Anolis Calumma LEDs Highlight Famous CNIT Building Ceiling in Paris

The famous and distinctive folded concrete triangular-shaped vaulted ceiling of the CNIT (National Centre for Industry and Technology) building at the La Défense in Paris … has been newly, beautifully, and subtly illuminated with Anolis Calumma XL SC LED luminaires.
This invigorating new lighting project is part of a modernisation initiative led by architect Jean-Luc Crochon of Cro&Co Architecture who approached BOA Light Studio to create a plan to enhance the underside of the ceiling with lighting.

The scheme is designed to bring a ‘living-breathing’ resonance to the structure, pulling the texturing, nuance and luminance of daylight and the sky outside into the shell-like atrium space of the building that now houses multiple shops, retail outlets and offices as well as a hotel and convention centre.


The brief from the client, the Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield management team who manage the property, was to “bring in more light”. The imposing concrete ‘vault’ as it is known, is 46 metres high and each side is 218 meters long, forming part of an equilateral triangle. Three glass façades – with convex curves on two sides – each span 206 meters and allow daylight and sun to stream through into the space.

The roof rises from three pillars, connected to the apex of a triangle beneath the reception hall. Its 6-centimetre-thick double shell is the last intact element of the monumental post-World War II reconstruction period architecture that was characteristic of the initial La Défense building scheme. Inaugurated in 1958, the vault has seen two major renovations, in 1989 and 2009. The new lighting concept chosen to deliver the best results was to illuminate the vault indirectly from the vantage points of all the roofs of the highest offices inside.

“We needed plenty of luminous power to assist with this, and selected the largest Anolis Calumma fixtures, the Calumma XL SC as their 11,000-lumen output gave us the punch needed plus an excellent quality of light,” explained Nedir Benkhelifa of BOA Light Studio.

They wanted to emphasise relief and bring out the sublime and ethereal presence of the vault, noted Nedir, adding that it was more about creating a ‘sensation’ – almost an illusion of light – through ‘luminous presence’, than directly lighting the ceiling surface.
“Light moods are better when perceived. Done right, it’s a psychological phenomenon that improves the overall perception of the place” he noted.

Anolis product specialist Bruno Francois from Anolis France recalled how their request coincided with the launch of Calumma, a new range of LED luminaires ideal for installation projects needing spot, accent, or flood lighting solutions. The fixture’s optical design utilises 37 high efficacy single-chip LEDs, available with optional LED colour variants and various beam angles.

In February and March 2023, tests were undertaken on site with eight Calumma XL SC fixtures that were placed close to the final proposed locations to give realistic results. In two sessions over a period of fifteen days, BOA studio’s lighting designers meticulously measured the levels and observed the effects, an exercise that confirmed several aspects of this indirect lighting idea that were difficult or impossible to gauge using 3D modelling.

From these tests, they selected the fixture’s native 10° beam optics, tweaked the final fixture positioning, validated the imagined colour temperatures, and tested the lighting effect of the linear optics.


The Calumma’s 8-channel control with CT whites and magenta-green colour adjustments allowed the BOA team to quickly and easily refine and perfect the desired shades during the testing.

“It is so simple to create different shades at this stage,” enthused Nedir. “We didn’t require the lighting to be like a disco, or going red for Christmas, etc., so we chose an elegant variable white signature look.”

Following the onsite demonstrations and testing, the Calumma XC SC was confirmed as the best fixture choice for the project, and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield placed the order for the tunable white versions – 2,700 K and 4,000 K – that were manufactured at the Anolis factory in the Czech Republic.
Three rows of 8 x Calumma XC SCs mounted on metal tripods are located on the office roof section ‘islands’ towards the end of each vault arch and as they start to descend. Illuminating the ceiling and creating the textured relief that BOA envisioned, they reveal the grooves, detail, and linearity of the concrete shell by creating soft shadows.


The 1.2-metre-high eye-level stands – in smart graphite black (RAL 9011), manufactured by the installer, Citeos – allow the lighting to be masked from the terrace guardrails on each section. The Calumma bodies are fabricated from die-cast aluminium and rated IP67 and IK10 and are designed to withstand humidity and all temperatures, both outdoors and indoors.
They are programmed into the two shades of white. Nedir decided to work with these warmer tones, avoiding anything too cold, because the concrete is already cold and very raw, so lighting with cooler whites during the testing revealed material defects and colour differences that were somewhat prosaic!

