Can you believe I’m already on my eighth column? I must say they seem to be rolling off the tongue like country ham and red eye gravy. I’m not a gambling man, but I bet you can’t find a real North Carolina breakfast in Vegas. Especially on the morning after you “Thai’d” one over. So this column will have to relate to all that our new technology has to offer lighting and related industries at the LDI Show.

It is an honor to start this column urging you to wake up tomorrow and visit my friends Doug and Cindy, the proprietors of Doug Fleenor Design (DFD). Some LDI shows, I only get to see them for a few minutes, but I assure you I’ve had meaningful conversations with several different Dr. DMX figures. I have no earthly idea what they will pull in 2008, but DFD displays embody all that is cool and quirky about our industry. Here’s a brief look back at their prior LDI accomplishments with the DMX Protocol, starting in 1996 with their revolutionary DMX512 Coffee Pot. They followed up nicely with the Shock Collar (1997), Shoes & Music (1998), and Foot Massager (1999). They came back strong with the DMX Maze (2001), the Flatulator (2002) and the collectable DMX-a-Sketch (2003). 2004 saw the return of a classic with Coffee Pot Mark II, and the next year the infamous DMXrciser, tough to get through without help on an early morning! But my personal favorite will always be the cutout Doctor lurking the halls of the show since 2006. Where is Dr. DMX?

Be sure to check in with XL Video, who is the worldwide distributor for Spider 40 and F LED 11 LED modules. The 11mm pixel pitch F LED 11 is an indoor product that offers high resolution, brightness, and low weight, making it a perfect solution in venues with rigging limits. The F LED module is 20% of the weight of comparable LED tiles. The compact packaging allows a 25m² screen to occupy only five feet of truck space. With a weight of 33lbs, F LED 11 is very quick and easy to install. XL Video has built an optional touring frame, which adds strength and speeds up installation. The touring frame and F LED module only weigh 55 lbs. It offers 12-bit color and 5,500 NITs of brightness with a viewing angle of 160°. The new Spider 40 is a 40mm pixel pitch SMD LED product that is suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. Over twice as bright as comparable 40mm LED screens, the Spider 40 product is an innovative, scaleable video screen solution with 44% transparency. Weighing in at 41lbs, the Spider 40 tiles can be built to any size and shape. It has a 16-bit color and a brightness of 5,000 NITs.

Applied Electronics debuts the LA25 Line Array Tower, a unique alternative to flying your line array PA system. They’ll also be showing their wide range of lifts and ground support, trussing, stage roof systems, dimming and controls, power distro, motor control and more.

The engineering minds at Lex Products are introducing a quartet of new product offerings, including their new line of audio cable assemblies, the LSC 6Circuit Live Multi-Cable Tester, a range (6KW–24 KW) of portable dimmers, and their 3 Phase 3Fer.

Lycian has a new followspot in town, which is always very big news, and this one comes in a small but potent package. Known as Model #1233, this bad boy is very compact at around 34” long, and is powered by a 200W single ended HMI/MSR bulb. The unit features six colors and fanless, silent operation. It also has variable focal length optics, fully closing iris, and a gobo slot.

Among many other new products, Mega Systems, Inc. introduces the Disco controller. Disco was designed for the club, lounge and DJ markets to fit the needs of lighting jockeys and DJʼs alike. The interface is designed with a built-in wizard system that makes creating looks a step-by-step process. With a revolutionary concept of building the looks one at a time and then "mixing" them together to produce an unlimited array of combinations, the manufacturer says Disco is the first of its kind, and its versatility and flexibility puts in it in a class of its own.

Finally, my alma mater High End Systems (now a member of the Barco Group) has been busy with cutting-edge product development, as attested to by their PLASA launch of the StudioPix. A hybrid wide-angle moving yoke LED wash light with programmable graphic imaging, StudioPix is the second product in HES' new line of Pixelation Luminaires. Smaller than its predecessor SHOWPIX, StudioPix features a circular array of 61 homogenous 3-watt LEDs on a 13.5" diameter head with an output of 11,500 RGB lumens. The pixels offer unlimited possibilities by projecting not just color, but also displaying images and effects that transform the fixture head into a display device. StudioPix is equipped with a collection of custom images. Users can also upload their own content through the new HES Echo application, a software program offering content visualization, management and RDM management features. The Echo application optimizes and maps the images to the 61 LED pixels of StudioPix.
Features include color mixing, rotation, scale, wipes, dissolves, transitions between layers, strobing, and dimming. The yes, their DMX Scratch feature allows a user to synchronize the frames of a media file to music in real time!