www.glp.de: German Light Products - Latest News http://www.glp.de/ Latest News en www.glp.de: German Light Products - Latest News http://www.glp.de/EXT:tt_news/ext_icon.gif http://www.glp.de/ Latest News TYPO3 - get.content.right http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Fri, 26 Sep 2014 10:48:00 +0200 impression X4 help to rock Rio in Lisbon http://www.glp.de/index.php?id=news_det&L=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=328&cHash=0bc3e656ee3ac768bd03bb6cd15b01c3 Thomas Giegerich and Toto Bröcking light main stage façade with 100 heads  

When the famous Rock in Rio Festival returned to Lisbon this summer, and crowds of up to 350,000 swarmed to the Parque da Bela Vista, they zeroed in on the main Palco Mundo stage, the façade of which was spectacularly lit by 120 GLP impression X4 LED heads.

This provided the perfect setting for top tier acts such as the Rolling Stones, Arcade Fire, Justin Timberlake, Linkin Park, Queens of the Stone Age and many more to perform over the four days.

Having worked with Rock in Rio, one of the largest festivals in the world, for the last decade, lighting design company, bright! GmbH again turned to GLP’s successful impression platform.

Thomas Giegerich, who runs the German lighting company with brother Michael, confirmed that they had successfully built on the legacy of the original impression 90s. “We used all the X4s to bring the metal stage structure to life — something we had done with the Impression 90 years before. It really highlighted the facade.”

He noted that in addition to being compact, light weight and low on consumption — ideal for festivals — there were many other attributes. “They are rugged, produce very good colours and are extremely fast,” he stated. “In the end the price was part of the decision too.”

He had first become involved in the event back in 2004 when bright! were asked to handle the complete WYSIWYG on-site preprogramming. “We were hired by Procon, which is now PRG Germany, for the first European Rock in Rio — and now I am the festival’s lighting designer, ” Giegerich continued.

Founded by Brazilian entrepreneur Roberto Medina, the event itself is a series of festivals that take place in Rio (Brazil), Lisbon (Portugal) and Madrid (Spain). It had been his decision to move the event to Lisbon in 2004 before it returned to its original location, Rio de Janeiro, with a new line-up in 2011.

Working this year alongside Gabisom, who provided the sound, Thomas Giegerich and Tobias ‘Toto’ Bröcking designed all the lighting and video sets (assisted by WYSIWYG specialist Matthias Reuhl), trading on their long relationship with GLP.

They had first been introduced to the Karlsbad-based company many years ago when one of their employees (Denis Hessberger) moved to the manufacturer.

Since then they have developed ever closer ties, with bright! specifying every generation of impression fixtures and handling the manufacturer’s trade fair booth designs to this day. Meanwhile Hessberger has returned to bright! but continues to work closely with GLP.

As for the X4s, they also proved popular in Lisbon with the influx of visiting LDs who found them easy to programme and build cues. “They are just so easy to work with,” concluded the lighting designer. “All the incoming bands’ LDs know these fixtures and can easily implement them in their shows.”

impression X4 i-touring i-rental Im Slider auf Startseite anzeigen Fri, 26 Sep 2014 10:48:00 +0200
Supercharged impression X4 XL makes stunning UK debut with The Naked And Famous http://www.glp.de/index.php?id=news_det&L=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=326&cHash=4c42d2dc2679e5b893b116928fc06cc7 When New Zealand band The Naked and Famous were set to play their first major UK headline showcase... So he commandeered 12 of GLP’s powerful new impression X4 XL LED washlights — the latest and largest of the popular X4 family — from equipment vendor TSL Lighting, knowing he would be giving them their exclusive UK debut. “I had been hoping to get my hands on this fixture for a while,” he admits.

Liam was already familiar with the fixture’s forbears, the popular X4 and smaller X4 S, having used them as floor packages on the band’s American arena gigs — both in their own right and in support of US rock band, Imagine Dragons. But at Shepherds Bush, six of the massive X4XL pan heads, each housing 55 x 15W RGBW LEDs, and vertically mounted on pipes set downstage left and right, were set to output huge swathes of light.

It was an impressive tour de force that had an immediate impact on the indie band itself. Keyboard player Aaron Short summed up the anticipation of the new GLP lights by quipping, "Liam had been going on about this Shepherds Bush show for so long — and now I know why. We'd been using the X4 on our last tour, which is great, but these X4 XLs are five times as big. They're epic and make it feel like we're playing in an arena!

"For me, the bigger the production I'm surrounded in, the better … so having the new GLP X4 XLs on stage definitely helps me take my performance to another level.”

