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©Louis M. Brill 2014

Website by Dean Gustafson

Lumia & The Big Bang
building my first Lumia projector

by
Louis M. Brill

In my effort to design an optimal performance lighting system, I experimented with several types of lighting effects of which the best ones became part of my master projection system. After several months of playing with Lumia lighting I was ready to build a full-on performance-based Lumia projector. I had envisioned using a Krypton-based laser as a light engine source because this type of laser has a multi-color output of red, blue and green light which would have been a perfect spectra for my Lumia projector. Imagine my surprise when I priced out said laser device and found to my horror their pricing started at about $60,000 and just sky rocketed from there.

Hmmm, no Krypton laser for me and back to the drawing board. This financial snafu became the incentive to return to my earlier Lumia experiments and build a Lumia projector via COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) product accessibility. My new light source: three incandescent flashlights. The flashlights were first cannibalized with the lighting component (flashlight bulb and reflector) separated from the flashlight case. Each flashlight unit was mounted as an independent lighting unit in my Lumia projector cabinet, and transformed from an DC to an AC power source. Each light source was covered in a theatrical gel (red, blue and green), mounted next to the Lumia device and wired back to a separate control board using standard household dimmers to control brightness levels during a performance. Total cost of the new Lumia projector about $70.00 - $ 80.00, if that much.

Once done, the new Lumia projector was set up for its first official run-through. I was going to operate the Lumia against some music (Santana : Abraxas). This was exciting as it would become an addition to my already existing light projection system including some Kodak slide projectors (back in the day), a red laser projector and a few other visual effects that I had. Lights were turned off, music was turned on, I switched the Lumia on and BANG ! a flash of light and suddenly my control board was on fire. I watched the flames shoot up out of the control board and thought, "wow this is gonna be fun." I had crossed or shorted a circuit somehow in wiring it together. Oh well, lesson learned. Needless to say, everything got cleaned up and rebuilt, and on the next go-round worked like a charm.

I went on to build six or seven more refined Lumia projectors of varying kinds and have now graduated to computer-controlled, high brightness display projectors as discussed here: www.performinglights.com

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