Vari-Lite Videos from the 1980’s – Pure Rock and Roll! #Vari-Lite


I have a special place in my heart for Vari-Lite fixtures.  My first experiences with automated lighting was with the Vari-Lite Artisan and Mini-Artisan consoles, and the very awesome Vari-Lite VL2C and VL6 spots, and the VL5 wash.  I love the VL2C – it’s like a big ol’ square truck that has great optics and color.  It blew my mind when I got programmer training and teachnician training on the fixture.  Taking a VL2C apart was like performing surgery for me!

Derek Heckler sent me a great video from the 1980s from Vari-Lite – it’s like a promo/sales video, and it’s pretty excellent – I kept expecting to see Genesis show up onstage!  I found part two of the video as well – both are embedded below.  Thanks Derek!

Vari-Lite is Touring Some New Products


A press release from Vari-Lite tells of the in-progress tour of new Vari-Lite gear – the VLX LED wash luminaire, the VL500 and VL1000 Ceramic Discharge fixtures. I am in Sweden, and I will miss out on this fun. I want to be there so badly I can taste the smell from the inside of old VL2Cs. Damn!

You are invited to join Vari-Lite as we bring you the latest in lighting technology featuring the debuts of the much-anticipated VARI*LITE® VLXTM Wash, VL500CDTM Wash, and VL1000CDTM automated luminaires. Plus as an added bonus, now is your chance to get a first-hand glimpse of the unmatched VL3500TM Wash FX automated luminaire.

The VL3500 Wash FX luminaire is the newest member of the Series 3000TM family of luminaires with an output that exceeds 50,000 lumens, as well as varied new options for color and beam control featuring internal zoomable beam optics, an interchangeable front lens system, and a four position plus open rotating FX pattern wheel.

The VLX Wash luminaire is the next generation of solid-state lighting which gives you all the benefits of LED technology and the best visual performance characteristics of both arc and tungsten sources. VLX offers stunning intensity, incredible color gamut, multi-year source life and upgradeability. VLX. Only from Vari-Lite. Accelerating LED lighting.

Energy-efficient, long-lasting and virtually maintenance free, the new ceramic discharge (CD) automated luminaires have a 315W ceramic discharge lamp offering 3200K color temperature of tungsten, a 95 CRI, and an incredibly long-rated lamp life of 8,000 hours.  Based on the Emmy® Award-winning VL5TM Wash luminaire, the VL500CD Wash luminaire maintains a light output greater than 7,000 lumens. Combining the functionality of the ellipsoidal reflector spotlight with the versatility of an automated luminaire, the VL1000CD luminaire maintains a light output greater than 8,000 lumens.

New Product Demo Dates, Times, and Locations…

August 26, 2009:

SEAL – Miami
12250 NE 13th Court
Miami, FL 33161
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

August 27, 2009:

PRG – New York
7777 West Side Ave.
North Bergen, NJ 07047
1:00 PM – 4:30 PM

August 28, 2009:

456 West 55th St.
New York, NY 10019
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

August 31, 2009:

SoloTech – Las Vegas
7465, Dean Martin Dr., Suite 108
Las Vegas, NV 89139
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

September 1, 2009:

PRG – Las Vegas
6050 S Valley View Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89118
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

4Wall Entertainment – Las Vegas
3325 W. Sunset Road, Suite F
Las Vegas, NV 89118
2:30PM – 5:00 PM

Barbizon – Atlanta
101 Krog Street
Atlanta, GA 30307
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

VLX: Vari-Lite’s LED Wash Luminaire


There’s more news with Vari-Lite’s VLX Wash luminaire, the LED offering that is not out quite yet.  Vari-Lite keeps dropping little clues and bits of information, and those of us who are writing about it and getting giddy every time we see VLX on anything.  Vari-Lite just released a preliminary document with some specifications for the VLX, and it’s full of interesting things that I for one am really excited to see in action!

