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Commentary: The Light We Do, and Don't, Want
 
... In a mostly annual trek into parts mostly unknown (to us, anyway) to see what is going on with lighting in the real world, we were struck two things. 1) There still isn't all that much of the light we want, and 2) There is still a lot of...

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DRSA Wins Contracts to Refit Yauchts with LED lighting
LIGHTimes News Staff

August 19, 2014...DRSA, a supplier of marine LED lighting, recently secured more than 12 major contracts to refit yachts ranging between 100’ and 175’ with LED lighting. According to DRSA, refitting yachts with LED lighting that have dimming capabilities is now in high demand because the technology for LED lighting has finally made its way to the yacht industry.

“We have dramatically increased our focus on designing, creating and sourcing LED light products over the past year as we have seen significants benefits in the marine industry,” said DRSA president Cathy Smith. “LED lights are smaller in size, brighter in appearance and lower in heat emissions. Also, we have now been able to identify solutions to properly dim LED lights on board, so anyone with a yacht going thru a refit - or a used build - is well advised to look at these alternatives,” Smith added. For more than 25 years, DRSA has designed, developed, manufactured, and imported luminaires, light bulbs and LEDs to illuminate entire vessels from bow to stern.

DRSA will be showcasing its products at the International Boatbuilders Exhibition and conference (IBEX) 2014, September 30-October 2 at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida.

Over 1000 Elation LED luminaires Light Up Bikini Berlin Concept Mall
SSL Design News Staff

August 14, 2014...Bikini Berlin (not a swimwear company) is a culturally protected Grade II listed building in the German capital. The company's recent revitalization included the installation of over 1000 Elation Professional LED luminaires. Bikini Berlin is a unique concept shopping mall located next to the Berlin Zoo that has stores cinema, hotel, and offices. The mall that targets style-conscious consumers opened in late 2013 after a 3-year renovation.

The centerpiece of the complex is the historical 200-meter long Bikinihaus, an open colonnade that is an architectural symbol of Berlin’s west cityscape. The building known as Bikinihaus due to its two-tier architecture that reminded some architects of the two-piece swim garment. The building’s lower three floors contain a variety of retail stores and restaurants unique to Germany with no international chain stores. An integral part of the space contains modular wooden specialty shops known as Bikini Berlin boxes.

B+M Elektrobau GmbH of Berlin provided complete electrical planning and implementation for the space, including lighting for the long, open Bikinihaus hall. B + M employed 1000 Elation Opti Tri White and 50 Opti Tri RGB LED luminaires.

“There was only one requirement really, and that was for all the lighting fixtures to be reliable LED lamps,” states Maik Simmchen, project manager at B+M Elektrobau. “The Elation Opti Tri lights fulfilled that and much more.”

Elation's Opti Tri White is a high-CRI, high-output LED luminaire that blends 18x 9W cool white, warm white and amber LEDs create a uniform projection of flat white light. The track-mounted rows of fixtures beneath the Bikinihaus ceiling, illuminate the commercial, retail, and walking areas below including the staircase up to the second level.

The fixtures, which complement and match the natural light that floods in from the steel building's abundant windows, draw a total power of only 160 watts per unit. The LEDs in the fixtures have an estimated life of over 50,000 hours. A standard 20° lens with an adjustable rigging yoke and swivel head can precisely cover the space with easy lighting adjustments if needed. An optional barn door can be added to the fixture for even more accurate illumination.

On the ground floor, color-changing Opti Tri RGB LED luminaires were installed to add a touch of dynamic color for the holiday shopping seasons or special events. P-65 rated Elation ELAR 180 Par WW luminaires operate from a sixth-floor position. Their warm white light projects down onto the second-floor outer deck. More ELAR 180 Par WW fixtures light up the forecourt of the Zoo Palast, Bikini Berlin’s historic cinema, with additional fixtures used at the 24-hour Hotel.

