LED lighting just came onto the scene within the last few years when manufacturing of LEDs became affordable to the point where they could be used for applications other than indicators and decoration. To most DJs out there LED lighting is a mystery, they know they exist, but few really know the advantages of using LED technology in their shows.
DJzone sat down with lighting visionary Scott Davies, General Manager of world renowned American DJ in Los Angeles, California to get the scoop on this new trend in lighting.
DJzone: Now ADJ is known for being on the cutting edge in lighting, do you see
LEDs as the way of the future?
Scott Davies: Yes. Absolutely, They will continue getting brighter, more vivid and more versatile, being used in a wider variety of ways by DJs. We also see LEDs being used with videos to add a new dimension to the “visuals” that accompany DJs' shows.
DJzone: How do you see LEDs changing the way DJs and clubs light up their shows?
Scott Davies: On a very practical level, DJs can now add more to their light shows without the worry of finding enough power to run their lights. They can also run their lights longer without worrying about overheating. DJ’s will also be free of what is now a pretty much constant concern about replacing lamps, because of the very long useful life of LED units.
LED lights will prove themselves to be very roadworthy. Some of our LED products have NO moving parts or fans.
Finally, since it is more difficult to use Fog in certain venues with the color changing patterns projection it will still give clubs and DJs a lot of action on the dance floor or walls.
DJzone: In pioneering this new line of LED lighting, what were the first things that came to mind? Was it price, efficiency, weight or all three?
Scott Davies: All three, & most important was always trying to make products more reliable for the DJ or club. Our core value as a company has always been to look for ways to make products more reliable. It’s been that way for over 20 years, and will be that way in the future. That’s what we’re all about. We don’t care about being the glitziest company in the world, we want to be the one that provides DJs with the most reliable tools they need to put on a great show.
DJzone: I hear ADJ has a new technology for making the most out of light output or LEDs. What do you call it and how does it work?
Scott Davies: Like with any light source using the best optics to get the most light output and crisp clean beams of light. Using the best selection of LEDs is also a key factor. It's all how you drive the LEDs, heat manage them, (yes there is heat to deal with in LEDs) and how you optically deal with them, we have several new technologies that address all these issues and we are working with world leading LED manufaturers side by side on this.
DJzone: When designing your LED lighting, what inspiration if any, do you take from your incandescent line of lighting?
Scott Davies: Since many of the people in our company came from the mobile DJ / PA small production world using LEDs would have been a dream when we were doing it. One of our biggest worries before playing at a venue was hoping we had enough power in a hall, hotel or home party to plug in our lights and audio. With LEDs lighting you can get a great light show all on one circuit.
We also have taken with us the conviction that lighting still rules. LEDs must be as bright or brighter than what we had - people do not want to give up brightness for just having LED - colors must be as rich or richer, and using as few moving parts to create the same effects is better for reliability.
DJzone: We witnessed some impressive new LED lights at the DJ Expo. Can you tell us a little about the Revo or LED FX series?
Scott Davies: We wanted to add more to the REVO Series besides sharp optics and superior color so the thought of having white LEDs was something we thought would Spice up these New fixtures.
DJzone: The beams from the Revo series appeared to be extremely focused, almost laser like and covered quite a large area with movement. What do you offer in the way of LED lighting that would work as fill, and cover a large area?
Scott Davies: Offering Fill we would recommend LED pars, Mega Bar, Mega Panel.
DJzone: Let's talk blacklights. You have a number of UV LED lights. How do they compare in output to the fluorescent style of UV lighting?
Scott Davies: Now with UV LEDs because of it's very high concentrated power you can cover long distances. The most important thing to me was not worrying about breaking fluorescent lamps. With LED they are robust and roadworthy for the DJ to take on the road.
The Blacklight UV LEDs we are using are around 400 - 410 nM (nanometer) ratings which is close to true UV blacklights - around 385-400 nM - there is a bit more "blue" light produced but...it is a bit safer since it is higher power output and much lower wattage giving you a lumen to watt ratio which beats traditional UV fixtures. Of course the reliability and lamp life are what really make LED UV fixtures shine as well as the ability to strobe and dim them when you want.
DJzone: How many LED lights can I power from a regular 15 amp circuit and will going LED give me more light on the dance floor from that 15 amp circuit than using incandescents?
Scott Davies: Absolutely, typically the LED effect products from 30-50w ratings offer similar output to 400w halogen fixtures and units 50W and up offer output more than 500w halogen units - you really can't measure them with a meter and have it make sense - it is the effect you see with your eyes that tells the true story. Typically the fixture count is 8-10pcs of LED products to one Halogen product. To get real technical it is about comparing lumens to watt consumptions but still you are better seeing with your own eyes the effect in the environment you are going to use them.
Generally a 15 amp circuit would be used up with 2 vertigos or 2 x Aggressors. With LEDs you can connect some at least 20 Jewel LEDs as an example.
DJzone: With all the worries about companies being "green", do you see your line of LED lighting as your own personal contribution to helping save the Earth?
Scott Davies: OF COURSE...this is a tremendous factor of why we are investing so much R&D in this area...
DJzone: Do you see LEDs one day completely replacing incandescent lighting?
Scott Davies: YES - and compact fluorescents too which are the popular "green" products sold today in the mass market...not so popular in entertainment lighting but...ideal for home and commercial lighting.
DJzone: What does the future hold for LED lighting?
Scott Davies: Just like computer chips -they will get brighter, smaller and more affordable as volumes increase and more solutions become available on how to use LED's. Already there is talk about OLED (Organic LED) and other high efficiency luminance products...the future is bright and we are working with all the right partners to bring this technology to the market!