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InfoComm 2014 – The JimOnLight Tour!

I just combed through photos from the last six months, and I found a ton of photos from InfoComm 2014 as I walked the floor.  Check these out, we had a lot of fun at that show!  Well, except for the heat exhaustion/upper GI thing during that trip, but I guess that’s just the way she goes, as Ray would say.

Check out the virtual JimOnLight InfoComm 2014 photo tour below!
Click on any individual photo below to get the full-size David Fox badass lightbox!

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!

 

Hump Day Lighting Porn – Catalyst and DL3 Demo Room Footage from 2010 at High End Systems!

Having downtime has allowed me to dig up gigabytes and schmigabytes of video content that I’ve either A) got sidetracked during and never got to finish, B) decided for some reason that I needed to prioritize something else, or C) completely forgot about having altogether!  I found some really fun stuff last night while searching through content — a demo from 2010 at High End Systems of the Axon media server and DL3 digital lights!

I hope you enjoy it!  Please excuse my giggling at one point for a few seconds, I was having a frigging blast!  Thanks a lot, Richard!

Check out some High End Systems lighting demo porn from 2010!  From the JimOnLight.com Vimeo Channel:

Lighting Porn! High End Systems – Catalyst Media Server Demo, 2010, Austin, Texas from Jim Hutchison on Vimeo.

or if you prefer YouTube:

Intellaspot XT-1 from High End Systems. Whoa! Where? How – When?

Where was I a month ago when this was sneaked?!  I am so excited about this, I’m posting at 10pm.

Check this out – meet the Intellaspot XT-1:

So, okay – High End Systems and everybody’s favorite lighting maker Richard Belliveau have created, with a summer release date, a new moving head.  20,000 lumens from an 850W short arc lamp, large aperture, and a whole ton of features.  I was watching the video that Barco posted about the new fixture  that Richard has developed with High End Systems, and frankly it’s pretty freaking awesome.

A few features I pulled from the video about the Intellaspot XT-1:

  • the unit runs on 100-240VAC.  Um, that’s pretty awesome.  So you can plug one of these in without having to set up a distro.
  • the optics in the fixture and the lamp give the fixture a 20,000 lumen output – but it’s using an 850W lamp.  That compares to fixtures using a 1500W lamp, which is also pretty amazing.
  • 5:1 zoom ratio, about 11 degrees to 55 degrees.
  • 14 rotating gobos, Richard’s selections (which are always a hell of a lot of fantastic) include lots of colorful stuff, aerial gobos, and he makes sure to say that the breakups and foliage are in there too!
  • Animation, prisms, CMY mixing, the variable electronic strobe that High End is known for, and some other good stuff

The look of the Intellaspot XT-1 is also something of note.  High End Systems fixtures always have that smooth, “alien” design as Richard refers to it – the Studio Spot and Color lines, X-Spot – you know, the sleek design that those fixtures are known for having.  The Intellaspot XT-1 has a pretty interesting “military” design (again Richard’s reference) that just looks pretty cool.  The Color Command was like that too – High End Systems’ dichroic washlight.  Very edged, mechanized-looking, a unique feel to the Color Commands:

The Intellaspot XT-1 has a very similar look:

Richard, you and your High End Systems folks never, ever cease to amaze me, man.  I can’t wait to see the Intellaspot XT-1!

Stock Market – Lighting Edition

Something hilarious happened to me last week – well, hilarious to me.  I was watching the news early in the morning, and as I flipped through the various new sources it was literally “the stock market” this, and “the blue chips” that, and “Main street took another hit today.”  Oh – and JP Morgan irked the United States a few weeks ago when it unveiled its plans for high pay and big bonuses.  Again.

I could not help but thinking that no one talks about lighting industries’ stocks.  We provide the world with the ability to light up the darkness – we bring innovation to innovation.  While people in our industry lose their jobs one after the other and stimulus money gets tossed into projects across the nation, don’t you wonder how the companies IN our industry are doing?

I captured some 90-day stock market charts last week for a handful of companies in the lighting markets.  Obviously this is not an exhaustive list – if there are stocks you follow that you think I should be following, will you either post a comment below or send me a comment through the contact form?  Pretty please?

