Astera Predicts Wireless LED Market to Double by 2014

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Wireless LED system manufacturer, Astera, has forecast significant medium-term growth of the market that it helped to create, predicting that the demand for wireless LED products could double by 2014.

The company says that it has observed a sharp increase in the sales of its products in recent months. This, combined with a steady rise in the number of competitor firms launching development of their own wireless LED products, has led the brand to make its projections amid preparations for the forthcoming PLASA show in London next month.

Sebastian Bückle, head of international sales and marketing at Astera, commented: “We've seen something of a spike in the demand for wireless LED products of late. It's hard to talk numbers, but let's just say that the market has grown exponentially since 2010, both in terms of supply and demand.

“Naturally, this means much more competition for us, but that's not actually a bad thing because it's fueling the continued growth of a market in which we are a clear leader. As more and more LED companies embrace wireless LED, an increasing number of customers are taking notice of it, too. And once they do, it doesn't take them long to realize that Astera was the pioneer of this technology.”

Central to Astera's system is an extensive selection of lighting fixtures, each of which features Astera's trademark built-in rechargeable battery and RF receiver, allowing for entirely wireless operation. Key examples include the AL6 wall washer, AL7 wireless spot lamp and AL1 pixel tube, but every one of the company's wireless fixtures is fitted with a high quality lithium polymer battery that can power the unit for up to 24 hours between charges.

Complementing the wireless lamp range is a powerful set of controllers. These include the ARC2 RF remote control, ARC3 Remote Control Tablet and ART3 DMX transmitter.

The ARC2 RF Remote Control is Astera’s main handheld LED controller. It is used to change colors, launch programs, group together several Astera lamps, arrange lights within groups and control third-party products connected over other Astera connectors. Uniquely, the ARC2 operates on the 868MHz band (USA version: 902-928MHz), which affords it a range of 300 metres in an open field; up to 30 times the range of most third party models. This is the result of a proprietary technology that compresses the control protocol for transmission to the lamps.

A brand new addition to the range, the ARC3 is a highly advanced remote control tablet. Via a seven-inch, 1024x600-pixel captive touchscreen, it can manage an unlimited amount of wireless Astera products and is also capable of communicating with third-party lamps and other appliances. The tablet also features a 'target lamps' button that facilitates communication with a user-definable selection of wireless fixtures.

Taking the flexibility of the system even further, the ART3 wireless RF DMX transmitter can either send or receive DMX data, enabling both Astera and third-party lamps to be controlled via a standard lighting console. It also functions as a receiver that allows regular wired lighting fixtures to be controlled by Astera's ARC2 RF remote control.

“Being the pioneer of wireless LED has many obvious advantages in the marketplace,” said Bückle. “Not least the familiarity of the Astera brand to customers and the recognition in the industry that we invented the technology. For us, however, the biggest advantage is the amount of time that we've spent developing and refining our products. While some companies are only just sitting down to design their first wireless LED systems, we've been working on improving ours for the last four years.”

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