How A Lightboard Works
Do I need to write backwards?
No! You write normal and the video image is reversed so your viewers see it correctly. It sure is fun to try, though!
What makes the writing glow?
The lightboard glass is illuminated by a phenomenon called "total internal reflection" applied to low-iron glass. When you write on the glass, light will spill out at the markings to illuminate them.
What items are needed to use a lightboard?
At a minimum: a lightboard, video camera, and fluorescent markers. Typically a microphone and backdrop are also used. The presenter will need adequate lighting to be clearly visible. A basic video editing software is recommended, even if just used to trim recordings.
Using A Lightboard
What kind of markers should I use?
Use markers containing fluorescent coloring to get the brightest glow. Read more about markers.
How is the image reversed?
Since the presenter is writing normally, the image must be flipped to appear correct to the viewer. This can be accomplished in one of 5 ways:
1. Use a pass through video converter like the Decimator MD-HX. This device can reverse a streaming video signal in real time. Inputs and outputs can be any combination of SDI and HDMI as desired.
2. Many video editing programs can reverse the video image after recording is complete. Camtasia, Adobe Premiere (Pro or Elements), and Apple Final Cut Pro all have this capability. There are also programs that can flip the image in real time: Open Broadcaster Software, Wireframe, or the iGlasses app (Mac only).
3. Place a mirror at a 45 degree angle in front of the camera. Be sure to use a front surface type mirror for clarity. Typically users mount the camera and glass on a shelf on the far wall of the studio so alignment is well set/maintained and there isn't a vibration concern.
4. Capture the video stream on a computer live using a video production program like OBS which has a built-in option to mirror the image while recording. The setup process for capturing videos via OBS is detailed in our software image insertion guide.
5. Some cameras have a built-in scan reverse feature to record or stream a reversed image. Cameras that have been verified to have this feature are Canon models XA10, XF105a, HFG10, and HFG20. The HFG20 was released January 2013 and is the newest camera with this feature.
What camera should I use?
At a minimum you want to have a video camera which allows manual exposure controls. There are many options and a wide range of prices depending on other features and specifications you want. Please contact us if you'd like assistance with this.
How do I clean the glass?
Is it possible to insert digital images?
Yes, digital images can be merged with the video camera stream in real time using a hardware or software video switcher. View our complete guide on software image insertion. Add a confidence monitor near your camera to see the composite image. Contact us if you need help setting this up.
Can a lightboard be used live?
Yes! Remember the writing needs to be flipped to be visible, so the video camera stream needs to be broadcast to a monitor or projector even for local viewers. Users also interact with distant audiences live. Learn more in our Live Streaming Guide.
Is there a forum to share knowledge and learn from others?
Yes! You can find the forum here: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/lightboard
Where else can I learn more about lightboards?
You can learn more about lightboards from the original creator, Northwestern engineering professor Michael Peshkin through his open source plans and use guides at http://lightboard.info/.
What is required for assembly?
All Revolution Lightboards are designed for quick and easy setup. Estimated setup times are noted on each lightboard product page. Our products never require any measuring, cutting, or drilling. Only basic hand tools are required-hex keys, screwdriver and an adjustable wrench or socket set.
Can lightboards be shipped internationally?
Yes. We have shipped lightboards around the world. Our largest 82" and 95" systems may not be able to ship to some countries due to lack of available service. Please contact us for a shipping quote if our website does not automatically calculate a rate for your location.
Can I get a formal quote?
Yes, we are happy to create a formal quote for you. Please contact us and provide your contact information and list of products you want included in the quote.
Do you accept purchase orders?
Yes, we can typically accept a purchase order after a credit check. Please contact us to inquire.
Do you offer a warranty?
Yes! Our lightboards come with a 2 year warranty. You can see the full details here.
Do you offer educational discounts?
We do not; we have one published price for all customers. We avoid inflating our prices, just to offer a discount - we pride ourselves on being open and fair in our pricing.
Do you work with distributors or other sales and integration partners?
We work with qualified integration partners. Please visit our Integrator Program page if you are interested in becoming a parter.