New from Elation Professional is the Streamer, a 3D centerpiece effect that consists of four lightweight arms with 384 strands of 1mm diameter fiber optics (a total of 1,050' of fiber). The arms can move in either direction and at variable speeds. In addition to the fiber optics, the unit incorporates RGB LEDs for a color mix that travels down the fiber. It has nine preset programs as well as a sound-activated mode and includes a wireless remote.
The fixture is controlled via six channels of DMX control. The Streamer uses a stepper motor with a four-way gear system to drive the unit in multi-directions as well as with variable speeds. It has 3-pin XLR connectors for control input and output. The unit weighs in at 6lb (3kg), and its dimensions are 7.5" L × 7.5" W × 20" H (191×191×508mm). It draws 10A, and its voltage input is 90-264V AC, 50/60Hz, allowing it to be used anywhere in the world.
“The Streamer is the most unique lighting centerpiece I have ever seen,” says Eric Loader, director of sales for Elation. “It features three leading edge technologies — LED, fiber optics, and DMX control — to give you an effect which is dynamic and a fully programmable ideal for a variety of applications but certainly for lounges and entertainment venues looking for a way to add some excitement and movement to their ceilings.”
Combining fiber optics with LED technology for RGB color mixing, the Streamer has thread-like beams that create a visual spectacle. The fixture gives users the ability to produce any color and enjoy the long life, low maintenance operation, and low power consumption of an LED illumination system.
Production engineer Phil Markey conducted experiments with moving fiber optics in special effects lighting. Based in Perth, Australia, Markey first used fiber optic technology on a much more basic fixture called the Mirrorlight, powered simply by a small halogen lamp. Dubbed the modern mirrorball, the Mirrorlight quickly found a following among DJs, nightclubs, and discos across Australia. Markey took the results of his experiments and started working on a centerpiece effect that would result in the Streamer.
With assistance from the Australian International Trade Office (Austrade), Markey conducted a search for a partner who could help develop his creation into an automated DMX fixture with advanced features that would be suitable for larger clubs, concert halls, special events, and architectural applications.
During the course of the Austrade-sponsored search, lighting manufacturers from around the world were interviewed, one of which was American DJ. “I liked the whole team at American DJ and their vision for the product,” says Markey. “The thing that really cinched it was positive feedback from American DJ's customers. I interviewed a number of each manufacturer's customers to get their view of the company. American DJ was a standout.”
As Markey had envisioned, American DJ's design team gave the Streamer full DMX control, along with RGB color mixing. “LEDs were added,” says Scott Davies, general manager of the American DJ Group of Companies, “because designers felt the Streamer would be used as a centerpiece effect. We knew it would probably be run all night, so we wanted to provide the long life and low power consumption of LEDs.”
Markey's company, Kaos Lighting, partnered with US-based American DJ to market the fixture under American DJ's Elation Professional brand. Elation distributes the Streamer throughout the world, with the exception of Australia and New Zealand, where it is sold by Kaos Lighting. The Streamer was officially introduced at the 2005 LDI Show.
“When I saw them, I knew they would be perfect for above the dance floor,” says Edmond Galoostian, owner of Club Spice, located in West Covina, CA. “I have five of the Streamers in my club. They are really kind of magical because when people first see them turned on, they can't quite figure out what they are or what the light is doing. They add a lot of excitement to the dance floor.
“They work great,” he continues. “There is nothing I think that needs to be improved. Elation really does a good job with their gear. In the club world, being able to easily program is important and all their gear does that. The five Streamers I own all work together, and when they color change, the effect is really wonderful.”