Since Coemar launched its new Infinity Wash XL luminaire at LDI last year, the unit has been in use quite a bit. Designers have included it on such diverse projects as tours with The Police, Martina McBride, American Idol, and numerous TV projects.
What It Does
The Infinity Wash XL takes full advantage of the Philips FastFit lamp and has variable power from 800W to 1,450W. It has a zoom range from 6° to 80°, without needing to change the lens. The luminaire also has a new, patented CMY color system, the CMY-s, where the “s” stands for saturated. This saturation option allows much deeper colors, especially in the red and blue ranges. The unit also includes an indexable beam shaper that can rotate 360°; some internal dynamic effects, including multicolor and moon flower; and, by having the ability to go so narrow, ACL-style effects. The fixture comes standard with an electronic strobe, five colors on a color wheel, an optional proportional CTO filter, full-range dimmer, and electronic ballast. With 16-bit movement, the unit has a pan range of 538° and a tilt range of 262°. The lamp is a Philips MSR 1200 SA/SE Fast Fit — 1,400W with a color temperature of 6,300°K and an average rated life of 750 hours. You can interface with the fixture through the onboard LCD and emulate all functions with the Coemar DR 1 handheld controller, which allows bi-directional control. The onboard control system uses a rechargeable battery setup, so it is possible to access the fixture — without powering it up — to program the unit or upgrade the software. It also has an electronic ballast with power-factor correction that covers a range of 200 to 208/230/240V, 50/60Hz; it draws 8A at 230V.
“The Infinity Wash XL was created from a concept put together with our American distributor, Inner Circle Distribution (ICD), and was designed to blur the line between a wash and a spot,” comments Fausto Orsotti, Coemar's international sales manager. “While listening to the American market about the need to use spots as washes, Coemar decided to take an opposite approach to achieve the desired results in a much better fashion. By utilizing the large aperture of a wash beam and managing a splitting effect to create movement and breakup looks, we achieved a spectacularly bright fixture that not only has 6° to 80° zoom with no lens changes, incredible beam effects, and a new color-mixing system patented as the CMY-s system. The CMY-s color system allows the user to not only get standard CMY colors, but also to expand the range of color drastically by using the ‘s’ for saturation within the colors. There are no extra filters to create this, allowing the fixture to stay amazingly bright while producing deep reds, Congo blues, greens, etc.”
How It Came To Be
Recently, Coemar has taken a different approach to product development. According to Orsotti, “In the past, Coemar had very much relied on its own creativity and innovation. It was a fantastic, creative period.” Realizing a much more global approach was necessary to gain further share of the worldwide lighting market, Coemar adapted a new strategy that the company calls ‘develop on demand,’ or DOD. “With this strategy, we compile research accumulated from our team throughout the world and try to find holes in the market,” says Orsotti. “Unlike many other manufacturers that try and play catch up with each other, we are always trying to take the creative approach and lead the market. We are building useful products for professionals of all levels in the lighting business, requested by these same groups. Our key is that we do not just stop with the designers. In our DOD process, we interview technicians, gaffers, programmers, shop technicians, etc. When we feel there is a general consensus toward a certain direction, we apply our skills as innovators and take it from there. The Infinity Wash XL was heavily influenced by researchers in the US, led by our team at ICD.”
Orsotti notes that the company typically works about a year-and-a-half in advance on development before a product launch. “Our plans for release at LDI are only known by our researchers and studies in our DOD process,” he says. “I would rather not reveal specifics, but I would like to say we are adding yet another workhorse fixture to our LITE LED range. You can also expect to see an addition to our Infinity range that will be in the final stages of completion during LDI.”
What End-Users Have To Say
“Since I first saw the unit at the Coemar factory, I was impressed mainly by two features: power and beam spread,” comments lighting designer and director of photography Giovanni Pinna (www.giovannipinna.com). “So when I started my lighting design for a huge Italian rock production — Vasco Rossi — and had to light up a very big surface of scenery, my first thought was, ‘Why not Infinity Wash XL instead of the usual Panorama? I can get more and have a lot of extras as compared to a static fixture.’ 80° is a lot, and the output loss is more than acceptable for such a large beam,” he says. “A word must be said for the moonflower effect, finally something new on a wash unit.” He does have a couple of requests for changes that he would like to see in the Infinity Wash. “As usual, I would love to see some weight loss together with some shrinking of the dimensions. I'm currently touring with 12 units, and it looks like a good product and satisfies my needs.”
Lighting director/freelance gaffer David Oakes of TriCity Photon Research has been working on a number of television projects with Allen Branton using the Infinity Wash XL. He says the unit was chosen for its ability to throw long distances and also for its effects. When asked what one feature he really likes about the unit, Oakes replies, “The effects — it is like no other wash light out there. It has been very reliable on the five or six broadcasts where we have used it. Maintenance issues were minimal or nonexistent, which is very important due to condensed production schedules.”
LD Tom Kenny chose the Infinity Wash XL for its color and beams. “The beam of light is absolutely brilliant — indoors and outdoors, as well as its capacity to mix gorgeous colors,” he says. Kenny has lit many projects with the Infinity, from recent shows with The Who to Garth Brooks at Radio City. “It has been the workhorse of my designs around the world,” he adds. “I love the beam work and its ability to light huge surfaces with one source. Its color far outshines any of its competitors.” If there were one thing that Kenny would like to see improved, it would be more availability. “I've used them in every capacity now and found them reliable. They outshine any other product.”
Carlos Colina, a lighting designer at Univision Network, says he likes to use new fixtures on his shows and is always looking for something different. “After the demo I got from ICD, I was sold on using them,” he says. “I would have to say that my favorite feature is the extreme zoom lens — 6° to 80°. It gives me a variety of ways to use the fixture. Beams, washlight, breakup patterns on the floor — it's endless the ways you can use it. The other feature I'm really impressed by is the dynamic saturated colors. You have an endless choice of colors without a drop in footcandles, which is a downfall of most other washlights, especially at the heights I use them, which can range anywhere from 40' to 65'.” Colina has not used the fixture for very long and does not have any improvements as yet. “I think that once I continue to use them, I would have a better idea of what needs to be improved. As with any other fixtures, there can always be improvements.”
For further information about the Coemar Infinity Wash XL, please go to www.coemar.com.
Michael S. Eddy writes about design and technology. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.