Tech Topics

The Secret World of LED Colour

Posted on Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Written by: Brad Schiller

The popularity of LED lighting has certainly taken ahold of our industry, and nearly every production now incorporates some form of LED-source products. Many wash lights are being replaced with LED fixtures, and now even LED ellipsoidals and automated spots are beginning to emerge from the major manufacturers. All these products generally operate very similarly to other automated luminaires, however there are important color differences that must be considered by an automated lighting programmer.

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The Lighting Archive gets another full plot

Posted on Monday, October 22nd, 2012

The full paperwork for the 1953 Broadway production of “Wonderful Town” has now been added to the valuable on-line collection of lighting history at The Lighting Archive.

This site is well worth a visit to see original paperwork for major US shows dating as far back as the 1930s.

It includes designs from, Ken Billington, Nicola Cernovitch, Peggy Clark, Gilbert Hemsley and the legendary Jean Rosenthal.

There are even more historical Broadway  lighting design documents, from designers including Tharon Musser, Thomas Skelton, Jules Fisher and Richard Nelson  in  the New York  Public Library’s Theatrical Lighting Database


Dealing with Loss

Posted on Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Written by: Brad Schiller

This month, I am writing to all of you about a serious situation in our industry. Every production inevitably ends up suffering from this serious condition at some point in preproduction, or even after the show opens. It is time that we all work together as professionals to help reduce further occurrences of this terrible state of affairs. As I am sure most of you reading this are aware, all too often, cues and looks get programmed and never used.

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…And Then There’s the Other Guy

Posted on Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Written by: Nook Schoenfeld

Last month, I wrote about the benefits of working with some small lighting companies. But this article is dedicated to the shoddy lighting vendors out there. They will promise you the world and an abundance of fabulous gear. But as soon as you get to the gig, it doesn’t take long to realize some salesman/owner of a little company has bent you over a barrel. I’m like an elephant. I don’t forget these people.

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How to Meet Hot Fixtures

Posted on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Written by: Brad Schiller

Welcome to the newest service in the lighting industry:  It is very important for automated lighting programmers to get to know and fully understand the lighting fixtures they will work with.  Our on-line guide (reprinted here) will assist you in your daily interactions with new fixtures.  Often, programmers can be at a loss as to how to fully function with new fixtures, and it is essential that you learn the traits that will assist you with your programming.  We have broken down the relationship process into several easy steps.

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Bringing LEDs Into Focus

Posted on Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

by Michael S. Eddy

No doubt, LEDs are all the rage. With lower prices, higher power and improving quality, it’s tempting to consider them viable for every application. Yet trouble-shooting, maintenance and debate over color temperature can complicate matters. Our panel of experts weigh in with advice.

As the use of Light Emitting Diodes (LED) has grown for theatrical lighting applications, most of the fixtures offered have been PAR and floods with red, green, and blue (RGB) LEDs ganged up for washes of color. Today there are some good white-light LED options available as well, and in the past two years manufacturers have been tackling the goal of producing a profile fixture with an LED light engine. While some refer to profile fixtures as ellipsoidals, they technically aren’t since they don’t use an elliptical reflector. They use shutters and a lens system for beam control so they are referred to as a profile. There is now a range of profiles with LED light engines from a selection of manufacturers that offer beam control with shutters and the ability to add gobos for pattern projection. Manufacturers also are producing Fresnels powered by LEDs that have spot-to-flood control-and the barndoors can actually shape the beam.

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Time to Get Organized

Posted on Monday, June 18th, 2012

Written by: Brad Schiller

The other day I was watching an episode of The Simpsons and Homer was hanging out at home.  He was at a loss as to what to do, so he grabbed the label maker and stuck labels on every item in the kitchen.  He was very thorough to the point that each egg had a label that simply said “egg.”  While this type of organizational skill is a bit over-the-top, automated lighting programmers need to be very organized and label as much as they can within their show file.  Good organizational skills lead to faster programming and easier to understand console layouts.

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