# Light Factory

#### len

##### Well-Known Member
They all have their strengths and weaknesses. It's not the only product out there.

Also is Hog PC, LightJockey, Elation Compuware, AxisDMX, Sunlite, and some others. It depends on your needs and budget, but I'd only consider HogPC and LightJockey. The rest don't have as good support and/or user library and/or interface and/or features and/or number of universes.

#### mbenonis

##### Wireless Guy
Watch out for anything that says "starting at." I've worked with another PC-based light system (ET's Horizon) and the basic version which I used has so many limitations - it couldn't even do a simple effects cue, something our ETC Express 48/96 board does with ease.

#### len

##### Well-Known Member
Another thot: I visit the LightJockey forum at the Martin website frequently. LightJockey costs about $1200. The software is free, but you pay for the dongle to allow you to send data to the fixtures. At least once a month, there is someone asking if they can buy a cheaper product that will work with the software. And the answer is no. Think about it. The electronics in that box probably cost about$20. I heard the parts for an Ipod are about $30 by way of comparison. But LJ costs$1200. Why? Because someone has to develop the software, and that's not cheap. So why would they (and by they I mean anyone who's written a pc based dmx program) spend thousands of man hours writing this software only to give it away? So if the hardware and software are free or very inexpensive, how good could it be? At the very most, it's a trial version like Mike says, designed to give you a taste so you'll purchase the whole product.

#### mixsa

##### Member
lf is very specifically aimed at moving lights thou
but these seems more like a standard console replacement?

#### len

##### Well-Known Member
Mixsa,

the pc based desks are usually better at running movers than conventionals, because of the interface. Martin sells an add-on for LightJockey called Fingers http://www.martin.com/product/product.asp?product=fingers, which is a board with a lot of buttons AND 12 faders which could be configured to run dimmers (you can do other things with them, but this is just one example). I think HogPC has similar capabilities. If you buy the PCMCIA dongle for LightJockey you get 1024 channels out, and 1024 in, so it is possible to connect a conventional desk in and have greater control over faders, etc.

I like LJ because it's small, and portable. It fits on a computer. And for ballyhoo it's very easy to make stuff with 3-4 mouse clicks, and edit on the fly. Conventionals are a weakness, but I don't use them often, and when I do, usually it's only 4 channels, so not a big deal.

#### randerson

##### Member
I see this thread is really old so I wanted to give a bit of an update. I own lightfactory and really like it. About a year or two ago it went through a huge revision (V2) and added a ton of features. At first, a few years ago, it was unstable, but now the latest build runs flawlessly.

I don't have a huge rig, around 100 conventionals, and 8 intelligent fixtures. But in my experience, this software handles both conventionals and intelligent fixtures excellently. I have yet to find a scenario where this software limits my design. It has great features like timeline effects or timecode so you can put lights to music. I also find that there are often multiple ways to get the same end result, so if one process doesn't work for you, there is usually another way to do it.

Customer service is beyond the moon. Not only will they help find a solution, they will often rebuild the program to meet your needs.

What is it missing? well the same as any software, a cheap control surface. ENTTEC makes one for this software but its not cheap. For getting DMX out of it I have a USB-DMX open interface and an ETHERNET-DMX box from Enttec. The ethernet box has quit on me twice, the USB works fine. But the ethernet box is nice because I can go wireless with the laptop, bringing it where ever I want.

Has anyone else worked with this software? I'd like to hear what others think.

#### avery

##### Member
I've tried a lot of different DMX control software. I'm getting ready to try LightFactory, that is if I can get over the price tag of \$500.

I've used Martin LightJockey for the past year. My opinion is to stay away from the LJ software unless it's the only DMX control you plan on using for a long time. It has all the bells and whistles that you would want and expect from software, but the execution is absolutely horrible. The software feels and runs from something out of Windows 95. You can do pretty much everything you want to do, if you spends hours upon hours learning the ins and outs of the software. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but some of us don't have time to play with the software for days on end trying to figure out the smallest of detail.
The LJ forums on Martin's website are decently active, which I took as a good sign though I should have read through them first. Lots and lots of questions go un-answered, and while most of the help you'll get on the software will come from the forums, it will most likely come from a post made in 2006 which hasn't been updated in years.

Because of the scheduling features, LJ is awesome for architectural applications, but it's lack of support for conventionals, and it's learning curve and outdated interface and functionality make it less than desirable to the average LD.