“We created effective ‘slow breathing’ movements of light, as if clouds above are entering the building and we were immersed, playing with these ripples of light similar to the movement of clouds passing in front of the sun and the atmospheric shift you experience when that happens,” he related.


The fixtures are not all on simultaneously. One-third are turned off while two-thirds are working, and sometimes it’s the opposite, with two-thirds off and one-third on. These short sequences maintain a sensation of brightness over a cycle of approximately 15 minutes.

The 24 x Anolis luminaires are controlled via a Pharos system using DMX / RDM. Lumières Utiles handled the control aspect of the project for BOA and programmed a series of preset lighting sequences for the installation.

The lighting is almost invisible from some angles of the CNIT’s inner esplanade, but these imperceptible waves of luminance reveal the ceiling with great simplicity … and empathy, imagination and magic-of-the-mind completes the picture!

For more information about Anolis or Robe Lighting, you can visit www.anolislighting.com or www.robe.cz

 

SOPRANO 3 HQS, THE MAGICAL PROFILE FIXTURE BY DTS

The Italian manufacturer presents its range of LED Profile fixtures Soprano 3 and Soprano 5. These fixtures, available in warm white / variable white / multi-color, have a power of 145 to 190 W for the Soprano 3 range, and 230 W to 390 W for the Soprano 5 range. Each of these profiles can be equipped with a 15°-30° (standard), 8°-20° (long throw) or 25-50° (short throw) zoom lens.
We tested, once again in the “La Boutique du Spectacle” studio, the SOPRANO 3 HQS model, equipped with a 190 W multi-color RGBACL LED engine, with its 15°-30° lens. And it has some very nice surprises in store for us.


The light output of the Soprano

When it comes to light output, our Soprano 3 is very nice. The measurements that we have done easily place it in a category that corresponds to the traditional 1000 W profile with some big differences, however, and mainly advantages!
Even apart from the power consumption/changing lamps/temperature, etc. (we won’t come back on these points, I think everyone is aware of them by now), this has a much more homogeneous light output than that emitted by a lamp with a mirror and double condenser (which was not, so bad at the time when there was almost nothing else).

The even spread of light is really clean and you should take a look at the measurement chart to see it. The days of big “hot spots” are long gone… On the other hand, we are in the presence here of a fixture with 6 shades of LEDs, RGBACL which will allow us to consider working with color in a very different way than in the era (now almost gone) of color gels…!


If the output in warm white may seem quite equivalent to that of a 1000 W profile, that of a color tint, say, a dark blue for example (I can see those who have already understood what I’m getting to…), we obtain 3 to 4 times greater output, and particularly given the fact that we can associate the shades with a very high color temperature, that changes almost everything!

The 6 shades of LEDs give unlimited access to most colors with the brightest they will offer. The limits of what we always wanted to imagine with traditional fixtures are taken far beyond. If we add to this that the CRI measured at 3200 K and 4000 K is greater than 95 and 94 for 5600 K, we have serious arguments to affirm that the light output is of high quality.


Variations from the warmest white to the coldest.

The Soprano has a green/magenta correction in all its modes, which is a fairly advanced version of a “minus green correction”. This is a control of the base color making it possible to correct an excess of green in certain sources, which is sometimes disturbing, particularly in recorded or live broadcasts.


The green saturation adjustment parameter. From the maxi green to the minus green.

We benefit from a fine and precise adjustment of the green tint since we can reduce its saturation to the point of adding magenta. From 0 to 100% You can match with very greenish lamps until you do without this dominant tint in your recording/live broadcasts. And this parameter is applicable with all your colors, in complete transparency.


An advantage of DTS compared to many of its competitors is an almost total absence of chromatic decomposition visible in the beam whatever the aperture, and whether in focus or even completely out of focus. The optics are designed not to use the areas where we can start to see the different LED chips outside the nose of the profile. You can pass your hand through the beam less than a meter from the source… Not a single led “leakage” is visible. It’s rare enough to be mentioned.


The beam with the 15° – 30° zoom.


Handling and operation

First of all, the fixture itself is quite nice. Its construction (100% DTS in Italy) is sleek and very aesthetic. We can see that it’s tough. The whole fixture, lightbox and lens, weighs around 12 kg, which is reasonable.

