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Corporate product reveal
Green beams
Lumia
Rome

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 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


NEW! ILDA to hold three bi-weekly online laser show contests starting March 30.

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ILDA is holding a contest called "ILDA Offline". It was created and sponsored by Awards Committee chair Richard Gonsalves (thank you!). The contest is for persons creating laser shows set to music chosen by Richard.

There are three different categories: Beams, Graphics and Abstracts.

There are three rounds of the contest; one every two weeks starting March 30.

Entrants will have nine days to create laser shows set to the selected music, and to submit a video of the show. They can enter in one, two or all three categories.

The videos will be uploaded to ILDA's Vimeo channel so that anyone — ILDA Member or non-member — can view and vote for their favorite in each category.

The winner in each category will receive an ILDA Offline trophy, generously donated by Richard.

ILDA Members can enter for free. There is a $5 per entry fee for non-members.

Details of the contest schedule and rules are at the ILDA Offline contest page. Non-members can pay for their entry fees at the ILDA Store page.

ILDA survey for Members regarding this year's Conference

Beginning March 6, ILDA is surveying Members regarding their preferences for this year's Conference. This is due to growing concerns over the coronavirus.

While our Conference is not scheduled until November, it is also not clear whether travel, events, etc. will be returning to normal by that time.

So we are asking Members to visit this page to read about our three choices — a cruise, a hotel or online — and then fill out a survey to let us know your preferences.

We request that you send the survey on or before Monday, March 9 so the Board can discuss the results at their regularly scheduled March 10 meeting. We can accept surveys after that time but it helps us most to hear from you on or before March 9.

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New! Voting is now open for ILDA President

There are two candidates running for ILDA President, Brian Gonzalez and Christopher Short.

ILDA Members who are not attending the Conference in Orlando, Nov. 8-10, can vote by email up until Saturday, Nov,. 9 at 10 am EST (New York) time. Members attending the Conference will vote in person during the Saturday, Nov. 9 Business Meeting.

Candidate statements and voting details are on the ILDA Board page; scroll down to the blue bar with the Presidential voting instructions.


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Register for the 2019 ILDA Conference

The 2019 ILDA Conference will be in Orlando, Florida from November 8 through 10. Two laser safety classes will be on Nov. 7, plus a third LSO class on November 8.

The Conference includes the ILDA business meeting, seminars, workshops, the Lase-Off, the Laser Jockey contest, and the Awards Dinner.

NEW! Representatives from the U.S. FDA (lasershow regulations) and FAA (lasers in airspace) will attend, to participate in two sessions for manufacturers/importers and for producers/operators.

Pangolin Laser Systems is sponsoring the KVANT lasers used during the Conference at the Lase-Off and the Awards. Pangolin is also hosting the Welcome Dinner in the evening on November 8.

The conference hotel is the Embassy Suites by Hilton — Orlando Lake Buena Vista Resort, in the north Lake Buena Vista area near the Disney Springs shopping and restaurant district.

Orlando area attractions include Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. The Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land at Disney's Hollywood Studios opens in August, so this will be new to most ILDA attendees.

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is about 1 hour away. In addition, Florida has some of the best beaches in the U.S., including Cocoa and Daytona beaches, about 1¼ to 1½ hours away.

For more information on the Conference and on hotel registration, visit the 2019 Conference page.

The new documentary "Laserium, the Gods of Light" will have a private showing for ILDA Conference attendees. Thanks to producer/director Bjorn Schaller for making this available at the ILDA Conference.
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Our hotel, which is a Disney partner with free shuttles to Walt Disney World.

Here are some approximate driving times from the hotel. These times are for mid-day and may take longer during rush hours:
   •  Disney Springs shopping/restaurant area: 12 minutes
   •  SeaWorld, Aquatica: 12 minutes
   •  EPCOT, Animal Kingdom: 17 minutes
   •  Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios: 25 minutes
   •  Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure: 25 minutes
   •  Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex: 60 minutes
   •  Cocoa Beach: 75 minutes
   •  Daytona Beach: 90 minutes
   •  Tampa: 90 minutes
   •  Miami: 4 hours

Apollo 11 50th anniversary event features lasers

On July 16th, 2019 the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. hosted an historic and exciting evening, culminating with a laser show.

The event commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. The Homecoming Celebration Dinner featured; Apollo 11 Astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Dr. Margrit von Braun and a star-studded line-up of NASA personalities.

