Late in the 1960s, when I started working for a lighting manufacturer, I was told, “We sell what we have. We don't encourage the customer to ask for specials.”

That remained true into the 1980s. Like legitimate theatre, concert lighting borrowed from any market or service that had something that could be adopted, modified, or used to its benefit.

By the mid-1980s, though, things were changing. New manufacturers were trying to meet the needs of concert and touring lighting. Products appeared that were not adaptations or reworkings of old ideas but instead were exciting new products cut from the whole cloth of a new vision.

Dimming is the area where packaging, not electronic innovation, made the first ...

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