Three well-known lighting companies were cited in this year’s product excellence awards at the Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA) show in London last week. The awards, announced on Wednesday, were overshadowed by the World Trade Center/Pentagon tragedies in the United States. Nevertheless, the awards are certain to guarantee renewed interest in each of the winning products.

Awards were presented for design excellence and technical innovation in four categories: lighting, sound, audio-visual, and stage engineering. In the lighting category, the award design excellence went to Clay Paky for its CP Color Range, a line of color changers designed for the professional and architectural markets. There are four models in the range, including one specifically for outdoor applications. Each model adopts the CMY System and has a uniform mechanical dimmer from 0-100%. The judges were impressed by the “versatility of the new range of practical cyc lights,” and commented that it was “good to see investment going into such development in a neglected product area.”

The lighting award for technical innovation went to Artistic Licence (UK) Ltd. for Down-Link, a wall-mount Ethernet-to DMX512 converter, presented in a two-gang panel that mounts to standard UK wall boxes and converts Art-Net to two universes of DMA512(A). The product is the first of its kind offering DMX512(A) distribution via Ethernet using a public domain protocol. The judges felt the product was an “extremely practical and low-cost solution to the current and future problems of inter-connectivity in installations wishing to run Ethernet systems and DMX.”

In the audio-visual category, High End Systems took both awards for design excellence and technical innovation, for the Catalyst, an orbital movement system, like a periscope, that mounts to the front of a video projector and allows static images or moving video to be projected anywhere within a 360 by 180-degree hemisphere of movement. It cam mix color, select gobos, iris down, and insert shutters, all directly from a DMX lighting console. Judges felt that the Catalyst represented the ”next generation of moving lights” and commented that its “well-developed design brought video and lighting effects together seamlessly.”

In the stage engineering category, the Visual Act Stage Wagon, a system of remote-controlled wagons for creating movement on and offstage, using modular and reusable components, took both the design excellence and technical innovation awards. In the sound category, Outline’s Kanguro “Active” loudspeakers were cited for design excellence and Yamaha-Kemble Music’s AW-4416 recording system.