Benefits of LED Lighting for Industrial Usage

In 1962, the scientist Nick Holonyak, Jr., created the first practical visible light-emitting diode. Since then it has grown in popularity and has many industrial applications in the entertainment industry. What is it about LED that makes it so attractive to lighting directors and business owners? Well, LEDs are more durable, reliable, and do not need much maintenance unlike other lighting technologies. There are many other advantages to using LEDs that only someone who is far behind the technology would miss. Here are a few.

  • LED is more energy efficient: Some studies show that LEDs use 40% to 70% less electricity than traditional incandescent, fluorescent and halogen lights. Moreover, LED fixtures can be aimed at specific a direction which is helpful when being used in theatrical lighting.
  • LED lights require less maintenance: The servicing of fluorescent or HID lights and the servicing of magnetic ballasts can be quite expensive. In contrast, because LEDs use electronic drivers they allow manufacturers the opportunity to integrate into this technology with features such as sensing, instant on/off functions, etc. Our Strand Dimmers also work well with this technology.
  • No IR or UV Emissions: We all know that incandescent lamps emit a great deal of heat. Well, that is not the only thing they emit. They also emit IR and UV rays. In contrast, LEDs do not. They emit no heat and are more reliable than fluorescent and incandescent light.
  • LEDs are more durability: LED systems are tougher than other lighting solutions. This is because they don’t have filaments or glass enclosures which make them less susceptible to breakage. This also makes them perfect for use in outdoor lighting applications.
  • LEDs are more cost effective: Lighting costs can be a huge part of any theatrical production. LEDs provide a great ROI for your production since they are more efficient and durable. These features save managers money. Another way lighting designers can save money is by using dimmer rental for our products.led lighting

In short, many industries including the entertainment industry have long seen the advantages to LEDs over incandescent, fluorescent and halogen solutions. These technologies still have their use and our equipment can work with a variety of technologies, but more and more people are turning away from these lighting solutions in favor of LEDs.

5 Horror Movies with Excellent Cinematography

More than nearly any other film genre, lighting is a crucial aid in creating mood in horror movies. Often, light is used in close- up shots to heighten emotions, show the possible importance of objects or people and to create an atmosphere of fear or impending doom. An excellent example of this is the famous poster for William Friedkin’s The Exorcist. This iconic poster shows the image of a priest standing before the home he is about to enter illuminated by light shining from a window. Cinematographer Owen Roizman knew a great deal about light as it relates to the horror genre and expertly demonstrates this knowledge in this classic movie. What are other movies in this genre that make excellent use of lighting? Here are a few of our choices.

  • The Phantom Carriage (dir. Victor Sjöström, 1921): Even without the aid of modern technologies like wireless DMX, this Swedish movie directly influenced the Seventh Seal and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. This movie creates the illusion of wandering ghosts by using superimposition and doubled exposures long before CGI was invented.
  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (dir. Robert Wiene, 1920): A German Expressionist classic, Dr. Caligari adeptly uses light to illuminate twisted cityscapes, spiraling streets, and nightmarish forms.
  • Nosferatu (dir. F.W. Murnau, 1922): This groundbreaking horror film was made in the silent era and has built a cult following. The film utilizes natural lighting to illustrate the case, landscape and other objects. Cinematographer Fritz Arno Wagner also used stop-motion photography and other techniques to create the feeling of dread.
  • Psycho (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1960): The famous shower scene featuring Janet Leigh is said to have required 78 camera setups and seven days to film. The film’s cinematographer – John L. Russell – used fast motion and reverse shots to simulate the knife piercing Leigh’s abdomen.pscyho
  • The Shining (dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1980): Cinematographer John Alcott used low-angle points of view to emphasize the main character’s feelings of isolation and paranoia. He also borrowed from the aforementioned The Phantom Carriage.

There are many other excellent examples of how cinematographers must adapt according to the genre in which they are working. Horror is among the most emotive of all genres. Today, cinematographers and theater lighting directors have at their disposal sophisticated technologies such as Strand dimmers to help them. However, the goal remains the same – to engage the viewer using lighting techniques that also propel the story and the characters.

