Our Big Blog

The Wireless Post

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 classic.download (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.

How to Prepare to be a Cinematographer

While it is often said that experience is the best teacher, education is also important when preparing to enter the field of cinematography. In fact, a bachelor’s degree is usually a prerequisite for entering this highly specialized field. Thus, aspiring cinematographers can best be prepared by thoughtfully adding both education and practical experience to their palate.


Formal Education


There are several kinds of degrees that are available to people entering the field of cinematography. Those degrees include: a Cinematography Certificate, an Associate of Arts in Motion Pictures, and a Bachelor of Science in Digital Cinematography. These degree programs teach a plethora of skills ranging from directing to sound design to screen writing etc. Here are other areas that aid in growing a student’s knowledge of this field.

  • Camera operation and videography: Cinematographers are part technician and part artist. They must know a great deal about the technical operation of different kinds of cameras, lenses, lighting and accessories. Fortunately, as this field grows there are many degree programs and courses offered in colleges and universities all around the world that support the development of aspiring cinematographers.
  • Color science: Just as musicians use different tones and scales in order to create musical pieces, cinematographers use color to relay their artistic vision to the public.
  • Watch movies: Every film class will have as part of its curriculum recommended movies that students should watch. Watching various movies from different cinematographers will help students understand why cameras move the way they do and why certain scenes are shot the way they are.

Practical Experience


  • Make your own short films: Creating your own independent project will help you gain actual experience telling a story using film. It will teach you storyboarding, camera work, etc.
  • Get on a set: Greatness comes from humble beginnings. Apply for jobs such as production assistant, camera operator, lighting technician, craft service personnel in order to get some experience actually being on a film set. Take notes and soak in everything that is going on around you.
  • Take pictures and short movies: Take every opportunity to utilize what you know by taking pictures and making movies with whatever equipment you have. Doing this will teach you framing, composition, exposure, texture, etc.

Ultimately, hard work and dedication do pay off. Cinematographers make a lasting effect on the public by utilizing education and experience they have acquired over a lifetime. Through our dimmer rentals and wireless dimmers we impact how film makers, stage directors and other professionals use light to

Tv Cinematographer Camera Operator Film Live

convey their stories.

The Consumer Electronics Show: Christmas in January

Consumer electronics are the most heavily exchanged gifts during the holiday season. Many of us anticipate receiving gifts of the latest innovations in the categories of audio/visual, virtual reality and gaming devices. However, for people who are true technophiles the real glimpse into the latest innovations in these categories comes in the form of the most heavily anticipated electronics display of all – the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018. This show gives consumers a sneak peek into the future with technologies that at times seem almost otherworldly. This is why Ratpac Dimmers is so excited to be a part of an industry that progresses through such leaps and bounds. Many of the technologies present at these shows complement devices like our wireless dimmers and wireless DMX systems. CES 2018 runs from January 9 through 12 and will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada.


What is the Consumer Electronics Show?

The CES is the world’s largest gathering of those who are involved in the business of consumer technologies. It has provided a look into our technological future for more than 50 years and has introduced many technologies in the areas of gaming, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, smart home technology and entertainment. It is in the field of entertainment where Ratpac Dimmers products intersect with this premiere electronics show.

Attendees and Exhibitors


Featured exhibitors at the show will include Advconsumer-electronics-2018ance Tech Vegas, AerNos, American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, Analogix Semiconductor, Roland Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric and many others. Speakers at the conference will include:

  • Rajia Abdelaziz, CEO of invisaWear who will discuss wearable technologies,
  • Tim Alessi, Director – of New Product Development at LG Electronics will discuss the future of TV
  • Eric Berger, CDO at Sony Pictures Television Networks and GM of Crackle Sony Pictures Television Networks who will discuss the future of personal content viewing.

(A complete schedule of events can be found here.)


Super Sessions

Since the exchange of information is the primary function of the show, CES Supersessions will feature prediction and discussions by industry trend setters and senior executives. These sessions will include their predictions of the future of these emerging technologies. In conclusion, CES 2018 will present technologies that advance the field of entertainment just as our wireless dimmers and our Cintenna kits do. We wish all our customers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and promise to be on the forefront of the emerging technologies that 2018 and beyond will bring.

America’s 5 Most Anticipated Holiday Light Displays

In the modern era, light displays have become a traditional part of the holiday season. Even now millions of homeowners are hanging up their Christmas lights to see whose display reigns supreme. However, few private owners can hope to match the scale and grandeur of organized light exhibits. These displays take advantage of technologies that are not readily available to most private individuals. For this reason, holiday revelers are willing to travel all around the country in order to watch this tradition that mixes art and technology. We’ve gathered some of the most highly anticipated light displays that will take place all over the country.

