iPad as a Wireless Lighting Desk

On a recent show, we used an iPad as a Wireless Lighting Desk.

Recently we’ve been saving ourselves hours of time and effort on shows by using the app Luminair (from Synthe-FX), which allows us to wirelessly control DMX lighting fixtures over WiFi via our iPad on some of our smaller shows.

By setting up a dedicated wireless network (using an Apple airport extreme and an Art-Net ethernet/DMX box), we get the iPad to communicate with the receiving DMX lighting fixtures and control them via the Luminair app.

With more complex lighting desks we spend a lot of time programming, but with Luminair it’s easy to control the fixtures on individual faders—or in collective DMX groups. The options on each fader allow us to adjust the intensity and colour of each fixture, as well as different FX options being at our disposal. We can programme sequences to create lighting chases, which proved very useful on a recent show when the client required disco lighting during a band’s live performance. The ability to create different ‘scenes’ means we can easily flick between show states, for instance having a walk-in, a show state and another show state with lectern spots up (see below).

ShowStates_sm

We use battery-powered uplighter, which allow us to have a completely wireless setup for our up-lighters. This saves us time when rigging, since we no longer have to run power or DMX cables to these fixtures. By recently investing in a couple of small portable dimmers and combining them with wireless DMX dongles, we’re also able to control our spot lights through Luminair. This gives us complete control over all our fixtures on the show.