The 2014 LDI Conference and Tradeshow witnessed a massive increase in the number of laser equipment manufacturers and show companies exhibiting this year, further providing evidence that the laser entertainment industry as a whole is growing at an exponential pace.
For a long time, lasers have been looked at only as a special effect, rather than a mainstream lighting element. But, with new technological advancements being made by companies like Pangolin Laser Systems, Inc. we’re now seeing lasers everywhere… From festivals and tours, sporting events, nightclubs and bars, live television events, corporate events and even in display advertising and marketing.
In speaking with Justin Perry, Chief Operating Officer at Pangolin Laser Systems, Inc., he explains the growth of the laser industry, from an artistic standpoint… “When you think about lasers as an artistic tool – A paintbrush for example, you soon begin to realize that when using laser as a lighting medium you have a much greater and wider degree of flexibility in your artistic expression… Simply put, lasers are a better paintbrush when compared to traditional lighting sources such as LEDs”.
Perry goes on to discuss how Pangolin has had a leading role in the continued growth of the laser industry…
“Here at Pangolin, we’re committed to growing the laser industry as a whole, by developing laser control and safety products that make the technology easier and more accessible to the lighting community…
“Some of these new technologies include our BEYOND software, which puts full artistic control of lasers into the hands of the lighting designer or laser technician. BEYOND gives operators the ability to create stunning “live” laser performances (with control via DMX, MIDI, OSC, and ArtNet) as well as entirely pre-programmed timeline based laser shows. BEYOND also has profiles for today’s leading lighting consoles, such as the GrandMA. Our goal with BEYOND, is to give lighting designerS and laser technicians control over lasers, the way they envision it.
On the consumer side of things, our QuickShow software has changed the game in terms of laser control, allowing newcomers to lasers, mobile DJs and the like, to have an easy-to-use laser control software right out of the box. With QuickShow, client’s can start creating beautiful laser light shows with just a few mouse clicks. Through the QuickShow product, we’re helping to create an entirely new generation of laser operators and technicians, who can then grow into our more professional level BEYOND software.
Another area where we’re pushing the envelope, is laser safety. Pangolin developed the world’s first safety platform (called PASS), to get approval from the US CDRH and FDA, allowing companies to perform what is called “audience scanning” (whereby you intentionally project laser effects, into an audience area, or onto a performer).
To compliment PASS, we also create our patented Safety Scan Lenses, which further ensure that laser effects projected into an audience area, are safe for public viewing. And on the software side of things, we incorporate a feature called a “Beam Attenuation Map” whereby a lighting designer or laser technician, can purposely reduce laser output, in a specified area. These technologies combined together, have helped make laser effects much safer for public audiences.
In a recent studies done by Laser Focus World and Electro Optics Magazine (two world-leading industrial laser publications) statistics show that the laser entertainment industry is growing at a rapid pace. In 2012, Pangolin worked with Laser Focus World on a study to estimate the total size of this industry. It was estimated that at this time, the laser entertainment industry was valued at around a quarter-of-a-billion dollars in annual revenues. In 2014, a similar study was done, and that number came closer to around a half-a-billion in annual sales (this takes into account laser light show companies, distribution companies, and laser equipment manufacturers).
In simply looking at the number of laser companies exhibiting at LDI, from 2012 to 2014, as well as taking into account the number of people attending the exhibition to learn about lasers, it becomes very clear that lasers are no longer the “small lights” on the block, and that they are becoming a mainstream lighting fixture, in today’s entertainment scene.