5 Theater Lighting Mistakes to Avoid

Every lighting designer aspires to provide excellent lighting for the theater going public. The degree to which they accomplish this varies based on experience and education. However, the wise lighting designer knows that learning to do so is a never-ending journey. After all, one should always strive for perfection even if he/she knows that it can never be reached. He or she also knows that poor lighting can ruin an otherwise wonderful production. Here are 5 common mistakes made by rookie lighting designers.

  • Writing too many light cues: Too many light cues can cause the theatergoer to become distracted and thus diverted away from the main story. Be selective in how often you choose to use light as a cue to characters, settings, etc. Use only enough lighting cues that are necessary to tell the story.
  • Eyesore color flashes: Along with too many light cues are inappropriately intense light bursts. The audience can become overwhelmed by bright lights stabbing at them intermittently. This too can not only be a distraction, it can also be painful for theater patrons to endure.
  • Exceeding Your Limitations: Be sure to know what your limitations are in terms of time, budget, equipment and labor. This will give you a better chance of being able to meet the needs of the production.
  • Bad budgeting: Lighting designers who underestimate their budget can negatively affect the overall stage production. When it comes to producing perfect lighting for your event, you should budget everything as carefully as possible. Moreover, once your budget has been determined you should buy or rent the best equipment available. Our Strand dimmer packs can be rented or purchased. Moreover, we also provide Strand dimmer
  • Using Over-Saturated Colors: The proper use of color is critical to stage lighting. However, over-saturating the audience with too much color can cause the actor’s features to become difficult to distinguish.

Finally, it all comes down to careful preparation. Moreover, if you are a rookie use the skills you have been taught but also be open to suggestions by people who have been in the business for some time. By keeping errors to a minimum, you will increase the enjoyment of the theater going public and at the same time experience a sense of professional satisfaction.

Cine Gear Expo 2018: Moving Technology Forward

In order for technology to move forward in our field it takes an army of professionals in many areas to meet at times in order to exchange ideas. Opportunities like this may seem to the public as a chance to simply sell product but for us they mean a lot more. Technology drives the lighting industry and events like Cine Gear Expo 2018 are necessary so that we too can meet and discuss trends and innovations with our peers. That is why we support this year’s expo and are proud to be one of its many exhibitors. This year’s Cine Gear Expo will be held from May 31 – June 3, 2018 amidst some of the most important and innovative companies and leaders in the fields of Digital Media, Film, Entertainment, Post Production, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Government and Military, Sports and Live Events

Exhibition Details

  • 300 exhibits of new products and services
  • 30+ free complimentary seminars including several master classes
  • 16,000 professionals from more than 60 countries
  • Location: The Studios at Paramount, Hollywood, CA 90038

The Exhibitors


As we said we will be among some of the leading innovators in our field bringing with us our tech such as our dimmers. (We also do Strand dimmer repair.) Some of the other exhibitors in attendance will be:


  • Ratpac Dimmers: Leaders in the manufacture and rental of lighting products such as the PDB 6 Socapex, the 24K single channel dimmer and other devices that make wireless control of lighting hardware easier and more seamless. This year we will be focusing on our 12×200 reverse phase dimmer created to control LED Tubes with a smooth dim curve down to 1% as well as the integration of our products with mobile devices.2018-05-07_1425
  • AbelCine: A company that provides products and services that are used in the broadcast and new media industries.
  • Zhengzhou Generalink Lighting Equipment Co., Ltd: G&L Lighting manufactures LED lighting for broadcasting, filmmaking, photography, video and studio fields. They have been around since 2010 and their products are used in Europe, America and Southeast Asia.
  • Sony: The Sony Corporation is known throughout the world for its products and properties. It will exhibit its digital motion picture cameras, R7 portable memory recorder capturing 4K at 120fps and other innovative entertainment products.
  • Panasonic Cinema: This leading supplier of 4k cinematography gear will display products such as its 4K VariCam PURE with Codex VRAW 2.0 Recorder and well as its LUMIX GH5.