Okay, let’s start out with Barco (Barco NV – BAR):

On January 26, 2010, Barco’s stock closed out at $28.94 per share, down 47 cents (or -1.6%).  Barco’s market cap is $369.35 million – “market cap” or market capitalization is a number that represents a corporation’s outstanding number of shares multiplied by their price.  What this means is that Barco has 12,760,000 shares of stock, each valued at around $28.94 each.  Multiply $28.94 X 12,760,000 and you get around $369,350,000, their current market cap.

Something that strikes me as a bit sad, whether it is related or not, is when you put news against the market reports.  For example, look at their stock price around the beginning of December, right when they laid off a bunch of High End Systems workers.


Look at Lighting Science Group – a company that engineers and makes LED products (Lighting Science Group Corporation – LSGC):

LSGC’s stock as of 1/26 was at 88 cents per share, with 30,460,000 shares outstanding – giving LSGC a market cap of $25,890,000 (remember, shares X cost = market cap).  That share cost was up 3 cents (or 3.53%).  For those of you following the news, LSGC announced at the beginning of the month that they were taking on Zachary Gibler, Carlos Gutierrez, Michael Kempner, Joe Montana and Michael Moseley to their board of directors.  You might recognize Carlos Guitierrez as a CNBC news contributor and Commerce Secretary under George W. Bush.  And yes, Joe Montana is THE Joe Montana, the football guy.

LSGC just this last week announced that they were commencing a rights offering for up to about 25 million Series D shares of non-convertible preferred stock (and warrants), which represents the right to purchase up to about 25 million shares of common stock.  All of these terms are extremely confusing to people (like myself) who don’t follow the market nose first.  LSGC’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings on this news are here.

You might be asking yourself, “What on earth are “Series D Non-Convertible Stocks?”  Preferred stocks are debt instruments (like all stocks) that have a higher payout priority than common stocks.  This means that dividends must be paid to preferred stock holders first before common stock dividend payouts.  In the case of these stocks, the holders don’t have the option to convert them to common stocks, and preferred stocks normally don’t have voting rights.  It’s all very complicated in my humble opinion.


Now look at General Electric (General Electric Company, GE):

GE has not had that great of a time lately as far as the stock market is concerned.  As of January 26, their stock was down 6 cents at $16.29, and they were having one of the worst periods in their almost 120 year history.  GE lost its AAA credit rating last year, and its GE Capital division ain’t doing so well – their commercial real estate division is getting hammered with vacancies and all that kind of real estate crap.  GE is a HUGE company though – their market share is 173.48 billion – that’s $173,480,000,000 – with 10,650,000,000 shares outstanding at about $16.29 a share.  That’s a lot of zeros.


Let’s move on to a company that people are hoping will do some amazing things with their Electron-Stimulated Luminescence technology, or ESL – the VU1 Corporation (VUOC):

VU1 is actually up 5 cents from the time I polled these numbers – but as of January 26 it was at $0.49 a share, with almost 86 million shares outstanding.  Their market cap was $42,050,000 approximately, and they were down about a dime a share last quarter.  The ESL technology is interesting, and on the VU1 blog there is talk of progress on an ESL replacement for the typical fluorescent tube.


Ok, now look at semiconductor manufacturer Cree, Inc (CREE):

Cree is having a great time right now – their stock price is up over 10 bucks since October 2009, and set a new record for the company’s stock prices on January 19, 2010.  They’re actually down 2 bucks since January 26 when I pulled this report, but they’re still kicking some tail.  With 106 million shares at around 60 bucks is giving Cree a market cap of 6.31 billion dollars – $6,310,000,000.  I love to actually type out the digits, it really gives you perspective.

I wish I had a few extra buckaroos to invest, because I’d probably toss some of it into Cree stock.  Analysts are flipping out over Cree’s prices and growth.  I hope their growth spawns new and excellent technologies that are positive advancements towards our growth as an industry and not just the same old stuff for more money.

