HEY!  Whatcha doing between 11am and 4pm today at any point?  Avolites is here at the Heart of Omnia, and we’re doing a fun open house and Titan Effects Workshop with the awesome AVOLITES training team!!!

JimOnLight and THE Brad White are gonna be there, but that’s nothing — Rosie Haigh and Annalisa Terranova, Avolites programmers and trainers extraordinaire, along with JB Toby (the brain of Avolites), Oliver Waits (code master and awesome dude), Koy Neminathan (Sales Director), Aziz Adilkhodjaev (Sales Engineer Extraordinaire), Steve Warren (come on, everyone knows Steve Warren), and Elson Lucas Gallardo, Javier Moreno, and our team of awesomeness!!!

Come by any time between 11am and 4pm today and learn how easy it is to rock and roll on Titan… we’ve got some Arena consoles, the Quartz, Ai EX8 media servers, the venerable Sapphire Touch and some of our signaling gear — the Titan Net Processor, the Titan Network Switch, and we are ready for you to learn about Avo for LIFE!

Meh Footage of LDI 2014


I take photos and video all over the damned place, especially at trade shows.  It’s not really difficult to imagine, there is so much flashy flashy that it’s like putting a kid on sugar in the middle of a rave.  Sometimes I get good photos and video, sometimes I don’t!  I always hate deleting videos, it seems like such a waste.  I was way too preoccupied with my LDI design and dealing with some other bullshit to really even walk the show floor properly, but I got lots of photos and only a handful of real usable video.

In case you’d rather see the photos, here’s the LDI 204 JimOnLight photos post, and the Obligatory LDI 2014 Selfies post!

Are ya ready for some blah video?!

The People Make the LDI Experience for Me

LDI reminds me that there are so many things I love and hate about this industry we call our home.  I hate the hours; I love the payoff.  I hate the exhaustion; I love the camaraderie that occurs between people that don’t normally play well with others.  The one thing that I love more than any of it is the people of this business.  The people make LDI for me, every single time we trek our rear ends to the desert for our industry’s prom.

I walked around taking as many “obligatory LDI selfies” as I could.  I took a bunch near our booth, and yes Jaybles, some of these aren’t selfies.  😀

I missed seeing hundreds of people.  This is the standard for LDI.  Next year I’ll miss more hundreds of people.  You have to make these shows focus on who you DO get to see!  You’ll always see who you missed next year!


Eric Mueller, Matt Suarez, Thomas Fonseca, the bald one, and Corey SIlverman!


TEAM AVOLITES AWESOMESAUCE!!!!!!!!! Holy awesome, Batman!


Flash and Trash Works Inc – Executive Team! Cat West and Joe Cabrera, two of the world’s greatest programmers.


What’s Danilo looking at? Danilo, DeAnna, Mikey, and Gilbert!


Tobin Neis of Barbizon and Sharon Gross from Bandit Lites!


Hi Brad! Brad Schiller, ladies and gentlemen!


It’s Simon Newton! Great to meet YOU, dude!


Steve Shelley, who always has a giggle for me!! You’re awesome.


Sharon, so great to meet you finally! World, Sharon runs PR for Bandit Lites. Say hi to her on Facebook and Twitter! GO! DO IT!


Feelin’ CONGO with Susan Rose!


Look at that big beautiful smile! Richard Belliveau and I resting the dogs at the Elation Professional booth.


Randy Wade! What’s up man?!


What’s that weird Stepford Wives face we’re making?! Me, Justin Lang, Mike Graham, and Danilo Oliveira.


Danilo, Peter Kirkup of Peter Kirkup, and Mikey all talking shop.


LOOK at this f*cking guy!! Did he get sexified or WHAT?! Peter Kirkup looking great at LDI 2014!


Avolites’ Koy and a lovely chap that I did not get a name from, EMAIL ME!


Rosco Matt! Awesome chatting with you mandingo.


The brainchild of Legend, Rogue, and many more, Michael Graham!


Nick Airiess (NICKY!) and Dan Goldsmith of X-Laser


F*CK YEAH! Kevin Loretto, JOL, Thierry Pouliot!!!! Great to see you both!!!


