The show floor at LDI2006 was the biggest ever, and everyone you met had a suggestion of something that you just had to see or a booth you absolutley had to visit. A few lighting designers with whom we crossed paths — or actually aisles — shared some of their show-floor finds with us and, in turn, with you. We asked what they thought was cool or interesting from this year's crop of new products.
Marc Janowitz: There was a lot of good stuff at the show this year, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would TMB's Digital Festoon System.
Dawn Chiang: You have the Lancelot followspot from Robert Juliat — a 4kW monster unit — but they are also trying new things like putting in gobos, beyond just using this as a traditional followspot. You can also use this as a lighting source in all kinds of applications at 4kW that is very, very bright. Wybron InfoTrace is a whole great idea. As more things come onboard with RDM, you don't have to wait for ACN; that is really neat. ETC's Eos is very promising. I also saw the Strand Palette in its early form in the spring, so I wanted to follow-up with that here, see what they have done with that. Screen Goo, of course, came out last year, and that is still a fascinating idea.
Bill Klages: I visited Jands and the new Vista console. It is a new approach to moving light control, but it could indicate what could happen in the future, being a very visually based Windows-type operation. It's very fast.
Jeff Ravitz: I got a very thorough rundown of the new Compulite console today. It is really intelligent. I am speaking as a designer that doesn't do the actual programming but needs the programming done in a quick, efficient way for my programmer. This console is really laid-out in a user-friendly way. I also saw some good LEDs. Can you believe that at this show, I saw a few LEDs? Something that I was really interested in and got a very thorough rundown on was all the new tungsten wash lights. Martin, ClayPaky, and Coemar all have great tungsten wash lights. Oh, and the new VL3500 wash. There are a lot of new great fixtures that kick ass. Year to year, sometimes you can't really see what the progression in automated fixtures is, but this year, you can really see some interesting new thoughts going into them.
Nic Phillips: I second the Compulite vector and the VL3500 wash — best things in the show. Of course, EvenLED, at the A.C.T booth, is fantastic. Michael Eddy thinks it is one of the great things at the show, and I agree.
Chuck Dillingham: I think the coolest thing at the show is that Vari-Lite has its whole history of fixtures in its booth, and they are all working. I think that is one of the neatest things to me. Coemar has a beautiful booth this year. They always do a fantastic job. I am really excited about a lot of the new stuff Elation has, and the price point is unbelievable. It will be good to see what Eric Loeder does for them. He brought Martin to where they are in the US, so we'll see what he can do for Elation.
Jamie Burnett: ETC's new Eos board is very cool. It can change color very easily; it has a color wheel that you can just touch, or you can match the color up to a swatchbook. It is for moving lights; it's a whole new way of thinking for their boards. You just walk up to it, and you say, “Oh, that is obvious.” I don't know about the initial programming and how long that takes to do. I would have to spend a day with it, but right now, I think it is very cool.
Solomon Rosenzweig: There is an overload of LEDs. It seems like a lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon…We are still trying to sort them all out. I am looking forward to the price of LEDs coming down. We aren't here to see anything specific; we are just here to see what's new, see if we can sort out a trend. We are definitely looking at more video, doing more video as scenery. I was looking at the new [High End Systems] DL.2 or the revised DL.2. We are looking at using that in some projects; it is a pretty interesting light. There are some good possibilities there.