One of the industry’s most important events of the year has just come to a close. We are of course talking about LDI in Las Vegas, which celebrated its 30th birthday in 2018, marking what is certainly an important milestone in the exhibition sector of the industry.
This edition exhibited substantial growth when compared to previous years, with some interesting world premieres that will land in Europe in the coming months. As usual, let’s start with some of the statistics for this thirtieth edition. The Expo has seen the presence of almost 400 exhibitors, with around 14,000 individuals attending in total. Amongst these, we’ve found an abundance of true professionals, passionate in their fields with calendars full of events, including participation in over 100 training sessions alongside many conferences and opportunities for networking and knowledge sharing. It’s worth mentioning that, as it does every year, the rich calendar of seminars and events takes to the stage days before the actual beginning of main exhibition, so it’s quite hard for many “foreigners” to set aside more than a week of time to stay in Las Vegas that would be required to attend the duration.
Once again, Vegas has certainly proved to be the ideal location for this type of event, with a high-level of organisation, a more than excellent level of hospitality and excellent logistical management within the well-designed Convention Centre. Moreover, the layout of the fair, whose pavilions were relocated two years ago, was completely redesigned with different position of pavilions and corridors, providing wider spaces that contributed to a feeling of greater extension.
Of course (and this is in our opinion based upon some really interesting data) this year’s LDI has been able to capture a high quality audience with a huge networking effort. We also have to point out a very good habit that we’ve noticed companies adopting, especially those in the Anglo-Saxon world. This is the acquisition of new and young staff, with fresh ideas, clearly visible within the key roles of companies. These open minded, well-prepared and meticulous individuals are really breathing new life into communications and advertising, which is certainly very refreshing to see!
Other data worth highlighting relates to the opening of the LDI audio world. For some years now, the expo has attempted to open up to this market, however this year saw a particular effort thanks to an outdoor area with the presence of incredible exhibitors such as RCF, dBTechnologies, Coda Audio, Electro Voice, Allen & Heath, Void and others. The inflow relating to this sector has been discreet, but with high quality, and we are sure that over the years LDI will be able to involve more and more companies in this sector.
Focussing particularly on products, there were many good innovations at the show, but none that really produced the WOW effect that we are sometimes lucky enough to witness. In general, there is certainly an improvement in the design of hybrid projectors, now more complete products that are able to perform fully in all modes. Alongside this we see particular attention and research being invested into colour by many companies, as well as the desire to improve the compatibility between systems and products. The latter can be seen in the case of the project (initially involving Vectorworks, MA Lighting and Robe) surrounding the development of the General Device Type Format (GDTF) standard, which we will go into in the near future.
Let’s start with an absolute debut by Adam Hall, who chose LDI to present their first professional series of mobile heads. The Cameo OPUS series has made its debut here in Las Vegas, with the models OPUS SP5, OPUS SP5 FC and OPUS S5. OPUS SP5 is a 500 watt mobile profile head with a luminous flux of 15,000 lumens and a mixed CMY and CTO linear colour system.Thanks to the good quality optics provided by the 130 mm front lens, the projector offers a large zoom range from 6 to 42 degrees and allows for extremely smooth projections without hot spots. OPUS SP5 FC is instead an RGBAL-LED profile moving head and, with only 300 watts, is able to reach a luminous flux of 9,000 lumens and a CRI> 90 / TLCI 93. Thanks to the high quality optical system, with an angle of variable emission from 6 to 44 degrees, the fixture ensures uniform projections without shadows. The OPUS S5 mobile head is the smallest fixture in the OPUS family, with a 380 watt LED source, output of 17,500 lumens, CMY mixing and linear CTO correction from 6,500 to 2,600 K.
Another novelty is Cameo AZOR B1, the new 100-watt compact beam capable of expressing up to 180,000 lux. Its particular glass lens has an extremely reduced emission angle of just 2 degrees. Thanks to the 14 intense colours plus white, split colorus and 17 static gobo wheels, it allows for the creation of new and interesting mid-air effects.