The enchanting Miss Katherine Walmsley from our UK office and CARRRRRRLOS! Carlos makes photoshop and e-blasts his bitch.


Hi Justin!


Jeremy Kumin of ENTTEC! I thought Enttec had the coolest booth at LDI, totally Steampunk.




AWWWW! It was so great to see Jax.


Jacob Coakley is the third funniest man I have ever met. Read what he has to say about what we do, his words drive our businesses in a strongly creative direction.


One of Entertainment’s favorite ladies! Heather Marie Short rocks!!


SEE?! She’s commanding you with her eyes!!!


Ladies and gentlemen, the most popular man on the block! Look at that tongue!!!


David makes the JimOnLight world go ’round. David is our technojesus


Dr. DMX!


Debi Moen — this lady writes the lighting industry’s soul. Fact.


I call this one “nefarious smiles”


Danilo having an eyebrow moment


Jeremy, JOL, Crystal LEE!


Berenice Chauvet – Lighting’s Marketing SAMURAI!!!!






Oh my god this was the best photo ever. Chris Conti, my salty head, and Michael Eddy at load-out.


STEALTH selfie! Berenice, meself, Jackie. I caught Jackie Tien on camera!!! She ninja’d the other way for the next shot I took, you fast devil you!


Andre!!! Cool to meet you, duder!


This guy. A very awesome chap. He introduced himself to me and I did not record his name. What’s your name again, my man?! Amy Walker, what’s his name?!?!


Me, Susan Rose, Berenice Chauvet, and Joe Fucini! Awesome!


It's Allan Reiss programming his awesome booth!

It’s Allan Reiss programming his awesome booth!



Load-in week dinner for those of us who stayed late.  We were the few.  As in you see who stayed late!

Load-in week dinner for those of us who stayed late. We were the few. As in you see who stayed late!



The Official Post-LDI-2014 Post


LDI 2014 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada took place this year, as it does every year.  Lots of lights, lasers, video wall, consoles, and people!  Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we’re all doing the last month hop to finish up everything before Christmas break.  Well, I mean “break” as in the 25th and 26th probably, most of us will be working during that time anyway.


A little Vegas sun shining through the LDI haze

This was a bittersweet LDI for me.  Some drama, lots of friends, a little more drama, SO much light, more friends, and hopefully lots of great stuff on the horizon.  One thing I noticed this year was the massive amount of moving heads that break the mold of a “professional” moving head — lots of stuff with split heads, heads that rotate and tilt on their own, heads that have multiple light sources on them, all that kind of stuff.  It’s interesting to see how the industry innovates itself…  or rather how the industry *thinks* it’s going to innovate itself.

Lots of stuff to see, lots of booths to visit, and tons of beautiful photos!  Check them, out, I’ve tried to break them into company names.  None of this is in any particular order, and I didn’t have much time to roam so I didn’t see lots of stuff.  I never got to the EDM arena, for example, which looked pretty awesome!  I also never got to D3 to see BlackTrax’ progress, I’ve been really looking forward to that.

What I’ve learned over the years at trade shows is that you have to measure your experience by what you did see and who you did hug; if you spend your time counting the things you didn’t get to see and the people you missed, your experience will be less rich.

Here’s the list of companies I was able to shoot a few photos of, not in order:

PRG, High End Systems/BARCOAesonEpsilonSGMChristieNewstarElation ProfessionalAmerican DJX-LaserDuratrussTMBPhilipsTheatrixxDTSGLPAyrtonVERLEXFroggy’s FogAbsen, CHAUVET Professional (obviously, haha), ETCCooluxMartin LightingBarbizonModTrussAOTOAirStar, Applied Technologies, AvolitesCity TheatricalClay PakyDazianICDRobert Juliat, and MA Lighting.