To receive alerts about the exposition follow this link. See you there.

The Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibit: Embracing Changes

Established in 1995, the Guangzhou international Lighting Exhibition is perhaps the most influential and comprehensive lighting exhibition in all of Asia. That is why we support it and the theme of this year’s event which is ‘embracing change.’ This year’s exhibition will be held from 9 to 12 June 2018 amidst some of the most important thought leaders in the field of lighting. However, as the theme of this year’s event suggest, the exhibition is about more than vendors putting their products out in front of the public. It is about giving leaders in the industry a look at what others in our field are doing and perhaps learning to grow from those ideas and products. That is what embracing change is all about.

Exhibition Details

2,428 exhibitors from 21 countries and regions

180,000 gross sqm spanning 17 halls

100+ quality special programs

Over 156,000 visitors* from 134 countries and regions

The Exhibitors

Who are some of these thought leaders and what ideas do they bring to the table? Some of the exhibitors in attendance will be:lighting exhibit

  • Shenzhen Dark Energy Power Supply Co., Ltd: The company has obtained a number of patents involving electric vehicle intelligent drive and automobile charging pile system design, intelligent home and mechanical automation production control drive and of course LED lighting.
  • GD Han’s Yueming Laser Group Co., LTD: Professionally dedicated to industrial laser equipment R&D, manufacturing, owns Yueming Laser Group facilities in Guangdong, Shanghai and Jiangsu.
  • Shenzhen Lepower Opto Electronics Corp. Ltd: Listed among the top 100 Companies in China LED Lighting application industry, Shenzhen Lepower Opto Electronics Corp specializes in high power led encapsulation, optic design and LED lamp development.
  • Guangdong OML Technology CO. LTD: Founded in 2004 Guangdong OML Technology CO. LTD, specializes in LED research.

As anyone in our industry knows, technology is never static for long. Innovation arrives, rest but a short time and then is replaced by newer innovations. This point is important for all of us to embrace and we do at Ratpac Dimmers. Our Strand Dimmers have evolved just as the rest of our technologies continue to do so. We also offer dimmer rental for companies who wish to avail themselves of the latest in wireless lighting technology.

6 Lighting Industry Blogs to Follow

The lighting industry is constantly evolving as new technologies emerge. What was impossible from a technogical standpoint only a few years ago is now reality. That is why it is so important for experts in our field to be aware of all the news that surrounds our industry. So, whether the knowledge you seek falls under the category of general info, news, or in-depth and technical LED information, here are some excellent sources for following developments in lighting technology.

  • LEDS Magazine: This well-designed digital magazine is truly comprehensive. It provides information on current developments in the field of lighting. It also covers information about symposiums, tradeshows, etc. LEDs Magazine is part of the LEDs & Lighting media group and is focused on all developments in the field of lighting.
  • 1000Bulbs: This blog provides weekly stories that cover the latest trends in light technology. It is owned and operated by their marketing team and helps lighting designers and end-users both stay informed.
  • Electronics Weekly: This digital magazine provides up-to-date information about LEDs and the technology behind it. The only downside to the blog is that it does not update daily.
  • Lighting Trends Blog: Lighting Trend covers industry trends including but not limited to: eco-friendly lighting, indoor & outdoor lighting, home decorating ideas, art & sculpture, etc. The articles there are well written and the blog spotlights some of the leading designers and figures in the lighting industrylighting
  • The Lighting reSOURCE: This website contains original content from industry professionals, new technological innovations and even features a lighting design image gallery. If you want current information on lighting trends, this is the site to visit as it contains a news feed of industry happenings.
  • LightNOW Blog: This blog keeps visitors current on the latest conferences, news and trade shows. The information it provides is up to date and practical and is read by lighting professionals around the world.

There you have it. These are just a few of the resources that are available for professionals in the field of lighting. They will keep you apprised of the development of technologies such as our wireless DMX and dimmer packs.