After the successful launch of the ZENIT W600 in Las Vegas, Cameo also presents the new ZENIT W300 outdoor washlight which, thanks to the 21W RGBW 15W LEDs, offers a high luminous flux of 10,000 lumens for intense colour mixes. This wash light has an emission angle of between 21 and 40 degrees. Optional accessories allow the user to obtain alternative emission angles, which are quick and easy to attach thanks to the SnapMag filter holder frame. The professional features onboard continue with the 2.4 GHz integrated W-DMX transceiver and the RDM, DMX or infrared control. The IP65 classification guarantees long-lasting outdoor use.
Elation has introduced many innovations at LDI 2018. These include the new Rayzor 760 with the innovative TwinkLED system, the IP65 Proteus Rayzor 760 version, the Van Gogh Artiste, and the new powerful and compact Wash and Proteus Smarty Hybrid – an IP65 hybrid projector. In particular, Rayzor 760 is the 7 cell version of the famous Rayzor 360, a compact but extremely powerful wash fixture with the TwinkLED ™ system – an innovative LED layer on the front lenses. This is a completely new concept, with 8200 lumens of brightness, produced through a very narrow beam of intense light through to a wide-angle zoom, similar to that of the Rayzor 360. The 8 to 77 degree zoom provides intense and well-defined light beams in mid-air. The TwinkLED ™ system, which consists of 28 white LEDs mounted in strategic positions within the same front lens, offers an innovative effect thanks to the special high-brightness of the LED pixels. The 7 60W RGBW LEDs can be controlled independently, delivering a total power of 420W.
Claypaky presents 5 new products from the Axcor line, alongside their brand new Sharpy Plus. Amongst the most important debuts, there is the Axcor Spot 400, which supplies a compact and bright LED moving light to the medium-power market. Inside, 2 rotating gobo wheels can be found, both in dichroic glass, for a total of 14 rotating gobos. We also find an Animation disc, a rotating prism, motorised iris, 16-bit dimmer and a zoom with a 5.5 ° -55 ° range.
SHARPY PLUS is instead a completely hybrid projector, adaptable both as a beam moving light and as a spotlight. Equipped with a new Osram Sirius 330W X8 discharge lamp with very high light output, it weighs only 21.6 kg. All of its functions are extremely rapid, allowing for fast snapping and speedy design movements. A linear zoom from 3 ° to 36 ° (1: 9) covers the whole range incredibly linearly, both in SPOT mode and in BEAM mode. In beam mode, Sharpy Plus emits a light output of more than 300,000 lux at 10m distance.
ADB has presented their Art Centric Lighting range, ideal for lighting works of art. The series uses energy-saving LED light sources that do not alter the materials with which the various works of art are made.
Particularly interesting is the LEXPERT family. This is made up of a Profile Spot available in 3200K and 5600K versions, with 15°-30° or 25°-50° zoom; a Fresnel comparable to a 1K halogen, with motorised zoom from 8 ° to 80 °; and the Emphasy compact pure profile, available with 19°, 26°, 36° or 50° optics, CRI≥95 and 3200K or 5600K colour temperature.
High End Systems chose Las Vegas for the debut of their new SolaSpot 3000, with a brightness of more then 37,000 lumens, three gobo wheels for a total of 21 combinations, animated wheels with graphic and glass structures, a light and heavy frost filter, three and eight-sided prisms, alongside many other features.
News also from ETC, who presents its first Relevè LED moving head, designed for high-level professional applications with precise colour control and the possibility to create a wide range of natural shades, all with a brightness of 6,000 lumen. The fixture presents an advanced series of effects, which allow for a variety of beam types as well as spectacular effects emulating fire, water and leaves. These are achieved using an innovative system called Ani-gobo. It is also equipped with some features particularly useful for theatre and television applications where silence is required. Among the features, the RGIL Additive LED system (ColorSource Deep Blue) brings life to saturated colours and different colour temperatures. We also find a zoom range of 18°-54°, with variable frost, and the Whisper Home function that allows for the calibration of the pan and tilt parameters with extreme silence.