 PRG’s Booth at LDI 2014








High End Systems/BARCO








Aeson’s Booth


Epsilon’s Booth













Christie’s Booth




Newstar’s Booth


Elation Professional’s Booth





American DJ’s Booth








X-Laser’s Booth





Duratruss’ Booth



TMB’s Booth



Philips’ Booths





Theatrixx’s Booth



DTS’s Booth


GLP’s Booth


Ayrton’s Booth




VER’s Booth





LEX Products’ Booth


Froggy’s Fog


Absen’s Booth



ETC’s Booth



Coolux’s Booth





Martin Lighting’s Booth





Barbizon’s Booth


ModTruss’ Booth



AOTO’s Booth


AirStar’s Booth



Applied Technologies’ Booth


Avolites/Group One’s Booth


City Theatrical’s Booth



Clay Paky’s Booth




Dazian’s Booth





Inner Circle Distribution’s Booth



Robert Juliat’s Booth



MA Lighting’s Booth


LDI 2014 – some general shots










Wanna check out the 2013 LDI Show photos?  Click here!

How about a 2012 LDI Walkthrough?  Click here!

LDI 2013 in Photos

A fun show happened this year in Las Vegas — lots of beams, lots of friends, and I met my goal to share hug karma with 20 new people!

I’ve heard a few people now call LDI something like “LED-I.”  After making me giggle like a dumbass like I’m known to do, it’s not like it’s far off the mark — the industry is dominated with LED wash fixtures, LED pixel mappers, LED moving head spot AND wash fixtures, and all kinds of other diode-powered light makers.  Strobes, too — LED strobes are intensely appropriate, but they deliver a different kind of stab than a Xenon strobe.  They’re not better or worse, just different!  The industry still has the gamut of discharge, incandescent, and other non-LED sources as well, but there is less push generally on these types of fixtures.

I find that such an interesting paradigm at the LDI show – lots of companies have non-LED stuff and they show it, but there is  definitely a large LED offering in our industry (as is the case in most industries of light right now).  Sometimes I wonder if there are less non-LED beams bouncing around because that’s what the industry wants or if it’s because of the cost savings of NOT having those non-LED sources en masse.  Power is expensive stuff at these shows, and so is drayage on all of the heavy gack that goes along with larger draw 208 gear and dimming.  Most LEDs anymore allow you greater flexibility with 208V power too, making the power linking possibilities even better.  I only had one 48-way PD for the CHAUVET Professional booth, and that powered everything I had designed into the rig, video panels and all.

I programmed the booth I designed on the Avolites Sapphire Touch, which has become my new favorite desk.  I finally found an interface that was designed the way that my brain wants to program.  This has been a joyous time in my programmer life!  It’s nothing like the old Avolites way, they’ve made the flow so unbelievably amazing that it is literally a joy to program.  I just had it again on the Concert Lighting Master Classes this last week, but I’ll be writing a separate post about that this week.

Check out some photos from the show, and I was glad to see you if I saw you at this year’s show!  If I didn’t see you, I’m sorry — we’ll see each other next go round or soon, you know how this business goes!  I was bummed that I didn’t get to see the Fox family.  This show kept me busy, I barely made it out of the booth except for about an hour to walk the floor.

Click on any photo below for the larger images in an *awesome* light box!


A Short LDI Walkthrough

Happy Tuesday morning, everyone!

I put together this short LDI walkthrough for those who weren’t there – it’s only 3 minutes and it’s not all-inclusive, but I think you’ll dig it anyway.  There’s nothing political, nothing about war, nothing about the Presidential election — it’s just pure light enjoyment!  Check it out!

Martin Lighting and the Mac Viper at LDI 2012

If I had to pick three fixtures that were my favorites in the entirety of the lighting industry, it would be a very, very hard choice that I would get alot of grief for – but I can tell you that there would be about five candidates for admission onto that list!  I know for a fact one of them would be the Vari*Lite VL2C, hands down, not even an option.  The VL2C holds a place in my heart that cannot be shaken — that beam, that motion, HOT!  Sounds like a jet engine taking off, but that was OK back then:

Another candidate is the Mac 2000 Profile II.  OMFG WE HAVE DONE SO MANY SHOWS TOGETHER.  I mean, who hasn’t, right?  Corporate shows, theatre, tours, dance, opera, live music, films, even buildings – pretty much everything that can be lit has been lit with the lovely Mac 2000 Profile II.  The Performance was cool too, I just liked the Profile II’s better.  You know…  showing up somewhere with Mac 2K’s meant that things were gonna at least be alright.  Right?  Am I just nuts?  I don’t think so.  Mac 2K’s rule:

