Welcome this week’s podcast episode and we’re excited to have a special guest. Adam Raugh, of X-Laser. Today’s episode is going to be a lot of fun as we dive into how to make a great laser show to go with your lighting.
The sponsor of this week’s episode is Amazon, you’ve heard of them, right? Through Amazon, if you do purchase any items from them, we would love for you to use my link, Amazon, and we get a small commission for referring you. This is a great way to help the show that we bring to you for free!
Main Segment (1:28): How Do I Use Lasers with Lighting
David: In this week’s episode, we’re joined by Adam Raugh of X-Laser and we’re going to talk about different ways to incorporate a laser show into your lighting.
Adam actually owns and works for X-laser, is that right Adam?
Yes, it is! I actually began working with X- Laser part time back in 2009 as a quality control technician. For me it was more of just a part time job that I did in the afternoons because I really enjoy working and keeping busy.
As I began working there, I noticed there were some really neat ways that we could help begin moving the products forward into a different space.
In 2011, I joined X-Lasers as a full time production manager, then moved up as an operations manager, to settling as the owner of the company in 2016.
Topic: X-Lasers Helps Bring Lasers and Lighting Together (3:18)
When lasers first started being used with lighting, it was generally used as turning off all the lights and then having the laser show. Since the beginning of X-Lasers mission was to bring lasers to the people instead of vice versa. As a company, it’s very intentional for us to help introduce using lasers and explore the possibilities of using lasers.
As we begin working with clients we realize that there is somewhat of a misunderstanding of what lasers are and what they can do. That’s where it’s our mission to introduce them to different ideas and working with lasers as well as their lighting.
Topic: Learning More About Lasers and the Technology (5:40)
David: It’s definitely interesting to see how far lasers have come in the lighting world and thanks to X-Lasers, I was able to create a video on how to get started with lasers in lighting.
Lasers are still very new and not everyone understand completely how they work, so we try to educate the public as much as possible about the projectors and how it works. We did release a video that goes more into this on our YouTube channel.
There’s a lot of different pieces when working with lasers such as brightness, beams, and even the speed that a lot of people may not know.
Topic: Different Ways to Control Lasers (11:30)
With some lasers, we do have the ability to control them with lighting consoles. But this isn’t the case for all lasers. However, there are some lasers that can do certain graphics and such. How does that work and what are different ways of having control?
Right now, there isn’t the ability to upload graphic lasers to a lighting console but as you know that can always change in the near future.
There are very different control systems between aerial beams or lasers and control systems that actually manage laser graphics.
If you’re trying to do laser graphics you do want a timeline and a workflow. In certain case scenarios having a PC with a mouse and keyboard are very helpful in giving you that control.
When working with more lasers or even the aerial beams, there isn’t a PC involved. It’s normally multiple control systems doing the same exact thing with the beams or lasers.
Topic: This History of ILDA and Analog Technology (17:28)
Working with ILDA over the years has been interesting and the laser community was used to working with this type of technology. Since lighting and lasers weren’t really used together nobody really thought about finding a way to get lasers to work with DMX.
Our CTO is our development genius came back from the Christmas break and had found a way to be able to control lasers like you would with a moving head.
Even with that knowledge and prototype, it still took us 2 years to develop it and make sure it worked the way it was suppose to.
Topic: X-Laser Design Challenge (28:10)
With everything going, we know that there are so many creative individuals that are just going out of their minds so we decided to put together a design challenge. Entries must be submitted by April 30th.
Create and submit an amazing design using our XLERATE software,
and you could be the winner of a Skywriter HPX M-2!
Our free XLERATE software allows you to directly interface the Mercury laser control engine with Capture, Realizzer, or WYSIWIG for visualizing your laser rig.
Topic: XLERATE (31:06)
XLERATE is our free program that allows you to manage the content pack that you load into your lasers and you can do pre-visuals with your lasers.
It’s completely free and you can read more about it here: XLERATE X-Laser
Topic: What is Mercury? (36:20)
Mercury is our laser control system that we’re building into our stage and production lasers. It is designed to allow you to be able to control lasers like you would with a moving head light.
We’re excited because for those that work in lighting can normally create an amazing lazer show than our team does.
You can upload gobos into XLERATE but not a lot of people actually do it. It’s so gratifying to watch those that are using laser in their lighting and to the untrained eye you wouldn’t even know it was a lazer. You would almost think it’s some type of lighting queue.
Topic: The Industry Has Changed (44:15)
To be honest, there are some people in the laser community that do not like what our company does and the changes to the laser industry.
There are some genuine concerns in regards to the safety of using lasers and our company does everything we can to properly train people that use lasers.
Some people are concerned on how to get a variance and that’s something we’ve worked hard to make more available to the public. We’re very proud of that. It’s just a permit to be able to use lasers.
Topic: Any Suggestions on Those That Are Getting into Lasers? (46:30)
Laser aren’t often for the brand new lighting techs but a little bit of lighting experience can go a long way if you decide to add some lasers to your setup.
We do work hard to be very transparent on the cost of lasers but we do recommend going through a dealer because you will get better pricing and we don’t want to ever compete with our customers.
We also have a network of companies and local partners for those that decide they want to rent the lasers instead.
Depending on which laser you decide to go with is that the cost of a good laser would be similar to the cost of a moving head.
Thank you so much for coming on and talking with us today Adam, we really appreciate your time in talking with us today.