|Private company limited by shares|
|Industry||Professional stage lighting equipment|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
Avolites Ltd is a British manufacturing company based in Park Royal, London. Avolites manufactures lighting control consoles and stage dimming equipment for use in the entertainments lighting industry. In 2011 the company expanded into the media server sector of the entertainments technology market by acquiring software developed by Immersive Ltd, supplying control systems used in the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, and the 2014 Winter Sochi Olympics ceremonies.
Avolites started as a lighting production company in 1976 when a group of touring road crew formed a company to manufacture their designs for a touring dimmer rack, the Avolites FD dimmer. The company then expanded into manufacturing lighting control consoles, initially releasing the 8100 series, before creating the QM500 series in 1983. During the 1980s the reputation of the brand grew and by the late 1980s the company was purchased by Carlton Television. The company was returned to private ownership as part of a management buy out in 1991. Eventually the lighting production work was discontinued and the company focused on equipment manufacturing only.
During the 1990s the company introduced several new products designed to control the range of intelligent lighting products that were emerging onto the market at the time, releasing the Rolacue Sapphire, Pearl 2000 (released 1995), Sapphire 2000 (released 1998) and Diamond II/III consoles. Most of these consoles were based on Motorola 68000 family processors. In 1996 the company also updated the FD dimmer, replacing it with the Art 4000.
During the 2000s the dimmer product range was redesigned again, resulting in the Art 2000 series of racks; the Art 2000i installation racks and - in the later part of the decade - the PowerCube dimmer/distribution units. In 2001 Avolites launched the Diamond 4 range of control consoles, which was based on a conventional PC motherboard instead of custom made hardware reliant on Motorola processors. Although the custom hardware consoles were still sold and updated in stages during the 2000s, the company gradually moved software development towards the Windows OS running on conventional PC motherboards. This move allowed the company to re-write its lighting control software, resulting in the release of the Titan software series in the late 2000s.
Since the introduction of Titan the company has designed a range of consoles specifically to run the software, including the Titan One USB DMX dongle, Titan Mobile, Tiger Touch and Sapphire Touch consoles, which were all introduced between 2009 and 2012.
David Green, Mark Calvert and Ralph Lambert formed a VJ collective known as Inside-Us-All initially working on visual effects for the rave and party scene. The trio decided to expand into more corporate work and took on a new staff member, John Munro, forming the Pixel Addicts company at the time. Pixel Addicts was later renamed to Immersive and it was within Immersive that the "Addict" media server software was developed.
In June 2011, Avolites acquired the rights to the Addict media server software developed by Immersive, rebranded it as "Ai" and formed a spin-off company called Avolites Media. The media server products were used in the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies of 2012 to perform video mapping across the audience seats.
Avolites has manufactured a wide range of lighting control products, accessories and software, but is best known for its range of control consoles and dimmer racks.
The following products are no longer manufactured and are listed with their launch year:
FD dimmers were manufactured from 1980. they were designed by Paul Ollett.
- QM500 (1983)
- Rolacue Sapphire, Sapphire 2000 (1998)
- Diamond, Diamond II, Diamond III, Diamond 4 (2001), Diamond 4 Elite, Diamond 4 Vision
- Pearl 2000 (1995), Pearl 2004 (2002), Pearl 2008 (2006)
- Azure 2000, Azure 2000 Shadow
The QM500 and Rolacue and derivatives were all designed by Paul Ollett
The Pearl 2010 and Pearl Tiger consoles are based on a Motorola 68000 family processor. All other current lighting consoles are based on modern PC hardware and run control software known as Titan.
- Pearl 2010 (2010), Pearl Tiger (Discontinued)
- Sapphire Touch (2011)
- Pearl Expert (2006) (Discontinued)
- Tiger Touch
- Titan Mobile
- Titan Mobile Wing (2013)
- Titan One (2012)
- Tiger Touch Pro (Discontinued)
- Tiger Touch II (2013)
- Titan Net Processor (2013)
- Expert Pro (Discontinued)
- Expert Touch (Discontinued)
Avolites Media Products
- Ai Server Infinity 4/8 (2012)
- Ai Server T4/8
- MSC 1 Controller (based on Titan Mobile hardware)
- Sapphire Media Controller (2012) (based on Sapphire Touch hardware)
- Sapphire Media Wing (2013)
- Software dongles
Avolites Hybrid Products
- Quartz (2014)
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