Martin Professional Share Your Passion Contest Winner Receives First-Hand Lighting R&D Experience

Ricardo Dias from Portugal at Martin Professional Demo Room

In late 2013, HARMAN’s Martin Professional put out a call to lighting designers around the world, whether a professional lighting designer, small-venue producer or industry newbie, to share their passion for the lighting industry. With hundreds of entries, a 1-minute-long video from 22-year-old Ricardo Dias from Portugal managed to convince Martin he was the most passionate member of the lighting industry. His creative approach to lighting earned him, along with his father, a round-trip visit to Martin headquarters in Denmark for a 2-day tour of a lifetime.

Dias’ creative approach to lighting design was the most impressive point of interest to Martin. The recession continues to impact the lighting industry in Portugal, so the lack of proper equipment forces Dias and his crew of 3-4 friends to be creative when hired for a gig. During events, the team has to make on-the-fly repairs and adjustments on the hardware side and customize software, so they continuously turned to the Martin Forum and YouTube for inspiration.

As a student of Electronics at the University of Aveiro in Portugal, Dias is used to working in the cross field between hardware and technology. One of his recent school projects was an application written for the Microsoft Kinect that allows him to control the light with simple gestures. His next step is a project combining gestures and voice control of light in a stage environment.


Dias is also head coach for a robotics football team and is hoping to attend the upcoming world championship “Robocup” in Brazil this summer. Additionally, he is the President of a Youth Association at his university, consisting of professors and students, where he organizes and promotes extra-curricular lectures and workshops, providing support to student projects.

During their visit, Dias and his father visited the Martin production facilities in Frederikshavn and HQ in Aarhus, where they had a tour of the R&D department and experienced a lighting demonstration in the Martin showroom. They also spent time with Martin employees, such as Ricardo’s longtime industry hero, Product Manager Paul Pelletier.

“They were born and raised in the digital age. Technology does not intimidate them - it is a natural part of their everyday lives,” states Pelletier. “Maybe this is why technology has becomes part of the solution for Ricardo and his peers.”


Among Ricardo’s favorite products is the RUSH range. As he puts it, “all those effects in one small lamp is incredible and I wish I had one at home.” His long-term goal is to combine his passion for lighting with electronics and one day - in the not too distant future - he sees himself working in Martin R&D.

“To Martin, in the wake of his visit, Ricardo Dias has become the symbol of an emerging generation of cross-disciplinary lighting enthusiasts with a brand new methodology and approach,” stated David Ravnkilde, Director of Marketing, Martin.  “We’re excited to see what the future has in store for Ricardo and his generation and how they will impact the lighting industry!”

As a world leader in the creation of dynamic lighting solutions for the entertainment, architectural, and commercial sectors, Martin lighting and video systems are renowned the world over. Martin also offers a range of advanced lighting controllers and media servers, as well as a complete line of smoke machines as a complement to intelligent lighting. Martin operates the industry’s most complete and capable distributor network with local partners in nearly 100 countries. Founded in 1987 and based in Aarhus, Denmark, Martin is the lighting division of global infotainment and audio company HARMAN International Industries.