For a while there, it didn't look like LDI 2001 was going to happen. After the events of September 11, there were those in the industry suggesting that the show's organizers should cancel this year's event, or at least postpone it to a later date. In light of this uncertainty, and with preregistration down from the previous year just a few short weeks before the event, the LDI exhibitor committee, the LDI event staff, representatives from ESTA, PLASA, the staffs of Entertainment Design and Lighting Dimensions, and numerous dealers and manufacturers discussed the pros and cons of keeping the show going on a conference call involving over 35. Despite a few misgivings, the overwhelming majority of the participants wanted to go on with the show, and a letter was drafted and signed by all involved expressing support for the decision.

Things started to pick up from there. An email campaign including the letter, plus a whole lot of phone calls, got the word around. Registrations started to pick up. Where preregistration had been off by 10 to 15%, it was picking back up to the point that right before the show there were 10,000 people signed up. Now the real trick was to see how many showed up and actually picked up a badge. With a number of the passes being free, the show's organizers would not know until the show opened what attendance would really be like.

But thanks to the unprecedented expression of support from both exhibitors and attendees apparently eager to get back to a normal routine, LDI 2001 was a hit. In the end, organizers tallied over 400 exhibitors and over 7,000 attendees; while down from previous years, that number proved surprisingly healthy to all parties involved. Manufacturers were impressed with the quality of the attendees and appreciated that they could spend a bit more time with visitors, without having to shortchange anyone. The exhibitors were happy. The attendees were happy that they had come; what looked at first to be a dry year with little new technology, turned out to be a fantastic show for introducing new products.

Almost too fantastic — the awards committee was overwhelmed with myriad nominated products plus quite a few products discovered on the show floor and added to consideration. The judging committee has some pretty strict rules about what a new product was and one of them is: “Is it a real product or is it a prototype? Is it really in production and is the company ready to sell it?” This forced the committee to discount until next year some very exciting products and technologies. Meanwhile, those products that did win were equally innovative.

Click here for the list of LDI Award winners

In addition to the exhibition, LDI held its annual conference and workshop sessions that provide entertainment design professionals with the latest and greatest technologies of the industry. In addition to the conferences and workshops during the show, LDInstitute® took place before the exhibit hall opened. LDInstitute® was held on October 29-November 1 and provided focused, in-depth training covering a wide-array of topics and techniques including ESTA training. LDI also welcomed the return of ExpoLatina, the conference and exhibit track geared towards Latin American attendees and exhibitors interested in Latin American business opportunities. ExpoLatina offered a number of conference sessions conducted in Spanish to accommodate the growing Latin American market segment.

In the wake of recent tragic events, LDI wanted to get involved and help out the recovery process by holding a raffle on the show floor to benefit victims of the recent attacks. The raffle resulted in a donation of nearly $900 to the Red Cross and winners of the raffle were presented with prizes at the LDI Awards ceremony.

What follows is an extremely brief overview of some of new products that were unveiled on the show floor in Orlando. See you next year in at LDI in Las Vegas.

Altman Lighting continues to make advances in the architectural market. New for LDI was the Mirage Wall Wash, a lightweight, compact, semi-recessed luminaire created to provide an even wash of light on any flat surface. The unit's patented optical system allows it to operate on 12' centers; it is designed exclusively for use with 10,000-hour 39W, 70W, or 150W ceramic metal halide lamps. Altman also had its new MR-16 Jazz Striplight, which is available in four sizes of one, two, three, and four circuits. The unit is lighter and smaller than its previous MR-16 strips and includes neon indicator lamps to indicate lamp failure.

American Harlequin showed the Activity Sprung Floor System, which is designed to provide uniform performance across the whole floor, reduce vibration, and cut down on noise. The system is comprised of a fully floating composite construction of semi-flexible panels supported on a cellular layer and covered with a Harlequin dance surface.

Apollo was showing its Spectra Q Scrollers, available in seven sizes. These scrollers used to be the Chroma Q units. Also on display was a combination SuperHolder for the Source Four ellipsoidal to hold A&B-size metal and B-size glass patterns. Other new products included SuperLife AL Gobos manufactured from 10-mil aluminum, which are designed to last up to seven times longer than stainless-steel gobos as well as for permanent installations.

Applied Electronics had a number of new products in its booth, including the Celco DMX Recorder, which will record up to one hour of DMX information when it is hooked up in line with the console. The unit can recall up to four presets each up to 15 minutes DMX information.

