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What is a light console

The light console is a specialized user interface that allows you to have quick and efficient control of lighting equipment.

Just like using a computer keyboard, we write letters and numbers, from the light console we control the intensity of the light level, or various automatic functions, or set various commands by pressing the buttons. All these functions are carried out on various linear or rotary controls, or on buttons, which is more convenient than controlling the lighting program using a standard keyboard or mouse. The keyboard is used to enter parameters, assign a name to the device, or select items on the console, but usually all control is done using faders and buttons.

Therefore – the larger your work surface, the more convenient the console is for work, but it is also more expensive. Surface size should be in balance with needs. The catalog and views can be found here

2. The brain of the light console is nothing more than a specialized computer. And so, the light console is subject to all the shortcomings of a conventional computer.

Hardware consoles are usually very stable, as everything is optimized for the harmonious operation of all components, and the quality of the physical assembly is reliable enough to withstand the difficult working conditions on tours.

Another type of consoles: the working software is located in a separate computer, which is connected to the work surface via the USB port. Such consoles are more economical because the processor of an external computer is used, but their stability will not be higher than the stability of the computer used.

3. Since the light console is just a computer, although specialized, you should not be afraid of it.
Many times I had to observe how volunteers who had never before been engaged in light experienced the fear of touching the light console. They have extensive experience with computers, but since the console is not like their laptop, they are afraid of “breaking something.” I promise – if you do not fill the console with Coca-Cola, or do something else like that, you will not break it.

Do the same thing that you do with the computer – save yourself more often, especially before making major changes, make backup copies of files, and store them in a separate place, not on the console itself.

4. All light consoles work on the same principle, large, small or medium. From any console, you can control any light fixtures.

This does not mean that all consoles are the same and they are all equal. It only means that all consoles strive to provide a unified lighting control functionality. Some are successful in this. And others do not.

When you choose a console to purchase, look for manufacturers who have long been on the market, have affordable and high-quality service and a proven reputation with professionals.

5. Each console has a similar but different command syntax.

Command syntax is the “language” in which the console receives commands from you, what to do. It is very important to understand this language so that you are able to set the command console, that is, to program it.

If you plan to purchase a console, take the time to make sure that the command syntax is clear to you and your employees. Remember that the console will not know what to do if you do not speak the same language with her.

6. A good understanding of lighting theory, mastering the terminology and principles of building lighting systems will take some time, but will help to better program the console.

Many times we told clients that programming the console does not make sense, if you don’t understand what needs to be programmed. The root of many problems with lighting systems is a lack of understanding of terminology, ignorance of the principles and foundations of lighting theory.

You can perfectly command command syntax to communicate with the light console, but you need to understand at least the basics of lighting theory in order to know what to do.

7. You do not have to be a computer guru, or an engineer to program the console.

I don’t know how many times volunteers have told me that they can easily program the light console because they are computer engineers or engineers. This does not always work. Sometimes young students do it much better, just because they took the time to master the command syntax, learn the terminology, the theory of light, and then put it into practice.

8. The console model used by the most experienced lighting artist depends on only one – his own choice. As a rule, this choice is based on his personal acquaintance with the console, while the requirements of the show, and how big the budget are, play a smaller role.

Addiction to specific models is a very personal thing. Although most of the top consoles do not differ in functionality, they do the same job in slightly different ways.

9. A good light console is not a magic wand. Just because you have a top console does not mean that you will have a good light.

Many times I heard that some organization acquired a specific model because it is used by lighting designer X, and lighting designer X said that this is the best, and that is what will make their light amazing.

Of course, you should install your favorite console of lighting designer X, if it meets your needs, and your team feels quite confident during its operation. But next month there will be a tour of another team in the city, and lighting designer Y, who works on this tour, will have his favorite console, and he will say that she is the absolute ideal.

10. The light console does not do all the work for you, it just makes your work easier. And it takes an investment of time.

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