Chad Kunimoto explains how laser projection can transform your business into a sustainable powerhouse with these 10 strategies.
Blog post by Chad Kunimoto for TEA
The attractions industry is moving to address the environmental impact of creating magical experiences. PortAventura World in Spain recently became the world’s first carbon-neutral resort. Disney is progressing towards its 100% carbon neutrality goal by 2030. Universal Studios Orlando switched to LED lighting, saving about 2.4 million kilowatt hours of energy annually. Others are investing in water recycling, food waste programs, and renewable energy sources.
With so many companies relying on media-powered attractions, investing in laser projection can go a long way to minimizing your environmental impact while promoting sustainable business. Here are 10 ways that laser projectors—the heart of media-based experiences—can make your operation more sustainable.
1. Reduce waste and enhance reliability
It used to be necessary to keep an inventory of spare lamps and filters and maintain projectors regularly, which led to waste, cost, and downtime. Today, the best DLP laser projectors feature sealed optical blocks that prevent dust ingress without the need for filters, while the light source lasts for the life of the product, reducing downtime, waste, cost, and effort for operators.
2. Transition to energy-efficient equipment
Laser projectors offer excellent Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) benefits. One study found that if all European cinemas switched from lamp to laser projectors, the energy savings could amount to 150 GWh of energy annually, equivalent to the monthly production of a small nuclear power plant. Some 20,000-lumen-class projectors such as this use about 33% less energy than equivalent lamp projectors. Laser projectors maintain consistent brightness for long periods, reducing the need for calibration.
3. Reduce transport emissions
Laser projectors are much smaller and lighter than lamp projectors, with some models 40% smaller than their predecessors, for more efficient transport. Rental companies can fit more units on one truck at a time, directly reducing carbon emissions. The smaller form factor saves time, energy, and costs associated with installation, opening new possibilities for projection in areas with limited space.
4. Use fewer projectors
Some laser projectors offer a high level of brightness relative to their size, allowing you to achieve impressive image quality using fewer projectors. Lamp projectors often required stacking to achieve sufficient brightness, but now a single laser projector can accomplish the same task. Additionally, evolved fisheye lenses can provide full-dome coverage from a single projector, boosting operating efficiency.
5. Refresh the experience, not the hardware
To ensure long-term sustainability, selecting a flexible projector that can adapt to different applications is important. Laser light sources last for 20,000 hours, so you can keep using the same projectors through multiple iterations of an attraction. Compatibility with optional lenses and function boards adapt to changing needs.
6. Save time during setup
The best projectors provide a user experience that will save time, money, and resources for improved sustainability. For example, automated edge-blending and remote monitoring capabilities can streamline setup and operation and reduce resource consumption. Additionally, the use of NFC (Near Field Communication) can save time by enabling device interactions even in the absence of AC power on-site.
7. Extend projector service life
Laser projectors include Eco modes that extend service life beyond 20,000 hours. Furthermore, sensors can detect changes in the images and make adjustments to maintain color and brightness uniformity, reducing callouts. Some lenses can detect changes in content brightness or temperature and correct focus drift automatically.
8. Simulate real environments
Laser projection allows you to simulate the world’s most vulnerable ecosystems, allowing guests to experience the wonder without causing harm. From exotic flora and fauna to marine or forest ecologies, projection offers a sustainable way to share it.
9. Avoid toxic materials
Choose a projector that does not contain specified toxic substances such as mercury, lead, or halogenic flame retardants. Unlike conventional projectors that require special disposal of expired lamps due to their mercury content, laser projectors offer a more hassle-free and environmentally conscious choice.
10. Secure a technology partner
When selecting a technology partner, prioritize those with a strong environmental track record, a trusted reputation, and a forward-thinking vision for sustainability. Your values and vision should align so that you can work together to ensure that your investments contribute to environmental sustainability.
Since projectors work continuously for long periods, seeking expert advice is vital for maximizing their sustainability. When it comes time to create or renew your next attraction, engage a technology partner who understands your site and can guide you through every aspect of spatial design, from the blue-sky phase to opening day. If you’re interested in learning how you can make your media-based attraction more sustainable, drop me a line at email@example.com.
Chad Kunimoto is the Global Business Development Manager for Themed Entertainment and Immersive Experiences at Panasonic Connect.