Artistic Licence showed the Down-Link, part of the company's growing range of Art-Net-compliant ethernet products. Down-Link, which converts ethernet data into two universes of DMX512, is housed in a standard “two-gang” panel that is compatible with all standard UK conduit and surface mount boxes.

Avolitespresented the Diamond 4 console, designed for large-scale shows, festivals, concerts, events, and multi-purpose venues. Key features include 28 cue playback masters, 200 pages; 128 preset fully legended preset faders, configurable as fixture master or cue masters, 200 pages (a preset faders can control a case, cue or fixture).

City Theatrical has added units to the growing AutoYoke line, including ones for the Strand 2kW Bambino Fresnel and SL ellipsoidal and the ETC Source Four PARNel. Also released is an EFX Idea Book with different effects possible for the EFX Plus II.

Clay Paky,distributed in the US by Group One, presented new silent versions of its Stage Line, including the Stage Profile 1200SV, the Stage Color 1200SV, and the Stage Zoom 1200SV. These versions reduce noise by over 50%, thanks to a new cooling system. Other products on display included the Golden Spot 1200, a moving-body effects projector with an HMI 1,200W/S lamp; the Golden Color 1200, a washlight; the Color CYC, an accessory for Clay Paky washlights, and the CP Color, a line of new color changers, designed for live performance and architectural markets.

The newest item at the Clear-Com booth was the Vega Q700, a programmable, frequency-agile wireless intercom system consisting of up to six full-duplex belt packs per rack mountable master stations.

Coemar,now a part of Tracoman, had many new products. Leading the pack was the iSpot range of automated lights. Of the three units (150, 250, and 575), the most unique is the iSpot 150; its special programmed playback facility means the unit can operate in the absence of a controller, with its onboard controller allowing nine programs of up to 144 scenes. The iSpot fixtures also feature a dichroic cold mirror for increased light output.

Color Kineticsshowed the C-Splash, a digital lighting unit for underwater locations, the iColor® Cove LT, a cove unit designed for installations requiring lower-intensity light output and lower cost; and iPlayer® 2, the next generation of the company's compact iPlayer show storage and playback device, which offers eight times the original show storage capacity and multishow storage.

Compulitehas come up with the Rave, a new lighting control console designs for light jockeys, DJs, rental houses, trade shows, and other live venues. It can control up to 100 channels, 40 moving lights, and 20 additional DMX devices, even though it is a compact unit. Compulite is distributed in the US by SSP International.

Diversitronics showed off its line of strobe fixtures, including the new Mark 3000 Strobe, which features 24,000W peak flash intensity, 1,500,000 candela output, DMX input and thru connections as well as analog (0-10V) input, and thru connections with four — pin XLR connectors.

ETC unveiled one of the most provocative prototypes at the show with Emphasis, a new lighting control system that combines the features of the company's Express® and Expression® control boards with a new version of Cast Lighting's WYSIWIG lighting visualization software. With Emphasis, for the first time, all the tools are in one place to develop a lighting design from start to finish. Emphasis is scheduled to ship in April and is sure to be one of the most sought-after and discussed products in 2002.

Electronics Diversified premiered the Big Stik, a portable dimmer system with three-phase power input that accommodates three 2.4kW and six 1.2kW configurations. The system is convection-cooled and features low-voltage control circuitry in DMX512 format.

Extron showed the USP 405 universal signal processor, an all-in-one high-performance scaler, scan converter, transconverter, format converter, and transcoder. The unit accepts a wide range of video input signals and transcodes them, or converts them up or down into a number of different signal formats.

Doug Fleenor Designs' new products included Wall-Mounted Combiners, designed for use in permanent installations, which can accept as many as six DMX512 inputs. DMX connections are made with pluggable terminal blocks and the power connection can be plugged into a wall outlet or into a terminal strip.

Just published by Focal Press is the second edition of Lighting Technology by Brian Fitt and Joe Thornley. Subtitled “A Guide for Television, Film, and Theatre,” the book is meant to be a comprehensive on-the-job tool for easy reference.

GAM Products introduced SoloSpin and TwinSpin II, indexing pattern rotators using a DMX signal to control position and speed of the pattern. SoloSpin rotates one glass or metal gobo pattern at a time, and TwinSpin II rotates two patterns in opposite directions. The rotators are designed for use in the ETC Source Four, Altman Shakespeare, and Strand SL ellipsoidal spotlights.

