The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!
Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by BillESC, Mar 6, 2009.
Another new LED coming down the pike.
Elation's about to come out with something very similar in the near future: [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMdBmz0eUMA[/media]. Except that the Elation one has 70x three-watt Rebel diodes in it.
If the word ripoff came across the wrong way, I apologize. See my extensive reply below...
Would rather discussion to learn from than not so nice way stuff above was put. If of help, sat in a meeting with a Osram rep. today and he discussed with one of our fixture buyers 8w LED concepts - this as my eyes glazed over in going above my head in concepts. I want P-28s lampholders, them to add internal reflectors to GLA lamps and my darned Mac III backordered spare lamps given the show using them has already left. Vendor rep. was more comfortable in whipping out the lastest version of his example of what LED's can do in test block individual pods.
On the other hand, the shop did finally get wired up the Zap Technologies Big Light LED fixture - don't know what it's called but one could see a definate already warp to the floor the moving head had in not being parallel to the floor on the test sample. Gee, that could grow to be a problem. Silly Americans, but I digress - yes beam of light and blinding as it would be... yadda yadda yadda for me given it's me.
On the other hand in following the concept of the Elation wash lights that are both scenery and light, this Zap thingie is both wash light, and on the rear of it LED video thingie in being on one side a LED wash fixture and the other side of the fixture a video LED projector of sorts. Kind of interesting though frustrating to the video guy working it's laptop when the light board operator flipped the thing around and the video guy could no longer see what he was programming it to show. I liked that concept of a war between the light board and video guy. Made me smile.
The Osram rep on the other hand did make a good point about in doing even up to 8w LED lamps, we are talking heat sinks - gee the PAR 30 is huge in size due to heat sink & in cost, much less chips and other stuff that went over my head after the at some point no market due to price. This in spite of other manufacturers of the same gear at times somewhat cheaper but all get at some point a brick wall in what the goal is in reproducing a filament or arc source verses it's cost to be LED. In addition to this however he started talking the lamp talk I could understand - one has at some point balance realistic lamp life with power and or overpowering the lamp (LED non-lamp as it were in also if abused or not properly heat shielded or what ever, it would not live up to it's "endless" lamp life expected of it.) Very educational and a market that advances in not just type but power not year by year but month by month.
I'm still not one a fan of the LED color rendering index concept in full spectrum from them produced, but also not in a hole either in seeing it to where the market is going.
I just want people to innovate and not sit around copying eachother. The point of my post was not "oh, the Elation fixture's so much better". My point was, well, it's "Variations on a Theme". Of course, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery as they say, but to be flattered you have to innovate first - the imitations are not the ones that are flattered. Copying the Martin Stagebar is not innovation to me.
On the other hand, the Elation Impression and Impression XL (as well as the wonderful new little Design Wash LED Pro) are innovation. The Impressions have been out on a huge number of tours given that it's an Elation fixture, and I haven't heard many problems about them over all. I really think that Elation's brick fixtures are an awesome form factor. But when Elation simply takes an idea from Martin, I see no innovation. If I see a ripoff, I call ripoff.
I'm not saying ripoffs don't have their place though. When ripoffs are what I can afford, I buy ripoffs. I'm sure that the Elation copy of the Stagebar 54 is going to be amazing, and it'll be in my price range before a Stagebar is. Also, the new Irradiant Vivid II wash is a wonderful little fixture from what I've seen, and is a copy of the CK Colorblast. However, the Vivid II doesn't need a central power supply unit, and is a bit more cost accessible for many folks.
Also, the Elation TRI-LED series stuff is innovation. That was someone that said "hey, the colors you see when you look at LED fixtures just suck. Let's fix that." So they did. And the product, from my understanding, is great. You get much cleaner color mixing, and you can fit more watts of LED in to the same space. Take the Elation Opti 30 RGB and the Elation Opti TRI 30 - both in the same form factor, probably the same exact housing. The Opti 30 RGB has 12x one watt LEDs, 4 red, 4 green, 4 blue. The Opti TRI 30 has 21 watts of LEDs in the form of 7 tricolor LED diode modules, and also mixes much smoother. I am sure there is some output loss due to the lensing of the individual tricolor LED modules, but overall, a better fixture.
I also like the other RGBAW LED fixture that Bill posted about a few days ago, that was more of a strip format than a block format. The distribution of LEDs was nice, and it would probably be a great backdrop fixture if used in multiples.
However, there are some times when a ripoff becomes so ubiquitous that it can no longer be considered a ripoff. For instance, I found it interesting when Clay Paky came out with their Alpha Beam 300 fixture. I found it even more intriguing when Coemar quickly followed suit with a very similar fixture, then Elation. I'm sure there are other companies out there doing this, but when 3 large moving light manufacturers do the same thing at essentially the same time, it seems like it's gone a bit beyond a ripoff and is now a product that can essentially be considered a standard, like the 250W moving head. Everyone has a 250W mover out with a pair of gobo wheels, a fixed beam angle that's fairly narrow, a color wheel, an MSD250 lamp, and a 3-facet prism. It's just a standard.
It's when a product is imitated in such an exacting way that it looks essentially the same, including the mounting yoke/floor bracket combo system of the Stagebar, the individual sections of LEDs, the shape of the housing, etc are copied that it certainly seems like a ripoff. But hey, I'm game, Elation's got some powerful stuff out there, and this new stuff that Bill's getting in looks decent.
build a mouse trap.
To say one MFG is ripping off another is hard to determine or state with any certainly until one has documented proof of the date of manufacture.
Thus my point about three big ML manufacturers releasing Beam 300W fixtures at the same time - who knows who came up with the original concept, 'cause they all came out basically within a year.