Speaking with one of the guys at the Martin booth this year at LDI 2012 was pretty cool as well – they’ve designed the Mac Viper Profile as the new Sunday Stepper to the Mac 2000.  Light, bright, and sexy are three words I know I used on the stand because I picked it up, saw it shine next to a Mac III, and the unit itself is one fine lookin’ mama, if I may.  Check it out – the images can be clicked to see the fullsize shot:

Ah, its form factor is just perfect – I’m not a huge fan of the handles on the yoke aesthetically, but I certainly see and know their purpose.  And frankly, everyone else has them on their newer units, so I’m probably the one who is wrong here!  It would be cool if they were built into the yoke somehow, but they sure are utility and with good purpose.

Thinner profile (no pun intended), sexy output, under a thousand watts on the lamp.  Check out this promo video, just to get an idea of the Mac Viper in motion:

Also, from the Martin website on Mac Viper Profile:

The MAC Viper Profile is a new breed of high-output profile luminaire with an exceptional feature set and highly efficient optical system that outperforms market-leading profiles in the 1200-watt range. Its 1000-watt HID source is convincingly brighter than 1200-watt fixtures and the MAC Viper Profile also outperforms them in terms of speed and compactness. Power consumption is lower and output is approximately 55% more efficient.

  • 26000 lumens – Excellent light quality with a very flat and uniform field
  • 1:5 zoom – Fast zoom with auto-linked focus
  • Fat beam front lens – The 140 mm front lens exceeds the size of any other fixture in this segment for just the right fat beam look
  • 5 + 5 rotating gobos – All glass gobos with optimal focal separation for superior morphing effects
  • FX wheel – Patent-pending FX wheel provides an additional 4 fixed gobos and 135° animation effect
  • CMY – Vibrant color mixing with a superior palette of colors including true reds, rich ambers, primary green and deep blues
  • 8-slot color wheel – Fixed colors for added color choice
  • Linear CTO – Daylight to tungsten CCT control and expansion of the CMY palette
  • Dimmer and shutter – Combined dimmer/shutter system with intensity effects, instant blackout/open and smooth fades
  • Iris – Fast and tight iris with adjustable dynamic effects
  • Strobe – Diverse strobe effects using mechanical or electronic control or in combination
  • Soft frost – A light frost leaves gobo artwork visible with a beautiful soft edge. Includes a linear focus blurring option
  • 4-facet prism – Real beam separation with rotation and index control for dynamic effects and accurate tiling

I’m impressed.  I’d love to drive a bunch of these Mac Vipers with a Hog 4.  Great booth, by the way, Martin Professional!

Mac Viper next to a Mac III:

Here’s a slide show of all of my Martin booth photos — enjoy!  Click on any photo to start to show!


High End Systems at LDI 2012 – AND HOG 4!

psst… here’s a little secret: click on a photo and it opens up enormous.

the High End Systems booth at LDI 2012

I love High End Systems, this is always going to be true.  I am a Hog man through and through, no matter how many other desks I “become intimately familiar with,” my good ol’ Hog knows I always spec it at the end of the day.  I cannot wait to get my hands on the Hog 4, it’s like having freshly fried bacon in your hands — you know you’re going to be satisfied!  HES fixtures are always lots of fun too, I’ve seen lots of rock over my lifetime that had Studio Spots and Studio Colors driving it.

The boys from High End were pretty busy at LDI 2012 with the release of Hog 4 — I couldn’t even get a demo at LDI, nor did I get to hug the Richard.  Oh well I guess, sometimes people get too busy.

Hog 4 is pretty cool — first and foremost, did you see those big touchscreens?!

GAH!  Sexy!  I need to get myself down to the factory to see these things in action, I did not get the opportunity to get my hands on one at the show.  Big, beautiful screens, encoders with tactile design, and screen shortcut buttons for days.  From the Hog 4 product website at High End:

The Hog 4 is the flagship in our newest range of consoles. Replacing the much loved Wholehog III, it embraces the latest technology, while retaining the Hog’s familiar control surface. Users will be able to walk up to the Hog 4 and start programming without having to learn a whole new interface. The new encoders, jog shuttle wheel, lcd keys, motorized faders and integrated keyboard all serve to enhance this experience, making the Hog 4 completely customizable. You can now have virtually all the most important attributes to hand at any time.

