At IBC 2010, Photon Beard will introduce a new, low-cost concept in control for studio lighting systems.
Worldwide Launch at IBC 2010: Photon Beard "Wi-Light" - Despite the ubiquity of wireless communication devices in everyday applications, the lighting industry continues to use multiple, wired data links to carry the universal DMX512 stage lighting and effects control standard.
This is suitable for conventional incandescent lighting, but many of the new generation of efficient, low-heat lighting fixtures work best with a direct, wireless control connection.
Photon Beard's new "Wi-Light" system is designed as a low-cost, easy-to-install add-on to the DMX-controlled series of Photon Beard "Highlight" fluorescents, but can also be used to control a mixture of fluorescent and incandescent lighting systems.
This approach is not only cost-effective, it reduces or in some cases eliminates the need for traditional wired DMX-controlled systems, which are time consuming and messy because of multiple cable requirements for each luminaire.
Wi-Light consists of one master transmit/receive module, which can be located at studio floor level; and individual receive modules or dongles added to each light source or dimmer.
The master unit can also be configured as a receiver for point-to-point links or as a repeater to cover wider areas.
Transmitter range can vary but is generally 1-300 feet, which is adequate in most installations and can be extended using repeaters.
The small receiver module or dongle fits to the base panel of the Highlight on the outside of the casing. This makes it very simple to install using only a small screwdriver. All further set-up instructions are either automatic or transmitted via wireless from the master module.
The master unit provides the entry port for the system and takes a conventional DMX512 data stream from a standard control desk. An assignable block of channels are selected from the input stream and transmitted via wireless. The original address positions of each channel in the block are preserved. This means the user can set the receive address on each light source in the usual way.
The basic DMX512 standard sends data continuously even when nothing has changed. This redundant data is extremely wasteful in a wireless system, so the Wi-Light transmits only the data that has changed using a special protocol designed to make best use of wireless control in a lighting application.
All parts of the Wi-Light system are bi-directional; this means that the master can request information from a receiver and receive an answer.
Each Wi-Light unit contains a unique identity that is added to all transmissions. To close the network and eliminate interference, each receiver can be remotely set to respond to only one transmitter.
Wi-Light is robust and also includes in-built error checking, which is not part of the DMX512 standard. Moreover, its 2.4gHz operation and compliance with FCC regulations mean that it can be installed worldwide, including the USA.
This is the first of a family of products that will be introduced to the Photon Beard range designed to provide cost effective and easy-to-install control options for small- to medium-sized TV studios.