For those of you who followed our news directly from Prolight & Sound 2017, and kept up to date with our first impressions, you would probably agree that the show has not really yielded any ground-breaking releases into the lighting sector. Instead, there have certainly been many improvements made to existing products and concepts, leaving aside the “wow products” and showing great attention to professionals and end users. This is quite natural, after years of continuous innovation it seems that the companies are trying to make a defined point by shifting the focus to refinement, quality and ease of use.
Many companies not considered to be the “top players” within the market have started to dedicate more attention to CRI and TLCI values, such as the Italiant companies Arena Luci and Sagitter, who have made improvements to the separation between their optics, achieving better colour mixing. Another example of this is from Yes Tech, who have developed the versatility of LED panels to create new and original solutions for a staggered assembly, and the curved arrangement of modules. Also we have the new “click and lock” system from Absen, which allows the connection between LED modules to be made with a single movement, without the user releasing their hands from the unit from the moment the panel is removed from the flight case, until it is positioned in the video wall.
We noticed some particular improvements regarding Architeinment products, ideal for use in architectural applications and events. DTS presented Brick, a high power fixture, versatile and flexible in its design, being compact, practical and of a very low weight. The interchangeable optical system is particularly focused on ease of use, because it doesn’t require the use of tools.
A feature that is comparable in terms of practicality, but that does not intervene directly with the lens, is the Cameo Zenith W600 (an Adam Hall brand), which instead uses a magnetic support for the positioning of the filter, allowing the user to vary the width of the beam.
Elation launched Paladin, an extremely versatile IP65 wash blinder with zoom of 9-25 degrees, which will be present in large quantities in the forthcoming edition of the European Song Contest in Ukraine.
Finally, still talking about architeinment, Ayrton launched MagicBlade-FX, a LED bar composed of seven independent sources with well designed optics, and capable of precise colour mixing, with a zoom lens that ranges from 3.5 ° to 52 °.
Speaking of improvements, Robe introduced RoboSpot, a remote controlled follow-spot system compatible with any product from the Robe BMFL range. It is a simple control unit, capable of communicating with a camera mounted on the BMFL, allowing the user to follow an object or track an individual. BMFL LightMaster is a system consisting of hand grips and controllers that allows a BMFL fixture to be transformed into a follow-spot.
Claypaky focusses on colour quality with K-eye, a fixture similar to the well known B-Eye in regard to the structure ,but with a Multichip with RGBACL Source (Red Green Blue Cyan Amber Lime); and on source quality with the Axcor Profile 900, a white engine fixture with an 880W LED source at 6000k, the first LED light source on the market capable of expressing such a high power level. Philips Vari-Lite introduces the new VLZ series consisting of spot, profile and wash fixtures with white LED light sources, capable of expressing 25,000 lumens thanks to a front lens of 180mm.
Martin, in contrast to its direct competitors, presented the THRILL series, a line of devices dedicated to DJs, musicians and music lovers. The series offers all the advantages of plug-and-play systems with the addition of advanced and user-friendly features, whilst maintaining the quality that distinguishes the company, from Harman Group.
Spotlight has presented the Vedette 450CW follow-spot, with an LED light source comparable to a 1200 discharge lamp. You can interchange the lenses between standard, long and short, all of which are compatible with the 200W and 250W products.
Moving onto controllers, we found many software improvements proposed by the major manufacturers. Worth noting is the new MagicQ Stadium Wing, from Chamsys, winners of a Pipa Award for the MQ500 as best console, and the new compact console Gio @5 from ETC. Equipped with 5 motorised faders with the possibility of page change, and capable of handling up to 64 universes, the desk features an integrated 17″ touch screen, as well as offering the possibility of connecting two external multi touch screens.
With regard to structures we found many innovations aimed to assist the installer. One example comes from Area 4 Industries who proposed Litec, an innovative system that allows re-alignment and balance of a truss when using irregular suspension points or that are slightly offset.
The giant of rigging has also decided to focus on training with a series of tips, guides and online videos that teach the best use of its products.
Improvements also within the laser market, with Pangolin integrating the FB4 and FB3 interfaces in special boxes that allow use as both as a splitter and as a kind of matrix for the distribution of the source to multiple fixtures.
For fans of 3D CAD, Vectorworks proposes a useful feature that allows the inclusion of motor points, with weight calculation on a single point, taking into account truss, fixtures, motors and adjustable levels. In addition, you can export a list of motor points with their respective loads to a PDF file.
In short, an edition of ProLight & Sound with no breathtaking news within the lighting industry, but instead many small adjustments and improvements, testifying a greater focus on research and development by the companies. A trend, at least with regards to the lighting and video sectors, less commercial and more technical, dedicated to professional users, who are searching for quality and the ease and speed of use. This, in turn, could explain an apparent decline in terms of visitors, but an increase in quality and appropriateness. Less collectors of gadgets and curious visitors, but certainly more fruitful meetings at the various stands, both in terms of business and professional growth.
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