The light exit of the lightbox.

The lens is installed on the nose/front of the lightbox using a set of circular counterplates. Simply engage the lens and turn it a quarter turn, then tighten with the thumbscrew provided for this purpose on the top, and a safety BTR screw below.

The framing shutters can move very easily and tilt enough to reach positions allowing various triangular shapes to be made. The limit is quite large. Their optical positioning is well done and ensures that we will have a relatively little curve effect, even in fairly extreme adjustment situations.

The blades cannot be removed from the fixture, they are integrated into the optical system. The assembly can rotate 32° in one direction or the other (64° total rotation).


The different framing possibilities.

Overall, the handling and ergonomics are very well thought out. This is very important for a static fixture which will have to be handled quite often for adjustments/focusing.

The zoom and focus adjustment are two of the strong points of this fixture. The adjustment wheel/knob for both is located on the nose of the fixture. You have everything at your fingertips without needing to extend your arm to push anything further. The rotation is fluid and precise. It’s a pure joy to use…


The focus wheel, is identical to the zoom on the opposite side, with its locking system.

Those who have tried focusing rusty old profiles on theater catwalks will shed a little tear here… I have never had in my hands a fixture of this type that is so easy and precise to adjust.

And the icing on the cake is that each wheel/knob has a small manual screw allowing you to lock the adjustment, protecting it against any accidental manipulation. Perfectly flawless.


The ventilation and framing shutter positioning and accessories.

A nice filter holder at the tip of the nose allows you to slip in some frost and other additional filters that suit you (or maybe even a simple colored gel if you want to).

The filter holder is round, but as the corners are mechanically free, you can place square filters there too.
As optional accessories, we can talk about the gobo holder which can accommodate a gobo with a diameter of 80 mm.

The gobo holder.

A gobo holder for “M.” size gobos should see the light of day in the coming weeks but the image must not exceed the maximum size of 50 mm, adapted to the optics for projection. If you put in bigger ones, it works, but the edge of the image may be cropped a little.

An iris is also available as an option. Whether it is the gobo holder or the iris, both can be placed near the framing shutters/blades, with a slot provided for this purpose.


Projection of a gobo of leaves.


Construction and technical examination

On either side of the fixture, there are large handles, the rear has the menu on its lower part, and the connector panel on its upper part. This is very practical when the fixtures are on a truss or catwalk. It’s often annoying to see piles of cables dangling under fixtures.

Concerning the connectors, a True1 input for the power supply, coupled with an output to “daisy-chain” to other fixtures (the Soprano 3 consumes less than 200 watts at full power, you can imagine that we can power a certain number of them on a mains line…), and a 5-pin XLR input/output for DMX/RDM.


The connector panel.

The body of the fixture is made up of fairly light but very robust alloy casings, with a granulated finish that is particularly pleasant to the touch.

The LED engine is located just before the output optics, with much of the space behind being taken up by the cooling system.


The LED module.

A set of radiators topped with forced ventilation ensures the proper functioning of the LEDs through precise control of their temperature.
The entire rear is occupied by the fixture management electronics as well as the power supply, the electronics corresponding to the connector panel, and the user menu being located at the rear of the fixture.
A ring for attaching a safety sling is placed on the top of the fixture.

On the nose side, the internal mechanical elements are quite simple, all the ingenuity being in the ultra-efficient creation of the rods/rack for adjusting the positioning of the lenses by these famous and fantastic wheels/knobs.

The positioning of the fixture in tilt and its rigging by its solid and long (very long) yoke are ensured by a manual wheel which ensures very good tightening. The tilt orientation, however, has some mechanical limits which do not allow it to exceed 270°.
It’s not a major problem but in the case of installation on the apex of a truss or a stand, we would have liked to be able to tilt a little more downwards, especially with such a large yoke which would easily allow for it. This remains a very minor flaw.

Video presentation by Jean-Marc Jolivet – Technical-Sales Manager at ESL



Photometric measurements

Derating

The derating, attenuation of the light output during warming up to full power, is less than 5%, which demonstrates good management of the temperature of the LED engine and the light stabilizes in less than 10 minutes.
We choose to carry out the measurements at the color temperature of 4000 K and the zoom 15/30°.