Taking up the story again, Liam says, “With 55 LEDs, it gives a real punch — the beams are amazing!” He also highlights the individually controllable LEDs which allowing a range of different patterns to be created and displayed on the front lenses. “It's all about lighting the band, really, using the power of the beams via the pattern chases; a lot of fixtures can't do that.

“GLP’s colour tones and dimmer curves have always been better than their competitors while the [7°-50°] zoom on the X4XL is amazing; it makes such a difference.

Aside from being impressed with the colour saturates he has also noticed that the fixture is hardly DMX hungry: “27 channels in the hi-res mode which is pretty reasonable. In fact power wise we are on 63 amps but we are running nowhere near capacity.

“I also like the lens on the front so you don’t see the tacky LEDs. The strobing is also a lot nicer and it’s pretty fast for a fixture of that size and weight, as I do move the lights into the crowd.” The fixtures are also easy to programme on his Chamsys desk.

The X4 XLs were clearly the highlight of a production that also featured Solaris flares and short arc discharge lamps, creating as big a wow factor for the full house as the band themselves. “To add a lot more effect we are using custom built mirrors to create prism effects which we’ve had since the Imagine Dragons tour,” confirms the LD.

He has been morphing the same show file as he used with the X4’s, adding subtle tweaks. “I have always worked on the idea of doing a cue stack for a track and having specials on a different fader, so it's all pretty much time coded really. I have a bespoke page for each song, and there's a lot of triggering of Macros as well; I find it easier to edit a Macro especially at smaller venues when we're cloning/morphing different fixtures.”

Liam Griffiths, who comes from a family of lighting and video technicians, has honed his art at venues just such as this; his CV features stints with Rudimental, Maximo Park and The Enemy among others, while a heavy booking roster for next year includes a tour with Brooke Fraser.

Martin Locket from TSL Lighting also added his pride at being involved in the UK debut of GLP’s new blockbuster. "We are delighted to continue our support for Liam and this show has been a great chance for us to collaborate with Mark Ravenhill and his team.

“An energetic live show gave us a first class opportunity to evaluate these fixtures fully and to identify further productions and designers that they would be ideally suited to, across several market sectors."<xml></xml>

impression X4 XL i-touring Im Slider auf Startseite anzeigen Fri, 12 Sep 2014 14:38:00 +0200
impression X4 help bring Billy Joel´s MSG residency to life http://www.glp.de/index.php?id=news_det&L=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=324&cHash=d600b8e54f57d708247a981e00cc4760 Production designer Steve Cohen’s association with Billy Joel dates back an astonishing 40 years.... Along the production journey, as technology evolved into LED, so Cohen encountered the world of the GLP impression series — using both the original impression 90 and 120 RZ zoom as well as the Volkslichts. But it was the later introduction of the X4 that confirmed his love affair with the impression LED platform.

“I saw the X4 for the first time on the GLP stand at LDI when Mark Ravenhill showed them to me. The technology and colour were spectacular and I used them for the first time on Human Nature [at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas].”

This show, which celebrated the magic of Motown, ran in the city where his operation, Steven Cohen Productions, is based. “I have had a lot of success with that show and could see immediately that the X4 was a pretty efficient light. As an LED wash light I can set it at 50ft-60ft, as I do on the Billy Joel shows, and it’s amazing to see such a pure collimated beam.”

For this tour, lighting vendors, Atomic Lighting of Pennsylvania, have supplied 120 GLP X4’s to help punctuate a concept which exploded from one original small show that Joel undertook in the UK. “I had some ideas with segmented video screens and I modified that for 360°, reconfiguring it and repositioning the video — and that drove the lighting plot.”

Both the residency and touring set, plays in the round from the end of the arena, with Billy Joel’s piano on a revolving turntable.

The New Yorker has a decades-long history with the Garden. Since 1978, he’s played a record-breaking 47 shows, including a sold-out run of 12 consecutive nights in 2006, and a moving performance at the 12-12-12 concert benefiting victims of Sandy. Capacity audiences of 18,000 have been flocking to see the artist, many of them repeat visits.

And with his inspired use of video Steve Cohen is helping Joel celebrate the magic of New York “with animated scenery and video capture technology, both evocative and impressionistic.”

As a TV lighting designer he knows the importance of balance. “There are only two types of lighting used on the show and the balance we have achieved with the video gives us plenty of headroom.”

He is using the X4 both as a flood and a tight beam. “In fact I’m using every parameter,” he says. “It offers the best colour of any LED light and it’s reliable, giving us a consistent colour feel. On top of that they are lightweight and you get a lot in a small amount of space.”

The X4 fixtures are mounted on ten bars, purpose manufactured by Atomic Lighting and each containing four X4 impressions; some are set both above and below the random vertical video panels — which hang in separate strips to form the ‘broken’ wall — where they hold their own effortlessly. A further 27 X4 fixtures are placed on nine vertical booms at the back of the stage — three on each — and also around the stage floor itself.

