This year's Entertainment Design lighting products of the year represent the most diverse lineup of gear ever, from the refinement of the most basic source of all lighting to the most technically sophisticated moving light the industry has ever seen. Our panel of judges was equally diverse, representing veteran lighting designers and technicians from around the world. The winners have applications in everything from basic community theatre productions to sleek themed retail environments to complex, high-tech corporate events.
This scrolling image projector, which can project colored images, special effects, and graphics produced from any standard ink-jet or laser printer, is an ideal set design option for both small-budget theatrical productions and large-scale events. The FineLite uses a special cooling system and lens configuration along with the brand-new lamp housing from Selecon, and offers a fixed-image plate and a scrolling image module which can accommodate over twenty 4" x 4" frames. The judges liked the "extremely sharp image" the projector created and applauded its low cost.
Gary Fails' tireless efforts to bring this product to the market have paid off. The AutoYoke is a DMX-controlled yoke that can transform any ETC Source Four or Strand SL into a moving light. The unit features 16-bit pan and tilt, iris, and focus, and can control virtually any scroller via a single DMX line. The AutoYoke was designed with a minimum number of moving pieces and a sophisticated power supply, and there are no fans. "Quiet, quiet, quiet," raved the judges. Expect to see this in theatres everywhere.
Leave it to Joe Tawil to reinvent the wheel. The GAM Torch is a smokeless, odorless torch that creates a flame height of up to 16" and has an automatic safety release latch that instantly snuffs out the flames when performers release their grip on the handle. The unit uses clean-burning GAMfuel pellets, which are loaded into the fire chamber; the number of pellets inserted determines the duration of the flame. You may deem this an odd choice for a lighting product of the year, but in many ways, the torch was the original moving light.
This sleek little number, designed for projecting high resolution black-and-white images and single- and multicolor patterns in retail, exhibit, themed, and corporate applications, combines the ability to project any combination of two metal and/or glass patterns with a proprietary self-locking zoom lens system. Judges cited easy access to the fixture's MR-16 lamp and its design aesthetic as two of its strongest points. "This is a fixture you can hang openly and it looks really good," says one.
Three built-in color touchscreens are what separates this console from the others. The GrandMA's TFT-Touch Displays are adjustable and offer fast access to single channels, groups, presets, interactive output sheets, and various other display options for running programs. An additional two external monitors can be used for additional display of groups, presets, and immediate access to channel information. Programs can be changed easily and many lists can be organized as spreadsheets with complete flexibility over the information in each data field or column.
Judges took special notice of the Icon M's "ground-breaking technology." Duh! The Icon M is quite possibly the most significant advance in moving light technology since the advent of the moving light itself. The luminaire replaces mechanical devices with software-controllable, solid-state digital mirror array. Familiar automated lighting attributes like intensity, iris, shutters, and gobos are fully implemented using something called Digital Light Processing (DLP)(TM), and yet can be controlled in real time. If you can create an image on a computer, you can download it immediately and project it out of the fixture. As one noted lighting designer said at LDI, "The Icon M has changed my life."