Maniac Lights Live Up to Their Name
By Dave Boser / 02.26.2018
Our Head Technical Director, Dave Boser, talks about one of the more exciting and innovative pieces of equipment in the ITC arsenal.
CITC The Maniac LED Fog Machines (Maniacs) are pretty much one of the more badass pieces of equipment we have here. Why they are called Maniac lights is pretty straightforward. They are insane!
Maniacs are an intelligent light fixture that contain a high-velocity fogger in the unit, so you can shoot a jet stream of high-velocity smoke while changing the colors of the lights. Basically, what that means is these guys are fire breathers without the fire. These lights can simulate the look of flames without the danger or use of compound chemicals, and they can be instantly turned on or off. No fire marshals needed!
A Better Fire Breather
Maniac lights are an alternative to CO2 fixtures that require tanks to be close at hand and need refueling often. Placement is limited to the front of the stage or somewhere grounded—putting them up high is costly and complicated. Maniac lights have LEDs, fogger and fuel integrated into the fixture, so you get the same full effect with way more flexibility. Rig them high or drop them low, we can operate it easily either way. Not to mention they are more fuel efficient, which creates even more flexibility and cost saving for the client.
Pop Goes the Maniac
How do they work? Think of heating steam in a tea kettle. You have a liquid, like water, then you heat it up to create pressure within the pot. Eventually, the pressure will reach a critical point and launch the tea pot top off! The same thing happens within these lights. There is a special liquid contained inside the fixture that gets atomized and then moved across a heating block, which expands the gas and pushes the fog out rapidly.
Light It Up
For a lot of our business meeting clients, where the agenda and show flow are structured, we have the Maniac lights pre-programmed based on the cue sheet, so there are no surprises (well for the audience there may be). For some of our music events and live concerts, we generally do not pre-program, but rather understand the run of show and in which contexts we should use the Maniac lights. So, while we don’t “wing it,” we can control the lights on the fly, which makes for a more organic and exciting experience for the audience.
Hearts on Fire
Any time we do a show, it’s about energy, it’s about emotion. So, anything we can do to keep the audience more emotionally engaged the better. If it’s a surprise, if it’s a significant moment in the show, we want to dial up the energy and wow the crowd. These Maniac lights have a built-in “wow” factor. But more importantly, we use the technology to enhance the experience and not distract from it, otherwise we are just blowing smoke!