Ultra Poi’s Orb LED Contact Poi is a unique take on poi ball technology that changes the way Flow Arts are performed. Its distinct spherical shape allows performers to roll the LED poi across their body, and it creates more consistent-looking light trails from different angles. Orbs have been engineered with durability in mind, using thick rope and soft silicone parts protecting the user. They also feature micro usb rechargeable batteries to spin all night, and multi-color LEDs to customize your light show. These benefits of the orb poi make it a great starting point for newcomers and an effective creative tool for more advanced flow artists.
If you’re new to poi, that’s okay! This brief introduction to the art form will catch you up on the LED poi phenomenon. Let’s begin with regular poi.
If you’ve ever seen ribbon dancing, fire-spinning, or juggling, then you should at least have an idea of what poi is. Poi is a performance art that incorporates props. Specifically, poi performers use weights connected by ropes to create patterns by spinning them in the air. It’s an art form that originated within the Maori tribes of New Zealand, but it has taken on a more modern form today.
LED poi uses the same basic tools as traditional poi - weights tethered by ropes - but the weights contain LEDs that, when spun, leave trails of light in the air. LED poi performers use these light trails to create designs or patterns, often while performing to music. The addition of modern lighting technology and modern music has allowed people to take the poi art form to another level. They’ve breathed new life into it, and as a result LED poi has become one of the most popular flow arts, with a dedicated community who is eager to carry on poi tradition and expand it into new territory.
Advancements in LED poi technology have allowed flow artists to express their creativity like never before. LED poi now come in a variety of sizes and shapes, from balls, to sticks, to socks, to pods, to nunchucks, whips, and sabers. One of the newest variations in LED poi is the orb ball 97 mm style contact poi.
The orb poi design is relatively new, and it provides some distinct benefits for both beginners and experts that makes it worth trying out.
For beginners, orb poi offers every basic feature one needs to get started. The LEDs have 12 different color modes to switch between, as well as 3 flashing patterns, plus a demo function, so beginners will have plenty of creative options. The micro usb rechargeable battery provides a full night of spinning and recharges quickly so you never have to deal with wasteful disposable batteries. There’s also an option to add LED chips into the knob grips, which will glow in your hands and enhance the light show while you perform. The grips are primarily designed to improve the performer’s control over the poi while they’re spinning it and allow for you to spot the grips in mid air while catching a toss type trick. For beginners, the small, ergonomic silicone grips of the orb LED contact poi provide ample control and make it easier for them to attempt advanced moves like tosses once they are comfortable performing more basic ones.
For advanced poi performers, the orb poi will allow you to augment your usual techniques. Due to its spherical shape, the LED orbs can be rolled across your arms, hands, or body using tricks known as “contact rolls”. They also firmly maintain their shape during wraps and tosses making them more predictable to catch consistently vs a more limp and floppy poi set. Another benefit to the orb designs is that it will look the same from any angle. An elongated LED poi will create a different light pattern if it is swung horizontally (thick trails) or vertically (thin trails), which some performers prefer. The patterns created by the orb LED contact poi have more consistent thickness for an amazing light show.
For both beginners and experts, orb LED contact poi offers different benefits. Due to their relatively low cost, orb poi is a great way for newcomers to get started, and for more advanced performers to try out of curiosity.
If you’re looking to try out flow arts and poi for yourself, there are some common moves you can learn to create an amazing light show. Using Ultra Poi’s Orb LED Contact Poi, you can practice these beginner-level techniques until you are comfortable enough to attempt more advanced tech and contact moves.
With poi, you can use just one arm, or your entire body. It requires excellent coordination and concentration to achieve more advanced moves, so don’t feel discouraged if you can’t perform Air Wraps or Hybrids. Start with simpler moves, like the 3 beat weave or butterfly, and work your way up. An effective method for improving your coordination for poi, is to practice spinning the poi on a flat plane and walk around it. As you walk around it, try to keep the poi straight and locked to that plane. Think of the plane as your canvas and the poi as your paintbrush. This will help you to create uniform light patterns with intention, rather than swinging the poi around randomly.
The purpose of using poi is to express your creativity, just like any other art form. So don’t feel like you need to perform these techniques exactly as intended. Practice them until you feel comfortable wielding your poi tools. Then, go off the beaten path and try creating some moves of your own. Once you begin to master the fundamentals of poi you will start to feel the “Flow” which is your muscle memory taking over and trick improvisation happening organically. The greatest advancements for poi are not technological, they’re artistic.
Spinning LED poi is usually performed at night or in the dark, so that the lights glow brighter and the performer is less visible. This is especially important for creating more complex light patterns since light trails require a bright, lingering glow. A huge benefit of safe LED poi over traditional fire poi is that they can be used indoors without the risk of burning. Although Orb LED Contact Poi are a great set for practicing during the day, you’ll want to wait until dark to turn on the LEDs to get the full light show experience from your performance.
As for where LED poi is performed, you can find performances at various concerts, festivals, raves, and performance art conventions. The famous Burning Man festival in Reno, Nevada has been known to feature Fire and LED poi performances. It may be performed with glow sticks instead of high quality orb contact poi, but it’s still flow arts. Flow arts can exist in various forms after all.
Ultra Poi’s Orb LED Contact Poi is an excellent entry point for newcomers and a unique creative tool for experienced flow artists. It represents yet another advancement in LED poi technology that will allow users to continue pushing the art form in new directions. If that interests you, then considering giving orb poi a try.
If you’re interested in trying other shapes or sizes of LED poi, we have various LED poi sets to check out.