ILDA laser projector and software

ILDA laser projector

ILDA acronym stands for International Laser Display Association but it’s more likely to be used as the name for standardised data communication protocol between ILDA compatible single colour, multiple-colour or RGB laser display projectors and laser control computers (via ILDA interface).

ILDA protocol was developed many years ago and ensures full compatibility between all laser projectors and control systems made by manufacturers that follow this standard.

To turn the computer control signal into ILDA control signal, you have to use an ILDA compatible interface (DAC). In order to control multiple ILDA laser systems, one ILDA interface must be used per each laser display system in a given setup - that’s if you want to control each laser projector individually. If this is not the case, you can daisy-chain the ILDA signal between multiple projectors and they will all do the same thing.

Over the years the term “ILDA laser” became somehow quite popular - mainly within mobile DJs, hobbyists and community of non-professional laserist. Even these days quite a few people still think, that if their laser is ILDA, it means that it is a high quality, fully professional laser system.

Unfortunately, this is not true at all.


“ILDA laser” only means that the device is capable of receiving and being controlled by ILDA control signal.
It has nothing to do with the quality of manufacturing and built or quality of the projection it is capable of.
 

ILDA interface cable - 25 metres  - Kvant
25 metres long ILDA signal cable - weights about 2.5kg

 

Latest ILDA projectors

The cables for transmitting ILDA signal are heavy and chunky and the 25-pin connectors are also not that practical for frequent/touring use. So some time ago we made a crucial decision and started to integrate ILDA control interfaces inside our laser projectors - an idea followed by literally everyone else.

Today, any half-decent laser display system comes with some sort of ILDA control interface built-in.

 

Software for controlling ILDA lasers

The control software for ILDA lasers (interfaces) is usually provided by the interface manufacturer together with a basic version of the software supplied in the package. Sometimes manufacturers offer an advanced version as free software download, but only for trial or evaluation period.
 

Software for controlling ILDA lasers - Pangolin Beyond
Screenshot of Pangolin Beyond laser control software.

 

These days, virtually every decent laser control software comes with hundreds of pre-set effect files that are available for immediate use. So for example, getting KVANT Clubmax FB4 (ILDA compatible) laser light systems will give you absolutely everything you need for performing laser shows straight out of the box.