Retaining the sleek look of generations past, the Hog 4 offers the user an advanced programming experience in an established environment. The Hog 4 console, at the top of the Hog line, is designed to handle the largest shows.

The console provides three monitor outputs, MIDI input and output ports, 8 USB ports, 2 Fast Ethernet ports on a rugged Neutrik Ethercon connector allowing you total flexibility. You’re prepared for everything from the smallest industrial job requiring a single console to the largest stadium show, theme park installation or Broadway spectacular requiring a multi console setup with full network backups!

Preserve show data on a solid state hard disk drive as well as with USB drives and CD/DVD-ROM’s, or alternatively connect directly to a network drive to store your show files remotely.


  • Robust Hog 4 Operating Software
  • Unlimited number of simultaneous crossfades
  • Two internal 17-inch wide screen touchscreens with 10 point multi-touch
  • Three external monitors or touchscreens supported
  • Five encoders for an expanded wheelset
  • Twelve LCD User Keys
  • Tri Axis backlit trackball, with rotary encoder for the third axis and four configurable buttons for cursor and position control
  • Ten motorized playback faders
  • One motorized Grand Master
  • Dedicated Intensity and Rate wheels
  • User assignable Jog Shuttle encoder
  • 48 Soft-Keys for quick toolbar selections
  • Built in DMX Processor 8000
  • Hog-Net Ethernet connector
  • Fixture-Net Ethernet connector
  • Integrated keyboard
  • Internal Hard disk drive
  • Internal CD/DVD drive
  • Eight USB ports for Wholehog wings and external touchscreens
  • Storage space beneath arm rest
  • Desklights, feedback LEDs, and integrated worklight all dimmable
  • Auto-ranging mains input (90-250VAC)
  • Light Converse Visualizer dongle included
  • Dust cover included
  • Custom Road Case included


  • Unlimited number of DMX channels via Ethernet DPs
  • Unlimited number of Art-Net and E1.3.1 (sACN) universes via Ethernet DPs
  • Onboard MIDI Input and Output, MIDI Show Control and MIDI Time Code and LTC Input
  • Multiple LTC inputs via optional multiple SMPTE/ LTC USB Widget
  • Connectivity with many visualizers via Ethernet
  • Wired and wireless networking ability with multiple Wholehog console systems
  • Remote Focus capabilities when networked with a tablet PC running Hog 4PC software
  • Supports USB Playback and Expansion Wings


  • With the Screen down – 40.5” (1028.7mm) wide by 28.49” (723.7mm) deep by 6.49” (164.75mm) high
  • With the Screen up – 40.5” (1028.7mm) wide by 28.49” (723.7mm) deep by 16.43” (417.39mm) high
  • Weight- 75 lbs (34 kg)

Yes.  I cannot wait to drive the Hog 4.  More photos!

Nano Hog 4:

Augh!  I love it!  It’s like the shape of a Whole Hog II with the pizazz of color touchscreens!

…and a beautiful booth design with DLVs, Intellaspots, and TrackSpot Bolts.  Nice work!



Photos from LDI 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada

JimOnLight with tieline dredlocks.  Oh yeah, and Kung-Fu Action Grip:

I’m back at the helm in Toronto; LDI 2012 has come and gone, I got to see lots of really amazing people, and I got blinded by not one, not seven, but eleventy (yeah, eleventy) freaking LED sources and screens.  It was so refreshing to see a tungsten or an HMI source around the convention center just as a reference to something that has more than one wavelength in a row together.  Holy schmoly!

LDI was full of pretty striking stuff, from lasers and salvo systems to new gobos and moving moving light systems, which was pretty awesome!  Now obviously seeing photos is a lot less ridiculous than reading me talk about photos, so check this out below — a ton of photos from LDI and the show floor!

This is what I made for the BlackTrax guys to go do their magic, which they do very well.  BlackTrax is out and on the market.  If you were at the show, you saw the demo up in N256 at the LVCC:

BlackTrax from CAST Group -- Room N256

The BT guys calibrating the system.  They have it down to about five minutes.