Some news I did not expect to hear lately was the agreement that one of their competitors Arrow Electronics signed with Cree to provide Arrow’s customers with Cree power products (Silicon Carbide JBS).  Go, Cree!


The last company I want to actually talk about is Philips (Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV – PHG):

From when I pulled this report, Philips’ stock is down a buck or so per share.  Philips is another enormous company with so many divisions – they have almost a billion shares of stock outstanding – 927,460,000 shares.  Their market cap (927.46 million shares at around 30 bucks a share) is $29.17 billion dollars.  Huge.

Philips is a monster in the LED business, and if you’re in the lighting industry you’ve heard of their LumiLED products.  TIME Magazine gave Philips the honor of calling their LED replacement lamp as one of the best inventions of 2009, and people rave about their other product lines – LED wash fixtures, high output LEDs, and their various lines of consumer non-LED products, including incandescent and fluorescent products.  They’re an industry leader.


None of this stuff is easy to understand, and believe me – I’m a lighting designer, not a market analyst.  But it doesn’t take a Merrill Lynch quant to break down the major components into understandable pieces.  I kinda look at it like this – when more people understand what is going on with a subject, it becomes that much more difficult for insiders in that industry to screw the public over.  If I can help make that happen even a little bit, then we have collectively made an investment in our future and success.

I’m not gonna talk about the reports below, but they’re just graphs of some other companies’ stocks that I follow.  If you have suggestions of companies I should watch, drop me a line or comment below, will ya?

Tatsuta Electric Wire and Cable – HOLY CRAP – $14.15 billion dollar market cap (for only 65 million shares), and their stock is at $217 a SHARE!

Chung Wa Picture Tubes:

Molex Inc – everybody knows Molex, right?

Barco Lays Off More High End Systems Employees, Just in Time for Christmas

barco-pink-slip

I just found out in a round-about way that digital lighting and display company Barco let some more High End Systems employees go last week.  And JUST in time for the holidays, too!  How fantastic.

You know, I am no MBA holder, nor would I know how to conduct a multi-million dollar business, so I won’t.  But I do have to say that it seems to me like you are trying to erase an American lighting icon from the industry altogether.  I have a problem with that.  Does it matter what I think?  More than likely not in this case.  I have a suggestion, though – why don’t you come on over from Belgium and get to know the people and equipment that people like?

The stock picture – six months:

barco-6month-stock

The last two days (December 15-17, 2009):

barco-2day-stock

On November 27, Barco acquired another business entity, FIMI Medical Imaging.  From Reuters:

Dow Jones reported that Barco NV has reached an agreement with Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV about the acquisition of FIMI. Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV is to sell FIMI for EUR 19 million in cash and the agreement includes an earn-out-construction from which it will earn EUR 10 million in the next five years. The transaction is expected to be completed at the end of 2009.

From Barco’s press release:

Eric Van Zele, Barco’s President and CEO, stated: “Our Medical Imaging Division has been performing strongly in recent years both sales and profit-wise. The acquisition of FIMI fits well within the overall growth strategy of the division as it further strengthens our existing product portfolio, opens opportunities in new segments of medical imaging, and strengthens our strategic relationship with Philips.”

Well, I really hope that you’re going to do more with the High End Systems brand. Those people are good people, and you have an asset in Richard Belleveau.  I hope you realize that and understand the entertainment industry before you spill white-out all over history and innovation.  You could be an industry leader.  Don’t forget, they were doing things well way before you.

Barco to Release Cyberlight 2.0

Updated!

Cyberlight2_500px

There’s been a lot of news out lately on the release of the new version of an older classic scanner (mirror luminaire), the Cyberlight 2.0, from High End Systems/Barco.  If you’ve done any lighting design for entertainment and used a scanner in the last decade, there is a good chance that you’ve used a Cyberlight – it is and was a popular mirror fixture in the industry.  High End Systems/Barco has re-engineered this classic, added some new stuff, and made some old stuff better.  iSquint posted the release on this a few days ago – I’ve been putting together some research on a comparison between the Cyberlight 2.0 and the older model, Cyberlight Turbo.