Gala touted its spate of recent projects as well as showing off the new Gala Venue concept, which features a seating riser system that transforms flat floor areas into various levels or inclined seating configurations within a few minutes.

General Electric Lighting introduced a single-ended HMI lamp line designed for automated fixtures. The CSR575/2/SE, CSR700/2/SE, CSR1200/2/SE is scheduled for limited production to begin in January with full production scheduled for March.

High End Systems had a large booth with a number of new products. The winner of the Product of the Year Lighting/Entertainment was the Catalyst (which was also named an ED Lighting Product of the Year). Also on display was the Wholehog III, with two full-color LCD displays. The Hog III runs unlimited DMX universes through satellite DMX hubs, linked via ethernet. This new Hog has an updated fixture library that compensates for variations between fixtures and lets the operator program while it figures out how to accomplish the desired effects.

It's not every day that a major new moving light company makes its LDI debut, but that's just what happened this year, with Hubbell Entertainment, Inc. making its professional bow with the Helux automated wash fixture, the Helux automated profile fixture, and the Helux automated recessed fixture, all of which come in 150, 250, and 400W versions.

Interactive Technologies is at it again, expanding on its portable Sidewinder. A new version of the Sidewinder DMX interface is now available that is designed to be rack-mountable. The new Sidewinder XR has the same great features as the original Sidewinder Portable, but it adds four more user-definable macro buttons (for a total of eight), external contact closure inputs (for attaching to external switches), direct universal voltage input, and a rack-mountable case.

Lee Filters' new Quick Rolls, co-winner of the LDI Widget of the Year award, the ESTA Dealers Choice Award, and an EDDY Lighting Product Award, introduces gel in a 25'-long roll, to make cutting less cumbersome and cut down on wasted gel. The idea is that you buy a Quick Roll in the sizes of popular color frames, i.e., 6.25", 7.5", 10", and now you only have to cut off what you need.

Lehigh Electric Products introduced a digital dimmer rack with up to one-hundred-twenty 2.4kW dimmers. The system features dimmer feedback and status reporting, ethernet network option, advanced configuration programming, and 99 backup cues.

Le Maitre Special Effects won for the Best Small Booth Design as well as having a series of new products. Their fog solutions booth, with the flaming roof, was a definite eye catcher. New products included the Fog Floor Pocket, Fob Blade and Fog Curtain, definitely getting people to re-think how they use fog.

Leprecon presented the LDI debut of the new LP-X24 console, with features that include color, beam, focus, and intensity presets, with individual fade times for each attribute. An onboard effects generator gives the operator the ability to instantly create patterns and effects.

New products from Leviton included the Power Light line of plugs and connects, available in 15, 20, and 30A 125V straight blade and locking configurations and a new line of Lev-UPS uninterruptible power supplies.

Lightronics introduced the new AF-3007 fully digital wall-mounted remote unit, which works in concert with the AR-1202 architectural dimmer. The unit features a master fader and six individual faders for manual control of six scenes prestored in the dimmer.

Lycian showed the new M2, a modular, customizable followspot, which allows you to choose between a 1,200W or 2,500W lamp house, a regular or deluxe gate module, and your choice of short, medium, or long throw.

MA Lighting, distributed in the US by AC Lighting Inc., showed the grandMA ultra-light, a small but powerful 1,024-channel console that features the same software as the grandMA and grandMA light consoles, but is extremely portable and adaptable. Most intriguing was the grandMA 3D grandView, a new visualization program for Windows PCs. It connects to any grandMA console directly, via ethernet, and allows designers and programmers to pre-program their consoles in a highly realistic virtual environment; a special 3D option is obtained by using special glasses.

MDG unveiled the new Ice Fog Compact, the smaller version of the Ice Fog series, as well as new options on the Ice Fog allowing for high pressure CO2 or low-pressure CO2. In addition, the Ice Fog Touring unit has been redesigned for quieter use and more low-lying fog.

It wouldn't be LDI if Martin Professional didn't marshal a legion of new products, and this year was no exception. Capitalizing on the MAC 2000 automated profile unit, the company launched the MAC 2000 Performance, a 1,200W profile framing spot featuring a four-blade framing system and gobo animation wheel; the unit is also available in an electronic ballast version. In other revamps, the new MAC 600NU comes with a new technology color-mixing system, along with a color wheel with four replaceable color slots offering shades that traditionally have been hard to produce, such as dark red and dark green.

