The brand CLF Lighting is emblematic of an evolution of the very notion of brand, since it does not result here from a need to assert a creation of new concepts in the field of one (or more) of our industries’ technologies.
This Dutch brand looks rather like a solid collection of products sourced at best, for regular and repetitive quality, to meet the needs of a particular hirer/service provider, and then cover these sourcing and testing costs by selling them to a larger number of customers and users.
In the same way that another rental company had taken over a few years ago a brand which was in decline, and totally refurbished its ranges to keep only the most useful models in its strategy and for its own rental stock, this time it’s again a Dutch big player, Rent-All, who goes for it since a few years now. This one has moreover recently been in our news columns by absorbing Phlippo, Belgian historical actor of the sector, here’s a reminder here.
In both cases, one realizes that the power of such a huge company, which can be translated prosaically by quantities of purchase and carefully adjusted ranges when they are too extensive or difficult to understand if boarding too many products, is reflected in prices tight enough, and a deep interest in rigging accessories, witty hanging tricks, possibly mechanical reinforcement or flight-case design, all more advanced than usual with “standard” brands.
The practical and ergonomic aspect is thus put forward a lot, which seems logical given the pedigree of internal techies and designers from a mother-house necessarily “field-orientated”.
So there we go, meeting at Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt with Remco Pouwels, from CLF Lighting, on a fairly large stand, but above all just opposite Rent-All’s.
Consequently, CLF Lighting stands (put an “s” here because the light-show rectangular area stands just across the alley) are not to be found in one of the halls dedicated this year to the presentation of light equipment, but in a hall slightly mixed up with stands of (big) rental companies, and many LED screens manufacturers.
The practical side (mounting several stands at once from one big lorry and one team only) seems to have won over this aspect too… Especially since, icing on the Batavian cake, their light-show takes place at regular intervals throughout the day on a stand located just across the aisle, good idea for the necessary stand-back distance!
SoundLightUp: Hi Remco, how does it feel to have your booth in this hall?
Remco Pouwels, CLF Lighting: Sure, the set-up routine was very efficient and practical, it’s so convenient to be just aside the Rent-All stand (laughs). Regarding the visitors’ reaction, we’ll have a post-exhibition debriefing to think about next year, and we’ll decide to then move the position or not…
SLU: Lotsa new stuff this year, it seems, it this CLF’s second time in Frankfurt?
Remco Pouwels: Yes, and we’re holding this right after ISE Amsterdam, too. But this year we have a complete sync’ed lightshow, designed by a partner LD who knows how range inside out, Ronnie Santegoeds from 4 Light Showprojects.
SLU: Let’s begin with a decorative projector we discovered last year at JTSE exhibition in Paris on the Eclalux booth, the Apollo.
Remco Pouwels: Yes, but here its two smaller brothers are here, too! And the smaller one is assembled in an array of seven « heads » in an “old-school” frame.
This is already popular on TV sets, conventions, or as a decorative backlight on stage. The three models in this range all have the « 3 in 1 » features, i.e. central tungsten-like « bulb, « Aura » effect…
SLU: Can we say « RGB color mixing indirect reflection on the internal housing » if we cannot quote a famous Danish manufacturer? (smiles)
Remco Pouwels: … yeah, sure ! And the third nice looking feature is the edge of the « bowl » equipped with a total and circular RGB Ledstrip, controllable as a whole or in segments.
On these three models, only the powers are different, and, of course, depending on the DMX mode the user can choose, the number of DMX512 channels. And as always with CLF, there’s a number of hanging accessories, Omegas, etc.
SLU: CLF Lighting has begun its career, not that old though, by offering a large choice of LED Pars, including a best-seller called the Yara. Will you beef up this range in 2019?
Remco Pouwels: Absolutely, we launch the Conan 2, with a very strong point which is the quality of the light beam. It comprises 12 Osram RGBW 10 W LEDs with a linear zoom from 11° to 58°. The rear housing shape is bevelled, so the connection panel is angled, allowing a total hide of the connectors and cables when this unit is used pointing up for Wall Wash purpose. This is done easily thanks to its double bracket, too.
SLU: Can you list some other clever strong points making the Conan 2 stand out from the Par Led crowd?
Remco Pouwels: Apart from optional detachable snoot, barndoor and a Wireless Solution W DMX™ receiver, the Conan 2 is compatible, like all the other CLF products as at today, with the unique CLF “Quicklock” system, in addition to standard clamps. The wireless DMX is more and more in demand, cause it’s so reliable and easy to set-up, we even have this feature included in the standard version of the Ares bigger color Washlight.
