International Laser Display Association

The leading worldwide association for companies and persons doing laser light shows, and providing lasershow-related projectors, hardware, software, and services. Supporting safe and ethical laser shows since our founding in 1986.


Six ways ILDA Members make better shows

Our Members add impact to shows with the purest, most brilliant light in the universe

Proven experience as an ILDA Professional accredited company

ILDA helps keep shows safe and legal; free SKYZAN™ safety software for Members

Customers buy with confidence when backed by the Code of Ethics

The world’s best laser shows, at the yearly meeting of the world’s best laserists

Using new technologies and developing industry-wide standards

Our Members add impact to shows with the purest, most brilliant light in the universe

Proven experience as an ILDA Professional accredited company

ILDA helps keep shows safe and legal; free safety software for Members


Customers buy with confidence when backed by the Code of Ethics

The world’s best laser shows, at the yearly meeting of the world’s best laserists

Using new technologies and developing industry-wide standards


ILDA remembers Ivan Dryer on March 7

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Ivan Dryer, pioneering laser artist and founder of Laserium® planetarium shows, was born on March 7, 1939. In recognition of his achievements, the ILDA Board of Directors in 2017 declared March 7 of each year to be International Laserist Day — a day for recognizing the people and companies who design spectacular laser shows and laser art, throughout the world.

ABOUT IVAN DRYER

Many older ILDA Members had their first exposure to laser displays at a planetarium running Laserium shows. Dryer’s example helped inspire these Members to get into the business, and often to found their own laser display companies.

Within ILDA, Dryer was known for his quiet, thoughtful and kind demeanor. He was a founding Member of the association, served on the Board from 1990 to 1994, and was ILDA President from 1990 to 1992.

Laser Images was host of the 1991 ILDA Conference, held in Los Angeles. The company won 43 ILDA Awards for artistic and technical excellence, in the years between 1988 and 2000.

A 2002 newspaper article summed up how laserists felt about him: “Dryer appears to be universally regarded with awe and respect.”

IVAN DRYER'S LIFE

Dryer received the first ILDA Career Achievement Award, in 1989. His CAA citation includes this: “Dryer is universally recognized as the father of the laser show industry. His selection by ILDA as recipient of the first Career Achievement Award underscores his unique place in the history of laser displays.”

When Ivan Dryer was 20, he joined the Griffith Observatory and Planetarium in Los Angeles as an astronomer. He also was an aspiring filmmaker. In late 1970 he collaborated with Caltech physicist Elsa Garmire, to film laser light patterns she had created. This became the short film LaserImage.

Filmed lasers, however, were flat. They did not have the vibrant scintillating coherent speckle of live laser light. Dryer and Garmire approached the Griffith with a proposal for a live show to be called “Laserium”. They were turned down — both by the Griffith and by banks.

Three years later, Dryer and Garmire put together a demonstration at Caltech, using a 1-watt krypton laser, This time the new head of the Griffith gave an OK for a one-month test at the planetarium.

Laserium premiered November 19, 1973. Four weeks later, 500 people a night were being turned away. Dryer’s company, Laser Images Inc., went on to do laser shows in 46 planetariums and locations in other cities as well. The shows were seen by over 20 million people. At its peak, Laser Images had 70 employees.

In 2002, the Griffith Observatory planetarium was to be closed for renovations. Laserium’s last show there was January 5, 2002. It had run for 28 years — the longest running theatrical attraction in Los Angeles, and the longest-running laser show in the world.

As new technologies such as bright, large, hi-def video screens and computer graphics improved, classic laser shows with their lo-res wireframe images fell out of favor. Laserium scaled back, while Dryer kept working with lasers and Laserium projects. He officially retired in 2009, when Laser Images Inc.’s assets were acquired by Jon Robertson of DayStar Lasers.

In 2013, Dryer received the first IMERSA Lifetime Achievement Award from the Immersive Media Entertainment, Research, Science and Arts association. IMERSA noted “In addition to his pioneering creative and technical achievement, he also did something unprecedented for planetariums and science centers: Laserium showed that these facilities could be used as entertainment venues, increasing attendance and generating revenue…. Dryer’s influence carries on with presentations where light becomes an actor.”

In his acceptance speech, which received a standing ovation, Dryer recounted the history of his laser work, with many humorous anecdotes. He concluded by saying “I’m delighted that we managed to enlist what was then a somewhat esoteric technological device that has been used to guide missiles and telescopes, to instead guide the neurons in millions of brains to dance synesthetically in a fusion of music and image that enhances both -- to create a machinery of joy. The compliment I most prize was from a woman who came up to me and said, ‘You know, I envy you, you’re spreading joy!’”

Dryer cared for his convalescent wife, Carol, through her death in June 2016. This took a toll on his health as well.

A documentary film on his life and work is in production, and is expected to be released later this year.

Additional background and reminiscences are at Laserium’s website, photos and text at the Leaping Robot Blog and the links at Dryer’s Wikipedia page.

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In 2017, ILDA honored Ivan Dryer by declaring his birthday, March 7, to be “International Laserist Day.” He was sent this plaque, to let him know how much he means to ILDA and laserists in general.

Ivan had been very ill at the time. His brother, David Dryer, presented it to him and told ILDA “Ivan had a big smile on his face when I showed him the plaque. That's the first smile in about a year!”


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2024 ILDA Conference registration now open!

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The 2024 ILDA Conference will be held 25-28 September in Wrocław, Poland, hosted by Visual Sensation Laser Shows and Technologies. Wrocław is one of the oldest cities in Poland, known for market squares, outdoor cafes, beautiful riverside and sumptuous food.

