Wybron Closing Its Doors After 35 Years of Business

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Wybron, the company that invented the Color Scroller back in 1980, is closing its doors for the last time at the end of June 2013, according to a company email sent to its dealer network last night.  From the email, sent to JOL from a source not authorized to comment – bolding is mine:

Dear Dealers,

After a long and pleasant relationship with you, Wybron is ceasing business at the end of June. A press release will go out on Friday to the public announcing  the same.

The text of the press release follows:
Wybron Closes Doors After 35 Years of Innovation in Stage Lighting Industry

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – June 6, 2013 – Wybron, a leading stage lighting supplier announced today that the company will close its doors on June 30, 2013.

The company is best known for transforming entertainment, church and architectural industries with its innovation of cutting-edge lighting products.

For years, the stage lighting industry has been led by companies with three-letter names,” said President and CEO Keny Whitright.  “PRG, ETC, ELS, TMB, and BMI are just a few of these. For 35 years Wybron struggled through with the burden of a six-letter name,” Whitright said laughing, “We finally realized we have too many letters in the company name.  It was time to close the doors.

Whitright said that closing the Wybron manufacturing plant is bittersweet.  “I will miss the business that I know and love.  But, I am looking forward to scaling back and becoming an FTD man.  Fishing, Traveling and Driving my cars will fill most of my days,” said Whitright. “Notice that I am planning to carry the three letter theme into my retirement.”

Wybron will host an online garage sale starting June 14, 2013, in order to liquidate its remaining new and used products and spare parts.  It will offer amazing deals and extraordinary closeout pricing. Visit the Wybron website at www.wybron.com beginning June 14 to learn more about the garage sale offers.

Any pending orders are  being filled, but if you have registered a job past June, we will be unable to supply that gear.

Service on existing equipment is uncertain at this time. We are looking for a company to do service, but don’t have anything in place now.

Best Regards,

Keny Whitright
President, Wybron, Inc.

Keny, I’m sorry to see Wybron close.  Some of my most enjoyable work was designed the right way because of your product.  From a grateful industry, JimOnLight.com says thank you for all you’ve contributed to the Industry.  I hope that you fill out your days with the happiness that you deserve, and that your roads are always clear and sunny.

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Electronic Theatre Controls – you might know them as ETC – is a great company that is known for their Source Four line of luminaires and their outstanding lines of lighting control consoles.  ETC has also entered the rigging market with their Prodigy line of hoists, and the LED market with the Selador line of fixtures.  Check them out if you haven’t – it’s worth your while!

Genielux is the new rental and sales locator for lighting, audio, video, staging, and entertainment production gear.  Using your iPhone, you can find out who has 300 star strobes in Stickney, Illinois when you’re in a pinch or find out who’s got your Meyer cabinets in Tookus, Nebraska.  For suppliers, it costs you a couple of bucks a month to get your information into Genielux and help people in a pinch.  Oh yeah – and for users, the Genielux iPhone app is completely free!  How much better does it get to help out the industry?

I gotta believe that everybody knows Mike Zinman and Zinman Software – he started out rocking AutoCAD with AutoBlock back in the day – now he rocks the iPhone software market with great software like ML Finder PRO, PocketLD, GelCalc, iSwitch DMX, and Portfolio.  Check out his stuff – it’s a time saver!

From color scrollers to LED fixtures, dichroic color-changing fixtures to feedback control, Wybron has been around for a long time.  Wybron’s Coloram scrollers have been in thousands of shows across the globe; their InfoTrace system has gotten tons of press for its feedback prowess; and the Nexera and Cygnus lines of fixtures are making their mark in the industry.
Thank you to our sponsors, and thank you to every JimOnLight.com reader on the planet!

Wybron’s Nexera – CMY Mixing Spot and Wash Fixtures

Have you seen or used any of Wybron’s NexeraLX luminaires?  Nexeras have dichroic CMY mixing, are DMX addressable, and come in spot and wash configurations.  Nexera is convection cooled, and can be fitted with a ceramic gas discharge metal halide lamp, mechanical dimmer, and ballast for install situations.

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Aaron at Wybron sent me a press release for Houston’s Lakewood Church; they’re using 48 Nexeras:

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There are churches, there are megachurches, and then there are megachurches.

Houston’s Lakewood, the country’s largest church and the home of Joel Osteen, falls firmly in the latter category. With a weekly attendance of approximately 43,000 people, they make their home in the former Compaq Center, previously home to the Houston Rockets. And the job of lighting services in the 16,000-plus-seat arena, many of which have to perform the double duty of being recorded for broadcast and providing an intimate experience for worshipers? That falls to Chuck Pryor and his team.

