2015 is the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, highlighting the importance of light, being both fundamental to life itself and playing a revolutionary role as a driver of science and culture. Light is also playing a key role at Prolight + Sound 2015, as the latest research continues to open up new technological possibilities. On Thursday 16 April 2015 from 12:00-13:00, Osram senior product manager entertainment Andre Köhler will be making a presentation in Hall 9 on the topic of ‘New Lighting Systems for Entertainment’. Mr Köhler has been kind enough to answer some of the PLS team’s questions and share some fascinating insights with us.
Which challenges involving light will the entertainment industry have to face in future?
The greatest challenges for the manufacturers lie in increasing the efficiency of both conventional and LED lighting solutions, in order to reduce the weight and dimensions of lights even further, all at the same time as making them brighter. The quality of the light, particularly colour reproduction, is becoming ever more critical, with the aim of making lighting solutions as attractive for TV studios and theatres as they are in a concert setting. Indeed, any setting where modern digital film and television cameras are used will see further improvements and adjustments to light sources, the key word here being TLCI [the Television Lighting Consistency Index], that is to say flicker-free light.
LED branch booms
LED has been on the up and up for several years now - why?
The advantages that LED technology can provide for the entertainment branch are plain for all to see, and they are the reason that uptake continues to grow. Simple colour changes using RBG or RGBW colour mixing systems, easy installation, fewer cables, reduced heat production. All these factors make them ideal for clubs, discos and smaller stages. That’s before you take reduced maintenance costs due to their longer lifespan into account, besides which the units themselves are smaller and lighter, which really makes life a lot easier, particularly in the rental and touring branches. It’s also easy to produce excellent quality, soft dimmed light with LEDs, and they also have a faster response time and are quiet in operation, making them ideal for TV and studio use.
Are there also limits to what LEDs can be used for?
Despite the improvements LED technology has offered in terms of efficiency, luminous flux, and light quality, there are some drawbacks which mean that conventional light sources will continue to be needed. One decisive criterion is luminance, or in other words, brightness. Our discharge lamps such as the Lok-it! HTI 1000/PS or SIRIUS HRI 280W are hundreds or even thousands of times more powerful than LED solutions like the Ostar Stage. An extremely bright, concentrated light source, such as can be produced using our HTI 1000W-1500W metal halide lamps, or our SIRIUS HRI short arc lamps, rated up to 440W, continues to be necessary to produce extremely bright beams of light in high-power moving heads like the MARTIN MAC Viper, or ROBE’s BMFL or Pointe.
Future LED Trends
What new trends can we expect from the lighting branch?
In order to improve luminance for high-performance applications, research and development will also take a strong focus on the laser-based systems that we are familiar with in projection equipment. Here, Osram is involved in optimising existing systems for entertainment purposes, moving heads for example. Another trend is going to be the development of LED modules that will be able to achieve a luminance of over 100cd/mm² using the best possible alignment of super-efficient high-power LEDs. Additionally, conventional light sources, especially discharge lamps, will be optimised as regards colour rendering and efficiency, making them indispensable for years to come.
Will Osram be introducing any new products at PLS?
Indeed. Among the products we are presenting will be the LED module S32 Splitstar, rated up to 15,000 Lumen and with a luminance of 100cd/mm². We will also be introducing full LED systems like the KREIOS PAR, KREIOS SL, and the KREIOS FL, designed for concerts, the stage, and architectural illumination. These are part of our entertainment portfolio and can be tried out in the flesh on our stand. As regards discharge lamps, we will be demonstrating the latest models from our SIRIUS HRI and Lok-it! HTI Power ranges, which you will be able to see in action fitted to moving heads on the Osram stand. Not forgetting our new HMI lamps with UV protection rated from 200-1800W, and the new HMI Event series, which has been specially designed for motor shows.
Thank you very much!
Picture sources: Osram