Lighting and sound come together in the new ViroStation, by Mach, Martin's sound products division. The ViroStation is a genuinely innovative product, consisting of two oval flat-panel loudspeakers mounted on a slim post and illuminated by two Martin Exterior 200 CMY color changers. The panel speakers function as both loudspeakers and light reflectors. The product is destined for use in theme parks, malls, streets, and other applications.

New from Jem, Martin's fog/smoke division is the Jem Glaciator, a lower-cost, low-power-consuming, low-to-the-ground fogger for theatre, touring, and large clubs, and the Jem Intelligent I-Fog Fluid.

Among the speakers shown at the Martin Audio booth was the Wavefront Theatre WT3, a full-range system designed for theatre sound applications featuring three-way full frequency performance from a compact enclosure 28" tall. The design of the speaker includes a selection of flying points and hardware to facilitate assembly of arrays.

Midas used LDI to unveil the new Legend in the US. Billed as a tri-purpose console for live music production, the desk is designed to handle FOH, monitors, or both at once. Priced between Midas' Venice and Heritage 1000 consoles, the Legend was named the Sound Product of the Year at the show. Also new at the Midas booth was the theatre control software for the Heritage range of consoles, one of the 2001 ED Sound Products of the Year.

Osram/Sylvania had a number of new and improved lamps for display. Some of the products included 70W and 150W CDM lamps in both 3,000 and 4,000Þ Kelvin as well as longer lifed lamps including a 7,000-hour ELC and a 1,000-hour EKE.

Pathway Connectivity unveiled the new Pathport Manager, another EDDY Award Lighting Product of the Year. This is the PC software companion for the Pathport DMX network and it allows the user to reconfigure a Pathport Smart Node's attributes including soft labeling, channel patching, and merging functions.

Phillips Lighting showed off its new P3 technology, which allows for higher pinch seal temperatures of up to 500°C. Phillips is using a protective chromium material and introduced it on its Broadway line of entertainment lamps.

Phoebus introduced the Ultra Quartz® II followspot, a compact high-intensity followspot for key lighting in small spaces. The Ultra Quartz incorporates an integrated dichroic reflector ENX or FLE, features throws from 25'-100', 3:1 zoom range, six-color color changer, 70° downward tilt, 60° upward tilt, and 360° horizontal sweep.

Protech showed off its SmartMotion motorized rigging control system, which is capable of controlling up to 30 fixed or variable speed motors. The system does not use a central computer; instead, all motors have their own individual controller that that communicates via the ethernet run ControlNet software. The software for SmartMotion was honored as software product of the year at LDI.

Rane unveiled the new RPM 88 programmable multiprocessor, a 100% drag-and-drop configurable DSP box with 10 audio I/O channels and a 10Base-T ethernet control port. The Drag Net setup and control software incorporates Windows® file management tools with Shortcuts in a single interface.

Reel EFX showed its RE III fan, which features a new 16" blade, twice the blade area of the RE II and three times the horsepower. With available optional DMX remote control, the unit uses advanced frequency synthesis and is quiet at low speeds.

Rosco Laboratories' new ImagePro gobo slide projector was LDI Product of the Year in Scenic Effects and yet another ED Lighting Product of the Year. This lower-cost alternative system to glass gobo projections includes a drop-in holder for plastic slides images created with conventional computer printing technology. Rosco also introduced the Delta 3000 Fog Machine, which features digital, analog, or solo DMX remote control for precise cue of effects.

Rose Brand showed a raft of new products, including a range of dimensional soft goods now available for rent. These include Tetra Columns, white Spandex mesh stretched over fiberglass rod and cable assembly, which collapses flat into and out of its storage bag; and Dimensional Scrims, which come out of a hamper and fly into a geometric wall. Rose Brand also touted its new custom digital imaging service for large-scale murals, backdrops, and banners.

New from SGM is the Giotto Spot 400, which complements the existing line of the Giotto Wash 400 and Giotto Wash 250. The Spot 400's features include an MSR 400-hour discharge lamp, hot restrike, linear zoom of 9°-24°, silent operation, and a fast, smooth iris. SGM products are distributed in the US by New Century Lighting.

