- Aug 04, 2017 -
In 1987, Belliveau began experimenting with dichroic filters and designed a color fading lighting instrument called Color Pro. It used three MR-16 lamps to crossfade between colors, which was unique at the time. In the process, it was discovered that dichroic filters, which are color-tuned thin-film filters deposited on hardened glass, were very expensive. So Belliveau bought a used vacuum chamber and directed employees to re-build it for the purpose of manufacturing their own dichroic filters. At the time, there were no other lighting companies that made their own dichroic filters. Color Pro was a commercial and critical success, selling multiple hundreds of units each month. It was distributed worldwide through a newly established distributor network.
Around the same time, Belliveau set up a manufacturing division called Lightwave Research for the express purpose of designing and building new products. Another new company called High End Systems was incorporated in order to separate the installation company, Blackstone Audio Visual, from the sales and distribution of equipment. More employees were hired and more space rented in order to accommodate the growing enterprises.
The next products to be designed and built were the Laser Chorus and Dataflash. Laser Chorus was a multiple-head laser system with 4.9-milliwatt gas laser tubes available in red, yellow, green, and orange. The heads were controlled by a microprocessor-based controller and they were capable of producing effects such as tunnels, planes, and various other geometric shapes and patterns. Because they were not over 5 milliwatts they were Class IIIA lasers and did not require a variance to operate in most states in the U.S.
Dataflash was a multi-head, microprocessor-controlled strobe system with DMX control. It was used on many high-profile tours, including the Michael Jackson Dangerous tour, as well as in many nightclubs like Mannequins Dance Palace in the Pleasure Island area of Walt Disney World.
Another new product produced by Lightwave Research around the same time was the F-100 Fog Generator. It became one of the most widely used stage and entertainment fog machines in the industry.
Among the many other innovations that Lightwave Research was known for was the LCD Controller. It was a microprocessor-based, rack-mount controller with a push-button interface and an LCD display. There were LCD Controllers for Color Pro, Dataflash, and Intellabeam. They had unique features such as binary access, which provided for triggering of cues from a remote console or computer.