Will You Take A Moment to Donate to JimOnLight.com?

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Good morning, world!  I hope this finds you well, and I hope you woke up happy and healthy!

I’m very humbly writing this post to reach out to our extended Reader Family — Fox and I make JimOnLight.com for a world readership of 193 of the 196 independent countries across Earth, and we’ve covered things from the amazing to the mundane and everything in between over the last six years.  We’ve been growing full-speed every day ever since I wrote the very first JimOnLight post back in 2008!  I’m doing this full time now, and I’m reaching out into the digital international to ask a small but urgent question:

Will you take a few moments and donate to JimOnLight?

We’re not looking for tens of thousands of dollars, we’re just trying to raise between $7500 and $9900 to cover the costs of server space, maintenance, relocating, and allowing us to keep writing JimOnLight.com for you!

If you have a few extra bucks sitting around somewhere and want to help us out, click on the donate button just below here — it takes just a few seconds, and you can donate via credit card if you so desire, it costs you nothing!


We’ve also cut our advertising space costs over 65%, so if you’re a company wanting to get your wares seen in front of one of the top most dedicated readerships in all of the Lighting Industries, get ahold of Jim through email at jim@jimonlight.com or the contact form, at jimonlight.com/contact.  We’ll look forward to your email!

April 2013’s Top 20 Posts

April 2013 has not been a fully happy period in our industry, at least on the accidents front.  Unfortunately I have to report that a lot of the top 20 posts that were read in 193 countries all over the world were stories I reported where injury or death to our stage hand brothers and sisters.  At least their names will never be forgotten, at least by me.  Ever.  In order to go where we’re going, we have to remember how we got here.  It’s not all negative, but get ready to relive some disaster in our business.

The most read post in April of 2013 from JimOnLight.com:

A Rigger Dies after a 100 Foot Fall at AT&T Center in San AntonioRIGGERS-NOT-SKYDIVERS

April 2013’s Most Read Post #2:
The TO THE ARCHIVES link on JOL!
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #3:
San Antonio Rigger Falls 100 Feet to Death at AT&T Center
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #4:
Lighting 101:  Luminance VS. Illuminance
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #5:
New Footage of the Demolition of the Famous Texas Stadium
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #6:
Let’s Be Safer, At Least in the Entertainment Industry
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #7:
A Time-Lapse of the Maroon 5 Overexposed Tour Load-In
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #8:
Memorial Fund Established for Dean Williams, Rigger Who Fell at AT&T Center in San Antonio
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #9:
UPDATE – Ultra Music Festival LED Wall Accident
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #10:
Jim Hutchison Leaves CAST Software, Opens Lumen Buddha Studios, A Lighting Industries Think-Tank and Design Studio
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #11:
INDUSTRY ACCIDENT – Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Video Wall Falls on Workers
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #12:
Something Horribly Wrong is Going On at Wicked Lasers, UPDATED
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #13:
Recommended Reading on JOL!
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #14:
Radiohead Stage Collapse in Toronto — 1 Dead, 3 Wounded
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #15:
Gaffers and Grips — DIY Gaff Tape Key Fob
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #16:
LER:  Luminaire Efficacy Rating
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #17:
DARTH FADER
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #18:
LED Freerunning:  Lighting Emitting Dudes
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #19:
Mycena Lux Coeli — The Coolest Mushroom I Have Ever Seen!
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #20:
Pilobolus’ Shadowland Review
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JOL Sunday Flickr #15

This is a crazy day — Laura and I are packing up the JimOnLight.com Toronto offices today, getting ready for our move back to the USA!  The next few weeks will be fairly busy, as we’re staying in Durham, Ontario for a week or so before we head to see family in Peoria, Illinois.  Laura’s only allowed to visit until we get all of her visa stuff approved, so we’re dreading but accepting the fact that we’re going to have some time spent apart while we make sure that we don’t overstay her visa.

Talk about sh*t you never thought you’d have to do!

Today’s JOL Sunday Flickr is awesome — go give these great photogs some love!  Stop by the JimOnLight Flickr Group photo pool and give your eyes some lovin!

LIGHTS

Lights in Alingsås #1

Dark circle of light

- lights -

Lights Travelling With London Underground

London, Light in Architecture

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UK - London - Design Museum - Wallpiercing 05 - red and yellow

Light on!