I was having a discussion with a buddy about the redesign of the Cyberlight, and he could not figure out why Barco made this move.  I frankly liked the Cyberlight, and I am excited to see the new version, and how it stacks up against the old version – I am assuming the new one will be at LDI, so hopefully we’ll get to see it (hint, hint, Barco, please).

There are some applications where a mirror luminaire is choice over a moving head – for example, if I am trying to get beams of light to move back and forth very fast (you know, like with the untz-untz-untz-untz of some Drum and Bass), a mirror fixture might be a good choice.  This is simple physics – the mirror servo can travel faster because it has less distance to go and less weight to propel than a moving head.  There are reasons each designer can tell for choosing one over another – I have my reasons, and other people have theirs.

I’ve been looking at the specs from the Cyberlight Turbo and the new Cyberlight 2.0, noting differences and additions.  From the specifications only, there are some similarities (this isn’t ALL similarities, just some):

  • both have 170 degree pan, 110 degree tilt
  • both have optical zoom (13-22 degrees or 16-26 degrees) and same 36 degree field angle
  • both have CMY color mixing
  • both have full optical dimming and fade to black
  • both have a dichroic static color wheel with seven colors and white
  • both have a seven position effects wheel, plus open
  • both have a static Litho pattern wheel (seven gobos) and a rotating Litho pattern wheel (four gobos)

The Cyberlight 2.0 version has some added features over the Cyberlight Turbo (again, some, not all):
UPDATE:  I got an email from Brad Schiller at High End with more information about the Cyberlight 2.0 changes.  Thank you, Brad!

  • Cyberlight 2.0 has a 2,000w short-arc MSR lamp at 30,000 lumens at 7,000 degrees Kelvin – the
    (Turbo has a 1,200w short-arc MSR lamp at 12,500 lumens at 5400 degrees Kelvin)
  • Cyberlight 2.0’s Litho patterns in the static wheel are all replaceable
  • Cyberlight 2.0 has 28 DMX channels, compared to Turbo’s 20 DMX channels (see chart below)
  • New software that allows the mirror and other parameters to move faster
  • 3 new effects on the effects wheel
  • 5-pin DMX connectors
  • New DMX protocol that fits current protocols better
  • New DMX controlled options such as TriColor, random strobes, macros, and more
  • RDM capabilities
  • Electronic power supply that dims the lamp when the shutter/dimmer is closed (saves electricity and reduces heat)
  • Electronic strobe capabilities
  • Taller base handles for better clearance of the DMX connectors
  • LED menu system instead of dipswitches
  • 2 pounds lighter
  • Cyberlight 2.0 has a fixed head that does not deviate – High End interviewed lighting designers about this feature, and discovered that while it was useful at times, it wasn’t really desired.

I’ve put together a few comparison images from the product data sheets on the Cyberlight Turbo and the Cyberlight 2.0.  I’m looking for some photometric data on the GE MSR 2000 SA/SE, which is the lamp designated for the new Cyberlight 2.0.  Anyone seen this?

First, a side-by-side on DMX assignments for the Cyberlight Turbo and the Cyberlight 2.0:

cyberlight-dmx-assignment

Next, a side-by-side comparison of the static Litho wheels in Cyberlight Turbo and Cyberlight 2.0:

cyberlight-wheel-comparison

Last but not least, and only last for right now, a side-by-side of the rotating Litho pattern wheels for Cyberlight Turbo and Cyberlight 2.0:

cyberlight-rotating-wheel-comparison

Barco, What’s the Deal with High End Systems?

barco_quote

The giant lighting and projector company Barco has been doing really, really well – they bought High End Systems, they’re always getting contracts and selling lots of their gear.  Check out some stock info – I took some captures of my stock tracker.

Year to Date:

barco-year-to-date

Last Three Months:

barco-3-months

Barco’s stock is sitting at $33.56 a share – up $0.27, or 0.81% today.  I am always reading news stories about how Barco has created some new partnership, released some new product for touring video, or presented some new display technology and made yet a new partnership.

Why, if all of this stuff is going on, are High End Systems personnel getting laid off?  There are a lot of really good people who have been let go from High End Systems by Barco – it is business, I understand, don’t get me wrong.  But what are you doing with High End Systems?

