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LDI 2023 Recap

As the curtains fell on Live Design International (LDI) 2023, the event left LDs, stagehands, production companies, and industry professionals with plenty to talk about as we gear up for the new year.

LDI 2023

Key highlights included notable product drops from German Light Products, Elation Professional, and more. In the laser world, X-Laser and Pangolin stepped up with new developments that seem set to change the game in both programming and visual impact. Making a splash, up-and-coming manufacturer ACME put on compelling demos that showed off not just the flash but the real-world functionality of their products. Lastly, Follow-Me caught our attention with a demo that showcased their cutting-edge, real-world tracking technology. And this is just the beginning – there's so much more to explore!

Plug into the rest of our comprehensive recap for the full story of everything LDI 2023 had to offer.

GLP debuts JDC2 IP and Impression X5 Maxx 

LDI 2023 saw German Light Products making a significant splash with their latest innovations. At the forefront was the eagerly awaited JDC2 IP, an upgraded version of the iconic JDC1. This new iteration boasts an impressive 25% increase in brightness, a larger LED plate for enhanced visual impact, and an IP65-rated exterior, over 100 editable digital animations, and lastly, the ability to receive and output NDI. 😮‍💨 The JDC2 IP is packed with features that require a deep dive to fully appreciate. And the exciting part? We've got our hands on one. Keep an eye out for our detailed first look, coming soon.

LDI 2023 GLP

GLP also launched the Impression X5 Maxx, revamping the X4 XL with the X5 RGBL LED Engine and an IP65 rating. Booth visitors could also see the Impression X5 Bar 1000 for one of the first times, an indoor version of the X5 Bar IP launched earlier this year. 

LDI 2023 GLP

Elation launches over half a dozen new products.

Elation Professional dropped the largest number of new product launches. New products included fixtures in the Six+ and Limelight fixtures lines, fanless Fuze Teatro, and the debut of the Sol Blinder and Pulse Strobe lines. First looks at the Proteus Hybrid MAX, Proteus Odeon, and Proteus Radius gave booth visitors much to explore. Elation's Obsidian Control Systems also drew attention with its intuitive NX consoles and NETRON data distribution products. 

LDI 2023 Elation Professional

Elation Professional held exclusive, invitation-only events where they previewed their 2024 portfolio to a select group from the lighting community. These events, attended by hundreds, featured an array of upcoming products, providing a platform for attendees to offer early feedback and engage in hands-on experiences with the latest from Elation's R&D lab.

Pangolin projects 1000+ watts of laser power.

Pangolin Laser Systems showcased their latest laser projectors, including new Unity Elite PRO and Kvant ClubMAX lasers and a groundbreaking 400W laser from their Kvant Architect series. The Kvant ClubMAX is Pangolin's most successful laser line, and new 24- and 40-watt models were on display and looked as crispy as any laser we'd seen. But even those units couldn't have prepared us for the massive column of photons coming out of the new 400W Architect. It was big and bright and we loved it. 

LDI 2023 GLP

Scheduled for an official launch in January 2024, Pangolin also offered an exclusive opportunity to experience the advanced capabilities of Beyond 5.5 ahead of its market debut at LDI. This new version introduces groundbreaking features, including 'Q-Shift,' which allows instant effect offsets and adds a new dimension to your laser programming. Other new features included in v5.5 are:

  • Support for Ableton Link 

  • 3D preview 

  • New MoboLaser app (live show control, zone control, playback, and more)

X-Laser showcases multiple laser and light shows. 

X-Laser's booth at LDI 2023 highlighted their integration of lasers and lighting. Three timecoded laser and light shows on three different consoles: a Vista by ChromaQ, an Avolites Quartz and a grandMA3 light, gave booth visitors tons of real-world validation of their Mercury firmware. The booth was packed with lights and lasers, headlined by the standout 36W Triton projector, known from Coldplay's "Music of the Spheres" tour. Also on display was X-Laser's versatile Skywriter series, which range from 2 to 30 watts.