From the OMG WTF Files – The Ancient Art of EYEBALL SHAVING

eyeball-shavingI still can barely believe this — I researched “eyeball shaving hoax” extensively before posting this.  It is in fact a real thing, practiced in China, and apparently for hundreds of years if not thousands.

Meet Liu Deyuan, a barber (yes, a BARBER does this) who offers the ancient (and albeit abandoned) art of Eyeball Shaving at his little barber shop in Chengdu City, in west Sichuan Province, China:

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Let’s recap really quickly here:

  • There’s a barber in China who shaves people’s eyelids and eyeballs for about 5 yuan, which is $0.81 USD
  • A BARBER IS SHAVING PEOPLE’S EYES AND FACES WITH THE SAME KNIFE
  • A BARBER IS SHAVING PEOPLE’S EYES
  • PEOPLE PAY TO HAVE THIS DONE.

From an article at ChiEnglish.com, bolding is mine:

First, Liu uses some water to rinse off the knife that he had just used to shave a customer’s head and pulled up a stool. Using his fingers to hold open the customer’s eyelids, he scraped the blade back and forth over the eyelid and then the eyeball. Then he took out another tool — a small rod, which he placed in the customer’s eye, sliding it back and forth in the upper eyelid like a windshield wiper. Liu repeated the process on the lower eyelid. When the left eye was done, he did the whole thing again on the right eye. The whole process took about 5 minutes.

Holy mother.  Look at these tools – yeah, they look really sterile, don’t they!

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I’m not sure what else to say but GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.  This practice has been abandoned by most, and is shunned by doctors for the risk of cross-contamination.  Yeah, like cross-contamination is the only real issue here.  WHat happens when ol’ Liu there sneezes while shaving ze eyeballs?!

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I love the look on that dude’s face on the right in the photo above.  That is the perfect “Caption THIS” image!

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Friday Facts – 20 Really Awesome Facts about LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) Everyone Should Know

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20 facts on LEDs?!  Jim, are you CRAZY?  I just might be!  With the new Daily Lamp series and the upcoming JimOnLightTV, I’m all about having regular series spots on JimOnLight!  Let’s call it Friday Facts!

Happy Friday everyone — I am going absolutely LED nuts around here lately, as I’ve replaced most of the incandescent lamps in our house with their LED A-lamp equivalents.  Surprisingly enough, I haven’t lost my hair, found the need to eat bugs, or lost any sleep because of screwed-up circadian rhythms, as some claim are side-effects of LED A-lamps.  Ask my wife, it really annoys me when people claim false facts, like Fox News.  Oh, that burns me brighter than an Alpha 18K in Dallas in the summer!

Friday Facts time!  25 Really Awesome Facts about LEDs, or Light-Emitting Diodes!