To represent the past and into the future, two 30-foot tall models of the Apollo 11 and the new SLS rockets flanked the main stage.

ILDA Member Kozmic Lazer Show provided simulated launches, with jet rocket blasts and filled the room with lasers. The dazzling lasers shot down the entire 426-foot Davidson Center building, covering the Apollo 11 rocket; all set to music of "Space Camp" by John Williams.

Kozmic Lazer Show owner Patrick Sittnick said, “My team and I were greatly honored to be part of such a monumental historic event.”

— From EIN Presswire

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New! Online Laser Safety Officer course, June 15

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The next online Laser Safety Officer class is Saturday, June 15, 2019, starting at 10 am Eastern (New York) time. There is about 6 hours of instruction, plus 2 hours to take the test. If you pass the test, you will get a Certificate of Completion.

The cost is $525 for ILDA Members, and $649 for non-members.

There is detailed information on the Laser safety courses webpage at this website; scroll down to the section "Laser Safety Officer (LSO) - Lasershows course."

To actually sign up and register, go to the Events page at our membership & event website.


New! Voting is now open for two ILDA Award categories

ILDA Members can vote from June 4 through June 18 for two 2019 ILDA Award categories. Voting is done by separate emails, one for the Laser Photography votes and one for the Career Achievement Award vote. The deadline for ILDA Members to send voting emails is 11:59 pm, your local time, on Tuesday June 18.

Click the links below for more information on the entries/nominees and on how to vote.

Also, the other ILDA Artistic Award entries (video entries) have been sent to judges. The results will be received by ILDA around June 24, and will be sent to entrants in late June.

For the 2019 ILDA Laser Photography Award voting, there are 29 entries. You can choose three favorites, and vote them for First, Second and Third Place.

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2018 First Place, Laser Photography: ”Angel” by KVANT

For the 2019 ILDA Career Achievement Award voting, there are four nominees. You can choose your favorite and vote that person for CAA.

  • Fred Fenning
  • Alberto Kellner
  • Paul McCloskey
  • Dani Sawtell

Tim Walsh receives the 2014 ILDA Career Achievement Award from 2012 CAA recipient Tom Harman. A list of all past CAA recipients is here.


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!”


2019 ILDA Awards competition now open. Deadline: April 1

It is now ILDA Awards entry season! Get your videos ready, and download the Awards rules and entry form.

There are three main categories of awards: Artistic, Technical and Career Achievement:

  • For the Artistic Awards, only ILDA Members may enter.
  • For the Technical Awards, anyone may enter the ILDA Digital Network Standards category; only ILDA Members may enter the General category.
  • For Career Achievement, only ILDA Members may make a CAA nomination; however, any person may be nominated (they do not have to be an ILDA Member).

Full details are on the Enter the 2019 ILDA Awards page.

The deadline for submission is Monday, April 1 2019.


ILDA Members can attend ILSC 2019 at discounted rate

The Laser Institute of America holds the next every-two-years International Laser Safety Conference on March 18-21 2019 near Orlando and Walt Disney World.

ILDA is a Cooperating Society, and so ILDA Members receive the discounted LIA member registration rate.

Early registration is $775 for LIA (and ILDA) members through January 14, 2019. This is for the full conference; multi-day and single-day registration is also available.

Here is a link to the discount code that gives ILDA Members the discounted LIA rate: http://www.ildamember.com/ILSC2019. This page is password-protected so only current ILDA Members can access it.

ABOUT ILSC


ILSC is “a comprehensive four-day conference covering all aspects of laser safety practice and hazard control. Scientific sessions will address developments in regulatory, mandatory and voluntary safety standards for laser products and for laser use. The Practical Applications Seminars (PAS) complement the Scientific Sessions by exploring everyday scenarios that the LSO and MLSO may encounter. Professionals in all fields and applications will find ILSC a tremendous source for information and networking opportunities.”

While most of ILSC is about medical, research, industrial and military laser safety, there are usually three or four papers about laser display and consumer lasers (pointers). There also is a joint meeting of the ANSI Z136.10 committee working on safety standards for laser display.

In past years, laser display industry attendees have included ILDA’s Executive Director and the Safety Committee chair (who have frequently presented papers), plus ILDA Members wanting to attend sessions, work on ANSI Z130.10, and network with laser safety experts.

Note that there are no laser safety officer courses taught at ILSC. Instead, it is a scientific conference with educational sessions and papers being delivered and discussed.

For more information, visit the Laser Institute of America’s ILSC website.


