The land “down under” is known for kangaroos, boomerangs, the Sydney Opera House, and (of course!) Foster’s Lager. Now Australia is about to become world-renowned for yet another item --cutting-edge entertainment lighting.
The city of Perth, Australia is where production engineer Phil Markey began conducting experiments that recently led to the first widespread use of moving fiber optics in special effects lighting. Building on this breakthrough, Markey’s company, Kaos Lighting, has now joined forces with U.S.-based American DJ to create a revolutionary one-of-a-kind DMX centerpiece effect called the Streamer.
Combining fiber optics with LED technology and RGB color mixing, the Streamer ventures where no lighting technology has gone before. Its thread-like beams create an amazing visual spectacle, while other cutting-edge features give users the ability to produce any color they choose and enjoy the long life, maintenance-free operation and low power consumption of an LED illumination system.
“The Streamer is totally different than any other special effects light out there,” said Scott Davies, General Manager of the American DJ Group of Companies. “With its fiber-like beams, it’s a truly unique visual phenomenon. Plus, it offers so many other features – from DMX control to LED technology to custom color mixing – that its applications are virtually limitless.”
One has only to view the Streamer in action to experience its uniqueness. Its fiber optic technology emits a breathtaking, magical lattice-like web of colored light strands. The effects appear to be in 3D, even without assistance from a fog machine. When set in motion, the delicate, yet sharply defined, rotating beams have a hypnotic effect on the eye, almost like laser beams.
Markey first used fiber optic technology on a much more basic fixture called the Mirrorlight, powered simply by a small halogen light bulb. Dubbed the “modern mirrorball,” the Mirrorlight quickly found a following among DJs, nightclubs and discos across Australia.
But its inventor saw even larger, more global possibilities. 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 American DJ. “I liked the whole team at American DJ and their vision for the product,” commented Markey. The thing that really cinched it, said Markey, 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, putting the ability to create an infinite spectrum of colors at the user’s fingertips. LEDs were added, said Davies, 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.”
Other features on the Streamer include: Variable Speed, Clockwise and Counterclockwise Control, built-in Pre-Set Programs, and high-quality long-life Stepper Motors. Additionally, the unit has a lightweight design and Multi Voltage Input so it can be used anywhere in the world.
One of the many impressive things about the Streamer is its ability to function as “multi effects in one.” When used in a stationary mode, it will produce a chandelier-type effect that’s ideal for creating a mood or ambiance. “You don’t even have to have it spinning,” said Davies. “You can just have it sitting on the ceiling changing colors, and it’s a great mood effect for restaurants, hotels and bars. Then when the place turns into a disco at 9 o’clock, just use the variable speed control and all of a sudden it’s a club-type effect.”
The ability to produce any desired color with ease, and the economy and longevity of LEDs, also make the Streamer a great illumination source for displays, exhibits and architectural applications, added Davies.
The Streamer will be officially introduced at the 2005 LDI Show in Orlando, FL, November 11-13. The fixture will be marketed under American DJ’s Elation Professional brand, which is geared toward lighting professionals, large entertainment venues and institutional/architectural users. Elation will distribute the Streamer throughout the world, with the exception of Australia and New Zealand, where it will be sold by Kaos Lighting.
The MSRP of the Streamer is $999.95.