Ladies and gentlemen:  The HOG 4.

Hog 4

The High End Systems booth:

stabbing beams at the HES Booth

DMX controlled AirStar balloons!  Awesome!

AirStar at LDI 2012

This was next to us on the show floor — VER’s “upside-down-porno-bedroom-ceiling” thing.  Oh, f*cking hell it was amazing.  I mean absolutely amazing.  I was so proud to be in the view of this booth with my CAST booth, it was absolutely awe inspiring.  I’ll figure out the model of the beautiful equipment being displayed here, but believe me when I say it deserved the award for Best Product Display that it won:

VER at LDI 2012

InLight Gobos!!!  Oh, I have to report that some real winner stole a glass gobo from the InLight Gobos booth, over next to the High End booth.  It was set up on the table, Adri bent down to attend to something in a bag on the floor, and *poof* it was gone.  If you read this blog and you took that gobo, it means that you had an absolute error in judgement.  Mail that thing back to InLight Gobos, 2348 Irving Blvd, Dallas, TX 75207 — be a good human.  Write “I’m Sorry” on the back of the package, too.  It sucks they had to deal with that.

On a lighter note, hey lighting designers — you ever used the rubber band ball gobo from InLight?  That thing is a breakup, an aerial, a wash, and a great atmospheric look maker too.  Every color of the spectrum gives it new characteristics.  Trust me, try it.  You can try it in wysiwyg R29 now too, thanks to Rick and Adri at InLight and Peter Debreceni at CAST for getting the catalogue into the release.  People at LDI who use WYG really seem to dig the InLight lineup — I believe in it, so I figured why not spread the good art word?

InLight Gobos at LDI 2012

There is this guy I know named Peter Kirkup, and he is absolutely one of my favorite people on planet Earth; not because of his ridiculously polite bedside manner, but because he is an industry visionary that has been right since I’ve known him.  I call that a feat in itself; I look to Peter for answers on anything regarding wireless what-have-you, and Peter is now the Vice President of Entertainment for LumenRadio in Sweden.  You might know hime from Cooper Controls and Zero88 fame, when he was just a lowly Product Manager.  Dude, remember — köttbullar i Sverige är inte svenska köttbullar, de är bara köttbullar!

Seriously though, we need to listen to peter’s brain, lighting industry.  He explained something to me that was so amazing, so ingenius as I see it – that I just had to hear him explain it again.  More on that later.  Peter’s a genius.  Ladies, grab him before he’s off the market, Peter’s like the John Holmes of brain power.

Peter Kirkup, VP of Entertainment at LumenRadio

Mac Viper Profile.  I have to say that I am impressed — I spent a lot of my time on shows working with a lot of Martin gear, lots of Mac 2K profiles and washes as you can imagine, Performance versus Profiles was always an argument you had to have in your head when making up a shop order.  “Do I want the FX ribbon, and are framing shutters that important for this one?”  I have no apologies for rocking the living daylights out of Mac 2000 Profiles.  They are absolutely awesome fixtures, despite what your opinions are on it.  I’ve had them apart on the truss while in a basket too, for the bang, they are perfect fixtures.  It looks like the Viper is going to be exactly the same way, and I am so absolutely excited to get my hands on some.  As it was put to me, the Viper is the “Mac 2000 replacement for this decade.”  It is awesome.  Ooh, so is the Mac III AirFX too, just as a side note.

MAC Viper

Oh hey look, another Chinese copy of a Sharpy.


POINT OF ORDER:  The handles on the VL3515 are very cool.  I yanked around on them quite a bit while I was standing there (perhaps much to the dismay of the guy who I met right there at that point), and they seemed solid and non-conforming.

I LOVE these new handles!


What a beautiful booth!

Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC) at LDI 2012

Me and Susan Rose!  Yes, this Susan Rose.  This guide got me through the teething gigs of the Hog II!

