Why New Regulation Means 2021 Is the Time to Move to Laser

March 8, 2021
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In December, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) updated its safety standards impacting many lamp-based projectors, bringing them in line with the pre-existing standards for laser-illuminated projectors. 

Known as IEC/EN/UL 62368-1 Ed 2, the new standards replace IEC/EN/UL 60950-1 for safety and testing of electrotechnical equipment, and among other things require lamp projector manufacturers to give lamp projectors a risk rating. These ratings come with regulations around optical hazard distances and other safety measures that can impact the design and operation of your cinema.

All new cinema lamp projectors must now comply with these updated safety regulations, globally. Additionally, for operators in the European Economic Area (EEA), safety-related bodies now require that all lamp projectors, are retroactively recertified and have a Risk Group (RG) assigned.

But what do these changes mean in practice for cinemas and projectors, and why is now the perfect opportunity to adopt the freshest laser-illuminated technology?  

Let’s jump in. 

1. New rules mean more regulations for lamp projectors

The technical language can be confusing, but the new projection rules can be summarized in a single phrase: Risk Groups. 

Like laser projectors, the majority of lamp projectors in cinema are Risk Group 3 (RG3), meaning they have to follow the same safety standards and rules.

Why does this matter? 

  • RG3 applies to most lamp-based cinema projectors. Because most new cinema projectors (both lamp and laser) are classified as Risk Group 3, any new installation (or replacement in the EEA) has to obey the new rules—with all the responsibilities that follow. 
  • The rules are very specific. Apart from training and protection booth requirements, the new regulations also cover safety distances, hazard zones, and separation heights for lamp projectors. 
  • Change is inevitable. Your equipment will eventually need to be changed—and obey the new regulations. However, the consistent standard for lamp and laser projectors makes the move to laser an obvious choice.

2. This ongoing renewal wave is an opportune time to adopt innovative laser technology

Historically, some exhibitors have favored lamp projectors over laser-illuminated projectors because lamp projectors were subject to fewer regulations. But with IEC/EN/UL62368-1 Ed 2, that’s no longer true.

In fact, there are major advantages to embracing innovation—especially if you’re already considering updating your booths during this renewal wave for projectors (those operating for 10 or more years):

  • Enhanced quality. Laser projectors offer better quality than lamp alternatives. Providing the best image quality, with deep, rich colors, they’re the perfect way to make a big and lasting impression on cinemagoers as doors begin reopening—and keep them coming back again and again.
  • More eco-friendly. Laser projectors are more sustainable than xenon projectors. With no lamps or filters to replace, and using up to 80% less energy, they’re also ideal for exhibitors looking to reduce their environmental footprint. 
  • Cost-effective. Laser delivers simpler operations and reduced maintenance needs—freeing up resources, particularly important coming out of an economic dip.

3. Cinionic makes laser projection easy 

Regulatory changes can be hard—but embracing the best technology doesn’t have to be. 

That’s why Cinionic, the laser company with the largest range of laser-powered projection solutions for the cinema industry, is here to help with a broad range of ways to make the move:

  • Our complete family of next-generation Barco Series 4, bringing leading laser and smart features to big and small screens.
  • Our recently introduced Laser Now program helps you to specify the right solution for your needs, pre-qualifying you for vendor-backed financing quickly and efficiently. Secure and transparent, Laser Now lets you pay back your laser-illuminated investment over three, four, or five years—whatever’s best for your business to keep pace with technological innovation and be financially sustainable. 
  • Our pioneering Sign-Up offer provides ‘as-a-Service’ access to world-class cinema solutions with the added benefit of predictability and financial flexibility. Upgrade your existing equipment to laser with Laser-as-a-Service, convert your cinema to future-proof laser technology with Cinema-as-a-Service, or invite us to power your premium large format screens with Premium-as-a-Service. These Sign-Up programs give you the tech you need and peace of mind as we head into the future of cinema together.
  • And innovative Laser Light Upgrade Kits from Cinionic offer you a cost-effective way to upgrade your existing projector and extend its lifetime. With on-site upgrades that take as little as one-day, it’s the fastest way to laser. 

Contact us today to learn more about Cinionic’s revolutionary range of cinema laser projectors.