Monday, August 4, 2008

the finish fantastic

radiohead radiohead radiohead radiohead

if you have never ever seen them in concert

the entire lighting rig was led's - ecological rock shows, the new wave of the future
how are they ecologically sound?
the led fixtures only draw the energy they need. non-led fixtures draw full flow energy no matter their level of intensity. the current led fixtures offer wash effects, broad stroke lighting efx. they do not yet offer specific tight source options just the same the concert was a-freaking-mazing. thank you radiohead, it was a great evening.

thom yorke (lead singer) is a speaker for friends of the earth, a u.k. based organization.

here's some information right off their blog

In 2003, the year of the last major Radiohead tour, the lighting system required an electricity supply of 600amps 3phase (that's 1800A). A kettle, being one of the larger consumers of power in the home, pulls between 8 and 12A.

Our road to what became, we believe, the first exclusively LED tour lighting system started with a conversation about generators at festivals and green field sites.

Traditional stage lighting utilises dimmers to turn things on and off. When they are not on, they use little to no power; when they are on at 100%, they pull their maximum power. A generator, therefore, has to be sized to provide the maximum power required instantaneously -- normally the big rock moment at the end of the show. Up until this point, generators are idling inefficiently, using fuel and producing carbon emissions.

I suggested that we cut out these fluctuating loads and concentrate on more modern moving light system. These types of lights are common place. Using a discharge lamp; lower in power consumption, the unit remains on all the time using mechanical shutters to turn them "on and off". The concept being with all the lamps on all the time, the power demand would be constant and enable us to use the generators more efficiently.

Andi Watson has been the lighting and visuals designer for radiohead since their club days, and has a reputation for innovation and attention to detail. It was his creative genius and strong support of the concept that brought him to suggest we go further and use LED. Back to a direct power demand system but using much less power at 100%.

The full system (including video) is exclusively LED and uses 140A 3phase (420A in total) when turned on fully. It's worth pointing out that LED lighting uses Red, Green and Blue LED's to make colours, with all 3 being on 100% to make white, therefore any colour effect only uses a percentage of the power. Traditional lighting uses a subtractive colour creation, with filters placed in front of a white source to remove the unwanted colour - therefore, in the case of red for example, using 100% of the power for a third of the light output.

LED stage lighting products have been around for a few years (Radiohead used one of the early units in 2003) but trying to find fixtures that would do all the jobs required was a challenge, resulting in a brand new light from iPix ( and a never seen before lighting design.

Less power consumed and a visually stunning show. No doubt LED is the future. Technology is moving forward at a rapid rate, but LED's look and behave differently. Should we be striving to achieve the same result but in a low power form, or adapt to the products and use them to do new and exciting things?

Regardless, with smaller requirements alternative power sources can be considered. I wonder how big the battery would need to be.....

read more about the conscious based efforts they are making while on tour.
let's hope other bands follow suit.

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