“My production background is mainly in audio,” Pryor says, “So my team has a lot of fun making all the standard lighting/audio jokes to keep things light and fun. I was actually hired in audio but was invited to manage the Lighting Department when Tom Stanziano, the previous Lighting Director, left. Tom was the one who originally specified theses fixtures to accomplish the goals, and he obviously made a great call. I still split my time between lighting and audio, so having Josh Beard and Ryan Johanningmeier here to do all of the maintenance and programming makes it all come together pretty nicely. These guys are both really talented and we are fortunate to have them.”

Juggling sound and lighting in such a large venue certainly poses challenges. For the not-inconsiderable task of lighting the Lakewood stage-a lighting system that uses, all told, over 700 individual fixtures and must light dozens of performers-Pryor relies in part on 48 Wybron Nexeras, a move that Pryor calls a “perfect solution.”

“The Nexeras have one very important role at Lakewood,” Pryor says. “These are used to light the curtain that millions of people see each week on the broadcast. The Lakewood blue curtain that hangs behind the globe is lit exclusively by the Nexera fixtures. We also use eight of these fixtures as band front wash when color is needed.”

The “blue curtain” that Pryor mentions is a sort of visual trademark of Lakewood, a backdrop to the ever-present bronze globe and the activity that takes place on the stage-and which is a recognized symbol of the church to the millions of viewers who tune in to broadcasts of Lakewood’s services.

“The main technical difficulty we had was lighting our curtain evenly and having the ability to color mix smoothly. The fact that the Nexeras can throw 60 feet allows us to do this and light the entire curtain evenly.”

The vibrant color and smooth mixing provided by Nexera’s dichroic glass filters translates to a dynamic and reliable platform for Lakewood’s ultimate raison d’etre: the dissemination of their ministry’s message to the thousands of people in their congregation and the millions who tune into their broadcasts. “Obviously they have to work in harmony to have the most impact, and lighting can really help set the mood in the congregation,” says Pryor.

Although Lakewood is by any measure a large organization, with the trappings attendant to one, it’s the message that counts; the hundreds of lights, the pro-quality sound, the music, the technical accoutrements and flash are there simply to support it. And to do this, like so many other churches across the continent, Lakewood turned to Wybron.

I’m interested in hearing more about the Nexera – any hands on experience with the fixture?

Wybron’s CXI IT Scrollers at Le Poisson Rouge

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I just got a press release from Jennifer at Wybron – check out this article about the old famous Village Gate Club, now called Le Poisson Rouge:

WYBRON CXI SCROLLERS COLOR NYC CLUB

Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison – some of the world’s most legendary artists performed at The Village Gate during its nearly 40-year run in New York City’s Greenwich Village.

The Bleecker Street venue closed in 1993, but today it’s alive again in the form of an eclectic club called Le Poisson Rouge (in English, “Red Fish”). As a “multimedia art cabaret,” according to club’s Web site, LPR strives to highlight a variety of musical and artistic styles.

And to create the perfect atmosphere on stage, LPR Head Lighting Designer Ethan Kaplan brought Wybron along for the ride.

Eighteen Wybron CXI IT color-mixing scrollers provide vibrant hues for the intimate stage that’s hosted Paul Simon, Mos Def, Andrew WK, Salman Rushdie, and many more (and the eclectic calendar continues).

Fixed on Source 4 PARS, the CXIs feature two overlapping gelstrings with frames of cyan, magenta, and yellow, which mix together to create an almost limitless color palette.  Kaplan likes having the flexibility to tweak colors on the fly.

“The CXI’s color mixing allows me to make subtle live color changes during the show without upstaging the performers,” he said. Ten downlights and eight frontlights ensure the performers never wander into the dark.  Kaplan especially likes the CXI’s blues and magentas.

“As far as durability goes, these units get scrolled back and forth seven days a week,” Kaplan said.  “They have been exposed to dust (they were installed while the venue was still under construction), severe vibrations (nightly DJ parties on the weekends), and showers of fake blood (Mini-Gene Simmons, don’t ask). In the last 10 months since the venue opened, only one out of our 18 scrollers has required maintenance.”

And in this color-rich environment, creativity reigns night after night.

Check out Wybron’s website for more info on the CXI scrollers – I’ve used them, I would vouch for them.

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