2018 ILDA Award winners announced

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The 2018 ILDA Awards booklet, a 64-page PDF document, has details of all the awards. A link is on the 2018 Awards page.

The 2018 ILDA Award winners were announced at a gala presentation November 12, 2018 — the finale of the ILDA Conference in Montréal.

Congratulations to all winners, and especially to the recipient of ILDA's highest honor, Glenn Thomas, the 2018 Career Achievement Award winner. His acceptance speech and a list of all the award winners are at the 2018 Awards page.

A PDF booklet containing all the 2018 ILDA Award winners is now online. It contains a list of all the winners along with a description of each winning entry.

Also, a compilation video is now at YouTube. It has short excerpts from each of the winners, giving a good overview of the best laser shows in the world. Click the image below to watch the video on this page.

If you can’t play the video: Because of copyright claims on some audio tracks, the video may not play on phones or other devices, or may not be available in your country. If you cannot play the above video, try a version with copyright-claimed audio removed. About six Award winners will have no audio.

The 28-minute 2018 ILDA Award winners compilation video includes work from the three top shows in each of these categories:

Corporate Show
Live TV Show
Edited Film / TV / Video
Laser Show with Added Effects/Multimedia
Nightclub / Disco / Music Festival Show
Live Stage Show
Multi-Effect Laser Show
Graphics Show
Abstract Show
Beams/Atmospherics Show for a Single X-Y Scanner Pair
Beams/Atmospherics Show for Multiple Scanner Projectors
Innovative and Fine Art Laser Applications
Permanent Installation
Laser Photography
Fenning Award for Technical Achievement
Fenning ILDA Digital Network Standards Technical Achievement Award

2017, 2016 and 2015 ILDA Award videos

We also have the 2017, 2016 and 2015 ILDA Award compilation videos. Each one is about 20-25 minutes long, and has the best shows from those years.

2017 ILDA Awards compilation

If you want to see each 2017 winner as it was entered (up to 4 minutes maximum), go to the
ILDA YouTube playlists, and click on the “2017 ILDA Awards”. Every winning video is available at its full entered length.

2016 ILDA Awards compilation

If you want to see each 2016 winner as it was entered (up to 4 minutes maximum), go to the
ILDA YouTube playlists, and click on the “2016 ILDA Awards”. Every winning video is available at its full entered length.

2015 ILDA Awards compilation


Successful Montréal ILDA Conference, hosted by LaserTech Canada, concludes on Nov. 12

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Montréal Conference attendees after the Awards Banquet and Presentation on November 12. The Conference featured laser safety classes, the ILDA Business Meeting, Advanced Technology Workshop, IDN seminar, Artistic seminar, Awards seminar, the Lase-Off, the Laser Jockey competition, the ILDA Awards, and an all-day cultural city tour, as well as many informal laser demonstrations and collegial discussions. Photo courtesy Theo Petrides.

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ILDA Conference attendees watch a beam show during the Lase-Off, held the night before the Awards Presentation. No ILDA DB-25 cables were used; the entire setup used the new ILDA Digital Network to send signals to the LaserAnimation SOLLINGER projectors. It was even possible to record the live Laser Jockey performances and play them back the next night at the Awards. Conference host: LaserTech Canada; thanks to Dirk Apitz for the IDN devices.



Registration is open for 2018 ILDA Conference in Montréal

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ILDA Conference headquarters, Hôtel Bonaventure

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LaserTech Canada is host of the 2018 ILDA Conference in Montréal, Quebec. The Laser Projector Sponsor is LaserAnimation SOLLINGER, who is providing all lasers used at ILDA-produced events.

The dates are as follows:

     • Fri, Nov 9: ILDA Laser Operator Class, ILDA Advanced Audience Scanning Class (both optional extras).
     • Sat, Nov 10: ILDA LSO course (optional) and user group meetings. The first official ILDA Full Conference event is the Welcome Cocktail Reception and Dinner.
     • Sun, Nov 11: ILDA General Business Meeting, Advanced Technology Workshop. Lase-Off & Laser Jockey competition.
     • Mon, Nov 12: Workshops and seminars, ILDA Awards Banquet and Presentation.
     • Tue, Nov 13: Cultural Tour (optional) of Montréal

Additional information and links about the Hôtel Bonaventure rooms, and conference registration, are on the 2018 ILDA Conference page.


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CONFERENCE NEWS UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 24 2018:

1) Regular registration ends soon. For the lowest current rates, register on or before September 30. Pricing goes up on October 1. Read up on the Conference here, or go straight to the Events registration page.

