About Laser F/X - L. Michael Roberts
Roberts was born of Canadian parents in the Republic of South Africa. He
moved back to Canada, via a year in Europe, in his late teens to correct the situation.
father was an electronics engineer and radio amateur (ham) and he influenced
Michael's early interest in electronics and mechanical devices. In
school Michael studied the regular subjects along with art, art history,
classical and vocal music. As an art student, he was interested in the
'Op-Art' movement and experimented with optical and kinetic art building
several motorised sculptures. He also sang in
several Gilbert and Sullivan operettas but found he was more interested in
the lighting, sound and production aspects of the shows. Thus began a
life-long interest in the technical aspects of show production.
Michael saw his first laser
show at the Toronto planetarium in 1975 where he was inspired by a
performance of Laserium
the pioneering laser light show. The beauty of the images and the
vibrant colours drew him back again and again until he fell in love with the
concept of drawing with light. At the time he was running a small
business designing and installing sound and lighting systems in clubs and
discos. He became a laserist when he purchased his first laser and
designed and built an X-Y projection system in early 1976. He was the first
in Canada to offer "have laser show - will travel" services.
He began by performing simple
laser beam effects with rock bands, at corporate shows and special
events. Over the years he has upgraded his systems with the addition
of graphics and animations, beam tables, multiple colours and 3D
graphics. He has performed laser shows for major corporations,
designed choreographed and performed laser and fireworks spectaculars,
created movie special FX, toured internationally with renown rock bands, and
even performed for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
In April 1978 he originated the Laser Dance Party which
combines the traditional elements of a DJ, sound system, and dance lighting
with a live high-tech laser show. He has toured this, his favorite
show, internationally performing at thousands of parties and raves in North and
South America, Europe and Africa!
He published the world's first
Laser Clip-art catalogue and has provided animations and graphics to clients
world-wide. He has won awards from ILDA (International Laser Display
Association) and the Pangolin Prize for his laser animations. His
award-winning works can be seen in a variety of locations around the globe.
In November 1993 he introduced Laser
Effects: The Light Show Quarterly to serve the information and
advertising needs of the laser light show community. The newsletter
started with about 200 subscribers and grew to over 875 subscribers
world-wide in under three years. In 1997, the name was changed to
Laser F/X Newsletter. When the internet became accessible to everyone,
the Newsletter was moved on-line and expanded into the www.LaserFX.com web
site in order to serve the international laser light show community with
timely information. The site has expanded to offer not only
general information to the public, but also a Backstage area with technical
information and resources for for laserists, experimenters and hobbyists.
L. Michael Roberts is the
author of Laser F/X: The Light Show Handbook, a 400+ page technical manual
on laser displays which was published in the spring of 1996. May
1995 saw Laser F/X sponsoring the worlds first open conference for laser
light show professionals, "Laser F/X '95". The conference was held
in Burlington, Ontario and attracted 60 people to the three days of
seminars, a trade show and an awards banquet. The conference was an
annual institution each May for five years, attracting participants from around the globe.
In his last few years in the laser business, Michael has turned his
attention to the design of systems and products for use in laser
displays. He acted as a consultant and product designer to
various manufacturers as well as providing marketing services
for systems and products.
Michael is now retired from the industry having taken a position
as Chief Technology Officer for two Induction Lighting companies
(see Current Projects below). He is an inventor with two granted
patents, and a number of provisional patents to his credit. He is
presently focused on UV technology and on advanced, high efficiency,
magnetic induction lamp light sources.
Technologies Inc. - InduLux
Technologies brings years of experience working with, and
innovating, Magnetic Induction Lighting technologies to our
clients. Magnetic Induction lighting, also called Induction
Lamps or Induction Lights, is currently the most energy
efficient lighting on the planet! InduLux provides
consulting, product design, and Intellectual Property services
primarily to manufacturers and distributors of induction
lighting systems and equipment. InduLux has an on-line library
of Induction Lighting publications.
Fixures Inc. - GreenTech Fixtures Inc., will soon be
offering long lifespan, energy saving, lighting fixtures based
on patent-pending technology licensed from InduLux
Technologies. The fixtures use Magnetic
Induction Lamps with a 95,000~100,000 hour lifespan, in
combination with other long lifespan lamps, to create unique
fixtures which operate at a low light output in standby mode,
then switch to full light output as needed based on sensor
L. Michael Roberts is the
pioneer of laser displays in Canada providing over 30 years of service to
his clients. He originated laser clip-art and has won multiple awards
for his laser animations. Michael is an editor and writer who has been
published in The Laserist, Photonics Spectra, Laser Talk, Laser Effects,
New Scientist and other publications.
Among his non-laser
interests are computer technology, energy efficient lighting, alternate
energy and solar technology, music (from classical/opera to
dance/rave), downhill skiing, travel, photography (you can visit his Flickr
pages), reading and movies (especially science fiction), and
Logo | L.
Michael Roberts | Awards
| Laser Clip-art