Selecon, distributed in the US by AC Lighting, Inc., Angstrom Stage Lighting, and Barbizon as well as by Jack A. Frost Ltd. and Johnson Systems, Inc. in Canada had something new — the Pacific Universal lamp housing, which is designated by the green label. The lamp housing has been redesigned for greater light output with improved beam quality for all light sources, for all optical systems.

Sennheiser showed the new HD 280 Pro headphones, which are included in this month's Product News.

Winner of the LDI award for Large Booth Design, Space Cannon lit up the show floor with its xenon searchlights. The company introduced the Helicopter, a 2,000W unit evolved from military usage for show applications. The Helicopter includes electronic high-speed strobe, built-in quick dichroic mixer, and the ability to alternate aimings and rotations for light effects.

Strand Lighting showed the new software version 2.5 of its 300 and 500 series of consoles; the software made its debut on the hit West End revival of My Fair Lady, lit by David Hersey. New features include support for the newest 16-bit moving lights, more flexible console partitioning to allow multiple desks and operators to work on a show independently, a new “copy from” feature allowing preset focus data to be copied between moving lights, new advanced update that enables fast resetting of focus groups, thus saving time for touring companies.

TMB Associates announced the addition of a hot restrike capability to its PowerPAR® range of lamps, and the choice of three heavy-duty RJ-45 connectors, including the Neutrik® EtherCon connector, to the ProPlex ethernet cable. The company also featured ProPin® 19-pin connectors, Dataplex portable data cables, and other products.

Techni-Lux brought to the show a wide array of new products. In automated lighting, there were the ServoSpot and ServoColor units, both coming in versions containing either MSR 575 or MSD 250 lamps. Also new are the Tracer2 and Super Trace 2500 followspots, with full electronic control.

Telex showed the Radio-Com BTR-800, which features four beltpacks per station, UHF operation to two-intercom channel access from each beltpack, and Intelligent Power Control, in which each beltpack senses when it is close to the base station and automatically reduces its output by 10dB. It is one of the ED Sound Products of the Year.

Theatre Effects' new Viper NT digital fog machine features precise, variable output, with internal DMX and timer.

Total Structures' Omni, winner of LDI Product of the Year, Rigging and Hardware, is a rotating, hinging, removable fork and spade truss connection system. The Omni connector rotates 360°, allows trusses to hinge in either plane, along with the flexibility to bring three trusses together in a ‘Y’ shape, or whole series of trusses to come together as 3D structural assemblies.

Ushio introduced improvements to its HPL line of lamps, now referred to as HPL+. This is especially true in the area of longer life and in better filament design. Currently available are the HPL575/120X+, a 120V version with 2,000 hours of average rated life, the HPL750/115X+ with 1,000 hours of average rated life, and the HPL750/240X+, a 240-V version with 1,500 hours of average rated life.

Vari-Lite captured an enormous amount of buzz with the launch of the VL1000 ellipsoidal reflector spotlight, which includes a tungsten source that produces an output in excess of 10,000 lumens; a unique color-mixing system that ranges from light pastels to fully saturated colors; a zoom lens with an imaging range of 19-36° and a super zoom to a 70° field, a variable diffusion stage that can soften the image all the way out to a complete wash, a fully automated, four-blade shutter system; a five-position-plus open-indexing rotating gobo wheel, pan and tilt, and a unique calibration sequence to allow for minimum spacing when full pan range is not required. Options include a 575W arc source for more output and a beam-size iris for models without shutters.

Wavien introduced a dual paraboloid illumination platform, with one-to-one imaging, more efficient coupling for a smaller angle, and more uniform light along the length of the fiber optic.

Wybron introduced a number of new products, including the redesigned Goboram II, the Moire double pattern rotator, and the APII Video Tracker, an accessory to the AutoPilot II system that allows a video camera to track the AutoPilot transmitter. The Product of the Year, Accessory and the final 2001 ED Lighting Product of the Year honoree was the Eclipse II Iris Douser, which was based upon a George Izenour design that was used on an an automated softlight at NBC in 1953.

Zero 88 distributed in the US by AC Lighting, Inc., has gone Frog-happy, with its lineup of consoles named after that famous green ampibian. Making its LDI debut was the Bull Frog, which has double the number of moving-light fixtures (24) and preset faders (48) as its sibling, the Fat Frog console.

For a look at the LDI photo gallery, click here