What’s new in Fiber Optic Lighting? 3D Starfields!

Advances in LED Technology have brought about many recent changes in the lighting industry. It seems that fiber optics, which was the hot new thing in accent lighting, is now the hot thing in data transfer and lighting is all about LED manipulation.

Well now there is a new product line that combines those two technologies. It combines a unique LED light source that twinkles, fiber optic strands that have a proprietary fiber coating and stretched velour fabric.

The result is a 3D Fiber Frame/Custom Starfield by Simplified Acoustics

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The main difference between this product line and traditional star panels is that the fibers dangle down into the room giving you an actual 3 Dimensional Starfield. “I really enjoy turning the stars on for the first time because the other trades on the job are blown away. They stand there and get completely lost in it. Then they go get their buddies and bring them in to see it” says Matt Call from Simplified Acoustics. “I had one high-profile client’s wife that told me she wasn’t a fan of the traditional starfield but her husband was, so she was putting up with it. Once I turned on the stars her response was, “Can you leave it on all the time with the door open?” She kept coming in, just sitting there staring at it and showing it to all her friends.”

A unique feature is how the fibers are set at different lengths during manufacturing.  The fibers can be trimmed or etched on site after installation of the panel. This gives every room a unique look because of the depth of field between the points of light. “I have done some custom installs where the fibers are over 30” in length. That creates an incredible planetarium look that is an absolute attention getter” according to Matt.

The difference between the two products is who does the installation. The 3D Fiber Frame is a DIY starfield for AV Integrators that is truly simple to install. It is a 48” x 48” aluminum frame that the integrator puts together and then the pre-impregnated velour fabric wraps around the frame and is secured on the back with Velcro. The dealer installs four small eye bolts in the ceiling and the frame is hung and adjusted by black zip-ties. The 12v LED driver is plugged in and can be daisy chained from one panel to the next. The LED’s are rated for 50,000 hours and use very little power.

The 3D Custom Starfield is a solution for Integrators that have a very specific area or odd shaped room that needs an exact fit. Simplified Acoustics sends a professional that installs a track system to the exact areas that requires the starfield and they stretch the pre-impregnated velour fabric between the track. Most ceilings take two to three days for installation and trimming.

Why Acoustics?

Because Physics Happens!

Just having the theater inside a room, whatever size it may be, creates problems due to reflected sound and low-end/bass build-up within that space.

Adding acoustic treatments is a simple way to take a standard room from good to great.

Following are several basic ideas that can be used even with the smallest of budgets to help the overall performance of a theater or media room. 

1. Put absorptive material behind the screen, (Fiberglass, Recycled Cotton or Foam)

  • This will take the front to back reflections out of play and works well on narrower rooms.
  • Covering the front wall with treatment that includes bass traps will increase listening pleasure and speaker performance. This requires stretching the front wall with fabric; see SA’s Stretched Front Wall solution.

2. Place fabric wrapped acoustic panels around the listening area

  • This absorbs the side wall reflections that arrive later in time to the listener and “Smear” the sound continuing to come from the Center Channel Speaker
  • These panels can also cover In-Wall Surround Speakers and create a more aesthetically pleasing environment

3. Avoid putting speakers in the wrong position. 

  • Seems like a no-brainer but I see it all the time. Speakers are usually put in convenient locations and not in correct positions
  • Weigh the pros & cons of the location versus speaker type

4. Place seats at optimal positions, avoid worst places to sit.

  • Against the rear wall is a horrible place to sit! Home owners want as big a screen as possible so the seats are pushed back against the wall.
  • Bass builds up against boundaries (walls) and creates a very difficult listening environment. Bass is turned down to allow speech to be heard or the entire row suffers
  • If seats have to be placed against the rear wall, adding absorptive treatments to the back wall can help absorb the build-up.

If you need help with any theater project or just want to discuss some of the above ideas, give Simplified Acoustics a call at 317-520-2590.

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