAL Profile from Prism Projection, and so on.  In the mean time, let’s take a look at the characteristics I’ll be examining that I find important to applying trust, at least on paper – you can argue that there are more to see, but for the sake of argument, let’s start with:

  • Cost Comparison:
    What kinds of costs are we looking at over the course of an LED Ellipsoidal lifetime?  How different is it, really?
  • Light Output, or Perceived Brightness:
    How does it compare to a comparable incandescent conventional?
  • Spectral Analysis:
    What is the white light in the beam comprised of with respect to wavelength?
  • Power Consumption:
    When you put an LED ellipsoidal up against an incandescent lamp at 575W, how does it perform?
  • Weight:
    I have to stick these in a truck and on a truss at some point, so what is the difference I need to know?
  • Controllable Properties:
    Obviously I have only a few with an incandescent fixture, so what comes stock in an LED ellipsoidal that makes a difference?

Let’s go on this journey together.  When we work on something together as an industry, we get to make it how we want it to be, and manufacturers listen.  Once we started to get involved with the ways that incandescent lamps were developed and lighting designers started demanding better control over design and engineering of incandescent lamps, they improved.  All we have to do now is learn what the LED Ellipsoidal generation can do for us, and we can really make a difference.

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Shadows for A Saturday

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It’s a rainy Saturday in Toronto. Our move to Dallas is coming, albeit slowly; as we pack and gather and stuff and tape, I keep thinking of that crazy big sky in Texas and how I have seen nothing quite like it in my travels.

I have to say I miss it.  I also miss being warm.  I really miss being even too warm, where air conditioning is a necessity of survival.

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I love taking photos of shadows I see.  Shadows are just a world of stories that are only waiting for you to imagine them.  I can remember being a really little boy and being fascinated with the shadows of two clouds becoming one cloud as I watched them from the top of the stairs out into the front yard — I love that memory!  My absolute favorite photos of myself are the ones where you’re looking at a silhouette of my head and body; I’m guessing it sounds weird to you, but every time you see one of those photos of me, it was taken while I was giggling my ass right off.  I hope that gives you comfort, it certainly does for me!

Enjoy some fun shadow photos while you munch your breakfast grindage.  Or maybe just coffee, like the real breakfast of champions is done.  With bacon.

This is just a small sample of some of the shadow photos I have over on my Shadows Flickr set.

setting sun and vertical blinds

curvy shadow racetrack

shadows of refraction

Cracked Spotlight

the purple shadows of the city

Plano, trees.

vertical blinds

tree loving the window

Click on any image below for our awesome new Blackbox Gallery view!

Random Light – A Trip to Durham, Ontario with My Camera and My Wife

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Laura and I went to Durham, Ontario to see her mom and stepdad a few days ago, and it was cold and snowy — just what I’ve come to expect of Canada!

The light was so overcast and diffuse because of the weather that it created some great conditions for capturing detail.  Check out some photos I posted of our little journey in the snow:

The Saugeen River, Durham, Ontario

Toothy Gears

Happy Laura!

the Ghost of Disbelief

the founder of Durham, ON carved into a log

Ties

"Use NEW-LIFE Seeds!"

It's a Lil' Cannon!

Our Heroic Dead

the dam

DANGER!

louver machine in blue

beautiful house on our trip

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Louver Machine

the bridge

Like I said… it was a short trip! We still had a blast walking around through the snowy and cold town of Durham!  It’s been so long since I’ve had any time to actually take and appreciate photography that this little adventure set off a storm of creativity in my head.  Thanks, baby!

Editor’s note:
I got an email a few weeks ago asking about what I use to shoot lately.  When I was teaching in Oklahoma, during The House of Atreus, some asshole came into the theatre and stole my DSLR, two lenses, and a big bottle of post-surgery Percocets.  After that, I didn’t want to invest any money in something that was just going to get stolen too — until I saw Martin Kuhn’s Sony NEX-5N at NAB 2012.  So I got one!  I also use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 as my management suite, and Adobe Photoshop CS6 if I’m doing anything funky or out of the ordinary.

Jim Hutchison Leaves CAST Software, Opens Lumen Buddha Studios – A Lighting Industries Think Tank and Design Studio

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I have the most amazing news to share, and I’ve had to hold it in for the last month…  Fortunately this isn’t an April Fools’ joke!