Five Elation Art SSC lighting controllers with expansion module ART IO units control the entire system. The low-maintenance 1024-channel Art SSC control solution uses minimal power because all operating and programming is done through a web interface.

CrossCountry Trains Chooses Novah’s LED Lamps
SSL Design News Staff

August 12, 2014...CrossCountry Trains has selected a variety of Novah’s LED lamps to illuminate many of its offices and crewing operations in the UK. Over the past few years, CrossCountry Trains installed the Novah products, which include various flood lights and lamps, to help the company save money on energy and maintenance.

The CrossCountry rail network is reportedly the most extensive passenger rail company in Britain. The rail network stretches from Aberdeen to Penzance, and from Stansted to Cardiff and includes over 100 stations. CrossCountry used Novah's LED lighting products for office lighting upgrades and to replace or retrofit existing lamp fittings. The company used the Novah products in key locations including Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, and Birmingham.

Andrew Porter, property manager at CrossCountry Trains said, "The Novah product range is superior to other units we have tried -- we still have original Novah LED lamps that were installed over three years ago in daily use. By supporting the development of best practice and using innovative lighting solutions where we can, such as Novah's LED lights, we aim to reduce the environmental impact of our operations."

Vision Accendo helps Illuminate St. Mary's Stadium
SSL Design News Staff

August 12, 2014...Vision Accendo supplied LED floodlighting that was installed at St Mary’s stadium ahead of the 2014/15 soccer (football) season of the South Hampton Football club. The new lighting system will be meet the higher light output levels that the Premier League requires. St Mary's will be among the first stadiums in Europe with LED floodlighting. Vision Accendo says that the new system will provide a higher quality of broadcast lighting and significantly reduce the amount of energy used when compared to conventional metal halide floodlights.

The new LED floodlight system is expected to vastly reduce flicker during slow-motion broadcast replays. Premier League regulations require that clubs' floodlights have a flicker rate no higher than 6%.

Testing on the new system recorded a flicker rate of just 0.2%. The system uses considerably less energy than the club’s previous halide lighting. Vision Accendo says the installation of the system is now underway and will be completed well in advance of the 2014/15 season, which begins in mid-August.

Mark Humby, Stadium Facilities Manager at Southampton Football Club, said, "Our first issue was to make sure the stadium roof structure could take the added weight of the new floodlight system required to produce the correct lighting levels. During this process I have been introduced to the technical term 'flicker' which only causes an issue during slow motion and super-slow motion footage. By using a top quality LED product we have all but removed this issue which can be seen on the majority of sporting footage that's produced under floodlit conditions.

"We can now look forward to installing a superior innovative lighting solution that will enhance the viewing experience of both the fan in the stadium and the armchair supporter."

Ian Williams, Chief Technical Officer at Vision Accendo, added, "The supporters of Southampton Football Club will see the new installed floodlighting positioned 360 degrees around the stadium, while television broadcasters and viewers will also see the benefits of our installation at St Mary's in the coming season."

Minneapolis Institute of Arts Gets LED Lighting Makeover

August 7, 2014...A two-year project at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts replaced about 8,300 light bulbs in its galleries with LED lighting for a cost of around $388,000. The walls needed to be painted because of the light's different color. The lights combined with the grey wall make the artwork standout and bring out the purple, blue, and green colors, according to an article in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

Aproximately $240,000 of the project's funding came from rebates and grants through the National Endowment for the Arts and Xcel Energy Inc. of Minneapolis. A study by Xcel Energy predicts that the LED lighting could save the museum about $149,000 per year. With additional savings of 2000 hours of work time devoted to bulb replacement over five years. Besides the savings, the bulbs emit no ultraviolet rays that could damage the artwork.

Chauvet Professional Helps Illuminate Cokesbury United Methodist Church
SSL Design News Staff

August 7, 2014...Cokesbury United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, is mega church with three distinct campuses that draws over 3,500 worshippers every week. The church offers a blend of contemporary and traditional services. Two days a week, Cokesbury has broadcasting capabilities for live streaming of services with outstanding audio systems throughout all three campuses. Most recently, the church now features a new LED lighting system, that Ken (“KP”) Patterson of a Tennessee lighting company, designed.