The question is fairly innocuous and certainly isn’t directed to offend, but High End Systems is a brand that has been a huge part of the lighting industries for decades – and there is little to no information about what is going on with HES.  The High End Systems website hasn’t been updated in months, and this looks bad.  What is going on here?  At least be up front about what’s going down.

Barco, whatever is going to happen with High End Systems is obviously up to you.  I, as someone who has a lifetime of respect for the lighting industries, High End Systems, and your brand as well, is really hoping that some of that respect is paid to a company (and its workers) that has been a major part of the industries for a long time.

Loz Upton is In Your Face with The Crystal Method

I just read a press release from Barco about Loz Upton’s design work on The Crystal Method’s latest tour – he’s using a ton of High End gear, and the images with the release are awe-some.

crystal method

I love those ShowBeam 2.5’s!  What a freaking bright beam – I have been dying to get my hands on one.  Or twenty!

From the press release:

Barco lights the nights for The Crystal Method tour

Famed rock band uses the newest creative digital lighting products from Barco to provide layers of looks to match their layers of sound.

Sacramento, CA – 1 July 2009 – Digital and automated lighting pioneer Barco announced today that The Crystal Method has selected an arsenal of creative lighting products to launch a “visual assault” on their current “Divided By Night” tour. The tour could easily be named “United By Light.” The two DJs or “electro-pioneers” making up the group envisioned a virtual visual assault, or as lighting designer Lawrence “Loz” Upton calls it, an “in your face” production. Effectively, the band wanted layers of light to match their layers of sound, so Upton looked to Barco’s lighting product line to achieve his goal. The result is a road show that exemplifies the industry’s newest lighting and control technology.

Upton selected a full complement of Barco products, including 12 StudioPix LED pixilation luminaires, six SHOWGUN automated luminaires, four Studio Beams, two F-100 fog machines, and the new SHOWBEAM 2.5 automated wash luminaire – notable for its Twin BeamTM technology. Two Barco CLM R10+ projectors and two Axon media servers provide the video, and control is provided by a Wholehog 3 console using the Wholehog DMX 8000 Processor.

“People still need entertainment in this economy,” said Upton. “The show is very much in your face, and very effects-driven, so we basically wanted a lot of ‘gas.’ This music is all about layering, which is why we chose the SHOWBEAM 2.5, the SHOWGUNs and the StudioPix, as well as the regular moving lights – giving us layers of looks to match the layers of sound.”

Because video images play a large part in the layering, the band hired a group of artists to create custom content for the Axon media servers. Using the two CLM R10+ projectors, the content is projected onto screens mounted on two circular trusses. “We were able to easily download content into the Axon media server and then run it as a lighting cue. It’s so easy to do, it’s awesome,” noted Upton.

For additional content, images also originate from the StudioPix, which is not only an LED washlight but a hybrid graphics display device. “With StudioPix, you have many lights in one,” said Upton. “You have an effects-driven look, the effects generator, many colors, and on top of that, you can use it as a regular wash fixture or as an audience lighting fixture. In many ways, it’s more effective than an LED audience blinder,” explained Upton. “I’m really impressed with the way that I can manipulate the StudioPix to achieve many different aims.”

When Upton first saw the SHOWGUN luminaire in a video, he wasn’t sure what to do with the LED ring. But after seeing it in a live demo, the ideas began to flow. In this design, Upton matches the SHOWGUN LED ring with the outer LED rings of the StudioPix and the SHOWBEAM 2.5 – letting the rings play off each other in space.
For The Crystal Method tour, Upton also selected Camarillo, California-based Delicate Productions as the lighting contractor. “Everything we needed, they made happen,” said Upton. “There were many design meetings, and it came together really well. They really put a lot of effort and time into working with us.”

The audiences have made it happen as well, noted Upton. “From a lighting gig standpoint, people love the show. We’ve gotten nothing but rave reviews everywhere we go. It’s humbling, actually.”

For more details on The Crystal Method tour and upcoming tour dates, visit www.thecrystalmethod.com

crystal method

crystal method