A special edition of BBC’s The One Show in Glasgow for the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference was broadcast live from the foyer of the BBC Scotland building on the banks of the River Clyde, featuring an eye-catching set designed by Ali Mills and constructed from recycled materials … which was lit using Astera’s new AX9 PowerPARs.
Lighting designer and director Richard Jarrett chose the fixtures – the first time he had used the AX9 product – supplied by Quay Light, also Glasgow based, which has the largest stock of Astera luminaires in Scotland, all supplied via UK distributor Ambersphere Solutions.
The set comprised three circular discs which needed front lighting and three metal structures making up the show’s logo letters, which were filled with plastic bottles, computer bits, shoes, and other recyclable elements, all of which needed ‘through’ lighting.
“The beauty of all the Astera ranges is their flexibility,” stated Richard, who has used most of the other Astera products – AX5s, AX10s, the new AX2s, the tiny AX3 Light Drops and more recently the new PixelBricks which he loves – in the course of his work as part of BBC Scotland’s resident lighting team. He has also recently used 80 x NYX bulbs on a studio show.
“It’s become a major ‘go-to’ product,” he confirmed. “You can put them anywhere, including places that are difficult to light, and the battery operation and battery life is perfect for us.” He likes the vivid colour reproduction across all the Astera ranges, and the intensity of the AX9s in particular for this application. He also notes that the excellent CT whites mean the same fixtures can be used for lighting faces and people as well as sets and other objects.
He adds that the AX9s have all the power of the AX10 “in a very compact and beautifully designed housing – the amount of punch for the small size of the fixture is impressive.”
All lighting for The One Show was controlled via a grandMA2 console.
Astera developed the AX9, launched earlier this year, as a high-intensity, rock-solid, all-purpose everyday LED lighting fixture including their acclaimed battery operation, wireless control, and quality engineering.
Richard first saw Astera luminaires in action in early 2020 on the set of the acclaimed crime drama series Vigil – where large quantities of Titan Tubes were also supplied by Quay Light. Taken with what he saw, he started specifying Astera where appropriate for different shows he was lighting.
He recalls a recent News Climate Special broadcast that was lit using Astera AX5s and AX10s, which, if using conventional lighting would have taken days to manage the power and data cabling logistics … but using Astera fixtures, everything was rigged and ready to go in 20 minutes!
He also deployed AX9s for an edition of Newsnight where a section of the show was staged outside on the BBC Scotland veranda. The director wanted some colour in the background … and AX9s were the ideal solution, bright, quick and simple to rig and with a highly effective result.
Having lighting fixtures like this to hand is hugely time saving for a busy broadcast operation like the BBC, and a supplier like Quay Light being based locally is another great asset.
For more info about Astera LED, you can visit astera-led.com