Helsinki Music Centre makes its first investment in Robert Juliat Arthur LT followspots

The Helsinki Music Center (Musiikkitalo Helsinki) in Finland has just invested in its first Robert Juliat followspots – 4 long-throw 800W LED Arthur LT – for its main concert hall. The followspots were sourced through Intersonic, Robert Juliat’s exclusive distributor for Finland.


The team at Musiikkitalo had a specific list of criteria when looking for their new followspots. The fixtures needed to be very quiet, bright enough for serious television productions from distances over 30m, in both daylight- and tungsten colour temperatures; have a narrow zoom so no light would be lost by using an iris; be easy to operate, have good DMX control and, crucially, an LED light source. “Put simply, we wanted to have the best followspots available!” says the venue´s Head of Light, Valo Virtanen.

Virtanen spent a long time comparing followspots and, as soon as he saw it, requested the brand new 800W LED Robert Juliat spot for testing from local distributor, Intersonic. “We made some serious tests together with sound engineers and camera teams; our second Head of Light, Tuukka Aimasmäki, made a DMX profile for our lighting console and took light quality measurements,” says Virtanen.
“We also knew Robert Juliat´s reputation as the most specified followspots in the world and have experienced of them from hiring them for previous shows. The tests went very well so we ordered spots. Intersonic has done very good job with testing and delivering, and with supporting us throughout.”

AUF-concert ©Tuukka Aimasmäki

Musiikkitalo’s audience is seated in-the-round so good 360° coverage is needed. The four Arthurs are therefore positioned evenly around the lighting gallery that surrounds hall high above audience. “We also bought tripods as a safety measure but installed the Arthurs on the gallery´s rail pipes with followspot rail mount adapters to get a bit better coverage in the tight locations,” says Virtanen. “The adapters are excellent and work perfectly.”

The throw distances vary from 20m-50m but with Arthur LT’s output of 2000 lux at a distance of 50m exceeding that of an HMI 2500W Aramis, and a zoom range of 4°-10°, the range was no problem.

Arthur’s sound level is much quieter than any of its discharge rivals, and offers a choice of ventilation modes. “We found the spots to be silent!” confirms Virtanen.
“We use them in Silent mode which reduces the brightness by about 20%, but they are still absolutely bright enough.”

The ergonomics of the new Arthur LTs proved very popular with Musiikkitalo’s followspot operators and technicians who had a wealth of feedback: “The controls are well thought out with the zoom/focus and dimmer handles, and iris, frost and CTO filter knobs well positioned and very easy to use from whatever position the operator favours. The DMX operation is very well considered with dimming and output levels controlled locally or direct from the console.

Telrad Reflex Sight Finders were also purchased for each Arthur LT: “This is an excellent operator aid and such a simple, cheap and perfect add-on.”

Scène principale du Centre musical d’Helsinki avec l’aimable autorisation de Musiikkitalo

“The Arthurs are excellent!” confirms Virtanen. “The operators love them and the TV teams like their quality of light (Arthur LT has a high CRI of >94), and brightness, and they are SO quiet. The build quality is strong and are so well made that – aside from cleaning the optics – we do not expect any need for service in the following years.”

The first production for the new Arthur LTs was the Aurora Orchestra’s opera The Rite of Spring lit by television lighting designer, David Bishop, and broadcast live using 18 television cameras. Classical television broadcasts with a variety of soloists from Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Baroq Orchestra, followed along with pop concerts from artists like Pandora, Samuli Edelmann and Rajaton, and galas from the RSO Christmas special to many special themed concerts by Vantaa Pops.

Samuli Putro Musiikkitalo © Leif Vare

“Robert Juliat is the only manufacturer concentrated on making serious followspots for professional users,” concludes Virtanen. “Even before we bought the Arthurs, we knew what to expect. Robert Juliat followspots are specifically designed from the outset as followspots, not modified profile spots. The design team has listened to end-users and made tools for serious professionals. And that makes them the best tools for professionals.”

More information on the Robert Juliat Arthur LT and the full range of followspots and lighting fixtures can be found at

For more information on Musiikkitalo contact Musiikkitalo


Crédits - Text by Robert Juliat - photos Courtesy of Helsinki Music Center

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