The Conga Room – Belzberg Architects’ Wonderment

conga room plan view

LA’s Conga Room is something that Belzberg Architects can truly say they are proud to have designed – this club is an aesthetic piece of wonderment.  The upstairs of the club appears to have started to vortex itself into the lower floor in a beautiful sloping tornado of light and angular context – this is no design for the modest.  A true collaboration of composition, line, and color.

I much appreciate how many surfaces the light in the room has to play – the whole venue is like the edges of a prism in the sun.







Hubble Images – The Heavens are Stunning

When I was a kid, I used to love to stare up at the sky at night, trying to focus my eyes on the light that I discovered around age 8 was reaching Earth from thousands of years ago.  I knew all of the constellations, and I was always thrilled when I found a multi-colored star, or found a shooting star.  In 1999, I discovered the Leonids (although I was in college at the time, not a kid) while sitting in the middle of some corn field in rural IL with a telescope and a bottle of Wild Turkey.  Oh, college…

I ran into a Hubble telescope gallery last night.  I looked at it for nearly an hour.  There are hundreds of images there, video, detailed explanations, and other stuff to get lost in.

But of course I mean “in which to get lost.”

All images are courtesy of The Hubble Site.  I hope you like them, these are some of my favorites.


Planetary Nebula NGC 2818







The Podcast, Episode 2: Johnny R. Goode, LD for The Disco Biscuits

Episode Two of The Podcast! Episode two features a conversation I had with the lighting designer for The Disco Biscuits, Johnny R. Goode. Johnny has a big job – he creates unique lighting design for a band that is very eclectic, very energetic, and extremely powerful.

I hope you enjoy my conversation with Johnny R. Goode – I certainly did!

Ushio’s Synergy LED MR-16 Lamp


Ushio is claiming that they have made the first truly usable LED MR-16 replacement product – the Synergy LED MR-16.  The Synergy product claims an 80% savings over halogen MR-16s, a 50,000 hour life – as well as being fully dimmable, cool, UV and IR free.  Those are some pretty big claims!  There are several beam angles to choose – basically from 12° to 50°, all with a 4W consumption.  Color temperatures for the series run between 3100 and 6500°K.

Gosh – can you imagine MR-16’s that you could actually handle without leaving an MR-16 burn tattoo on whatever touches the lamp?  It kinda makes me want to have a fleet of MR-16 Mini-Strips loaded with these LED MR-16 lamps for testing!  Check out the Ushio product page for the LED MR-16 replacement lamp.


Article on Quantum Lasers

Attention nerd alert – I just read a great article on quantum lasers over at New Scientist, and it’s a great article.  I highly recommend checking it out!  If you’re not into quantum physics or nerd-level laser appreciation, you might not enjoy it.

But…  I’ve been wrong once before!

Luminair 1.5 Contest Is Over – Winners Contacted

I am thrilled to say that I have sent the two winners’ names of the Luminair 1.5 contest to Ryan at Synthe FX, who will be contacting the winners to set up their free licenses of Luminair 1.5 – lighting control via your iPhone!

If you listened to the first edition of The Podcast, you would know the two questions posed for entry into the contest – for those of you who haven’t had a chance to hear it, I asked the following questions:

1.  What was the first computerized lighting control console for entertainment?
2.  What are the languages in which Luminair 1.5 is translated?

I accepted two answers for question 1 – the first memory console was actually developed by Strand, called the Strand IDM.  From the Strand Archive:

The world’s first memory lighting control, the IDM/DL arose out of the need to advance from a three preset manual fader desk to a means of recording the fader levels and instantly reproducing them in performance. The first installation in June 1968 in Schweinfurt, was followed by Budapest Opera and the Coliseum, London. With its push-button IDM/R variant (the prototype of the DDM) and the later redesigned MSR system, 20 systems were installed around the world.


I also accepted the answer of Gordon Pearlman’s LS-8 Electronics Diversified, used in Tharon Musser’s production of A Chorus Line.  Pearlman’s console was the first memory desk used on Broadway.

The second question was easy, located on Luminair’s website.  Luminair is translated into Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, English, and Spanish.

I took all of the entries and generated two completely random winners from a randomly generating algorithm – the winners were completely randomly selected from the correct answerers.  If you won, you’ve been contacted.  If you didn’t win, I have another contest coming up this week!  Free stuff ROCKS!  Thanks to all who entered – I have a lot more planned, and I hope you participate again!

LEDTronics’ High Power PAR 20 Replacement Lamp


LEDTronics out of Torrence, California has released a new LED PAR 20 replacement lamp for incandescent and halogen lamps.  The new source puts out close to 200 lumens at a little more than 5 watts and a tenth of an amp.  The LEDTronics LED PAR 20 gets about 38 lumens per watt, and provides light at 3,000°K.

What do you think of these numbers?  The LEDTronics product page has IES files and full data.



Thanks, Flashlight News and LEDTronics!

Do You Have $600 for AiR?

AiR, or Art in the Room, is a Bandai Corp LED “device” that is a series of 25 little squares, each with an LED and a fan inside and covered with cloth.  As you’ll see in the video below, it pulses and undulates in patterns.  It’s also $600 bucks.  Hmm.  Maybe it hypnotizes me into not wanting to eat cheeseburgers?

Thanks, Trends in Japan!

Qnuru Solar Landscape Lighting

I have my friend Anjeanette (b-b-b-benny anjeanette) to thank for this discovery – Qnuru Landscape Lighting.  Qnuru is Tom Joyce’s baby – Tom’s got a pretty thick resume with credits as a 2003 Macarthur Foundation fellowship, gifts to Kofi Annan, a PBS documentary, and exdibitions from Moscow to Boston.  Tom is a blacksmith, artist, and designer.

Now, the Qnuru line:





From top to bottom – the Aquila (pole style solar lamp), the Cumuli (suspended cloud-ish free-hanging fixture), the Talus (square ground level solar light), and the Turnabout (two-hemisphere ground level solar light).  There are two other models not pictured here, but found on Tom’s Qnuru Solar website.  Tom’s designs maximize illumination using LED engines and quality design to minimize internal reflection while masking the multi-crystalline PV collector from sight.  And they’re good looking, too!

q5 q6

Thanks, Anj!

Revolving Chandelier

Whoa.  This reminds me of that little Christmas ornament my (and perhaps your) parents had – candles created heat that spun a little metal fan that would make little angels sing.  In this case, however, the little metal angels are four transparent spinning diffusers:

From Studio Bertjan Pot:

The revolving chandelier has four half reflective, half transparent light-shades. The light-shades are shaped like a propellor and balance on a small steel tip. The rising air, heated by the three halogen bulbs makes all four light-shades rotate. The idea of heat making a light-shade rotate is nothing new of course..many of you probably had a bed light when you were young with a small rotating landscape scene. One day in the near future halogen lights will probably be banned. I still don’t know if this is good or bad. Up untill now there still is no good energy efficient full-spectrum replacement for the halogen bulbs. In the case of the revolving chandelier, at least the excess energy (heat in stead of light) is used to do something extra for the light..making it revolve silently and make the whole light twinkle like an oldfashoined chandelier. The revolving chandelier is produced in a limited edition of 12. It will be shown at the wonderful shop of Rossana Orlandi in Milan, during the Salone 2009.

FYI – there are 12 of these in this run.  So, that being said, if you want one, you better get your rear to the Milan Salone 2009.  12, now – so don’t mess around!