The lighting system employs a variety of LED fixtures from Chauvet Professional and Chauvet DJ, giving Cokesbury Church the flexibility to go from dramatic visual effects to soft accents for the varied mix of contemporary and traditional services held at (and broadcast from) its three campuses. The LED lighting also helps the church get the energy and cost savings benefits.

“We used primarily existing locations from the old lighting rig to hang the new fixtures,” said Patterson. “The positions already had power and were located so as to give good angles and also good front light for the cameras. The church does quite a bit of live stream broadcasting, so this was an important factor. We control the lighting in Epworth via an ETC Ion console with 4 DMX universes and Ethernet distribution. The other two rooms have Strand 250 ML consoles utilizing two DMX universes. The Data Stream 4s are used for DMX distribution all over each building.”

“The church has three very distinctively different areas for services, and the church leaders want all of them to have modern lighting technology to complement their extremely high powered audio system and sophisticated television production capabilities,” said Patterson. “My goal was to give the church a lot of bang for its investment in lighting by providing it with a versatile LED lighting design. I elected to go with Chauvet fixtures, because I’ve had good experiences with the company and its products.”

Patterson chose to use 70-watt moving yokes, 26 COLORado 2-Quad Zoom Tour wash fixtures, 12 Q-Spot 460-LED , and 12 SlimPAR Pro RGBA washes as well as 8 COLORdash Accent RGBW LED effects from Chauvet Professional, 6 Data Stream 4 optical splitters, 2 Intimidator Spot LED 250 moving fixtures from Chauvet DJ, and dozens of Chauvet DATA cables and Chauvet’s great CLP-15 clamps throughout.

Patterson points out that the Chauvet fixtures have features that make them well suited for broadcasting including having high color rendering, smooth dimming and being quiet and flicker free.

Patterson especially liked the COLORado 2-Quad Zoom Tour, a powerful RGBW 10-watt LED unit with a zoom range of 6°-31° and five dimming curves. “This fixture has a good zoom range, and the latest version with single four-color chips is even brighter than before and there are no color shadows. The dimming seems to be smoother with every new fixture. Smooth dimming is absolutely a necessity for me in choosing a fixture with this much impact on the overall lighting.”

Patterson installed the COLORdash Accents all over the three Cokesbury campuses. “We have distributed DMX downstage right and left, as well as upstage right and left,” Patterson said. “The church changes its sets weekly, and they use the Accents very nicely to ‘color things’ close up."

“There’s an excellent tech team at Cokesbury and they love working with the lighting equipment,” continued Patterson. “This team consists of a main lighting tech and three part-time staff, all of whom know their technology. They know how to utilize every facet of the lighting system, but at the same time they’ve also reduced some operations to simple button stations so that a Mom leading a Bible study can still have good light.”

The new LED system is has a low power draw. “I converted lots of existing 20 amp dimmer circuits to non-dim and changed the connectors from stage pin to Edison NEMA 5-15 female, to end up with 10 times more power than I could possibly use,” said Patterson. “Power was never a factor. When you have a large incandescent system in place already, you have plenty of copper everywhere. The power draw requirements of the LED system are much, much lower.”

“Everyone loves the lights,” said Patterson. “I’m happy with the way the equipment has performed, and the church is happy to have a lighting system in place that meets the high standards they established with their audio system and broadcast capabilities.”

Robe Lighting Used in Opening Ceremony of 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
SSL Design News Staff

August 5, 2014...Tim Routledge designed the lightshow for the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park stadium in Glasgow. The lightshow used over 500 Robe moving lights. Jack Morton Worldwide (JMW) produced the two hour show and David Zolkwer directed it. The show featured special guests including Rod Stewart and Susan Boyle and offered a quirky and humorous snapshot of Scotland. A live audience of over 40,000 got to see the ceremony in addition to about 2 billion TV viewers.