Smallest sharp-edged beam

The illuminance at the center of our target 5 meters from the fixture is 2,500 lux after derating (2,600 lux at cold start) and all of our measurements have a flux of 3,585 lumens (3,700 lm at cold start). We measure an angle of 16°. The light intensity curve is regular.



A beam of 20°

1,855 lux in the center after derating, (1,945 lux at cold start) still at 5 meters, the flow this time increases to 4,130 lm after derating (4,330 lm at cold start).



Largest sharp-edged beam

The largest sharp-edged beam corresponds precisely to an angle of 30°, the flow is optimized. 4200 lm hot (4450 lm at cold start). At 5 m you will benefit from an illuminance of 1030 lux hot (1080 lux at cold start) and a light intensity curve that is as linear as ever.



Menu access and management of settings

The menu is accessed using a large and thick wheel which allows you to move through the different pages and validate by pressing on it.

The menu and navigating knob.

The first function accessible in the menu is the “Highlight”. This function gives immediate access to the fixtures’ light output. A simple press on the wheel, and you just have to rotate it to manage the intensity from 0 to 100%, which is extremely practical…
You can focus your profile without needing a console operator or any remote control to activate the circuit. Excellent idea.

In the menu, you also have access to strobes, green management, color temperature, or even each color source. For use without a console with the desired setting (for filming, permanent/house lighting, etc.). It’s very useful.


There are 5 control modes, from 5 to 17 channels, that allow you to control the Soprano. We did our tests in “Basic” mode which is the most “standard” giving access to the shutter/dimmer / emulated color temperature variation from 1800 K to 10,000 K / green saturation and access to the 6 native colors individually.

This mode also gives access to the emulation of shades from the more than exhaustive LEE and ROSCO gel libraries. In addition to the color temperature channel, you access the colors of most classic gels, with any type of source. And the result is really convincing.


Cold white and warm white.

Another mode called “CMY emulation” allows you to use colors as if they were subtractive trichromacy, which will prove very useful when cloning on a show with data from CMY fixtures, or for those of you who are used to working in this way. The other modes manage color exclusively according to Lee and Rosco gel library emulation.

Four dimmer curves are available. The first is called “Quadratic”, the next is Gamma 2.2, the third is a classic S-curve and the last is linear. We are using the S-curve, the most classic there is, and its curve is very close to what we obtain with a classic dimmer
In the menu, the dimmer curves are called “Gamma Corr.”. You need to know this because if you look for a “dimmer curve” you will be looking for a long time! You can activate a tungsten emulation which will give a simulation of filament inertia to the behavior of the dimmer. It’s quite realistic.



Noise management was a key concern when designing the Soprano. Like any good fixture intended for the theater world (among others), this fixture, which nevertheless uses forced ventilation, allows you to configure different cooling modes to adapt more or less to the need for the silence that may be required.
No less than 4 ventilation modes are available. A “standard” mode will manage average ventilation that is not too noisy, and an “auto” mode will adapt the ventilation according to the temperature of the components (and will therefore go towards noisier ventilation automatically if you put everything to full for a long time), and two quieter modes “silent” and “ultra silent” which will silence the projector strongly and almost completely at the cost of losing a little flux to preserve the integrity of the LEDs.

Most of the optional configurable functions of the Soprano 3 can be configured remotely via the DMX-RDM “control” channel, starting with the multitude of dimmer behaviors (in addition to curves and tungsten emulation), up to the ventilation mode or menu backlight turning off.

Conclusion

Here we have a sleek, nice-looking profile that constitutes an excellent achievement in the field of static LED fixtures. In this “full colors” version it is a powerful and complete tool allowing a simple profile to become a leading fixture to far exceed anything that has been conceptualized for ages in the genes of profile fixtures.
DTS presents here a remarkable product, 100% “made in Europe” which users should love. I was impressed by this fixture.

More information at the DTS website


What we like:

  • The quality of the light output
  • Adjustment ergonomics

What we like less:

  • The size/height of the yoke

General Specifications

 

Gonzalo Herranz Gutierrez joins Avolites as Senior Product Specialist

The growing Avolites team is delighted to welcome aboard Gonzalo Herranz Gutierrez as a senior product specialist, who will be based in Madrid, Spain, and will be providing comprehensive support related services to Avolites customers and distributors focusing on Europe and Latin America including training new users and their own sales and support staff.

Gonzalo Herranz Gutierrez on the left with Avolites Managing Director Paul Wong.