2) Registration is now open for the Nov. 13 Cultural Tour. This runs from 11 am to 6:45 pm, and visits numerous sites including the AURA multimedia + laser show in the Notre Dame Basilica. Click here for a PDF with all the tour details. Cost is $90, register at the Events page.

3) Registration is now open for the Laser Jockey competition. There will be seven beam projectors plus two graphics projectors. Details are on the Laser Jockey page; register at the Events page.


Fascinating laser history book online

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Glenn Thomas at the console of the Laserium® Light Synthesizer

ILDA is pleased to publish the online version of Glenn Thomas' book "The Laserium® Laserist: The Greatest Job on Earth."

The book is a fascinating look at the pioneering efforts that first brought the beauty of laser light to wide audiences.

In the early 1970's, filmmaker Ivan Dryer created the first permanent laser light show, Laserium®, at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. It dazzled audiences there for 28 years.

Glenn Thomas's book describes the technical and artistic efforts that go into a Laserium® show. It was a constant battle with the technical limitations of the unwieldy krypton-ion laser. And without computer assistance, almost all of the show was performed live each night by a new artist, the "laserist."

We hope ILDA Members and the general public will enjoy this account from a person who loved his work and felt, as so many of us do, that being a laserist is "the greatest job on earth."

ILDA thanks Glenn Thomas for permission to put this online, the ILDA Board for supporting Glenn and this book, and the current holder of the Laserium® trademark, Tim Zigenbein of LumaLaser Inc and Laserium.com.

Submit press releases, articles and ads to The Laserist magazine

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Cover of the most recent Laserist, November 2017 edition

ILDA will be publishing The Laserist magazine, coming October 2018 in time for the October 15-21 LDI show in Las Vegas and the November 10-12 ILDA Conference in Montréal.

The magazine will be produced in print (32 full-color pages) as well as an online version.

We are now soliciting editorial and advertising material from Members:

  • Editorial material can include press releases, photos, articles — especially on technical subjects — and story suggestions. We cannot guarantee publication, but we will consider all submissions. Deadline for editorial submissions is Sept 20. Word count is 500-750 words per page depending on the size and number of any accompanying photos. To submit editorial material, contact us via email at ILDA. Editorial material is submitted to ILDA.
  • Advertising provides a targeted way to reach laser show producers, persons buying laser show equipment and software, and those considering hiring laser show companies. Deadline for ad reservations is Sept 1; deadline for ad submission is Sept 20. To reserve ad space, click here for the publisher’s ad site. Ads are submitted to the publisher, EM Consulting.

This is a unique opportunity to be in the only lasershow-specific magazine in the world! Reach clients, buyers and ILDA Members with the 2018 Laserist magazine.


Blast from the past - 2001 and 2002 ILDA Award videos

We’ve dug into the archives and digitized the 2001 and 2002 ILDA Award winners. The videos have been uploaded to YouTube.

For the videos along with a listing of the winners, see the 2001 ILDA Awards page and the 2002 ILDA Awards page. (2002 video shown above.)


New! Voting is now open for two ILDA Award categories

ILDA Members can vote from June 4 through June 18 for two 2018 ILDA Award categories. Voting is done by separate emails, one for the Laser Photography votes and one for the Career Achievement Award vote. The deadline to send voting emails is 11:59 pm, your local time, on Monday June 18.

Click the links for more information on the entries/nominees and on how to vote.

For the 2018 ILDA Laser Photography Award voting, there are 28 entries. You can choose three favorites, and vote them for First, Second and Third Place.

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2017 First Place, Laser Photography: ”Diamond” by Derek Garbos

For the 2018 ILDA Career Achievement Award voting, there are three nominees. You can choose your favorite and vote that person for CAA.

  • Alberto Kellner, Laser Entertainment srl
  • Paul McCloskey, Laservision Mega Media
  • Glenn Thomas, formerly with Laser Images (Laserium)

Tim Walsh receives the 2014 ILDA Career Achievement Award from 2012 CAA recipient Tom Harman. A list of all past CAA recipients is here.


NEW! “Lasers of the Victorian Age”

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Thanks to ILDA Member Mike Gould for this reprint from the April 1 2018 edition of Popular Photonics magazine.

You’ll learn how “laser” is actually a French acronym for “Lampe Atomique Sanitaire et Raisonnable”, and discover Gyro Cranker’s pioneering Beamerator laser projector (shown at left).