  • Frisco, TX: This city is home to the largest residential computerized Christmas light displays in northern Texas. Computers are used to control roughly 65,000 lights and then to synchronize those lights with music using an FM transmitter. This year the display is expected to be even more spectacular than ever.
  • Branson, Missouri: Speaking of spectacular displays, this popular Midwestern destination features dazzling special effects including a million twinkling lights that also move in sync to holiday music.
  • New York City: As American as “Big Apple” pie, the LED lights of 30 Rockefeller Plaza at Christmas time are what most of the world associates with the great city. Other light exhibits that visitors can catch when they are in the city include the displays of Saks, Lord & Taylor, Tiffany’s and Barney’s, among other famous retailers.
  • Anaheim, California: Boasting such treats as “Disney Viva Navidad Street Party”, the “Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort” and “The World of Color – Season of Light” show, Orange County has a lot going for it this and every Christmas. The festivities rflorida-2460973_640un from November 10th to January 7th.
  • Charlotte, North Carolina: Every year people travel to see the legendary Charlotte Motor Speedway event that features 3 million lights as well as music, a Christmas village, horse drawn carriages and other family friendly attractions. Also featured will be a laser light display and even a petting zoo for the kids.

In short, there are some truly magnificent light displays that will be taking place in all parts of the country. However, none of the displays would be possible without devices like Strand Dimmers and various wireless setups. Our customers depend on the technology we provide to make various entertainment venues more memorable be they the above light displays, concerts, theatrical performances, etc. That is why we also offer Strand Dimmer repair. Our equipment makes these venues run smoother.

Ratpac Dimmers and The Live Design LDI show Las Vegas

Ratpac Dimmers is always happy to be a part of the innovation that is constantly happening in our field. That is the reason we are proud to be a part of The Live Design LDI show in Las Vegas this year November 13-19, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV. This year’s event will be attended by professionals in the fields of theatre, television, film, etc. This year’s event also marks the tenth anniversary of the LDI show which promises to bring together innovators in various fields. Thus, is not simply an opportunity for us to display our excellent products but it is also an opportunity for all to learn and benefit from the expertise of their peers.


The Exhibitors


Ratpac Dimmers: (Booth 2375) A seller of American made wireless AV Stumpfl USA Corporation: Makes and sells portable projection screens ROE Visual Co. Ltd: They create linear LED element for stage designs.  Harman Professional provides solutions for cover lighting, atmospheric effects and creative videos Philips Entertainment is the one of the oldest and most respected names in the industry offering a wide range of state-of-the-art lighting solutions for the concert, theatre, television, film, etc Lycian Stage Lighting is a leading maker of follow spots.

Noteworthy Presentations


Exhibitor presentations and panel discussions that will be held at this year’s Live Design LDI Light Show include:


-“From Concept to First Night” This presentation will be made by Jonathan Smeeton. It will be a discussion of taking ideas from concept to fruition. November 18, 1:30pm – 2:30pm.

-“How Advances in Wireless DMX Will Change the Way we do Lighting” This will be a discussion in the advances in wireless DMX technology. November 18, 12pm – 1pm

-“Introducing Braceworks: Vectorworks’ New Entertainment Rigging Analysis Model” held by Jim Woodward, Senior Entertainment Product Specialist at Vectorworks, Inc. November 18, 3pm       4pm.

2016 – 2017 Awards Series

Of course, the conference is all about innovation and the sharing of information between professionals in the fields of lighting/entertainment theatre, opera, concert designing, architectural lighting design etc. In order to incentivize innovation, awards will be presented in the categories of:

  • Design Achievement: Previous winners in this category include: Jonathan Deans of Meyer Sound, Sooner Rothier & Robert Long of ACT Lighting and Tal Yarden of T3
  • Product of the Year: Previous winners include: Rational Acoustics SMAART 8, City Theatrical DMXCat, et al.
  • Excellence: Previous winners include: Dubai Water Canal 2016, Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Hairspray Live!, Rumba Room Live


Yes, we will be attending this event because it is about innovation and the exchange of information that will serve to move our field forward. See you there!

Ratpac Dimmers and the At Large Musical Festival/EXPO

Ratpac Dimmers – Back in the 50s and 60s, the lighting at music festivals and concerts served only to illustrate the performers and nothing more. No one had quite yet thought about marrying light with sound in order to enhance the experience for concert goers and performers alike. The 70s and beyond introduced a whole host of flamboyant performers and bands who used music to augment their unique styles and accent their distinctive compositions. Today, spectacular lighting is one of the primary considerations stage managers use in order to put together a show. That is why Ratpac Dimmers is so excited to be a part of the upcoming 1st annual At Large Musical Festival/EXPO which runs Oct. 27 through 29 at Georgia State University in downtown Atlanta

What is the At Large Musical Festival/EXPO?

The festival is a collection of passionate artists, educators, business professionals, and volunteers who are gathering with the goal of creating a go to place for projects such as documentaries, features, music videos, V.R., etc. The festival’s creators believe that music and film are two perfectly paired media that up and coming artists must take every opportunity to use in their favor. Atlanta, as it so happens, has a long, rich tradition of being the launching point to many artists, educators and business professionals.IMG_0999


As we have said, Ratpac Dimmers would not miss the opportunity to attend such an important event and to showcase our wireless DMX. It will give artists and merchants a chance to interact and to ultimately move the industry forward with all the latest and greatest in wireless dimmer packs. Other attendees will include: Paul Miller (DJ Spooky) composer, multimedia artist, editor and author, DeVaughn Hughson, filmmaker, photographer, documentarian, Kathy Gray, Director of Operations & Creative Services, Crawford Media, Jeff Brugger, Creative Services Director of Sound Design at Turner Studios and many others.

