Robe Lighting and Inner Circle Distribution News

Update:  August 6, 2010:

I got an email from Harry von den Stemmen, the Sales Director from Robe with an update on the US side of the business:

We have just signed the lease for a new fully air conditioned warehouse nearby the old location in Fort Lauderdale. To achieve this, we had to negotiate a termination of the current lease agreement, which has probably sparked some ideas that we may disappear.

The crew remains the same, but we will keep our stocks as low as possible for the time being. In order to compensate the lead time, the factory will treat US orders with highest priority.  We ensure to always provide the latest brand new equipment. Lead times should be no longer than 2-3 weeks. A reasonably small demo stock will be kept in the new facility.

Robe Lighting Inc. will exhibit at LDI as every year, this time it will be both 2324 at the LVCC in Las Vegas. This will follow the annual Plasa exhibition, where we will present  a series of new products – which will also be shown at LDI. Moreover, we will have our usual demo room for a detailed presentation of the novelties.

We believe that this decision is good for our customers as well as for ourselves. Continuity is important, and we trust that the customer will understand, that saving on expenses is vital and guarantees that we can keep our prices reasonable.
We have just received some new orders, which may already indicate a positive change in buying trends.

Also:

I was just emailed a link to this article at LSI – the breaking news on some of this isn’t so breaking, but some of it is, so I don’t feel like too terrible of a moron!  ICD is going to be joining with Martin.  Hell, I’m thrilled to see that ICD gets to keep on truckin’!  Frankly, I’m proud to have missed this article, because now I get to report that ICD gets to keep on truckin’.

From the article:

USA – Martin Professional has confirmed that a deal has been reached between Inner Circle Distribution (ICD) and Martin Professional, Inc. (MP) that sees industry veterans and ICD owners Nick Freed, Noel Duncan and Gary Mass trading in their circle for a yellow triangle and rejoining the Martin US team.

During their time at Inner Circle Distribution, Freed, Duncan and Mass, all of whom have previous work experience at Martin US, emerged as key players in the US rental market.

Inner Circle Distribution has been involved in the entertainment industry since 2005 as a distributor of primarily moving head lights throughout the USA, Canada and the Caribbean.

“Through this agreement, a circle has been closed (no pun intended) as all three owners have worked for Martin in the past, effectively earning their stripes here,” stated Brian Friborg, president of Martin Professional’s Florida-based US subsidiary. “We are very happy that we have succeeded in concluding this deal, but are even more ecstatic at the prospects it entails. Combining such well-connected and knowledgeable guys with the best and broadest product portfolio in the market, I think it’s safe to say we have a winner.”

UPDATE YET AGAIN – July 12, 2010:

Just got an email back from Harry von den Stemmen about the health of the company, and Robe is officially doing fine.  There is a US factory in Sawgrass that is still being staffed, but like all other companies in the US, times suck.  I have been assured that the company is doing fine, which is great news to hear!

Original post:

BREAKING NEWS from the JimOnLight.com News Desk (otherwise known as my office) just now – I have it on good authority from a source close to the situation that Robe Lighting and Inner Circle Distribution (ICD) are in trouble. Actually, Inner Circle Distribution has folded according to my source, and Robe is on the brink. This leaves lighting company Coemar unrepresented in the United States, and Robe’s US interests are now gone.

More on the situation as it develops. It’s a shame, Robe just developed the ROBIN series LIFI plasma moving head.

UPDATE:
Robe US is folding, not Robe CZ. Regardless, this still sucks.

UPDATE AGAIN:

News on the other two as it develops.  I hope it’s not bad news.  Quite frankly, I hate bad news so much that I’d rather write stories about puppies who carry flashlights around in their mouths or something equally less sucky.


Luxim’s LIFI Technology – A Follow-Up with Tony McGettigan at Luxim

One of my favorite things about digging into our industries is the people and relationships I make through research and interviews.

I recently had an email chat with Tony McGettican at Luxim Corporation, the folks who are making the LIFI plasma lamp.  Their unique and innovative product is becoming widely spread across all of the lighting industries, and it’s been an exciting addition to the Entertainment industry.  Seachanger is using a LIFI lamp in their NEMO fixtures, Robe is using a LIFI lamp in their ROBIN moving heads, and as the industries realize the merits of plasma tech, we’ll see a lot more of that lamp in the very near future.

