On the eve of LDI, it’s time to pause for a second and consider what new goodies might be on the show floor, especially in the lighting field where advances in technology and product design happen at a rather rapid pace. Live Design asked LDI speaker/moderator for "A True Examination of LED Theatre Lighting Rigs" panel and theatre consultant Heather McAvoy, who in turn polled her office mates to see what kinds of innovations they are secretly hoping will make their way to the LDI2017 exhibit hall. We are happy to share their wish list with you—exhibitors take note!
Heather McAvoy, Principal, Schuler Shook
At Schuler Shook, we look for design solutions that will make our facilities easier, greener, and more efficient for building owners, designers, technicians, stage managers, performers, and audience members, so we are always dreaming of a better world. I posed Live Design’s question to the brain trust of insightful colleagues with whom I’m fortunate to work and who help me to find answers to (theatre) life’s persistent questions:
Milan Anich, II, a theatre specialist in our Dallas office, is looking for a fixture that is a linear white and blue dimmable LED that could do double duty as work light and running light on a loading gallery or at a locking rail.
Alex Robertson, theatre consultant in our Dallas office, has a utopian vision of Universal Fixture Information for All! “I would like to walk into a theatre, connect my laptop/console, and have every fixture that is controllable through the lighting network appear as an asset in my console,” he dreams. “If there is a dimmer rack, then every dimmer would have a label about its location/purpose, if there were relays, I could see the locations/purpose. If there were automated or LED fixtures that were connected, I could see their current addresses and attributes. I could build my own show file without ever having to know how the rig is connected.”
As a theatre specialist in our Chicago office, Kevin Greene daydreams of LED houselights with good dimming, “but not just cylinders and downlights… Linears, wall-washers, grazers, tons of promised, but very few proven performers that don’t result in hours spent in post-install coordination.” He’d also like to see “LED makeup mirror lights that meet the new standard and are permanent, integrated-source fixtures with fantastic color rendering.” Finally, he wishes for “real data from LED stage light manufacturers that show us the best ‘white’ light they can mix (with published TM-30 graphical representation of what white light looks like) and their actual output at that mixed ‘white.’”
Jody Kovalick, senior theatre consultant in our Minneapolis office acknowledges, “Yes, I know I’m hunting windmills,” but he would like to see an industry standard connector for 20A or lower theatrical lighting, for use with either LED or incandescent sources. Finally, Chip Ulich, senior theatre consultant in our San Francisco Bay office and Jim Hultquist, principal in our Melbourne, Australia office share a quiet hope…literally. Ulich wants “a bright LED ellipsoidal that is convection cooled. Trying to get LED lighting into concert halls is difficult since all fixtures with decent output have fans.” Hultquis agrees, “For quiet spaces like concert halls, I don’t think it’s enough to have quiet fans. One hundred super-quiet fans could easily create a fair bit of noise, and if one of these fans gets dusty or malfunctions, then we have a noise box over the stage.”
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” We’re taking our reveries to the LDI show floor and hoping to find the future.