The geometry of the video design is such that when it fades to black, the silhouetted outline represents the Manhattan Skyline.

The shows further benefit from being directed by experienced programmer Mark Foffano, another long time Billy Joel associate, who has worked on every show since the late ‘90s.



impression X4 i-touring Im Slider auf Startseite anzeigen Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:21:00 +0200
MIRRAD storms the Bastille with GLP impression X4 artillery http://www.glp.de/index.php?id=news_det&L=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=322&cHash=750877d44b7eae9fd27d95d15b7e0d6f Lighting designer Jamie Thompson has again turned to GLP’s groundbreaking LED impression series to... Three years after successfully integrating the impression 90s (and Zoom) into The Script’s show design, his company MIRRAD, which he runs with experienced co-lighting designer Bryan Leitch and Dave Cohen, specified 60 of the German manufacturer’s highly popular X4 moving heads. The inventory was supplied by PRG after first providing a demo of the fixtures.

Technology has advanced a long way in three years, and Thompson admits, “I’m really loving the X4 … I feel that GLP has made another huge leap with this new range. Combining both power and effects, this range has really come into its own.”

The London-based band, fronted by Dan Smith, has been playing a range of successful shows, including the massive Coachella Festival in the States (where Will Dart was programming and operating the lighting board) as they embark on the festival season.

The production concept this time around has been to highlight the triangle symbol which replaces the ‘A” in Bastille — and the impressions are used to line the upstage triangle and mid-stage diagonals. They are also rigged overhead for use as mid-air effects and to wash the stage.

“In these roles the X4 has been opening up some amazing effects for us,” Jamie continues. “The ability to use specific cells in the fixtures is a fantastic feature. But what really impresses is just how bright they are for their size — and how they stand up to the discharge sources.”

In fact GLP’s popular touring product features 19 RGBW 15W LED’s in a new baseless, lightweight design, with slimline body — making them easy to specify and place within the plot. The impression X4 features a 7:1 zoom ratio (7°-50°), full colour mixing including CTC and customisable pixel patterns across its front face. It is designed to deliver high output and with its RGBW sources, offers a wide colour palette from soft pastels to deep saturates.

Although Bastille’s rig size has downscaled for some of the smaller shows the full GLP inventory will be on display again from October. Meanwhile Jamie Thompson is planning to rejoin The Script shortly for further shows.

impression X4 i-touring Im Slider auf Startseite anzeigen Tue, 29 Jul 2014 10:05:00 +0200
impression X4 boosts German national team’s triumphant celebration in Berlin http://www.glp.de/index.php?id=news_det&L=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=320&cHash=f4bcebc4548c3074304a0b910bb85734 After winning a thrilling Cup Final in Rio de Janeiro and the subsequent flight home in the... Already in recent weeks up to 500,000 football fans had celebrated their team’s success on the Straße des 17. Juni in front of the Brandenburg Gate and along the Fan Mile. For the light show on the main stage, situated in front of the famous landmark, local company TLT Event AG was responsible for building the 65 square metre LED wall along with a number of X4 impression X4s.

Lighting designer Lars Murasch was more than satisfied with the performance of this compact LED moving head: "The X4 is a very versatile wash light,” he said. “It can be combined excellently with Beams due to its tight zoom and the low amount of stray light. It proved itself in front of the TV camera for both its image and among other things for its baseless design.”

Both the German team as well as the LED Wash ‘designed in Germany’ performed exceptionally. After a month-long tournament in Brazil and a total of 13 days of use on the Fan Mile the most beautiful homecoming the German football fans could imagine was the presentation of the trophy in front of the fans by team captain Philipp Lahm and his team-mates.

TLT AG’s director, Jan Schimming, was entirely satisfied: "The operating days at the Fan Mile can sometimes be long. For the team’s homecoming the stage programme, for example, began at 8 clock in the morning — and yet we experienced no problems with the impression X4 during the entire production."

In conclusion, Schimming said that these fixtures from GLP represented a good long-term investment. "We have already used 48 impression X4 for the New Year's Eve event at the Brandenburg Gate. Those LED moving heads have therefore now proven themselves to be reliable in both cold and hot conditions — and they didn’t let us down on either occasion. Operational reliability and flexibility are the key points for all involved parties, for us, our clients KIT Group & Wohlthat Entertainment GmbH and last but not least the audience."