SLU: Good enough, let’s talk about the Ares, it seems this family is expanding as well?
Remco Pouwels: Yes, we already offered the original Ares with its 36 big calibrated LEDs, controllable in 4 different sectors, or as a whole. Now comes the smaller brother Ares XS, same kind of unit with 18 LEDs and 3 independent sectors if needed.
In both cases, the offer of accessories with barndoors supplied as standard and optional Smart Filter System quick-release filters was well developed.
SLU: Is this a magnetic filter system, like some competitors?
Remco Pouwels: No, we went for a side sliding system with a lateral folding lock, it’s better and more reliable over time! We start from the basic 21°, then we can insert 36.6°, 54.2°, 82,7° filters, and even an oval 63.6° x 21° for high walls.
And of course, CLF tradition, we cared a lot for the storage slots of these filters inside the flight-case…
SLU: Talking about lighting up high walls or cycloramas, didn’t CLF have already a more compact, “Dual” solution? And rather original, as long as I can remember…
Remco Pouwels: Yes, good point, you’re referring to the LedWash XL. It’s still a good seller, and the innovative point is the dual range of 9 LEDs each, one comes in 50° for the low part of the wall, the other one has tighter optics in 30° for the upper part. Both can be tilted manually on 60°.
You can use Quicklocks to hang them anyway you want, even for “articulated vertical dual blinders”.
But the real innovative batten this year is the IP65 LedBar Pro, with individual control of each of the RGBW LEDs.
As soon as it was available, it was specified on major tours, let’s quote the Benelux André Rieu tour, they have 68 of these battens, plus 232 Ares and 56 Yara!
SLU: Let’s conclude with moving heads, two interesting newbies here too?
Remco Pouwels: I wouldn’t call them new kids on the block this time, they rather grown-ups considering their size! (laughs).
First, let’s remind that our previous beam model, the Aorun had become a standard for EDM, Techno, and other festivals, so we pushed the concept much higher with this new Poseidon Beam, with beam projection of 1.8°.
To get a powerful light output, we equipped it with the same 330 W HRI discharge lamp, we added color mixing, kept the double prism to multiply the effects, and as more and more of these huge festivals are open air, it had to be IP66.
SLU: During your nearby light-show we’ve noticed some nice and efficient matrix effects, did these come from the other motorized newbie?
Remco Pouwels: Yes, it comes from a 6 x 6 LEDs matrix inserted in a infinite rotation yoke, this product is called the Stinger. Of course the usual temptation is to use it mainly for matrix effects, but when you fire up all the 36 LED sources at the same time with their 6° angle, it does make a nice global powerful beam! Tight beam, of course, but still it makes some lightning impression…
And the original idea is on the back of the moving head, there’s a back plate with 36 mirroring sectors. I let you imagine what kind of wild combinations you can get when firing one Stinger towards the back of another one! Of course, if you want surprise “blind” effects, this plate is detachable to cook up sudden “moving flash” cues.
SLU: To be as complete as possible with the « 3 in 1 all bells and whistles » of this Stinger model, if I may say so, what extra components do we notice on the front plate?
Remco Pouwels: As we were going for a real original fixture, with multi-functional features, we added small cold white LEDs in between each of the 36 big RGB optics, and some more around, so we can trigger at will 49 little sparkles, you may call it twinkling effects if you like. Of course, this unit’s software boards macros, for these smaller white LEDs as well as for the bigger RGB dots.
If you have a lighting controller with enough channels or universes, and with integrated matrix functions, you can also address all these points separately, in Art-Net, pixel by pixel, on two different layers, and more…
SLU: Indeed, when you end up designing an effect moving projector like this, it doesn’t look or feel like anything yet known!
Remco Pouwels: That’s good, ‘cause we like it that way! (laughs)
CLF Lighting equipment used during the show:
- 12x CLF Orion
- 20x CLF Aorun
- 16x CLF Beam 6
- 16x CLF Stinger
- 48x CLF LEDbar PRO
- 15x CLF Yara
- 12x CLF Ares
- 4x CLF Apollo
- 3x CLF EF Smoke
- 2x CLF Haze I
- 2x CLF Turbine
More information on CLF Lighting products.
Text & photos: Bruno P. Souchaud.