Workshops and Discussions

The exchange of information is the primary function of the Festival. Aiding this goal will be workshops and discussions on the following topics and many others: Immersive Music in VR hosted by composer and technologist with Tunewelders, The Art of Scoring Silent Film by DJ Spooky and Bret Wood, The Role of Music in her Creative Process by Barbara McCullough and many more. (For a detailed list of the workshops and discussions that will be held at the festive go here.

In conclusion, our products such as our Ratpac wireless dimmers and our Ratpac Cintenna kits are a perfect match for the attendees of this first time event. We hope that our association with the event will be a long and fruitful one and that it will advance the lighting industry and further strengthen the bound that exists between music and light.

The Top 5 Greatest Cinematographers of all Time

As the entertainment industry becomes more and more invested in completely immersive technologies, it should always be remembered that motion pictures are still primarily a visual medium. It is through the use of light and shadow, brightness and contrast, color and saturation that directors seek to carry us along with them as they convey stories that will make a lasting impression on us. Aiding them in this task are cinematographers. They must take all of the aforementioned tools and sculpt them into an experience that all involved in the project can be proud of and that the public will enjoy. We honor five of the cinematographers who stand out from their peers in this difficult task by including them in this list.

  • Roger Deakins: British born Roger Deakins is best known for his work on the films of the Coen brothers and Sam Mendes. He has received accolades from the British Society of Cinematographers as well as multiple Academy Award nominations. His movies include: The Shawshank Redemption, Dead Man Walking, O Brother, Where Art Thou? A Beautiful Mind, True Grit and many others.
  • Robert Burks: Best known for his collaborative work with Alfred Hitchcock, Burks is often referred to as a chameleon for his ability to adapt to any director with which he worked. Some of Cinematographers_The_Birds_original_posterhis works include Strangers on a Train (1951), The Spirit of St. Louis (1957), The Music Man (1962), Vertigo (1958), the Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964).
  • Jack Cardiff: Director Michael Powell once described British born Cardiff as “the best colour cameraman in the world” (Cardiff’s illustrious career began in the silent era.) His resume includes the movies Black Narcissus (1947), War and Peace (1956), Fanny (1961), The Red Shoes (1948), Ghost Story (1981) and many others.
  • Janusz Kaminski: Kaminski is best known for his partnership with Steven Spielberg and has been a cinematographer since 1993. He has won the Academy Award for his work on Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993) and for Saving Private Ryan (1998). His other works include Amistad (1997), I. Artificial Intelligence and many others.
  • Vilmos Zsigmond: Zsigmond fled Hungary in 1956 and began his career in the 1970s. He is known for his use of natural light and vivid color. His works include The Long Goodbye (1973 ), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977 ), The Deer Hunter (1978), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) and many others.

We know that this list is debatable and many greats are not included here but these are cinematographers who we feel deserve a special mention for elevating the art of movie making. Their works are a part of posterity. They are noted for combining the latest technologies of the time with their own natural knowledge of the medium.

Wireless DMX, Skylink and SkyPanel: The Next Logical Step

The most exciting thing about being a part of the lighting industry is witnessing how one technology is often combined with another to enhance the quality and functionality of both innovations. This is the case with ARRI and Innovative Dimmers who have teamed up to create Skylink a two-part system that allows for wireless DMX and RDM communication to SkyPanels. What are SkyPanels? SkyPanels are a compact, ultra-bright and high-quality LED soft light. They incorporate the features of ARRI’s L-Series LED Fresnels. In short, SkyPanels are one of the most versatile soft lights on the market, as well as one of the brightest. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and thus can be used as a soft light or a space light. Innovative Dimmers and Ratpac Dimmers use the same kind of wireless dimmer technology and have eliminated the need for DMX cables.


This new creation, Skylink, increases the innovative features of SkyPanels which among other things are cable of


  • Being matched with existing light sources
  • Fitting into tight locations
  • Adjusting from 2.8k to 10kskylink_prod
  • Having hue and saturation control
  • Being able to be used in multiple configurations
  • An easily shaped beam
  • Move around from one location to another easily

One can easily see the many applications for which SkyPanels can be used. It is also not too difficult to see how this added convenience is made possible due to wireless DMX technology. SkyPanels can be used outdoors or inside, in theatre productions as well as concerts and in Television products and by the movie industry. These technologies merging in the way they have, demonstrates the innovation that our industry is constantly achieving. Ratpac Dimmers is a part of that innovation and is proud when a technology that we commonly use can be made to enhance another exciting device. Our wireless DMX technology is state of the art. We are very much excited to see how this creation – Skylink – evolves even further.