Pictures: David Marschalsky

impression X4 i-tv i-rental Im Slider auf Startseite anzeigen Tue, 29 Jul 2014 09:23:00 +0200
New impression X4 XL adds sting to SCORPIONS lighting set http://www.glp.de/index.php?id=news_det&L=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=318&cHash=755cfc57a2ec9ac9dc6d51e8f4ef11c5 LD Rainer Becker debuts GLP’s new LED head on MTV Unplugged tour Rainer Becker, long-serving LD for legendary German rock band, the Scorpions, has frequently turned to GLP’s evolving impression family of LED heads when designing his touring sets; but he has now gone a step further by becoming the first adopter of the company’s new X4 XL moving head for the latest MTV Unplugged series.

Producing an amazing amount of light output, the impression X4 XL uses 55 RGBW LEDs and offers a zoom of 7° to 50°. Providing Becker with ultimate flexibility the fixture works equally well as a narrow beam light — with hard edge capability — or as a smooth wash light with even coverage at wider angles.

It was GLP’s Oliver Schwendke who proposed the X4 XL during a production meeting with the LD, along with the band’s video creatives, Günther Jäckle and Hans Otto Richter. “We were discussing content and immediately agreed to use the X4 XL for the Unplugged tour,” confirms Becker. “I had been waiting for an LED spotlight with high output — and the X4 XL delivers that along with an unbelievable zoom; this fixture is a must on outdoor stages.”

Consequently, six of the X4 XL fixtures were positioned along the front edge of the subwoofers, with Becker declaring, “I prefer big effects. They have so much power that if you set the zoom to zero they will hurt people’s eyes so you have to fire them over the heads of the audience.” Literally an ‘over the top’ effect then.

In addition to the aforementioned zoom which Rainer Becker describes as “incredible”, he says, “The built in effects library — the same as the impression X4 — is also very nice, and the patterns are very easy to programme.”

The enormous output is based on a fully homogenized RGBW colour system with additional variable CT control. Also featured are a variable speed electronic strobe, smooth full range dimming, 16-bit pan and tilt and GLP’s trademark stylish baseless design.

MTV Unplugged was originally recorded in August last year in the Greek capital of Athens. “I did the set and lighting design for this show — and based on this, the band asked me to make an adapted arena version,” said the LD. “For the rock shows I always request 30 GLP impression XL in the technical rider wherever possible.” With 240 K2 LEDs, he says this is his ‘go to’ solution when it comes to LED wash lights.

These rock shows also continue to use the G-LEC system, part of the GLP portfolio, originally suggested by the Hanover band themselves, and first used by Rainer Becker as far back as 2010.

“For the rock shows the rough appearance of the 30mm display works really well but for the Unplugged show we use 8mm screens, because we have a lot of camera pictures.”

But the stars of MTV Unplugged have unquestionably been the X4 XL. While low power draw and lumen efficiency remain the two mainstays of GLP’s impression series the features keep improving in order to remain competitive, he believes. “It seems like whenever GLP launches a new model everyone is trying to design a copy.”

Summing up, Rainer Becker says he has been extremely happy with the debut performances of the impression X4 XL. “The lights looked great the way we used them — as ‘skytrackers’ above the audience — and even the band noticed that we had a new toy.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how they will perform when we use them outdoors, as they can easily replace molefays!”

impression X4 XL i-touring Im Slider auf Startseite anzeigen Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:02:00 +0200
GLP launches new generation impresion X4 XL http://www.glp.de/index.php?id=news_det&L=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=316&cHash=c52c84171b44c411bb55b48c4483cbbb GLP’s next generation impression X4 XL LED moving head has been creating waves among global LDs... The X4XL embraces the same philosophy and highly efficient optical design of the smaller X4 and X4S to complete a family of fixtures suitable for venues and shows of all sizes.

The automated head boasts 55 RGBW LED sources, each rated at 15W and each colour matched to align across units, giving them compatibility with X4 and X4 S units that may be used on the same production. It also offers the same zoom range of 7° to 50° which, with such a high output, forms a ‘cannon of light’ at its narrowest angle up to a bright expanse of coverage at its widest.

And with its quad colour sources, the X4 XL offers the same extensive colour pallet as others in the series, ranging from soft pastels to deep, strong saturates; and the increased intensity ensures that the saturated colours just become even purer.

For effects across its face, the X4 XL allows for individual control of each of the 55 pixels, with a complete range of patterns built into the fixture as standard. Custom patterns can be programmed quickly and easily via a few DMX channels and recorded directly into the control desk. The X4XL standard DMX mode uses just 26 channels with access to all functionality, making it particularly economical.

The optical system of the X4 XL has been designed to give even coverage of both colour and intensity across its beam at all zoom ranges and doesn’t suffer from dark spots, remaining faithful to the core needs of a washlight and not sacrificing performance for gimmicks.

The optical dimming performance of the X4 XL continues GLP’s tradition of producing the highest quality control, with no colour shift occurring during any part of the dimming process — so that long fades will reproduce exactly. An electronic shutter gives a wide and varied strobe effect up to 25 flashes per second, with built in macros for ease of programming.

