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LED’s


The Debate Continues…


As with any new technology, LED has its lovers and its haters.We’ve spoken to some big names in the industry to get their view on the matter.


Debates regarding the usefulness of the LED are continuous, and at this month’s PLASA the impact of LEDs was undeniable. Almost every stand at the show was plugging their latest LED offering. This month at A1 we decided it was time to get some of the leading opinions in the industry to see the extent to which LED technology is fit for purpose.


LEDs have a number of obvious benefits, including energy efficiency and low maintenance, but an important benefit for designers is the size of an LED and OLED bulb. As these bulbs are so small, it is possible for its integration into small spaces. This is evident in a number of new functional lighting designs, and has also led to its use within the entertainment industry. One slightly left-field use of the technology was during a recent Black Eyed Peas gig, in


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which the band members, known for their innovative concert performances, took to the stage wearing outfits infused with LED lights.


These outfits were the product of months of work involving a 15-strong, multi-skilled design team, the Black Eyed Peas’ lead Costume Designer/Stylist, B. Åkerlund, and Philips Lighting. Philips role was to unite the engineering and technology behind the outfits with the creativity behind the fashion element. Part of this collaboration was Nancy Tilbury, Fashion Technologist, and Benjamin Males, Design Technologist, both of whom are familiar with the blur between fashion and technology. The pair worked together on the project, and explain the logistics behind the designs; “Fergie’s leather catsuit was carefully integrated with 75 OLED panels. When illuminated, the


panels were controlled remotely through a software program to orchestrate patterns and lighting sequences to the set-list, resulting in a truly innovative and integrated performance of music, lighting and technology.”


Other band members outfits were equally innovative; “We developed custom leather costumes for apl.de.ap and Taboo that integrated different lighting elements to reflect their unique personalities and styles. apl.de.ap wore a leather LED suit designed to mimic a graphic equalizer, as well as integrating the Philippine flag, as reflection of his national pride and love of music. Taboo’s standout suit complimented the


group’s futuristic style with silicone studs to diffuse the light of nearly 1,000 LEDs, moving in patterns across his body and in synch with the rest of his band mates.”


www.a1lightingmagazine.com


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