  1. When LED light is used in delicatessen displays and in places with fresh food, it has been proven to breed significantly less bacteria than their halogen or fluorescent counterparts.  Consider that next time you’re getting stuff for sandwiches!  I would say that significantly NO bacteria is the right amount for my sandwiches!
  2. Remember the name Nick Holonyak, Jr. – he is the father of the visible light LED.  Nick invented the LED while working for General Electric in 1962.  This “new thing” that’s come onto the retail market over the last 5 years has been around since the mid-1960s!
  3. Next time you see a blue LED, think of Shuji Nakamura, the inventor of the blue LED, back in 1994.  Nakamura, who was working for Nichia Corporation at the time, got a $200 bonus for his discovery – while Nichia made more money than is in Scrooge McDuck’s swimming pool!  Nakamura never signed a non-disclosure for Nichia, and in 2001 he sued  for $189 million.  The Japanese courts awarded him more money than any other Japanese company ever had to pay in court:  $8.1 million.  So the inventor of the blue LED got $8,100,200 for his invention that we all use everywhere!
  4. Most blue and green LEDs use a mixture of Gallium Nitride and Indium Nitride to get the blue, called Indium Gallium Nitride (InGaN).  By varying the amount of Indium in the mix, the color of blue varies.
  5. Most red, orange, and yellow LEDs use variants of Gallium Phosphide (GaP) Gallium Arsenide Phosphide (GaAsP) to get their hues.
  6. White LEDs work quite like fluorescent lamps work with respect to color; a blue or ultraviolet LED is coated with a phosphor that emits photons from the ultraviolet frequencies when the LED is energized.
  7. The Monsanto Corporation was the first company to mass-produce red LEDs for the industry, mostly as replacement lights for indicators and seven-segment displays.
  8. An incandescent lamp converts about 9-10% of the energy fed to it into light, whereas LEDs convert nearly 100% of the energy they consume as light.
  9. The lighting industries as a whole are pushing LEDs to replace incandescent sources in a variety of applications, but the first time that LEDs actually did displace incandescent lamps was in vehicle brake lights, signal lights, and traffic lightsback in 1987!
  10. If the entire United States would replace only 50% of the existing incandescent Christmas lights around the holidays, the potential energy cost savings starts around $17.2 billion dollars.
  11. Heat generated by an LED source is a real enemy to the quality of that LED source.  LEDs are subject to the cooling method designed into the lamp or fixture — if the cooling is good, the LED will maintain a decent output over its lamp life.  If the cooling is poor, the lamp is subject to considerably higher lumen depreciation over its lifetime, or even total failure over time.
  12. If you’ve ever had a porch, you’ve had a porch light, and you’ve had bugs all over that porch light.  Switch to LED in the porch light and you’ll notice considerably fewer bugs, if not a complete decrease in your porch bug population!  Why, do you ask?  It’s because incandescent lamps and CFLs produce copious amounts of ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) radiation, which bugs love more than Kim Kardashian loves mascara!
  13. LED headlights might be one of the most annoying, blinding things on the road, but they’re actually quite safe for driving – LED headlights render colors you see in their beams better, which gives you better awareness of your surroundings on the road.  They’re totally worth it!
  14. Due to the physics involved, LED lamps have what we call Instant On — unlike their incandescent and compact fluorescent (CFL) counterparts.  What this means is that you can switch an LED lamp on and you get the full brightness of that light instantly.  Think about this next time you need to place a lamp in a part of your house or office that gets turned on and off frequently — incandescent lamps and CFLs experience significantly less lamp life from being switched on and off frequently, and CFLs in particular can experience greatly reduced lamp life if they are switched off and back on within 15 minutes of heating up!
  15. Most LED A-lamp replacement bulbs are relatively cool to the touch, whereas their incandescent and halogen counterparts will most definitely leave you with a first or second degree burn.  Maximum operating temperature for most residential A-lamp type bulbs is around 135-140 degrees Fahrenheit, where halogen lamps run around 600-700 F to the touch and their incandescent cousins run around 375-400 F to the touch!  OUCH!
  16. If you think about incandescent lamp life (around 1000 hours) and compact fluorescent lamp life (around 10,000 hours),  It’s not hard to see how LEDs are making the grade in retail markets.  A majority of residential/commercial LED A-lamp manufacturers claim a whopping 50,000 hours lamp life on average, with newer models claiming up to 100,000 hours.  If this sounds impressive, it is!  Consider your usage on just the 50,000 hour varieties:
    If you use your LED bulb for 24 hours a day, every day, that bulb is rated to last 6 solid years!
    If you use your LED bulb for 8 hours a day, every day, that bulb is rated to last 17 years!!
    If you use your LED bulb for only 4 hours per day, that bulb is rated to last 17 years!!!
  17. LEDs contain NO MERCURY at all — and over 95% of an LED is recyclable.  Compare this to the wasteful design of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which not only contain Mercury, but also create a large portion of electronic waste due to their design — the fluorescent tube portion of a CFL ceases to work long before the ballast inside the CFL or its other electronic components are ready to die.  This alone creates tons of waste every month.
  18. LED lamps on average are not subject to serious damage from external shock – which translates into “oops, I dropped my LED lamp onto the floor while I was changing it!”  If you try this with an incandescent lamp, you’re going to be cleaning up glass at least — and if it’s a CFL, not only will it break, but you will also need to follow Mercury decontamination procedures recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency.  Yikes!
  19. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the widespread adoption of LEDs in residential and commercial applications over the next 20 years will save about $265 billion, prevent the need for constructing 40 new power plants, and reduce the electricity demand of lighting by 33 percent.
  20. Ever wonder why non-chip form LEDs have that little plastic bubble (or lens) around them, like in the picture at the top of the post?  It actually has three distinct functions, and the process of adding the diode to the plastic is called potting:
    * The plastic protects the tiny wires and components that make up the diode from physical damage, and protects the diode from open air
    * The plastic makes mounting the LED inside of devices and equipment considerably easier
    * That plastic lens allows the light from the LED to have a variety of properties, like different beam angles and diffusions

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24×360: Experimental Light Painting

Hi ho, your resident wearable-light ink slinger here! A while back, Aron Altmark sent me this amazing video, and on my quest to step closer to the nigh-impossible Inbox Zero, I rediscovered some absolutely amazing light art.