The VLX is using seven of Luminus’ CBM-380 RGBW chips at 90W each.  The CBM-380 is a PhlatLight chip with an emitting area of 38 square millimeters – not small for a multicolor chip:


A few specs on the CBM-380:

  • High Output – 600+ lumens in Red, 1800+ lumens in Green, 200+ lumens in Blue and 900+ lumens in Daylight White (6500K).
  • Separate four (4) channel control
  • Large, multi-chip design with a total emitting surface area of 38 mm2
  • High thermal conductivity package with a package thermal resistance of only 0.7 C/W
  • Integrated thermistor allows for real-time monitoring of the LED’s temperature
  • Lumen maintenance of greater than 70% after 60,000 hours
  • Variable drive current from less than 1 A to 32 A
  • Designed with a standard on-board connector

VLX also features a removable zoom mechanism – 20° without it, and 22-60° with it installed (3:1).  Of course it includes the patented Vari-Lite optics we all know and love, and a 540° pan and 270° tilt.  It looks pretty great.

Hey Vari-Lite – I’m in Denver.  Can I see one of these soon?


Here’s a link to the Vari-Lite prelim specifications PDF, and a link to Luminus’ spec PDF for the CBM-380.

Thanks, iSquint!

VLX – Vari-Lite’s Foray into LED


The VLX let-me-tease-you advertisement.  I got a fever…  More as it hits the market.

The text under the shifter:

Introducing the VLX Wash Luminaire, the next generation of Solid-State Lighting from Vari-Lite.  VLX produces an incredibly pure, bright beam.  It comes with 630 watts of LED’s yielding 3 times the lumen efficiency of equivalent tungsten sources.  Its revolutionary modular design provides for easy swap out of optical and mechanical components.  VLX has a removable zoom system giving users the freedom to configure the luminaire with a fixed focal length of 22 degrees or a variable 3:1 zoom.  VLX produces perfect color mixing without any distracting color shadows.  The luminaire has an extensive color gamut that offers designers color choices not previously possible with other conventional subtractive or additive systems.  Color temperature is variable and can be seamlessly adjusted between 3200K and 6000K.  Color snaps and strobing are stunningly quick.  For more information, contact your Authorized Vari-Lite Dealer or visit

You gotta love the catch phrase – Vari-Lite gear is great, after all:

VLX.  Only from Vari-Lite.  Accelerating LED lighting.

LDI – Omnisistem’s Booth

LDI had a TON of moving light manufacturers and reps this year – while I was surprised a little, I wasn’t shocked.  A good quantity of the moving lighting booths that weren’t Clay Paky, Coemar, Vari*Lite, Martin, High End, PRG, etc, were small-ish companies like Ominsistem out of Washington.  They’ve got a very large selection of fixtures and effects (as well as audio, truss, staging, etc), and their booth was hopping the whole weekend.  Give their selection of products a look-see.

Vari*Lite’s VL3500 Wash FX Luminaire

I can’t believe I missed this – I must have been stuck up on the new Mac III instead of looking around at other manufacturers and what they’ve prepared for PLASA and LDI this year.  Vari*Lite has introduced a new Wash luminaire into the market – but instead of just being a wash fixture, this fixture can also act as a spot fixture.

Vari*Lite’s optics are superior on the market (if you’ve used them, you know), and having a fixture that can output like a wash and project like a spot is a great tool to have in your rig.  A bit of information from the press release:

Vari-Lite is pleased to announce the new VL3500™ Wash FX luminaire. The unit, exceeding an output of 50,000 lumens, is a remarkable wash luminaire that is also capable of acting like a spot luminaire. In its color bulkhead the VL3500™ Wash FX contains one FX pattern wheel with four spring-loadable rotatable and indexable 50mm glass patterns along with one open position. The dual-wattage unit runs at either 1200W or 1500W and runs 900W in standby. The luminaire projects polished images with the ULTRA clear front lens which ships with the unit.

When asked to describe the market readiness for the VL3500 Wash FX luminaire, Bob Schacherl, Vice President of Sales for Vari-Lite said, “Lighting designers and customers have increasingly expected feature-rich products that can be adapted or configured to meet the widest possible range of applications.  We pride ourselves on meeting those expectations and the VL3500 Wash FX follows onto the successful design strategy we used with the VL3500 Wash, meaning the same incredible beam intensity, wide zoom range and dynamic color capabilities still exist. The addition of rotating patterns and ultra clear lens now creates a fixture that crosses over between hard-edged and wash luminaire and furthers this product line’s flexibility.” Schacherl confirmed that existing VL3500 Wash luminaire owners will also have the option of purchasing a conversion kit that easily re-configures their fixtures into VL3500 Wash FX luminaires.

So, we’re looking at a bright, high output lamp, great optics, dual output wattage, and the ability to project images like a spot.  Outstanding, Vari*Lite!