For the entire article, visit Mike’s PDF of the magazine reprint.


2018 ILDA Awards competition now open. Deadline: March 31

It is now ILDA Awards entry season! Get your videos ready, and download the Awards rules and entry form.

There are three main categories of awards: Artistic, Technical and Career Achievement:

  • For the Artistic Awards, only ILDA Members may enter.
  • For the Technical Awards, anyone may enter the ILDA Digital Network Standards category; only ILDA Members may enter the General category.
  • For Career Achievement, only ILDA Members may make a CAA nomination; however, any person may be nominated (they do not have to be an ILDA Member).

Full details are on the Enter the 2018 ILDA Awards page.

The deadline for submission is March 31 2018.


World’s largest laser show, by ER Productions

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On November 18, 2017, ILDA Member ER Productions set a Guinness World Record for the largest laser show. They used 314 lasers to present a spectacular seven-minute display, choreographed to music by DJ Damian Gee. This was done outside the Las Vegas Convention Center, in front of attendees of the LDI lighting trade show.

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ER demonstrated how lasers can go beyond being a few special effects to encompass an entire stage — or in this case, three stages.

Over 12 tonnes of equipment valued at approximately USD $3.5 million – including 11km of cable – was used during the show, which was held at the Las Vegas Convention Centre. Due to its proximity to the McCarran International Airport, a 100m x 15m termination wall was erected to ensure that no lasers affected aircraft using the popular airport. During the final and crucial seven-minute closing sequence, an enormous 1,377 watts of laser power lit up the Nevada skyline.

The laser show took weeks to design and 72 hours to set up for the world record attempt. Laser fixtures from ER Productions’ U.S. base in Las Vegas were used to beat the unofficial world-record set by the company back in 2016.

ER’s proprietary lasers in the show included blue Burstbox fixtures, Beambursts, BB3s and Laserblades. The rig was completed with some of the company’s newly-launched fixtures, including Storm, Lynx and Kinekt units, which were brought to market in 2017. The show was controlled centrally from front-of-house using three Road Hog 4 consoles and Beyond laser software.
    From ER’s press release

Congratulations to Marc Webber, Ryan Hagan, Andrew Turner, Lawrence Wright and the ER team for an artistic, technical and historic success!

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Photo ©2017 Mark Doyle


2017 The Laserist magazine now available

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Click on the cover image to download a PDF version of the latest Laserist magazine.

To see past Laserist issues (PDF format online), visit
The Laserist page from our older website.

The Laserist is ILDA’s magazine. The most recent issue came out in early November 2017. It was distributed at the 2017 ILDA Conference in Bratislava, and at the 2017 LDI lighting trade show in Las Vegas. Copies were also mailed to all ILDA Members with a mailing address in our database.

These are the stories in this issue:

About ILDA
President’s message
Directory of ILDA Members
How one company is helping change the face of the laser industry (profile of ER Productions)
How LaserNet integrated lasers into a major Florida theme park
“They’re gonna put me in the movies” by Mike Gould, Illuminatus Laser
LOBO supplies show solution for grand amphitheater in Senise, Italy
New laser system for Miami’s new planetarium (from LaserNet)
Planetarium Hamburg reopening with a new state-of-the-art laser system from LOBO
Understanding why laser shows must be safe
Laser show safety app from James Stewart
ILDA Awards: Memories of the first ten years by Tim Walsh
2017 ILDA Award winners in the Laser Photography category

ILDA guidance on safe and legal use of Laserworld and RTI laser projectors

On November 7, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a Safety Communication which recommends against using Laserworld and Ray Technologies International (RTI) laser projectors.

ILDA has developed guidance for ILDA Members and others who are doing laser shows in the U.S. with Laserworld and RTI laser projectors. See this webpage for more information from ILDA, and a link to Laserworld’s response to FDA.

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Registration is open for the 2017 ILDA Conference in Bratislava


2017 ILDA Conference dates

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KVANT will be hosting the 2017 ILDA Conference in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The dates are the evening of Monday, 6 November through Wednesday, 8 November. On 9 November there is an optional cultural tour of the city. In addition, laser safety classes will be taught on 5-6 November.

Details on the Conference and our hotel, the Radisson Blu Carlton, are on the 2017 Conference page.


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KVANT will be hosting the 2017 ILDA Conference in Bratislava, Slovakia. Coherent Inc. is a Gold Sponsor of the Conference.