All About Sports Venue lighting

It is a fact that more than 80 percent of Major League Baseball (MLB) games are played at night, under the lights. Lights make every play visible to fans, players and coaches and the TV audience at home. However, when you think about it, sports lighting is more than just about being able to see the game clearly. Different shades and intensity of light elicit emotions from us all. What is already an emotional occasion – a sporting event – becomes even more engaging when we not only see but experience light whether it is through its changing intensity or it’s rhythmic synchronicity with music and sound. That is where technologies such as our wireless dimmers come into play. So let’s take a moment to look at the role lighting plays in illuminating sporting events.
The History of Sports Lighting

One lasting symbol of the ancient Olympic is the famous torch that has for generations marked the opening of each series of games. However, the torch alone did not illustrate those early games. The games are illuminated with the help of strategically placed parabolic mirrors. During the night, the games were halted due to lack of visibility. Not until Edison invented the carbon-thread incandescent bulb in 1879 were sports fans able to view night games. This was followed by floodlights capable of producing light on the magnitude of tens of thousands of candle power. Today, we have LED lighting, wireless and the Internet to profusely illustrate games and to make them truly come alive.

Tips for Lighting Sporting Eventssports venue lighting

In 2013 there was a blackout during the Super Bowl which lasted for 34 minutes. This occurred while the San Francisco 49ers were mounting a rally against the Baltimore Ravens. This event naturally infuriated spectators and illustrated the importance of lighting at sporting venues. However, as we have already stated, visibility is just one requirement of lighting at such events. Here are some tips for experts who will be using lighting equipment at sporting events.

  • Proper placement: The hardware must be placed in a manner that makes it accessible to lighting experts.
  • Knowledge of available resources: Experts should know ahead of time which electrical energy transmission systems, batteries, fuel cells, generators, alternators, dimmer packs, etc they will be using.
  • Experts should put lighting in the proper context: As we said, lighting is not simply about making things visible. Light helps create shadows and texture. Moreover, it reveals and accentuates the beauty of the venue itself.

In short, lighting is as important as any other aspect of sporting venues. Indeed, it is more important than most. Without it games would not be visible, crowds would not be energized and the beauty of the venue would go underappreciated.

Upcoming Trends in Lighting Technology

The early 21st Century is an exciting time to be alive for technophobes in general and for those of us in the lighting industry in particular. That is because things are developing so quickly in our industry that they can hardly be listed in one posting. That is why we have attempted to narrow down some of the most exciting developments in our field. Here are several lighting industry technology trends to watch during the next decade.

  • Connectivity: As smart houses are becoming more and more common, connectivity is all about control, access and convenience. The same principal applies to lighting technology. New developments promise to continue allowing digital light technology to be able to be hooked up to and controlled over great distances.
  • Wireless: Hand in hand with connectivity is wireless technology. Wires are nearly disappearing in this world as more and people expect to be able to communicate using the power of radio frequencies, etc to control devices, etc. Our wireless dimmers packs give professionals the freedom to work without being bound to bulky wires and cables.
  • Li-Fi: Like Wi-Fi, Li-Fi is about the transmission of data. However, Li-Fi uses visible light to send data. What this means is that since light is everywhere; Li-Fi could facilitate better and faster communications signals. The technology is in its infancy but is very promising.light
  • LED: Light emitting diode technology has been with us for some time. Some people, however, have been slow to embrace it. In the coming years it is predicted that more and more people will embrace LED and pair it with some of the above technologies.
  • New materials: Nobel Prize winner Shuji Nakarmua has developed violet LEDS that are able to be used in a base of gallium nitride over sapphire to create better more vibrant colors that also last longer. Many other materials have shown promise in advancing light technology.

In short, companies and individuals devoted to advancing our field are beginning to achieve things that were once only dreamed of. The 21st century is a great time to be alive to witness how these technologies increase and improve entertainment experiences. These technologies, along with our Strand Dimmers, will continue to meet the challenge of the 21st century.

