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Articles May-June 2021

Pursuing the Pro Audio Trail

In conversation with Caroline Moss and Sue Gould

PT got in touch with the Pro AVL Asia magazine core team of Editor - Caroline Moss and Sales Director - Sue Gould, who between them boast of over three decades of experience in the pro audio industry..... read more

NJSM Marks a Milestone in the Business of Sound

From Rental Company to manufacturer and innovator, Nixon Johnny has guided and grown NJSM from a two-person company to a fifty-person company, continuing to expand into virtual events with NJSM Virtual Studio..... read more

Tech Savvy Environment for T-Systems

Eyte Technologies installs high-tech AV Solution at T-System’s Experience Center facilitating brand value and delivering superior customer experience..... read more

Conversations with SudeepAudio

Sudeep Audio, one of India’s first pro audio web store selling studio software and equipment online commenced its YouTube Channel, ConverSAtions, in 2011 to share the journey of Indian Sound Engineers..... read more

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Lighting Today

The Sun is the life source of Earth and the Planets. Both its presence and its absence contribute so totally to all existence.

The rest of the Living world accept darkness and adapt. Man is not easily pleased. He has free will and so goes about tidying his surroundings and making things work for all his sensory pleasures.

Some say that to enjoy life while the sun was warming the other half of the world he got up to all sorts of tricks to see what was really going on in the darkness around him.

It’s been a long slow progression from flint to fire to volcano to gas and just about a century ago that invisible force that elevates us to wizardry - electricity. That elusive force that allows ‘Muggles’ or people with No wizarding power to experience magic.

Electricity - That’s what we live and work with. That’s what we dedicate our lives to. Powered by Diesel engines, Grid Lines, Batteries and other such generating devices we convert Power to Great Lighting, Great Sound and Great Visuals to Inform, To entertain and generally have a Blast.

Today’s show designers are truly kids in a candy shop. The array of technologies, the breath of devices and the tools we have to link everything together keep you at your work longer hours but see the rewards.

Today’s hot and only topic in the lighting world is LED. Here is the conundrum. Upto this moment all manmade lighting fixtures were associated with heat. Light and Heat were conjoined twins. usually the brighter the bulb, the hotter it got. The whole technology was based on getting the largest amount of electricity to continuously flow in a safe way without the heat generated consuming all around the light source. Thick lenses made of super materials cracked like biscuits. The lights burned. Photographers talked of skin glowing like a beacon of attraction.

LED was a truly disruptive technology. It turned every single principal we associated with lighting on its head.

Lighting fixtures were ‘cooler’ consumed significantly lower electricity. The pin point of earlier bulbs that created sharp shadows were now replaced with banks of diodes that left no shadows at all.

More significantly the entire world of colour added another dimension to itself. Everything we had gathered about surfaces and reflection we had to half unlearn and relearn. Why half unlearn?

Because in this consumer driven world where the consumer has choice - Nobody can mandate when to switch over from one scale to another.

Fabrics had to stand up to view in both environments - the brighter halogen burning world and the flatter diode world. Perhaps one of the reason clothes became so bling. People wanted to shine even under muted lights.

The big question is - So with the advent of LED - Do Lighting Designers beginning today throw out all the collected wisdom gathered so far?

I mean - In the old days when we went exploring caves with hand held flaming devices - there must have been experts who taught people how to hold torches without burning themselves, or dropping cinders so that the dry floor did not flame up and consume everybody. How to keep refuelling the flames so them remained as steady as possible. During those days these experts must have had pride of place in their tribes.

In a world of electric torchlight’s - all that knowledge became redundant and these in demand experts suddenly had to find new jobs. Dried reed distributors went bankrupt and the battery cell sellers became the boys all the pretty girls wanted to be seen with.

Is that a lesson to us old school light boys? Adapt or die dateless.

The point is that us light boys who grew up with bulbs of all sorts set a standard simply by the quality of the light our bulbs through. It emulated the sun, In that most bulbs were designed to cast a single sharp shadow. So when the first LED peddlers arrived - we glared disdainfully down our middle aged noses to the Flatbed LED fixtures and sniffed - what? No shadows?

Some LED boys withered and went about shaping lenses to gather all the illumination from all those diodes into a single shaft. And so we sniffed ‘What No Colour Temperature?’ to which the cheeky lads replied ok ‘let’s Cool white and warm white you out of your complacency.’

Huh? How can you explain two different kinds of whites? To which the cheeky brats went on to add a filter that dropped into the front of the bulb and they blindened us with 4 or 5 different qualities of white from a single fixture.

So we purists ran around trying to figure out which one was true white.

Meanwhile the MTV generation rounded on us with ‘Who cares. More choice. More happiness’

And we old buggers had to bite the bullet and dive into expanding out colour palette range or simply fade off into becoming government inspectors.

Today our bloody phones give us an opportunity to capture our neighbours cats in colour temperatures ranging from 2400 K all the way up to 10000 K. The only people who saw that temperature 10 years ago were scientists in top rated laboratories studying absolute ranges of metals. A extremely rare population of maybe 80 people in the entire world to almost 60% of the world’s population in maybe 10 years. That’s the inclusive nature of new technology.

So my answer to the conundrum of Unlearn and relearn in this world is simply - Learn More.

Which forces you to Think More, make more associations, create more. In this case culminating in the famous Obama photo where is head is ringed in the new rainbow in LED hues.

New technology in Old spaces

The familiar seen in a strikingly different way makes a far greater impact on a larger population.

That is the challenge and opportunity facing our industry today. Indeed all industry. But we who are the masters of visual sleight have so many more tools to excite and enhance the audiences senses.

I urge you to study the old ways. Not because they are better, but simply cause it’s easier to use a base point that has the most adherents.

And then quickly branch off into a new direction that LED and newer technologies make available.

There is a huge school of LED designers who are working hard to re create the magic of the halogen glow. And maintain that glow with all the advantages of LED. Lower heat, lower consumption of electricity that make all fixtures easier to handle and maintain.

These two worlds exist side by side.

Step into any light shop today. You will see a huge array of LED panels that throw illumination from sources that were unimaginable. Flat, round, pentagons. and a few feet away the same modern technology all shaped to fit into the conventional bulb shape that plugs into a socket only a few minor variations away from Edison’s first experiments with Light.

That’s what I love today. The availability and peaceful coexistence of modern technologies with ancient ones. My prayer is that this coexistence engulfs all aspects of our emerging planet as it struggles to cope in the modern day.

But that extends the scope of this article into a completely different magazine.

God Blessed us all with Light. Let’s make the best use of it in our profession to shape our world for both our clients as well as for our children.

(The views expressed by the author are his own personal comments and the magazine does not subscribe to them).