The dates are the evening of Monday, 6 November through Wednesday, 8 November. On 9 November there is an optional cultural tour of the city. In addition, laser safety classes will be taught on 5-6 November.

Registration for the ILDA Conference and for the hotel is now open.

Details on the Conference and our hotel, the Radisson Blu Carlton, are on the 2017 Conference page.


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Submit press releases, articles and ads to The Laserist magazine

ILDA will be publishing The Laserist magazine, coming November 2017 in time for the ILDA Conference and the LDI show in Las Vegas. It will be produced in print (32 full-color pages) as well as an online version.

We are now soliciting editorial and advertising material from Members:

  • Editorial material can include press releases, photos, articles — especially on technical subjects — and story suggestions. We cannot guarantee publication, but we will consider all submissions. Deadline for editorial submissions is August 15. To submit editorial material, contact us via email at ILDA. Editorial material is submitted to ILDA.
  • Advertising provides a targeted way to reach laser show producers, persons buying laser show equipment and software, and those considering hiring laser show companies. Deadline for ad reservations is September 1; deadline for ad submission is September 15. To reserve ad space, click here for the publisher’s ad site. Ads are submitted to the publisher, EM Consulting.

This is a unique opportunity to be in the only lasershow-specific magazine in the world! Reach clients, buyers and ILDA Members with the 2017 Laserist magazine.

And to see past Laserist magazines (PDF format online), visit the The Laserist page.


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Ivan Dryer, 1939-2017

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Ivan Dryer, pioneering laser artist and founder of Laserium® planetarium shows, passed away on July 27, 2017 at the age of 78.

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.

ILDA remembers 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.”

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Earlier this year, 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.

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!”


Internment and Memorial Event information

From Linda Nebon via Facebook: Friday August 4th at 1:00 pm Pacific Time is the Internment Gathering for Ivan Dryer to rest next to his beloved Carol’s grave, at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park - Hollywood, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068. For those who can and wish to attend, meet at the Gate and Parking area BEFORE 1:00 pm to await escort by cemetery personnel. This will be informal.

A Memorial Event is being planned for some weeks later, probably early September, that will allow for planning, as well as producing, a cherished memory of a wonderful man.


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March 7 declared International Laserist Day

The ILDA Board of Directors voted to recognize March 7 as “International Laserist Day”. Each year on that date, ILDA, Members and laserists are invited to produce shows, special events, open houses, press releases and other material to recognize the people and companies that create memorable laser light shows and effects.

March 7 was chosen to honor the birthday of Ivan Dryer, who founded Laserium and the modern laser light show business.

More on the day and Dryer are here.


See 45 award-winning laser shows from 2016 in less than half an hour

This 23-minute compilation video has excerpts from winners of the the 2016 ILDA Awards. It’s the best of laser display, all in one place. You’ll see work from the top shows in these categories:

Beams/Atmospherics Show for a Single X-Y Scanner Pair
Beams/Atmospherics Show for Multiple Scanner Projectors
Graphics Show
Abstract Show
Beams and Screen Show
Nightclub / Disco / Music Festival Show
Corporate Show
Live Stage Show
Live TV Show
Edited Film / TV / Video
Laser Show With Added Effects/Multimedia
Laser Fine Art
Innovative Application
Laser Photography
Fenning Award for Technical Achievement

And for even more laser shows, check out the compilation video of the 2015 ILDA Award winners. This video lets you see 45 shows in 26 minutes.


New! Voting is now open for two ILDA Award categories

ILDA Members can vote from 29 May through 12 June for two ILDA Award categories. Voting is done by separate emails, one for the Laser Photography votes and one for the Career Achievement Award vote. The deadline to send voting emails is 11:59 pm, your local time, on Monday 12 June.

Click the links for more information on the entries/nominees and on how to vote.

For the 2017 ILDA Laser Photography Award voting, there are 23 entries. You can choose three favorites, and vote them for First, Second and Third Place.

2016 First Place, Laser Photography: ”Vortex” by Dan Goldsmith

My Image

2016 Second Place, Laser Photography: ”The Sound of Gravity” by Christopher Short

For the 2017 ILDA Career Achievement Award voting, there are six nominees. You can choose your favorite and vote that person for CAA.

  • Stephen Harvey, LM Productions
  • Alex Hennig, formerly with LOBO
  • Alberto Kellner, Laser Entertainment srl
  • Chris Matthews, LCI
  • Paul McCloskey, Laservision Mega Media
  • Glenn Thomas, formerly with Laser Images (Laserium)

Tim Walsh receives the 2014 ILDA Career Achievement Award from 2012 CAA recipient Tom Harman. A list of all past CAA recipients is here.


