The Technology and Implementation of Dynamic Beam Shaping
With the advancement of solid-state lighting, beam shaping became more difficult and architectural lighting designers essentially lost the ability to easily set scenes when using LED luminaires. Though it’s still possible to use accessories (barn- doors, snoots etc.) or snap a lens to the front of an LED luminaire, they are not the easiest or most common solutions. Lamp manufacturers have yet to deliver LED PAR lamps comparable to halogen or metal halide form factors, output and light quality. The dominant lighting solution is a COB (chip-on-board) light source that is integral to the luminaire leaving a reflector change as the only, yet difficult and unrealistic, option. Lighting designers have essentially lost the once common ability to shape beams.
We suppose that some miniaturization of the entertainment industry’s motors and mechanicals could enable a beam shaping solution for lighting designers, though it is unlikely that budgets, reliability and form factors could be achieved and maintained. However, work initiated a decade ago in the camera and imaging segment has evolved into a technology that once again gives lighting designers the ability to shape beams from a variety of luminaires and takes it one step further by making the function digitally dynamic. Not only can lighting designers once again easily change beams, they can do so via wired or wireless control solutions. No ladders, no changing reflectors, no lost time.