We will be staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton Wrocław City Centre hotel. It is located, as the name indicates, a short walk to the city center, Old Town Market Square (right), and the National Museum. A tram stop is just a block away.

REGISTRATION FOR THE CONFERENCE IS NOW OPEN, as well as information on how to reserve your hotel rooms. The only things we are awaiting are information on laser safety courses and the Cultural Day tour, for which registration is not yet available; we expect this in late April/early May.

For details and links to register, see the ILDA Conference page.
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These are attendees at last year's 2023 ILDA Conference in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, photographed after the Awards Banquet and Presentation.


Laser safety courses schedule, May-September 2024

LSO AND LASERSHOW OPERATOR SAFETY COURSES, MAY-SEPTEMBER 2024

We have set up ILDA Laser Safety Officer (LSO) and Lasershow Operator courses for the following dates. Note that the full LSO course is nine hours long; the lower-cost Lasershow Operator course is the first five hours of the LSO course.

  •   Friday, May 10, 2024 online by Zoom. Full LSO course: 12 noon - 9 pm Eastern. Lasershow Operator portion: 12 noon - 5 pm Eastern.

  •   Tuesday, May 28, 2024 online by Zoom. Full LSO course: 7 am - 4 pm Eastern. Lasershow Operator portion: 7 am - 12 noon Eastern.

  •   Friday, June 14, 2024 online by Zoom. Full LSO course: 4 pm June 14 - 1 am June 15 Eastern. Lasershow Operator portion: 4 pm - 9 pm Eastern.

 •   Friday, June 28, 2024 online by Zoom. Special US night/China day hours. Full LSO course: 12:01 am - 9 am Eastern. Lasershow Operator portion: 12:01 am - 5 am Eastern. As of June 19, the June 28 course has been cancelled. Please sign up for a later course.

  •   Tuesday, July 16, 2024 online by Zoom. Full LSO course: 12 noon - 9 pm Eastern. Lasershow Operator portion: 12 noon - 5 pm Eastern.

  •   Friday, August 16, 2024 online by Zoom. Full LSO course: 7 am - 4 pm Eastern. Lasershow Operator portion: 7 am - 12 noon Eastern.

  •   Monday, August 26, 2024 online by Zoom. Full LSO course: 12 noon - 9 pm Eastern. Lasershow Operator portion: 12 noon - 5 pm Eastern.

  •   Wednesday, September 25 there will be an in-person laser safety class at the ILDA Conference in Wrocław, Poland. See below for details.

  •   We have not set up courses past September 25 at this time, except that there will be an in-person course at the LDI show in Las Vegas, tentatively set for Saturday, December 7, 2024. Sign up for this is done separately through LDI's website, beginning approximately August 1.

The date and time of an online/Zoom LSO class can be changed if no one has yet signed up for a class. For example, if you are in a time zone far from US Eastern, we can change the hours so it fits your schedule. If you are interested in an online class but need a date or time change, contact ILDA. Once at least one person signs up, then the date and time will no longer be changed.

DETAILS, COST, AND HOW TO SIGN UP

Detailed information on these courses is on the ILDA laser safety courses webpage.

The cost for an online/Zoom LSO course is $525 per person for ILDA Members, or $649 for non-members. This may be higher for in-person courses due to having to rent room space, travel, and other expenses.

The cost for an online/Zoom Lasershow Operator course is $295 per person for ILDA Members, or $495 for non-members. This may be higher for in-person courses.

To sign up for any course, visit our membership & event website's Events page.



Proposed ILDA standard for safe laser shows

ILDA is developing a standard for laser shows that the association would generally recognize as safe. The "Category A Laser Show Standard" includes requirements for simplified, lower-power shows with terminated beams.

The standard is currently being drafted. It is not yet approved or adopted. ILDA welcomes comments and suggestions. These are invited from anyone — Members, non-Members, regulators, safety experts, etc.

The draft document, plus a summary of the proposed requirements and discussion of what the Standard hopes to eventually accomplish, are on the Category A Laser Show Standard page.


ILDA Member discount at Lasershow.biz

ILDA Members receive a 10% discount on laser shows sold by Lasershow.biz. This is a platform for award-winning laser show designers around the world, to present and sell their work. Many of the shows themselves have won awards from ILDA and other groups.

When you register for an account at the website, click the ILDA Membership box if you are a Member. Later, when you go to purchase, Lasershow.biz will check your name against ILDA's online list of members and you'll get the 10% discount.


ILDA health plans for U.S. Members

ILDA has now joined with the LIG Insurance Group to bring health care policies to our U.S. Members. This is an Association Health Program where LIG finds policies that meet your particular health care needs and desires (including extras such as dental and vision).

If you like your current health care insurance, that’s fine. But if you’d like to hear about alternatives that may save money and/or give increased coverage, you can now call 888-869-7142 or check out the the LIG ILDA Health Coverage page.

Sorry, the healthcare benefit is U.S. only because of U.S. laws. On the other hand, many of our ILDA-Member countries have health care systems with coverage that may be more comprehensive and/or more affordable than the U.S. employer-based system. And if any non-U.S. Members have information about similar association insurance programs in their countries, we would be glad to get details.

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ILDA Members attending the 2018 Conference in Montréal


For more information, visit our other ILDA websites:

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ILDAmember.com: Membership database and event management, including joining ILDA
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LasershowSafety.info: Information about safe laser shows, including laws, regulations, checklists, and more

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Photo credit: Green beams above column 1 (The universe’s most unique light) — “Scooter” by Lightline Lasertechnik.