News from the 2016 ILDA Conference in Baltimore

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ILDA Conference attendees, their guests and families at the kickoff event, the November 6 Welcome Reception and Dinner Cruise. Click for a larger version of the photo.

At the November 7-8 2016 ILDA Conference in Baltimore, Brad Billet, Olga Eser and Christopher Short were elected to the Board of Directors. Brian Gonzalez was elected President of the Board. Chad Timinskis became Secretary. The complete list of 2016-2017 officers is on the Board page.

Members attending the ILDA Business Meeting voted to add a Hobbyist category, with restricted voting and annual dues of $95. This was ratified by the Board on November 15 by officially changing the ILDA Bylaws to reflect this change.

The website now has a page with the complete list of 2016 ILDA Award winners, as presented on November 8 at the ILDA Awards Banquet and Presentation. In addition, we also have a downloadable version of the 2016 Awards Booklet that was handed out prior to the Awards Presentation. This gives additional information about the winning entries. And, we have a 23-minute YouTube video showing excerpts from all 2016 ILDA Award winners.

The 2017 ILDA Conference will be in Bratislava, Slovakia, hosted by KVANT. Members also saw presentations for the 2018 Conference in Quebec, hosted by LaserTech Canada; and for 2019 in London, hosted by ER Productions.


New! Voting is now open for the ILDA Board of Directors

There are three openings this year on the ILDA Board of Directors. These are the seats which are currently held by Olga Eser, Alex Hennig and Christine Jenkin. We have four candidates for the three seats:

  • Brad Billet
  • Olga Eser
  • Christine Jenkin
  • Christopher Short

Voting is open to all current ILDA Members except for Student members. Here is how to vote:

  • If you are NOT attending the Nov. 7 Business Meeting held during the ILDA Conference in Baltimore, then you can vote now by email. Simply review the candidate statements on the ILDA Board page, and then read the section “How to vote for Board candidates”. Email voting closes at 9:30 AM EST (New York time) on Sunday November 6.
  • If you ARE attending the Nov. 7 Business Meeting in Baltimore, do not vote by email. Instead, you will vote in person during the Business Meeting which begins at 9:30 am on Monday November 7. If you wish, you can read up now on the candidate statements on the ILDA Board page, to help you prepare to make your choice.


New! Nominations are now open for the 2016 ILDA Board of Directors

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The current ILDA Board of Directors. Abdulwahab Baghdadi, Brian Gonzalez, ILDA President Christine Jenkin, Alex Hennig, and Olga Eser. Names in bold are up for election or re-election this year.

There are three openings this year on the ILDA Board of Directors. These are the seats which are currently held by Olga Eser, Alex Hennig and Christine Jenkin. Any qualifying ILDA Member may run for the Board of Directors. Also, the current Board members may run for re-election if they wish.

You can nominate yourself, or another ILDA Member if they agree to you nominating them. Nominees must be ILDA Members in (at least) 2015 and 2016, and must be in good standing with no dues or Ethics Committee issues.

Email the nominee’s name plus a short (500 word maximum) statement of why they would be a good Board member, to ILDA. Deadline for nominations is 9:30 AM EST (New York time) on Monday, October 31.

More information on the Board of Directors and the nomination process is on the ILDA Board page.



New! Voting is now open for the 2016 ILDA Career Achievement Award

ILDA Members can vote from August 5 through August 19 for the 2016 Career Achievement Award. There are five nominees:

  • Stephen Harvey, LM Productions
  • Alberto Kellner, Laser Entertainment srl
  • Chris Matthews, LCI
  • Glenn Thomas, Laser Images (Laserium)
  • Dr. Alexander Timofeev, Orion-Art Multimedia
Members are invited to review the nominees’ biographies, and then email their choice to ILDA. Votes must be sent by 11:59 pm, your local time, on Friday, August 19.

Biographies and complete voting instructions are on the 2016 CAA voting page.


Tim Walsh receives the 2014 ILDA Career Achievement Award from 2012 CAA recipient Tom Harman. A list of all past CAA recipients is here.


New! Voting is now open for the 2016 ILDA Awards for Laser Photography

ILDA Members can vote from May 29 through June 13 for the Laser Photography category of the ILDA Awards.

