Posts in San Francisco – the Non-Work Photos – at Photonics West 2011

I did have a hell of a time in San Francisco, that much has to be said.  Between working our butts off to make the booth look great, not getting some of the gear we needed shipped for our booth, and stumbling around looking for a Starbucks, I had a BLAST!

(Come on.  I kid – there’s a fu%$ing Starbucks every five feet in San Francisco, don’tcha know?)

Check out some photos I took on my trip – fun was had by all!

The lovely ladies of marketing from DiCon Fiber-Optics and DiCon Lighting – get ready, I’m posting something about a new DiCon product VERY, very soon.  Absolutely exciting!

Two industry veterans talking about touring – Rick Hutton from InLight Gobos on the left, Mark Hetrick from a billion road miles on the right.  Mark, Rick, and I walked the Photonics West tradeshow floor for a while, then Rick and I did some geeking out on the South floor.  What a great conference!

Here’s the image gallery of my trip – if you click on a thumbnail, a magic image gallery opens up!

Jonas Wannfors’ Krystall Chandelier

This thing is extremely cool – check out Swedish designer Jonas Wannfor’s Krystall Chandelier:

I love the new-age look of this fixture!  I really want to put a lux meter near it and see what kind of output it has.

It’s essentially a big fiber optic chandelier – the light pump is hidden up inside the aluminum cowling on the top there, and the light refracts through the acrylic rods.  Each rod is heated to create some little facets or fractures to make the rods glow brighter.  Pretty awesome!  Very new age.

I highly recommend checking out Jonas Wannfors’ website, regardless of the fact that there is nothing there.  You can check out another Jonas Wannfors’ project, The Swedes, which is an artistic collaborative he started with Jessica Fryklund and Love Neuschütz.

Krystall Chandelier is a bit way out of my price range, at $1395.00, at Y Lighting.  They are offering free shipping though, there’s that.  Someday I’ll make enough to be able to buy stuff like that!

Honeycomb – A Wall and Ceiling Product by Swarovski

Back in Plano, TX in the mall by our apartment there is a Swarovski Crystal store – walking by that store is like staring in the face of an exploding star.  Lots of luxury products, lots of stuff I cannot afford, the color red, and gazillions of sparkling crystals.

One thing I did not know about is Swarovski’s Architectural division; I discovered two products in that division I found interesting – the Honeycomb wall and ceiling products.  Swarovski custom creates these products per each individual consumer order – the product is a lattice work light product, with either an LED or fiber optic-sourced light.  From the website:

A cut crystal, when light falls on it, gleams radiantly in the honeycomb structure on a wall or ceiling. Architecture, light and crystal appear to unite in a fully new way. The extraordinary combination of materials blends completely into the architecture and attracts the glances of the viewers.






Thanks, Daily Icon!

LED Handrails – Good Concept or Potential Graffiti Surface?

I just read an article about lighting for stairwells – an interesting concept that includes illuminated railings along stairway walls:


Zoran Sunjic‘s design for an LED-lit stairway rail is based on the idea that a stairway that has low light can be spruced up by his LED rail, or some energy-hogging fixtures can be replaced by the inventi0n.  At each end of the rail, an LED illuminator lights up the rail – which is designed like a fiber-optic structure.

What do you think?  I think this is a really interesting concept, but as soon as it gets covered with the funk of ten thousand people running their hands all over it, it’s going to look like hell unless it’s maintained and cleaned.  Also, the minute some chump sprays paint on it or carves it up, it might look like crap.  Is the design modular?  That might be pretty handy in public installation situations.

More pics:





Thanks, TrendsNow!

Wybron’s Transition and Autopilot in Amarillo, TX


Wybron put out a press release that I just now got – darn them internets!  They just helped a church in Amarillo, TX make some magic in a very unconventional worship hall setup – arena seating!


When Trinity Fellowship Church of Amarillo, Texas, set out to design a new 4,000-seat sanctuary, it chose a stage in the round – a unique feature for a house of worship.

“We wanted to keep it more intimate. We didn’t just want to expand like a proscenium stage where you have people several hundred yards away,” said Russell Kollaja, Trinity’s lighting designer.

This creative space called for creative lighting, and Wybron played a part with its Autopilot II performer tracking system and Transition fiber-optic illuminator.

As the focal point of the nearly $40 million dollar facility, the 46-foot stage needed to be exceptionally well lit. During the music portion of a service, four lights needed to follow each of the two worship leaders standing on either side of the stage.

In an ordinary building, that might have required eight followspots, but that wasn’t practical for Trinity, said Paul Braile of Top Dog Spotlighting. In this circular room where audience members face each other, the followspots would have been visually distracting to worshippers, blocking views of the room’s several video screens.

“You would need to install truss spots, and that would be downright ugly,” Braile said. “Autopilot was absolutely the perfect call for this church.”

With Autopilot, the two worship leaders remain perfectly lit as they move around the stage. And when the music’s done, Autopilot tracks the pastor as he addresses his message to the 360-degree room.

With the area above the stage more open and visible to the audience, designers decided on something breathtaking: a twinkling fiber-optic starfield created by six Transition fiber-optic illuminators.  With fiber-optic cable inserting through a draped dark cloth, it almost feels like looking up at a night sky, Russell Kollaja said.

“It’s calming and soothing. You don’t look up and see the air ducts, you don’t see cables,” he said.

The entire lighting rig includes about 200 moving lights, with about 20 of them connected to Autopilot, said Niel Galen of Lighting Design Group.

Galen’s firm has worked with the church for several years, ever since the firm helped light the sanctuary for some television specials on marriage. The new rig can also be modified for TV use, Galen said.

“I think it turned out great. The people at Trinity are very happy; they have a killer system that has incredible flexibility for any number of different things they could do down the road,” Galen said.

The church also utilizes Wybron’s Nexera color-mixing luminaires in the children’s area of the campus as well as its west sanctuary. The Nexera combines CMY dichroic color mixing with a powerful light fixture available in profile and wash models.

For more information about Wybron, call (719) 548-9774, e-mail, or visit


The Kurage Lamp Series by Schemata Architecture Office

Fiber optic deliciousness – this series of fixtures from Schemata Architecture Office is a colorful wonderland of fiber optic awesome – clusters of light fibers in some kind of controlled chaos formation.  That’s what I’m calling it, so there.

This work is so crazy and so different to me that I could only use it in architecture that suits it perfectly.  Now I’m looking for the perfect architecture.  Check out the Schemata website, and the Kurage 1, Kurage 2, and Kurage 3 lines.








Thanks, DesignBoom!

Gwenael Nicolas’ Mist Bench


Gwenael Nicolas‘ invention, the Mist Bench, is an interesting creation of a seat and an interactive object.  The fibers in the bench, a coarse blend of optical fibers, respond to people as they get closer to the bench.  The entire bench has been hand-knotted – for me, that’s one of the coolest things about it.

The bench is part of an exhibit called Fiber Senseware, which will be unveiled at the Milan Design Week (which is coming up soon!) and expects to be a hit.




Light Way, the Fiber-Optic Illuminated Baseboard

This is an interesting concept – a baseboard that provides a little illumination on the walls and floor in dark spaces while being low profile and relatively simply.  Light Way, which I first saw on Yanko’s website, is all fiber-optic and takes light from a light pump somewhere in the installation and delivers it to the baseboard lighting devices.

Light Way is made of extruded aluminum and comes in several powder-coated finishes, including a primer finish.  This is supposed to be a solution for places where you can’t have lighting per code, and in recessed places where placing a luminaire is difficult.

Light Way was designed by Hayley Rosen, Dan Tafe, Dan Fichter, and Keshia Stole.