After four years with my extended CAST Group family, I’m very excited to tell the world that I am leaving CAST Group as the Product Manager for the industry lighting design suite wysiwyg and the Events and Meetings industry design product Vivien Event Designer to open a lighting industries think tank, design studio, and industry relations consulting firm!  World, please welcome Lumen Buddha Studios to the world of light!  The timing is right, the industry is right, and all of my cards have come together to make this happen.  We’ll be moving back to Dallas, Texas soon to begin this adventure!

My goal with Lumen Buddha Studios is three-fold, and I am making three definite divisions in the company:

  1. INDUSTRY THINK TANK:
    Lumen Buddha Studios will provide a resource for lighting industries companies that allows them access to the wealth of knowledge and understanding of the Lighting Industries, including consulting services for a number of industry subsets — Social Media, Research and Development, historical Industry trends, and Industry Intelligence to name a few.
  2. LIGHTING INDUSTRIES MEDIA OUTREACH:
    Lumen Buddha Studios will provide the most excellent services for Lighting Industries businesses to reach out into the Social Media world — many companies struggle to get real results from their Social Media outreach, and Lumen Buddha Studios  strives to provide that edge that the Lighting Industries need to survive!
  3. LIGHTING DESIGN, CONTENT, AND PRODUCTION STUDIO:
    Lumen Buddha Studios
    brings two designers with three decades of experience creating stunning designs for clients worldwide — myself, Jim Hutchison, Lighting Designer, consultant, and creator of JimOnLight.com, and Tupac Martir, Visual Designer, Light Magician, and creator of Satore Studio in London.  Tupac is bringing his entire studio team’s expertise to projects with Lumen Buddha Studios here in the United States.  I’m so very excited to have another unbelievably creative organization on board!  Lumen Buddha Studios will be offering Lighting Design and Production services to the Events Industry, Concert Production, Corporate Entertainment, Theatre, Dance, Opera, and most experimentally, grand scale Light Art!

This is the first in a few very large events happening in my career right now, and every single bit of it is due to this unbelievably excellent industry we all call home.  There’s some additional big news coming, but you have to wait for that one, just like me!  In the mean time, in addition to @JimOnLight on Twitter, please follow @LumenBuddha for news and information about the opening of this exciting event!  Make sure to also follow @TMartir (Tupac Martir) and @SatoreStudio to keep up with the exciting projects of our UK studio partner!

A message of thanks:
Thank you for all of the support and readership that you have all given me over the last six years.  JimOnLight.com is still going full-speed, and is showing no signs of stopping!  I’ll quit when you quit, and you have all been unbelievable in your support for this site everyday.  Thank you so very much for coming here to read about light every single wonderful day.  David and I wish it were in our power to personally thank each and every pair of eyes that comes here to learn about our favorite thing every single day, but obviously that would be impossible.

Thank you, Light Lovers of Planet Earth.

Top Ten Posts EVER on JimOnLight!

I love looking through statistics and analyses of JOL — from where people read around the world to which kinds of stories that people around the globe like to read on the site.  One of my favorite things is seeing which posts are the most visited and why.  It might seem silly to most, but when you look at the world as a metric, it’s actually pretty neat!

People across the time that JimOnLight.com has been publishing articles have ranked these ten posts as the most visited ten posts in the history of JimOnLight.com as of the date of publishing this post, counting down from #10:

10:   The Phenomenon of Earthquake Lights

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9:   The Gaff Tape Dress Showdown

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8:   Sorry Governor Daniels, We’re In The Business of Keeping Fans Safe — the Indiana State Fair Collapse Continues

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7.   Happy Birthday, Stephen Hawking!

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6.   Madonna Stage Collapses

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5.   DIY Globe Cluster Chandelier-esque Fixtures

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4.   Indiana State Fair Stage Collapse — Five Dead, Now What?

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3.   Lighting 101:  Luminance VS. Illuminance

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2.   Something Horribly Wrong is Going On at Wicked Lasers

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…and the NUMBER ONE LINK visited by JOL readers since its inception…

1.   JIMONLIGHT.COM PAGE TWO!