JimOnLight and Susan Rose

Philips Entertainment at LDI 2012

THIS IS EXCELLENT.  The V276 is now available as a piece of gear for sale!  It works on your MAC!  Also, the BAD BOY and BEST BOY are available for SALE!  I think that they are two of the best fixtures built in the last five years, and I really do hope to see them explode in popularity.  They’re solid.  No matter what you think of PRG – whether you’re a fan or a non-fan – Bad Boy and Best Boy rock.  Now there is the V276 on MAC, which allows you the use of the pretty slick V-Series software.  You can run MBOX on this panel, too!  Miguel Ribeiro showed me some amazing things at LDI about MBOX, I am pretty excited to check it out.

the V276 from PRG

The Clay Paky booth at LDI — oh the Sharpys!

Clay Paky, LDI 2012

DTS’s continuously panning beam fixtures.  You have to see these things to believe it, they are poppy and bright, punchy and presentable.  Their booth was one of my faves, designed by a cool LD from Europe, Georg Telos.  Great work, Georg!

DTS/Strong, LDI 2012

The rest of the photos I took at LDI are below in a few different types of Flickr galleries, check out which one works best for you!  Let me know if one or the other floats your boat better than, uh, the other.  Just leave a comment.

Another Flickr show:

Chinese Lighting Manufacturers at LDI 2010

For the last few years, we’ve seen a rise of the Chinese lighting manufacturers at the lighting conferences in the United States – not just LDI, but LightFair International, the National Association of Broadcasters show, and others.  You can always tell where they are and who they are because of the giant cluster of little mini-booths with a red “CHINA” sign above each one, like in the image above here.

I do not want this post to be misconstrued for what it is not – it’s mostly commentary on the blatant re-engineering of products made in other countries of the world and their display at LDI.  I am seriously trying to understand the way that the Chinese lighting manufacturer booths are interacting with the rest of the LDI lighting community as a whole.  Not all lighting manufacturing that comes out of China is a bad thing – as a matter of fact, there are certain aspects of it that revolutionize manufacturing and engineering on a worldwide level.

It is no secret that the Chinese lighting manufacturers are a large (nay, HUGE) player in the world.  They make products that are cheaper than many, many of their international competitors – and many people purchase these cheaper products because, well, they’re cheaper than any other product in many instances.  Unfortunately as well, the ability of the Chinese lighting manufacturers to undercut the market is severe.  Also, and again, unfortunately, some of the products aren’t as high in quality, either.

What really gets me is the blatant copying and re-engineering of products that the Chinese lighting manufacturers exhibit at LDI and other tradeshows.  Two good examples would be the copies of ETC’s Source Four fixtures and the blatant copies of the Martin Mac 2000 units.  Like these:

Doesn’t that look just like a Martin Mac 2000?

How about this ridiculously blatant product, the “Mario 3000?”  I mean, WTF:

I’m sorry, but that’s just offensive.  There are stories that float around the lighting world about tradeshows where people from the Chinese lighting manufacturer realm will “borrow” a product, take it back to their booths, measure and reverse engineer the product before returning it.  Now how on earth does that happen, and how is this acceptable to the lighting industries?

Another thing on my mind with the presence of the Chinese lighting manufacturers is the blatant lack of care in both their booths and attitudes towards people who want to come and talk to them about their products.  I posted this image a while ago, of LightFair International 2010, and one of the booths with people simply sitting and ignoring all of the passersby:

On one hand, as a journalist, it’s nearly impossible to even get photographs of the products at the tradeshows from the Chinese manufacturers because they generally chase photographers away from their booths – I have had this experience seven times now, the last being at LDI 2010 in Las Vegas.  Nothing persuades these manufacturers to let you photograph their wares, the least of all being showing them your press pass.  Why do you think this takes place?  At LDI 2010, one manufacturer in the row of Chinese manufacturers told me that there “was no reason to take pictures of my product.”

I don’t understand!

I snuck this photo of a 10kW moving yoke fixture, after which I was essentially chased away:

Here’s another I snapped of a green laser, placed on a box in the aisle, shooting right directly into the eyes of passersby walking past that specific Chinese manufacturer’s booth.  How on earth was this an acceptable placement of a laser?!  Notice the junk piled at the back of the booth, not to mention the laser itself.  I would assume that if a company wanted their products to appear to be worthy of purchase that they would at least outwardly portray a level of organization and success, right?

What are your thoughts on this subject?  Please post below in the comments!  I desperately want to get a hold of the industry’s opinion of this very widely discussed topic.