I asked Tony a few followup questions a few weeks ago, after having a great email interview with him earlier in the year.  I’ve been tracking their progress for a long time, and I will continue to do so.  Questions and answers are below:

JimOnLight.com:  The last time we talked, Luxim’s LIFI source was just grabbing footing in the Entertainment lighting market with a plasma-source for Robe’s ROBIN series moving head. Now, great companies like Seachanger are getting in on the action with a LIFI source in their NEMO CMYG fixture. Are there other entertainment ventures that Luxim is participating in to date?

Tony McGettigan @ Luxim: We are very pleased with the Robe and Seachanger programs.  Each has been recognized in the industry as ground breaking in terms of performance and innovation.  There are several exciting new projects in the pipeline that we will be able to share more on later in 2010. You may be aware that Robe won the Innovation Award at PLASA in London as well as the SIEL Award in Paris last year.  In addition, the SeaChanger Nemo won the 2009 LIGHTFAIR Innovation award in New York.

JOL: How has the LIFI technology changed or improved since gaining partnerships in the entertainment industry?

Tony @ Luxim: We entered this sector with market-leading color quality and lifetime.  Our focus is now on increasing brightness.  We are doing this in two ways:

  • By developing more efficient systems at the current wattages, AND
  • By adding higher-wattage product offerings to our line-up

JOL: Has Luxim seen a larger market share in the infrastructure and civil lighting markets since the release of the LIFI product?

Tony @ Luxim: Our technology is being adopted in all sorts of applications from aquariums to grow lighting to zoos.  In the infrastructure and general lighting markets we are gaining share as a high-illuminance complement to LED solutions.  Several of our customers have a strategy of using LEDs in general lighting applications up to 15000 lumens and using our technology where higher output is required. We have a customer in the US that already has secured orders from 5 different cities and municipalities.

JOL: There’s lots of news stories about new and innovative LIFI applications, from aquarium tank lighting to mobile lighting applications for the construction industry. Can you give some insight on the new projects in related industries that Luxim is pursuing?

Tony @ Luxim: Here are a couple of examples where the unique attributes of our technology are helping our customers deliver better lighting solutions.

  • In Aquariums, our source can deliver excellent color quality AND excellent penetration into the water.  This dramatically improves the visitor experience.  The fish show beautifully while plants and corals can thrive deep below the tank surface.

  • In grow lighting, our sources increase the “seeding rate” and show faster, more efficient early-stage growth than competitive sources on the market.

There are many more examples, but this gives a flavor.  The uniqueness of our light source is apparent at first sight.  In each of our applications, customers are harnessing some of the unique features to deliver a superior overall lighting solution.

Jim, these are very exciting times at LUXIM.  Light Emitting Plasma is gaining significant acceptance in the marketplace and we continue to improve upon our technology.


Tony, we’re so excited to see what comes next for Luxim and the LIFI technology.  You have many fans in the JimOnLight.com community!  Thanks for your time, as always!

Robe and The Pussycat Dolls

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I just finished a few articles about the latest Pussycat Dolls tour, and Scott Warner’s work on the tour.  Scott is using a ton of Robe gear – from the article at TPI Mag:

Warner first used Robe fixtures on a PCD show in St Petersburg, Russia last year.

With the timing of Doll Domination, he was keen to try out Robe’s new Digital Series, so added 6 DigitalSpot 7000DTs, 36 REDWash 3.192 LED wash lights and 12 Robe REDBlinder 2.96s to the spec – all of which were newly purchased by HSL for the tour. The rig also includes 60 Robe ColorSpot and ColorWash 2500E ATs.

The 90 minute PCD performance is a highly visual, all-action extravaganza encompassing the genres of pop, hip-hop and cabaret, for which Warner’s light show needed plenty of multiple-choice options.

His creative scope has to cover all avenues and keep the new looks coming and the excitement and anticipation pumping right to the final chords. He achieves all this with a relatively expediently sized rig in terms of fixtures.

The lights are distributed all across the rig. This features an innovative trussing design based on 4 Octopods – two static underneath the front truss and two moving ones over-stage left and right, plus a 4.5 metre circular truss stage centre, and a smaller semi circular truss. In the upstage left and right corners are two 20ft runs of SwingWing truss, flown diagonally, and there’s also a back truss running the full width of the stage.

TPI has great articles – check them out!

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