Elation has been designing so many of their own powerful and efficient mousetraps lately (Impression being one, TRI-LED washlights another), seems a shame that they're relying on others! I think the release date of the Stagebar (a long time ago) and the Colorblast (a longer time ago) will easily prove that both of the fixtures I discussed are indeed ripoffs/copys/whatever you want to call 'ems.
And as I said, ripoffs have their place. I can afford them, I can't afford the real thing. But you can't deny that they're ripoffs.
However, I will a test that the Tri-LEDs are amazing. I have a few Opti Par Tri's in. Have to find time and take a few shots of them. Very punchy and color shadows all but gone. And the Opti 30 Tri does use the exact same housing as an Opti 30 RGB. Also the new Design Strip LED Tri is amazing. No more 'blocks' of RGB, simply 'blocks' of color.
With regrads to the DS300, Elation's has something no one else has and that is CMY and frost. It is the cheapest CMY fixture on the market. The Alpha 300 has two color wheels and no frost. It also costs more for the electronic ballast which comes standard in the Elation. Price wise, a DS300 Pro costs the same as a magnetic ballast Alpha 300 and that light takes it a step farther with the addition of zoom. I will say this however, with how much the 300s cost, I would much rather pay a couple hundred more a fixture for DS575Es with a brighter lamp, 2 rotating gobo wheels, and greater zoom range then the DS300 Pro.
Also be on the look out for the Design Spot LED Pro, suppose to have a 200w single source LED.
Elation designs anything let alone manufactures a product. Elation sources products. They may offer suggestions and work with engineers, they probably do.
If you spend some time surfing China's LED manufacturers, you'll find most of the products being offered by Elation, ADJ, Chauvet, MBT, Cheap Lights, and even some of Martins.
I have indeed surfed the Chinese manufacturers' websites, and have found ripoffs and ripoffs of ripoffs galore. And yes, a lot of original product as well - the Martin dj line products and I think I may have even found a good number of Robe products. And of course all of the low-end lighting manufacturers. I've seen wonderfully perfect replicas of Martin MAC series fixtures with the only surface difference being the wonderful toy-colored buttons next to/below/above the LCD. I've seen the well known Avo ripoffs being made by at least one if not two or three companies over there. I've seen them ripping off eachother - someone ripped off the Elation Show Designer 2 with a different case design, different connector layout, but similar button, encoder, and fader layout. I always have to laugh at the names of the fixtures on these websites, too.
Elation's Show Designer 2. These are OEM companies and will take a product they have created and change silk screens, button colors or locations in order to market the product to multiple "Name Brand" retailers.
My point is in todays global market, it is difficult to say which came first... the chicken or the egg.
I thought that for a while, but some things weren't lining up right. I found the actual SD2 generically branded elsewhere.
Sure, stuff gets tossed around the China realm all the time. And they really nailed it with some of the products they've put out. However, with longstanding upper teir products, such as the Colorblasts and the Martin Stagebars, I tend to think that they were the original products. Stagebars have been out for what, something like two or three years now? And Colorblasts are ancient as popular LED fixtures go.
But I do think that the recent push in LED technology, over the past year or so, is a perfect example of what you're talking about. We very quickly got fixtures from Elation and Chauvet that were competing in the same fields, and some of them directly competing with higher brands like Coemar.
The 300 watt fixture explosion is the same way - a year ago, almost no one had 300 watt moving heads - now you get to pick and choose. Who developed what first?
And with the new "ACL style" narrow-beam moving heads - also in the 300W category, but Elation and Clay Paky also have higher powered versions. These things just started popping up like weeds recently! Not saying it's a bad thing, but I saw one, then another, then another. Who knows who started the product development first, but you can be sure that the time it would take to develop a competing product and get it on to an assembly line is more than the release time between these fixtures!
The point on the development cycle is spot on. The proximity of release of similar products makes it clear that these were being developed in parallel.
throw in that it seems like the lower end manufactures are driving the LED market currently. Typically the big boys make a product and it gets copied by cheaper variations. However in the case of LED's it's the smaller more nimble companies like Elation, Chauvet, and "China Inc." driving the bus. While Martin did put out the Stage Bar it hasn't exactly had THAT big of a splash. True the Elation is a similar shape but with 70- 3 Watt Rebels it's going to kick the Stage Bar's butt. Seems like the Stage Bar is only 1 watt LED's.
The other critical thing to consider in all this is yes you may be able to get a cheaper brighter stage bar from China Inc. But what happens when you need repairs?
I never said that I wouldn't use ripoffs - I simply said that they were ripoffs and you really can't deny that. I'd take Elation's new fixture with the 3W Rebels and seven segments over the Martin with 1W diodes any day. I'll still call it a ripoff, though.
The Stagebar hasn't had that big of a splash due to so many issues with it, from what I understand. When I did see some of them come through on a tour (last year, Third Eye Blind tour) uplighting a backdrop, they did a wonderful job, and the pixel control really shined through when the LD ran runway chases on the band's name.
A few things:
1) It's cheaper, so you can have a few spares handy.
2) Elation, Chauvet, ADJ, and Irradiant all have US service centers.
3) When you simply purchase from China, Inc (ie direct from China or through a US distributor with no branding and no service center), you don't purchase anything other than a fixture. When you buy from Elation, Chauvet, ADJ, or Irradiant, you buy a warranty that is redeemable. I know of many folks who have gotten satisfactory repairs from Chauvet, and I know of no one who owns Elation stuff who's ever had to send it back. They are companies who provide services, even if they're just official branding distributors who warranty Chinese products. You can't deny that.
advance replacement for any defective product within the warranty period.
Separate names with a comma.