Timecode Labs created 24×360 using twenty-four cameras to capture 360 images of fifteen different moments in light. Combined, the images create 360 degree views of some amazing light painting. The twenty-four camera are laid our in a ring surrounding the model, and were triggered to create the “bullet time” effect. Also known as a “time slice” or “frozen time,” bullet time in its original form took a series of still cameras, all triggered at the same time or with a brief delay depending on the desired effect, to orbit a specific, normally too-fast-to-experience moment in time. Combined with something as fleeting, and typically displayed in two dimensions as light painting, this is a visual triumph.

The team consisted of Patrick Rochon, an extremely talented light painting photographer and first prize winner of the Nikon Photo Contest in Japan, Eric Paré,  and Timecode Labs of Montreal. A different style of bullet time light painting has also been done with a 96 camera rig here, by Richard Kendall.

I can only imagine what a combination of 24×360’s bullet time and this amazing piece of software could create to give a view beyond time in to how these amazing light artists create their work!

At only 55 seconds, you have just GOT to watch this video. No. Really. Watch this:

A few stills of the light paintings:

The Daily Lamp – SplitLamp, from Predrag Vujanovic

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Today’s Daily Lamp is a pretty cool concept lamp called SplitLamp from designer Predrag Vujanovic — this design is really cool to me, as it alleviates the problem of only having one source on your desk.  Often times I find myself needing a second angle to take the shadow or contrast away from something I’m working on, and Predrag’s SplitLamp is quite the design for just that!

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Thanks Yanko and Crosby Press!

Getting to Know the LED Ellipsoidal Generation – A JimOnLight Series Introduction

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I’ve done a lot of shows in my career so far. I’m lucky as hell, don’t get me wrong – but because of it, I feel like I have a real “bond” with incandescent and high-intensity discharge lamps (HIDs) that we use in this industry. It’s almost creepy sometimes – in my head, I know how a good ol’ no-color Source Four looks in a dark theatre. I know how an Altman 360Q looks in a theatre sitting next to it, too – and how it looks sitting with a Shakespeare, also uncorrected, next to a Source Four. As I close my eyes to write this, I can see how an old Strand 30-degree feels inside of a theatre or outside during an outdoor performance, and how a tried-and-true PAR64 can burns so beautifully bright and amber when it’s going through red shift during a nice slow fade-up during a song in an arena. Even awesome old Kliegl 6×8’s have a good beam still, as long as the optics are changed from those miserable step lenses!

As a side note, I listened to Vesa Honkonen tell a story when I was attending graduate study in Sweden about “trusting” the light from a certain type of reflector, and how that trust cost him time and money on a project.  So as a bit of an aside, with every statement is an equal anti-statement!

I have gotten to know the fixtures in our industry very well because I’ve been fortunate to use them in a real variety of performance situations and installations. When you get to know something like an ellipsoidal fixture with an incandescent lamp in it and you use it over and over and over again, you get to trust the fixture.  I can say with ease that I trust the light that comes from the business end of a Source Four; at the same time, I trust the light that comes out of an Altman 360Q as well, whether it has an HX601 lamp in it or an old FEL lamp.  As a designer, as an artist — I know what that light from an incandescent lamp in one of the “typical” variety of ellipsoidals is going to do for me in a scene on actors of any skin tone, or on a presenter during, or on film and video, and whether it has a chunk of R26 or L181HT in it.  I know that kind of light.  I trust that light.

In the world we live in now, incandescent lamps are slowly becoming forcefully shunned by a growing portion of the lighting industries as a whole (and politicians, sadly), with LED replacements becoming the forced norm by pretty much all of the companies that at one time were pushing an incandescent based fixture.  These companies are all now driving quickly on the road of a really good trend: to produce a fixture that provides the same kind of light or better than that of an incandescent lamp based fixture with a lot less power consumption and without losing any light quality.  Sounds easy enough, right?