Finally, the impression X4 XL features 16-bit pan and tilt control, with 660° of pan and 260° of tilt movement, complete with feedback sensors to ensure positional accuracy at all times.

Confirms GLP US Inc president, Mark Ravenhill, “The initial reaction to the X4XL has been amazing, and it is clearly the large LED washlight that people have been waiting for. Creating continuity and longevity with our product lines is important for us, for our partners and the designers that use our fixtures. The addition of the X4 XL allows us to strengthen this product series for everyone.”

The X4 XL is available from GLP distributors globally.<xml> </xml>

Product News impression X4 XL i-theater Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:54:00 +0200
GLP impressions selected for new Hospital Live Room http://www.glp.de/index.php?id=news_det&L=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=314&cHash=a90a074a1211eafe74dcdde92f65a043 Richard Martin Lighting installs new Oak Room at Covent Garden club. The Hospital Club, the private members' club and creative arts venue in London’s Covent Garden, has unveiled the Oak Room, a new 100-capacity live performance and showcase space. 

Designed by the award-winning Russell Sage Studio, the Oak Room will serve up an eclectic range of outstanding entertainment for members, from DJs and live performances (featuring some of the UK’s best music acts) to high-end comedy, cabaret and jazz nights.

Lighting suppliers, Richard Martin Lighting (RML) have supplied an all GLP impression solution, equipping the room with 12 of their special chrome GLP impression 90’s. At the same time, key music events will be recorded for broadcast through select media partners.

Said RML’s Gemma Jaques, “I opted to use the impressions because in the initial planning meeting the interior designers wanted something that looked aesthetically pleasing and worked with their plans for the room.

“Because of the room’s low ceiling height the units needed to be LED and relatively small. We were free to use whatever fixtures we thought were the most appropriate in our inventory — and that was clearly our special chrome impression 90. The RGB heads were originally commissioned specifically for television use — but the aesthetic was perfect for the Oak Room. “It’s important that the fixture is seen as a visual effect in its own right as well as what it can do as a colour changing wash,” continued Gemma.

Aside from its compact size attributes, thanks to its 90 Luxeon K2 high performance LEDs (30 per colour), the impression 90 reaches a light output that is higher than a washlight with a 575W discharge lamp while it can pan through 660° in 2 seconds, with 300° of tilt.

In addition, GLP impression series heads are virtually silent running, have no heat dissipation and boast extremely low power requirement.

Stated Dom Munroe, Head of Event Operations, "The versatility and high output of GLP's impression lights not only offer us enormous colour-changing flexibility from a wide palette, but being compact and lightweight they are easy to rig and economical to run and maintain. With the wide range of acts that we are presenting in the Oak Room this is just the kind of versatility that we wanted."

And CEO, Sue Walter, added, “It is not often a new event space opens in Central London which has literally never been seen before. The Oak Room will be integral to The Hospital Club’s ethos of showcasing and supporting emerging talent. We are excited to have secured such a diverse range of new and established acts from the beginning, and we will continue to give members, artists and guests a uniquely Hospital Club experience.”

impression 90 i-corporate Tue, 24 Jun 2014 11:24:00 +0200
GLP X4's Dazzle Eurovision's Audience http://www.glp.de/index.php?id=news_det&L=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=312&cHash=8649c0e24b387065a04f59e894427c5b Several hundred GLP impression X4 LED moving lights were specified by LD Kasper Lange on behalf of... Lange was supported by Danish rental company LiteCom and Production Resource Group (PRG) with the GLP fixtures themselves sourced from PRG’s inventory. These lights were selected by the LD for the impact they would create when suspended on eight long pieces of truss, with around 2m space in between — specifically deployed as audience effects lights.

The impression X4 derives its high brightness from the 19 RGBW high output LED’s. In its slimline body, with no base unit, the fixture houses a 7°-50° zoom range, full colour mixing (from soft pastels to deep saturates) including CTC and customisable pixel patterns across its front face.

Commented Kasper Lange, “Right from the beginning I had been looking for a powerful RGBW LED wash for the audience light. I have been using GLP impressions for the past four years and am particularly impressed at the output, zoom and stability of the X4 fixtures.”

And LiteCom’s Balder Thorrud, agreed. “The X4’s made a very nice and effective light, offering good production values when used in large quantities. The zoom was used to create effect and the flood feature for the audience.”

The impression X4 also boasts a useful library of effects and all the cues were programmed at the desk by Timo Kauristo, Gubi Schmidt and Johnny Thinggaard Sørense, while PRG’s project manager Matthias Rau provided product support.