Robe’s presentation went beyond the classic demo-show with a real high-level show, staged as part of a trilogy of events; the first performed at PLASA, the second at LDI, and the last being performed in Frankfurt at Prolight + Sound 2019. We really do hope that this kind of initiative will be adopted by many other companies, because they are certainly good for the market, making trade show even more interesting and adding an extra level of attraction to the shows. This original approach from the Czech company made it possible for visitors to see the company’s new T1 Profile at work – a fixture ideal for various applications, from TV to theatre, through to tours and events. Inside, an innovative LED source with MSL (Multi-Spectral Light) technology, achieves a high CRI. We also have a CMY colour mixing system, and the possibility of adjusting the colour temperature from 2700 K to 8000 K. The feature set is completed by the extremely precise 18-bit dimmer, a plus/minus-green channel, the management of LED flicker through direct frequency modification, and an extremely precise framing system that sits alongside the graphic wheel, gobos wheels, frost management and prism effect.
For the first time in the US , we also see the new Super Spikie, who made its debut at PLASA just a month before. It is a projector that can produce a more powerful beam than the original Spikie and, when combined with the new rotating gobos, it is able of creating interesting mid-air effects. The light beam comes from a 250w RGBW LED source and can be manipulated using a three-sided circular prism. Features include 3.5 ° – 35 ° zoom in beam mode or 5 °-42 ° in wash mode, alongside infinite pan and tilt. Colour mixing is extremely efficient with a CTO range of 2,700K to 8000K.
Philips Vari Lite introduce the brand new VL10 BeamWash, a compact fixture with fast and precise movements, capable of producing a light beam with a power of 28,000 lumens thanks to the Philips 25R Platinum 550W source. Inside, the VL * FX animation wheel allows the user to create dynamic and original mid-air beams, whilst a CYM colour mixing system is flanked by a colour wheel and zoom range of 2.2 ° – 48 . We also find a narrow beam function, which produces an aperture of only 0.7 °.
Another new fixture is the SPX LED WW profile, a high-efficiency LED profile comparable to a 575W halogen fixture with a warm white 2950K source. Amongst the features is the zoom range of 15°-35° or 25°-50°, fixed optics at 14°, 19°, 26°, 36° and 50°, and the possibility of control via DMX and RDM.
Martin By Harman presents the new and innovative Rush MH 10 Beam FX, a 60W RGBW LED moving head with an independent LED crown composed of 24 individually controllable sources alongside a central beam. The Osram Ostar source is able to generate advanced colour mixing, compatible with MAC products Aura, RUSH MH 6, and Rush Par 2. Other features are continuous tilt and pan movement, the possibility of inserting pre-programmed effects, electronic shutter, and the presence of the virtual colour function with 33 total presets.
There were also many innovation from GLP, who increase their hugely successful impression series with the E350 and S350 models. E350 is equipped with a newly developed LED source capable of producing a powerful beam, making it ideal for live applications and installations, as well as television applications thanks to the flicker-free function. The source’s colour temperature is equal to 7,500K, and the fixture allows for the creation of interesting mid-air effects thanks to the zoom range of 7°-48°, with a beam of 9500lm. The CMY mixing system is flanked by an independent channel for temperature regulation. Also present an eight-facet prism, two frost filters (light and heavy), an animation wheel with tilt movement, two gobo wheels and a colour wheel with 10 slots. Impression S350 is equipped with a full spectrum LED source with CRI> 90, ideal for generating saturated and pastel colours, and a framing system that is rotatable up to 90°.
ROE, a company specialising in the creation of LEDWall modules, has presented some important news surrounding their Carbon Series. This technology is already used in the tours of Ed Sheeran, U2, Metallica, Imagine Dragons, alongside many international artists, as well as numerous Broadway musicals, such as Disney’s Frozen. Also present is a new series of LEDWall fixtures manufactured in carbon fibre and aluminum, known as Air Frame. This technology dramatically reduces set-up time, thanks to an innovative interlocking system. It is a durable and lightweight product, optimised for use with the Visual Carbon family of panels, and it can be mounted suspended or on the ground. We also see the Sapphire series, which allows the user to access to the internal electronics from the front side, alongside a pixel pitch of 1.545mm, a weight of around 4kg per panel and a pixel density of 418.9K LED per square meter. As for floor LED visuals, we see Black Marble with 4.7mm and 15.2mm pixel pitches and 16 integrated high-power LEDs for spotlight effects.