Fifty-four photos are at the 2016 Photo Judging website. Members are invited to review the photos, pick their top three favorites, and email their choices for First, Second and Third Place to ILDA. Votes must be sent by 11:59 pm, your local time, on Monday June 13.

Complete instructions and the voting email address are at the Photo Judging website.

Non-Members are welcome to look through the photos as well, although only Members’ email votes will be counted.


Save by registering on or before July 15, for the November ILDA Conference

You can save $225 by registering early for the 2016 ILDA Conference, to be held November 6-9 in Baltimore Maryland.

Early registration is available through July 15, at a rate of $523 for Members ($423 for spouses/guests). On July 16, regular registration will increase to a rate of $748 ($523 for spouses/guests).

So if you want to save, be sure to register during early the early registration period! Full details about the Conference, hosted by Image Engineering, is on the ILDA Conference page.


2017 ILDA Awards competition now open for Members. Deadline: March 31

It is now ILDA Awards entry season for Members! Get your videos ready, and download the Awards rules and entry form.

There are three main categories of awards: Artistic, Technical and Career Achievement.

NEW! For 2017, we have added a category to the Technical Achievement awards. The “IDN Standards” category is for technical entries which implement, use, extend or otherwise help to advance the use and/or capabilities of the ILDA Digital Network Standards. If you are entering in this category, be sure that you download the Technical Achievement Awards Guide on or after February 21 2017; this lists rules for the new category.

The deadline for submission is March 31 2017. Full details are on the Enter the 2017 ILDA Awards page.


ILDA competition for non-members seeks new talents

With laser projectors becoming more affordable, there are many enthusiasts and laser artists creating laser light shows. ILDA has announced a new contest to find and publicize non-ILDA members who are creating exceptional shows.

The “New Talent” search is open to any individual who has not been a member of ILDA, either on their own or as an employee of an ILDA member. They can enter up to three videos, each one up to 4 minutes in length. An international panel of judges will view all entries to choose the winner.

The deadline for this year’s entries is September 15 2016. See the Enter the 2016 ILDA New Talent search page for full rules and for the entry form.

Subsequent New Talent searches in 2017 and beyond will find and publicize additional new talents.


What the winner receives

The 2016 "New Talent" winner will receive the star-shaped “ILDA New Talent” trophy, honoring their work as the best of the worldwide entries. They will be recognized at the November 2016 ILDA Awards Banquet and Presentation in Baltimore, and will have free attendance to the banquet (a $250 value). Their achievement will be publicized on ILDA's website. Recognition as a winner could become a stepping stone to further involvement in the laser display industry. They will also receive a free year's Individual Membership in ILDA (a $130 value; this amount may be optionally applied towards a Corporate Membership). The Membership includes free access to Skyzan laser safety software (a $299 value), discounts on LSO classes and ILDA events, and other Member benefits.


See 45 award-winning laser shows in less than half an hour

Click on the above to see the 23-minute compilation video, which has excerpts from the winners.

If you want to see each video as it was entered (up to 4 minutes maximum), go to the
ILDA YouTube playlists, and click on the “2016 ILDA Awards”. Every winning entry is available at its full entered length.

This 23-minute compilation video has excerpts from winners of the the 2016 ILDA Awards. It’s the best of laser display, all in one place. You’ll see work from the top shows in these categories:

Beams/Atmospherics Show for a Single X-Y Scanner Pair
Beams/Atmospherics Show for Multiple Scanner Projectors
Graphics Show
Abstract Show
Beams and Screen Show
Nightclub / Disco / Music Festival Show
Corporate Show
Live Stage Show
Live TV Show
Edited Film / TV / Video
Laser Show With Added Effects/Multimedia
Laser Fine Art
Innovative Application
Laser Photography
Fenning Award for Technical Achievement

And for even more laser shows, check out the compilation video of the 2015 ILDA Award winners. This video lets you see 45 shows in 26 minutes.


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Photo credits: Large pictures, in order — “Rainbow” by ILDA; “The Voice Italy” and “Echoes” by Laser Entertainment srl; “Deep Web” by LaserAnimation Sollinger; “Zedd - Ain’t No Rainbow” by Richard Gonsalves; “All You Need Is…” by Christopher Short; “Year of 39” by ER Productons; “Laser Violin” by Visual Sensation Laser Shows and Technologies. Green beams above column 1 (The universe’s most unique light) — “Scooter” by Lightline Lasertechnik. “Blow Your Mind” head (March 7) by Laser Show Design Inc.