Images and content could be delivered to four different display surfaces, including an LED back wall measuring 110 metres wide by 13 metres high. There was also an LED floor, a ‘Cubus’ — 18 metres tall, set with LED panels and forming part of the stage design and a film that could either be transparent or opaque (to take projection).

impression X4 i-tv i-rental Im Slider auf Startseite anzeigen Tue, 03 Jun 2014 13:39:00 +0200
GLP celebrates two golden decades http://www.glp.de/index.php?id=news_det&L=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=309&cHash=777d06a47fca42081f6a25c60eab3bb0 When Udo Künzler first set up German Light Products (GLP) in 1994 the disco boom was still running... He found the perfect solution — a product that straddled both applications. But after pioneering a hybrid that captured all the market requirements for fast mirror scanning with a pan and tilt housing (the revolutionary Patend Light) he could little have forecast that two decades later the company would be at the forefront of LED technology, leading the series of ‘impression’ fixtures onto some of the highest profile concert tours on the planet — and at the same time building an industry sub-brand almost as big as GLP itself.

Based in the Karlsbad-Karlsruhe region of Baden-Württemberg, Künzler had been working as an electronic technician at Siemens, keeping one eye on the activity of his uncle, Hartmut Braun, whose B&K Showelectronic had become a major supplier to the nightclub market (as well as being owner of the 1400-capacity Galaxis nightclub). It’s easy to see how a young technician, working in the fairly impersonal environment of a multinational engineering conglomerate, could become seduced. “I would help Hartmut install discotheques in the summer months using scanners and helicopters and became infected by this,” he rationalised.

After completing his compulsory national service, he returned to civilian life 15 months later and decided not to take up his original post at Siemens. “I wanted to create something I could see a result from and Hartmut needed more help at B&K ... so I became an employee.”

He was soon head of the technical dept, modifying fixtures including early lighting pieces from Taiwan and China, and making them fit for purpose, as well as installing high profile nightclubs such as Chic in Gran Canaria.

Scanners particularly intrigued him and in 1993 he came up with the concept for the Patend Light.

“This was a completely new idea,” he said, “and directly led to the formation of GLP. We were aware that Vari-Lite was available for rental only and had the idea of developing a fast scanner, running a moving head and 360° beam rotation in pan and tilt mode.“

Housing a 575W and later a 1200W discharge lamp on ultra-fast Roto Head the aim of the fully-featured Patend was to deliver smooth slow movements and incredibly fast rotations.

Udo was so excited by the idea of the Patend, that in 1993 he proposed the idea of starting a dedicated and specialized lighting company. “So we formed German Light Products and I became a shareholder with Hartmut, starting from a small 200m2 workshop in the B&K warehouse, with two technicians.”

But such was the complexity of the Patend that it would take time to develop, and sensing the need to start generating cash flow they opened their account with the much simpler and more conventional Startec 2000 scanner, launching it to great acclaim at Frankfurt Musik Messe in 1994 (before Prolight+Sound had broken off as an independent show). This existed in two versions — the 575HMI and 250W halogen.

This had the desired effect, and although the scanner was hardly an original idea GLP enjoyed good sales to discotheques and small rental companies by handling all production and design in Germany.

All the while they continued to work on the Patend Light 575, combining moving head and scanner technology, and by 1996 they were ready to launch this at the PLASA Show in London. In fact so excited was one world famous lighting company on seeing it that their R&D director wanted to buy the company on the spot. “The only problem,” reflects Udo, “was that we didn't own the IP on the technology — so the deal fell flat.”

The chassis of the original product was aluminium while the scaled down Mini was in a plastic housing. “We spent a lot of money with a design company to fine tune the aesthetic. The reaction at PLASA couldn't have been better — the only problem was that by now there were other moving yoke products on the market [in the era after Vari-Lite], including Martin Pro whose Mac became the moving head bible for everyone.” However, they retained the 575, 1200 and Mini Patends which became quickly recognisable and extremely popular, so that today they represent icons of the period. One who adopted it was Tim Brennan at PRG who installed several in a Las Vegas club.

Other fixtures followed, most notably the Max, the Mighty Scan and the Pocket Scan 100W halogen with laser diode, which sold extensively in the US where a major wholesaler was distributing their products at the time. Mini Startec II then extended that family, and GLP produced its own dedicated DMX controllers (such as Show Designer SD1 and SD2 and Startec 2000 controller). Other popular catalogue items included the Joy 150 and 300 in 2000 and later in 2004, the successful Junior Scan.

Encouraged by their ability to pioneer technology, at the beginning of the new millennium GLP undertook the huge challenge of developing their Blue Tools platform, which should have been a world-beater.

