What is the light source being used here?
April 24, 2010 6:02 AM   Subscribe

[artFilter] Can anyone tell me what light sources are being used in this art installation?

I saw an art installation by UVA recently and I was wondering what kind of light sources they used to achieve these 'beams' as pictured here: http://www.uva.co.uk/archives/126

Would it be a combination of something similar to a laser pen and a smoke machine? I know most of it is done with mirrors, but I'm curious as to what the light source they're using is.

Thanks for looking!
posted by ReiToei to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It looks a lot like the lasers you see at (for example) TSO concerts. Here (pdf) is information about the lasers used during the 2008-2009 tour. A 10W would be overkill for such a small space, but a lower power laser would do the trick. (Yes, it's similar to a laser pen. Somewhere on the power scale between a normal pointer and the 10W from the video. You don't necessarily need a smoke machine, the dust in the air does the trick for a strong enough light.) (Disclaimer: I don't know what they're actually using, but that's what it looks like to me.)
posted by anaelith at 6:33 AM on April 24, 2010

TSO lasers look fairly standard but the UVA installation doesn't look like lasers at all. There's definitely smoke involved but otherwise it's just a bright light with special gobos or a projector or similar. You could probably reproduce it with a few decent moving heads.
posted by turkeyphant at 7:48 AM on April 24, 2010

Response by poster: > You could probably reproduce it with a few decent moving heads.

Hi Turkeyphant. Thanks for your answer. What do you mean by 'moving heads' here?
posted by ReiToei at 7:54 AM on April 24, 2010

In image 6 of the series you can clearly see some red laser diodes that are the source of the light (the two objects in the center of the image with cords coming out of them). Probably they're pretty similar to laser pointers, but possibly a bit more powerful. I'm less sure what the blue-white beams are. In some of the images they seem to have significant divergence, suggesting that possibly they're not from a laser source.
posted by pombe at 10:57 AM on April 24, 2010

From the Speed of Light website...
"Speed of Light uses over 148 lasers across four floors and six rooms of the Bargehouse, a raw and industrial warehouse on the South Bank."
posted by Thorzdad at 3:12 PM on April 24, 2010

Sorry, only saw the first photo - the red beams are obviously lasers and the effect could be replicated with fair low power modules + smoke + dark. I'm still convinced the white beams aren't lasers.

Moving head: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moving_head.
posted by turkeyphant at 7:09 AM on April 26, 2010

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