Routledge employed 64 of Robe's amazing new big lights, which will shortly be launched worldwide along with 28 of Robe’s new LEDBeam 1000s. From Robe's Robin Series, Routledge added 183 x Pointes, 100 x LEDBeam 100s, 98 x LEDWash 600s and 60 x CycFX 8s. These combined with other lighting fixtures helped Routledge create one of the most spectacular Commonwealth Games OCs ever. Routledge, the head lighting programmer for the London Olympics Ceremonies, won the contract from JMW to design lighting for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Games.

“Robe were extremely enthusiastic and also offered some fantastic opportunities to work with new and innovative technologies - it’s very exciting to be the first to use new products,” he stated.

Working at Celtic Park, which is not normally used as a theatrical event space, was a challenge. The enormous park forced designers to deal with physical restrictions such as weight loading to install their equipment in the right places. Several physical levels of lighting were built up or stripped away to get the coverage needed in conjunction with the onstage action. A scaffolding platform was built running 270 degrees around the stands on the top level of the stadium at the back of the seating bowl to facilitate lighting positions, cable management, follow spots, amp ‘worlds’ and other technical areas. The big lights were positioned furthest away from the field of play because their incredible brightness easily cut through to the action on the pitch of 100 meter wide stage. Routledge also positioned 96 x LEDWash 600s at this level to light the underside of the seating stand roof. On the edge of the roof rigging points were only viable where trusses with fixtures lit the audience. A ring of wash lights used for show key lighting, plus 80 Solaris Flare Junior LED strobes were installed on the next level down. At floor level, Routledge used the majority of his Pointes. Around the perimeter of the field, Pointes in clusters of six in weather domes were positioned in 16 ‘floor pod’ positions. These 96 Pointes were shot across the brightly colored floor cloth and were fired into the air and and were positioned to criss-crossing the pitch, creating matrix effects and skimming the floor with gobos and texturing.

“As always, the Pointes were hugely versatile and worked very hard,” said Routledge.

Sixty of Robe’s CycFX 8 moving LED battens were strategically installed around in Vom 2, the main entrance for the Athlete’s Parade into the stadium to create the vibrant, lively chases and effects immediately before the athletes walked out to be greeted. Immediately above each of the two entrance / exit voms were ten Pointes and six LEDWash 600s. A 95-meter-wide by 10.5-meter-high LED screen was placed at the back of the stage that ran along the entire South stand at Celtic Park. Another 40 Pointes were placed around this, rigged to a goal-post style truss structure. These could illuminate the action on the field and provide animated beam effects and specials like ‘crowning’ the Commonwealth flag when it reached the top of the mast. Eight specially dedicated LEDBeam 1000s illuminated the flag itself around the base to highlight it as a core symbol of Commonwealth unity.

The fast-paced show started with a snapshot of Scottish history, tradition, and landmarks and culminated with the hoisting of the Commonwealth flag and HRH the Queen declaring the XX Commonwealth Games open.

The tiny 100 LEDBeam 100s were positioned at one-meter intervals. Twenty LEDBeam 1000s were positioned in a semi-circle behind The Queen’s Arrival Stage on the west side of the pitch to back-light a temporary white screen erected behind The Queen during her arrival moment. Once the screen was removed, the LEDBeam 1000s formed a powerful nucleus for aerial looks firing upwards from that end of the pitch.

Routledge worked with lead programmer Jonathan Rouse and programmer Tom Young who both used grandMA2 full size consoles, and fully redundant backup systems provided by lighting contractor PRG.

Chris Henry was the Design Associate for the project. She also trained 18 volunteer operators to use the follow spots … and called them during the show.

“A huge amount of collaboration made this all happen” said Routledge in conclusion, following the successful opening ceremony.