“The idea was for a moving head with a special design and bi-directional rotation — a moving head, scanner and wash light combined,” remembers Udo Künzler. “We made the design and engineering and we had wanted to make the electronic power supply ourselves but outsourced the work. The product never got finished ... it was too complicated making the electronics to drive the discharge lamp, so we abandoned it.”

It was a huge disappointment not only to Udo but also to their new R&D man (now head of R&D), Markus Salm — who had previously been a customer of the company (and in fact owned some of the large Patend lights). Although he has subsequently spearheaded the successful impression campaign this first experience proved to be a baptism of fire.

Ironically, to recoup the heavy investment forfeited in the Blue Tools project GLP then developed Ypoc (you don't need to be a master of anagrams to work out how that name was derived). Instead of pioneering technologies they decided it was safer to resort to a ‘me too’ approach, with a basic 250W moving head spot and wash, followed by 575 and 700 versions. “This was a big success for us in 2002, and helped us to recoup the investment on the earlier product,” stated Künzler. The sales of Junior Scan two years later further added to the currency of the company.

Along the way GLP unexpectedly diversified into football and goal line technology via the start-up vehicle, Cairos Technologies. Udo Künzler was one of four founding directors along with Hartmut Braun (an idea that grew out of a chance bar room conversation following a football training session). The target was the 2006 World Championships and GLP was folded into Cairos while their R&D team worked feverishly on developing a new technological approach to determining whether a ball had crossed the goal line. The company later bought back its independence in 2010.

However, the investment the company received from its major shareholder had enabled GLP itself to expand. The funding helped them kick-start the impression programme and enabled them to recruit the highly experienced Kasper Gissel as Business Director in October 2007 to lead this new LED adventure. “He brought a lot of positive energy and created a completely new structure, bringing onboard some of the biggest rental companies,” recalls Udo.

In fact the Dane had been one of the key members of the old Martin Professional team as Head of International Business Development, and his network of contacts immediately reaped dividends. “We had to engage with LDs in order to make the impression a professional LED light,” he says, “ensuring we had an even beam, smooth dimming and that it was flicker-free for TV use.” Thus GLP became the first in the world to have a professional LED wash light.

Success was not long in coming and LD’s and rental companies were soon adopting the various iterations of the new GLP impression 90. But as Ypoc 700 became the company’s final discharge moving head, how had this new excursion into the brave new world of LED taken root?

“We had seen some other LED moving heads but they just weren’t sufficiently powerful,” remembers Udo. “We already had the idea of making a wash light but didn’t like the way it was being done and had to find a way that differed from the ‘three dot’ approach. We spoke to Osram and Lumileds, looking for a chip that would work, and design wise we realised we didn't need a big base, so we could make it lighter.

“We believed that if the product was small, easy and lightweight we would be giving the market what it wanted. This quality of light had not been seen before — it was far superior and produced a very good white.”

They opened their account with the impression 90 in 2007, so embarking on the most exciting chapter in their history. High profile endorsements were not long in coming.

The globally telecast United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15) in Autumn 2009 featured over 1000 impressions lighting two big halls (courtesy of Seelite A/S) — used entirely in white in view of their energy saving levels. This was the point at which GLP knew they were pursuing the correct path in developing a new generation of fixtures that could deliver world-class quality.

The initial impression 90 was followed by the Meisterstück, which the company quickly discontinued, since it had now considerably raised the bar in its quest for perfection, and decided that the colour consistency achieved fell short of the new standard. However, the more commercially priced Volkslicht, with no compromise on feature-set, became a major hit (nowhere more so than in the States, where it was affectionately known as the ‘Volkswagen’).

“The thing with impression was that the entire fixture was made by us using standard parts and it has been a big success,” considers Udo. In fact the 120Rz Zoom showed immediate advances, using Lumileds’ Rebel LEDs (transitioning from the K2 used on the original impression 90). This smaller lamp enabled 120 sources to populate the same space as the previous 90 K2’s, increasing output and providing a zoom facility.

Some 200 pieces were used on the popular ZDF TV show, Wetten, Dass out in Mallorca, and with Kasper Gissel, and Mark Ravenhill in full flow, rental companies started beating a path to their door. In Europe major hire operations such as Procon (now part of PRG) and Glenn Roggeman’s AED Rent came onboard. And after leading LDs such as Jerry Appelt and Ollie Olma adopted it, requests came in thick and fast.

But what about on the other side of the world? The company also realised it badly needed representation in the US, and another high profile recruit was Mark Ravenhill, the Martin Professional stalwart, whose lighting designs over the years had won many accolades.