LDI 2023 X-Laser

X-Laser set up three tables with each of the consoles for visitors to look under the hood of each timecoded show during playback. Seeing three different consoles using the same gear for three different shows demystified the idea of programming lasers as they are treated much like media servers by the console. McKenley Hoelmer of Eddy Sound programmed the Vista and Avolites shows, while Drew Hornback of DH Production Designs programmed the grandMA3 show. But beyond just the crisp programming, the designers were on-site at LDI with the X-Laser crew to help give hands-on demos to LDs curious about this direct-from-console solution.

ACME Lighting partners with Group 1440 and Volt

Easily, the biggest surprise on the show floor was ACME Lighting. Announcing a North American partnership with Group 1440 is a major move for ACME to gain traction. ACME and Group 1440 partnered with Volt Lites for a giant booth and one of the most exciting booth shows at the expo.


A few products caught our attention from the dynamic light show:

  • THETAA wash-and-beam hybrid that puts an actual beam light in the center cluster of an XL pancake-wash (which is how we all use the center cluster anyway). 

  • Pulsar 2: An infinite pan/tilt dual-sided mini wash-strobe hybrid that zips and punches 

  • Lightning: A static strobe/wash with electronic frost that creates a homogenous glow on the front of the fixture. 

Follow-Me into the future

An in-depth demo from the legendary Chris Lose about Follow-Me showed a glimpse of how followspotting is only the tip of the iceberg for automated tracking systems. Of course, the "digital" followspotting was spot on, even with multiple performers. Fixtures could even smart swap subjects when they cross to different staging areas.

LDI 2023 Follow-Me

But what got us was that you could map your fixtures to interact with the subject as it passed by them. A brilliant example of this is footlights illuminating as the talent walks by, instead of the entire row needing to be on all the time. Additionally, PSN and OSC integration allows you to get aligned with automation systems and media servers and really get creative. We are excited to see where this technology takes us. 

More highlights from LDI 2023

Martin Professional launched two new fixtures. MAC One: a 9lb wash fixture, and the ERA 700 Performance IP: a heavy-hitting outdoor workhorse. Vari*Lite sneak peaked their upcoming upgradable LED Engines that will slide right into your existing V*L moving head. ADJ Lighting had a massive booth with a perfectly timed light show from Squeek Lights. The Chauvet Professional PXL Curve was curving, along with a dramatic Corde lisse act. Claypaky presented with a new partner Inner Circle Distribution. ICD also had displays from Portman and newcomer Roxx with new eye candy.

Glow Motion Technologies had the most Instagrammable booth display with a bunch of moving... everything. Robe Lighting launched several new products with an elaborate show. Our favorite part (nerd alert) was the low-lying fog. We asked what they used, and it was from none other than Ultratec! Which takes us to the atmosphere world.

Ultratec launched a new low-lying fog machine at their booth: the Sovereign Low Fog Generator, which was excellent 🤌. Master FX also debuted a new product, the Prodigy Pro, featuring Manic and Infinity Modes for high volume or continuous output. HazeBase won the LDI special effects award with two new extremely efficient haze machines in two different models: the Cube and Touring 2.  

LDI 2023 Overview

LDI 2023 was a treasure trove of new technology and software across the production industry. From the robust and versatile JDC2 IP by German Light Products to the dynamic range of products from Elation Professional, there were new creative tools all over the showfloor. The laser segment was particularly impressive, with Pangolin and X-Laser presenting high-power options and integrated shows that demonstrated the potential of lasers in stage design. ACME Lighting's collaboration with Group 1440 and Volt was particularly notable, introducing versatile lighting options that blend aesthetic with function. Follow-Me's advanced tracking technology is revolutionizing the way lighting interacts with performers on stage

The event also highlighted key releases from Martin Professional, Vari*Lite, ADJ Lighting, Chauvet Professional, Claypaky, and Robe Lighting, further enriching the industry landscape. Ultratec's new low-lying fog machine,  Master FX's Prodigy Pro and HazeBase's award-winning haze machines were among the special effects innovations that captivated attendees. LDI 2023 set the stage for an exciting future in lighting design, leaving professionals and enthusiasts eagerly anticipating what's next in this dynamic field.

LDI 2024 will take place December 4-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center


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