“We really had to ‘box clever’ with this project and maximise the ‘bang-for-buck’ on each and every cue – from using hundreds of generic fixtures to cross-light the field of play to using the latest in Robe technology – every light was considered and placed accordingly so it could offer maximum benefit to the show."

“Robe products have been increasingly prevalent in my designs over the last two years and with Robe’s enthusiasm and service on this project alone, I feel that their fixtures will be at the centre of my design processes for some time.”

After the ceremony, the entire production was stripped out of Celtic Park and a team re-rigged the production in Hampden Park stadium in the south of the city for the Closing Ceremony, starring Kylie Minogue.

Lighting Designer Michael Meacham Employs Chauvet LED Lighting to Provide Illumination and Effects for Japanese Nightclub
SSL Design News Staff

August 1, 2014...Lighting designer Michael Meacham chose Chauvet Professional LED lighting to make a bold statement in the new nightclub Vanity Osaka. Meacham's lighting design for the club draws upon the brightness as well as the color and pixel mapping capabilities of over 400 Chauvet fixtures.

Meacham of iDesign Productions of Miami faced a special challenge when lighting Vanity Osaka. "This is a single level club with both sides of the dance floor elevated for VIP seating, so my design was going to be broad, horizontal and expansive," he said. "The challenge I faced, though, is that there are these huge structural columns that land right in the center of the dance floor."

Meacham used EPIX 2.0 bars and EPIX 2.0 strips along with some ingenious pixel mapping to integrate them into his beautiful design. "I figured the columns would be a great place to start my design," he said. "Once I started the design utilizing the huge columns on the dance floor, the rest came together quickly. It was a really smooth, fun process."

Meacham's overall lighting design has transformed the Vanity Osaka dance floor into a free flowing swirl of patterns and colors that quickly surrounds visitors with an unforgettable visual experience.

"My vision for this project was to create an expansive look inside the club," said Meacham. "The idea is to have an intimate lighting and video experience in every direction. We want people to be immersed in the entire space, no matter where they are in the club. Our goal is to create something that surrounds everyone."

Meacham noted, "The EPIX fixtures on the columns, just flowed so well with the DJ booth and ceiling lighting," he said. "It created a very smooth look."

He also built EPIX 2.0 bars into the wall behind the DJ booth and added five configurations of 32 EPIX 2.0 strips each on the ceiling. He positioned EPIX 2.0 strips behind the frosted glass in the VIP area. The lighting designer emphasized the EPIX lighted columns with 20 Intimidator Spot LED 350 moving fixtures from Chauvet DJ in four groups of five. The motorized focus of the Intimidator Spots project crisp gobos over the dance floor.

Above the VIP areas on either side of the dance floor, Meacham positioned eight Strike 882 white SMD LED strobe panels with pixel control and special effects macros. "The Strikes have an impressive big punch, plus the individual pixel cells make for great chasing effects," he said.

Meacham explained, "I love high contrast abstract video. It's much more captivating to use it as moving art and interesting eye candy. There is a lot of color matching between the video and moving lights that gives the guests an exclusive experience that's different than most other clubs. Vanity has an ambience of pixel mapping effects."

The GrandMA sends DMX to the Chauvet strobes, movers, and hazer. Meacham said, "I used Arkaos Media Master Pro in fixture mode talking to GrandMA via native MA NET with CITP enabled. All the EPIX, including the VIP uplighting, is mapped with Kling-Net. There's a huge video content library set up and by having CITP enabled, it allows the lighting operator to see a still preview of the video in the MA windows."

Other lighting for the club included 41 EPIX Drive 642s, 299 EPIX 2.0 strips, 59 EPIX 2.0 bars, 12 Q-Wash 419Z-LED RGBW moving yoke fixtures, 20 Intimidator Spot LED 350s, 8 Strike 882 panels, and one Amhaze II water-based haze machine.

"My client was thrilled," continued the lighting designer. "Vanity is one of the most original and unique clubs. There is nothing like it in Osaka."

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