Mark Ravenhill had joined the company in 2009 — a year that was to prove pivotal for GLP. A former colleague of Kasper Gissel at Martin Pro, he was anxious to move to the US with his family. “We decided to set up the US office and Mark loved the idea right away,” says Udo. “That year the impression was everywhere and it was an easy decision for him to make.” And based on his experience and huge network of contacts, Mark himself wasted no time in building up a top sales team to start penetrating many of the major/multinational and medium sized rental houses across the States.

In the same year GLP decided to extend their display options by purchasing the beleaguered G-LEC. The creative video company had made a name for itself with unique products such as Phantom, the first semi-transparent video panel that first appeared in 2000, and Solaris, a cable based video system, which offers designers creativity in both 2D and 3D applications.

“We had known the company for a long time — they had been first to develop the transparent screen and curtain and had the same customers. We had good contact with [G-LEC MD] Lars Wolf and they are based only 30 minutes away.”

In fact Solaris was used at the NBA All Star Game, on tour with The Chemical Brothers and Rascal Flatts, and in music videos by acts like One Republic. G- LEC has subsequently undergone a repositioning process and will launching a new range of products, starting at Frankfurt 2014.

One challenge that has confronted every manufacturer in the industry is where to best centre their production in order to match performance with price — without the risk of plagiarism, IP theft or shipment of a bad production batch. The Ypoc, was one example of a product that had been successfully manufactured in China while a second production unit in Slovakia today handles controllers and commodity items.

But with the impression GLP were determined to minimise the risk. “Initially the factory we were using was doing OEM work for a number of companies, which left us exposed, so now we only do the pre-assembly in China before the product returns to Germany where the electronics are designed and then Slovakia for final assembly. This way we don’t give the innovation away.”

And Markus Salm adds, “Now that we are handling the entire design, rather than outsourcing to external industrial designers, it is a better solution all round, and we know that everything is working well.”

In 2010, the impression Spot One became the industry’s first high output RGB LED spot fixture, followed by the impression Wash One, which was again ahead of its time. The key differentiator was that while some RGB units on the market were very low in output other LED fixtures had better output but were not RGB; it was the combination that made Spot One so unique.

“It was a bit like saying ‘the electric car is coming,!’” states Udo Künzler philosophically. “We focused heavily on this ... we thought it would be the next big thing. The LED market had changed and four colour RGBW chips were enabling the colour to be mixed in the LED. We used the traditional moving head design and incorporated new technology — all led by Markus.”

But while sales have simmered rather than soared, just as GLP had earlier reverted to the safety of Ypoc this time they returned to their earlier impression platform, producing two stupendous products based on the upgrades in LED technology, since a generation had now passed and the first LED products were ready to be retired. These were the X4 and smaller X4S. PRG in mainland Europe recently ordered a vast quantity of X4’s for the German market alone, and this number was doubled Europe wide to replace the old impression 90.

Helping to drive the new business this past few months has been another high profile industry professional, boasting a 20-year career with Procon (PRG). Based in Hamburg, Oliver Schwendke joined as new Key Account Manager following the merger between Procon and PRG. Arriving in time for last autumn’s PLASA Show in London he is quickly reconnecting GLP with

some of its historic customers and most influential designers in the industry. In particular, he sees the midrange rental companies as fertile ground and also big technology-led events that the German speaking markets are renowned for, such as motor shows.

Meanwhile, in conjunction with GLP’s optics specialist, KaiChang Lu, Markus Salm is pushing the envelope ever wider. The result of this will be another new impression destined for Frankfurt launch this spring called the X4L.

“This is a cross between the impression XL and X4,” he explains. “It contains 37 LEDs but is the first to have separate control of the colour for every LED and also has a much faster zoom.

“Most products have no separate modules so repairing them becomes a nightmare but have designed the X4L so it is modular.

As for the future, he acknowledges that while you can’t keep expecting LEDs to get forever brighter, maintaining the relationship with the LED manufacturers is crucial. “In any case, sometimes you can’t make use of the brightness they offer because the source is too big. We need a small source but as bright as possible which is why we use our own optics rather than outsource.”

“One LED with four colours was an innovative step which we had originally asked Philips to do with the Rebel LEDs — but this kind of change doesn't happen all the time.

The new X4L will mark not only the start of the next chapter for GLP but also the next decade. Everyone is excited, including Oliver Schwendke. “This will fill a major need in our portfolio,” he states. “It is a bigger fixture combining higher brightness, and with all the advantage of the impression X4 optics.”

GLP’s journey from humble beginnings has certainly been a fascinating one — and it is far from over. Today the company sits with products in London’s West End and on New York’s Broadway, on many number one rated global concert tours, on a huge range of TV shows — and at corporate presentation events on a daily basis. It has three strategic bases — in Los Angeles, Karlsbad and a Hong Kong base run by Asia general manager, Michael Münz.

It is the perfect platform from which to take on the next 20 years.

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