There is a strange, edgy, “new car smell” feeling towards the new strains of LED fixtures making their births into the industry.  We are inundated with them at the trade shows in our business, just like we were with the incandescent conventionals.  Manufacturers, this is perfectly acceptable, and I think that it’s one of your biggest assets in this industry.  It’s your job to make us trust your fixtures, through hands-on videos and “shoot-outs” between incandescent and LED fixtures out there.  My informal surveying of conference attendees over the last three years has seen many responses like “TOO MANY LEDS” and “If I see another crappy wannabe LED fixture at another trade show, I’m going to die.”  Believe it or not, this is a really good thing — it provides an opportunity for the exceptional equipment to rise to the top of the Diode Ocean, as I like to call it.  Lately, these exceptions are overcoming their inferior rivals, much to my happiness.

Users, we have a job to do, too — we have to give the manufacturers the chance to trust LED light.  We have to learn how it is different than its incandescent counterparts.  We’ve had all of these decades to learn how to work with incandescent light (and HID light too, for what it’s worth), and we know it.  We trust it, and we love it.  But why is that?  It’s because it’s what we know, and it really is that simple.  Once we give the LED ellipsoidal generation a chance, you know we’re going to trust that too.  This isn’t to say that LEDs are done developing, this obviously isn’t true.  But I am noticing some unbelievably incredible advances in LED engines and output technology lately, especially after LDI in October 2012, and I have to say that I am finally ready to learn to trust LED conventional ellipsoidals.  It’s hard not to at this point to see that LED ellipsoidals are becoming the obvious choice, with the color temperature tuning we see now and the low power requirement that they provide — and to argue against energy consumption and power conservation is just not in my DNA.

Over the next 2 weeks I’m going to be comparing the LED conventional ellipsoidals we see in Entertainment to their incandescent counterparts over the next month, starting with ETC’s new Source Four LED line first, followed by Robert Juliat’s Zep and Tibo ranges, then moving on to the RevEAL Profile from Prism Projection, and so on.  In the mean time, let’s take a look at the characteristics I’ll be examining that I find important to applying trust, at least on paper – you can argue that there are more to see, but for the sake of argument, let’s start with:

  • Cost Comparison:
    What kinds of costs are we looking at over the course of an LED Ellipsoidal lifetime?  How different is it, really?
  • Light Output, or Perceived Brightness:
    How does it compare to a comparable incandescent conventional?
  • Spectral Analysis:
    What is the white light in the beam comprised of with respect to wavelength?
  • Power Consumption:
    When you put an LED ellipsoidal up against an incandescent lamp at 575W, how does it perform?
  • Weight:
    I have to stick these in a truck and on a truss at some point, so what is the difference I need to know?
  • Controllable Properties:
    Obviously I have only a few with an incandescent fixture, so what comes stock in an LED ellipsoidal that makes a difference?

Let’s go on this journey together.  When we work on something together as an industry, we get to make it how we want it to be, and manufacturers listen.  Once we started to get involved with the ways that incandescent lamps were developed and lighting designers started demanding better control over design and engineering of incandescent lamps, they improved.  All we have to do now is learn what the LED Ellipsoidal generation can do for us, and we can really make a difference.

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The Daily Lamp – LogLamp from Jari Nyman and Olli Mustikainen

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Talk about minimalist, this must be the week of minimalist brain waves in the designer department!  This is a lamp based on a log in a fireplace; you push down on it to turn it on, it lights up.  Push down on it again, off it goes.

Meet LogLamp, from Finn designers Jari Nyman and Olli Mustikainen:

LogLamp from Jussi Peso on Vimeo.

From the websites of Jari Nyman and Olli Mustikainen:

LOG lamp. Inspiration has come from a burning log in a fireplace. Press the wood block down and it pops up to expose the light. Press it again and it switches the light off.
Materials: various types of wood
Finishing: wood wax

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Pretty cool!

A Time-Lapse of the Maroon 5 Overexposed Tour Load-In

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12 semis of gear.

115 rigging points.

112,340 pounds of hanging weight.

Meet the Maroon 5 Overexposed Tour load-in, to the tune of 3 minutes and 44 seconds!

Thanks to YouTube user Jeff Wuerth!