Lights, Action, the Olympics

There is an unwritten rule that every Olympics opening ceremony must attempt to outdo the one that preceded it. Indeed, organizers literally spend years trying to figure out ways to showcase this prestigious series of events that go back to ancient Greece. And with each presentation of the games, technology is utilized in a way that helps to grow interest in the games. The substance of the games is importance but so is the pomp and circumstance. Not by coincidence light has long played a part in creating an entertaining display that visitors can behold. (After all, the lighting of a torch is one of the key events at the start of the games.) This year, we saw an unprecedented display of light technology at the games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.olympic

The Display


This year’s games were set off by a high-tech and indeed nearly magical display of light technology as 1218 drones flew over the venue to set a world record for unmanned vehicles airborne at the same time. (A similar feat was done at Lady Gaga’s 2017 half-time Super bowl performance.) Even though the event was prerecorded performance, mainly to avoid the harsh weather conditions expected during the opening ceremony, this did not take away from the technological importance of this achievement. Moreover, it amply demonstrates how dependent we are on light to illuminate, entertain and set the mood for many events.


How it was Done


Technology leader Intel sponsored the event and it says it will continue to that the drones were controlled from a central computer system which coordinated the drones’ flight utilizing GPS technology. Intel ran test for many month before decided whether the drones would be capable of flying in the windy conditions of Pyeongchang. Intel has been chastised by some in the technology media because the event was pre-recorded but this was done as a precaution. Despite this criticism, Intel’s display set a Guinness Book of World Records for number of drones in flight at one time. This previous record was set in 2016 by 500 drones Intel had sent into flight.


We would like to again stress that the technology that makes such venues more enjoyable and entertaining is evolving and that we are proud to be a small part of that growth. Our strand dimmers also help people in the entertainment industry create spectacular displays that are memorable and that utilize growing technology. Moreover, our Strand dimmer repair ensures that the show goes on for our clients and their customers.

Nominees for Best Cinematography 2017

Ask the average American to name a top movie director and they will probably not have much trouble naming quite a few such as Spielberg, Hitchcock, John Ford, Clint Eastwood, Joel and Ethan Cohen, Scorsese, Peter Jackson et al. However, ask most people about great cinematographers and their work and you will probably hear crickets. That is because the average person does not recognize how important the relationship between a director and his/her cinematographer is. The Oscar’s board of governors does recognize these professionals who are instrumental in conveying a director’s message to his/her audience. They have announced the nominees for best cinematography for 2017. (The actual ceremony will be held on March 5th.) Here is a list of the unsung heroes of the visual performing art who use light and color to create memorable moments for audiences around the world.
• Blade Runner 2049 (Roger Deakins): Deakins is a legend among his peers. This year marks his fourteenth Academy Award nomination for best cinematography. He was previously nominated for Unbroken (1994), True Grit (2010), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), et al. The movie is a follow up to the 1982 cult (2)
• Darkest Hour (Bruno Delbonnel): This movie marks the fifth nomination Delbonnel has received for best cinematography. Darkest Hour tells the story of Churchill’s strategy of trying to contain Hitler in the run-up to WWII.
• Dunkirk (Hoyte van Hoytema): This epic WWII movie has received numerous nominations including best directing, film editing, best picture, etc. Dunkirk is a first time effort for Hoytema.
• Mudbound (Rachel Morrison): This movie about race relations in the south following WWII is Morrison’s first Academy Award nomination.
• The Shape of Water (Dan Laustsen): Laustsen graduated from the Danish National Film School in 1979, and is a member of the Danish Society of Cinematographers. His past films include John Wick: Chapter 2, Darkness Falls, Brotherhood of the Wolf, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, et al.
Even though these men and women will probably not become household names after this year’s ceremony, that doesn’t mean that they should not be honored for their contribution to the arts. At Ratpac Dimmer where we have sell the wireless dimmers that make entertainment lighting venues more vibrant, we do recognize these artists and technicians. Our dimmer rental also allows our customers to make their contribution to the world of entertainment lighting.