Avolites MD Paul Wong stated, “We’ve worked with Gonzalo for many years and are absolutely thrilled he’s joining the Avolites global team.” “He brings long lasting relationships, a strong knowledge of the market, and an in-depth knowledge of both Avolites lighting and media products, all of which will be key to helping us continue to grow our international footprint with a specific focus on Europe and South America.”

Gonzalo commented, “I LOVE the Avolites brand! The team is amazing and the traditionally people-focused attitude to business means they stay close to the customers and those all-important grass roots connections. I completely believe in the quality of Avolites products and company philosophy in general. I am delighted to be part of the Avolites universe!”

Gonzalo is a specialist in electronics maintenance and repair and is known for taking the initiative and sometimes finding his own inventive solutions. He believes that the ability to think laterally and creatively as necessary when tackling issues is a great bonus, and there are no ‘problems’ on his event horizon, they are all challenges!

He has loved electronic devices since a child, and all his studies were based on sound, lighting, and video. His first industry experiences were 20 or so years ago, initially when still a student and also working for an audio rental company, as a studio recording technician and sometimes mixing live sound for a metal band, before going to work for Spanish sales company Stonex who distribute some major lighting brands. This is where his interest in lighting and visuals picked up.

He later moved to sales / distribution company Bofill & Asociados and the Avolites relationship started. “Avolites is an internationally recognised brand, it’s one of the top names in lighting control, and while the products are user-friendly and easy-to-learn, they are also complex professional tools that can be used to craft beautiful shows!” he noted.

After this, he joined distribution company EES as an Avolites trainer, co-ordinating support and maintenance, whilst also working with other brands inside of the company. Then it was back to Bofill when they started selling Avo products again, and most recently he worked as an import / export manager and lighting product specialist for Video Cine.

This rounded and varied experience makes him perfect for the new role at Avo. For Gonzalo, working directly for his favourite brand is “an absolute dream – I feel like a child in this moment with a lot to learn in the new role, but this is something I really look forward to.”

He is also relishing sharing his extensive knowledge and experience about Avolites products with more people, illustrating the benefits and creativity that can be unlocked, and enjoying being an integral part of “one of the best teams and brands in the industry,” he declares with characteristic zest.

For more information about Avolites, you can visit the Avolites website

 

Ayrton lighting fixtures, grandMA3 consoles and MDG theONE atmospheric generators hit the road with Cody Johnson

Bandit Lites, Inc. has provided Ayrton Ghibli and Khamsin lighting fixtures, grandMA3 consoles and MDG theONE™ atmospheric generators to lighting designer, Richard “Wookie” Whitley, for Cody Johnson’s Leather Tour and Johnson’s sold-out 360 show at the Bridgestone Arena, Nashville. ACT Entertainment is the exclusive distributor of Ayrton, MA Lighting and MDG products in North America.


Ayrton Ghibli and Khamsin perform for Cody Johnson on tour and in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

A platinum-selling COJO Music/Warner Music Nashville recording artist, Cody Johnson launched The Leather Tour, with additional festival dates, in January in Sacramento in support of his Leather album released last November. The tour will continue in North America through to the end of the year.
Johnson also played to a crowd of more than 20,000 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena with his 360 show, staged in a full 360º performance area. His appearance marked the most tickets sold by a male country artist in their Bridgestone debut.

Wookie, who served as lighting designer for Johnson’s Human Tour last year, did the design, gear selection and programming and also acts as the board op for the Cody Johnson Leather Tour and 360 show. He’s a long-time friend of Bandit Lites client rep, Allen Deneau, whose company provided him with the complement of Ayrton, grandMA and MDG equipment.


“Ayrton is one of our premier fixture lines, especially the Khamsins,” says Deneau. “We have used Khamsins on countless tours including Alanis Morrissette, Shinedown and LANY. I know Jason Aldean used 82 of them before Cody, and Billy Strings is out with a large number of them. Ayrton has the fixtures people go to most; they have great colour mixing, great gobos and are very consistent across the line.”

Wookie explains that Johnson’s normal tour rig sticks to the basics. “It’s almost a nice festival plot: simple and to the point, no crazy rigging, just make it punch.” Lighting the 360 show in the huge Bridgestone Arena was much the same – “keep it easy to rig and pack a punch,” he says.

Wookie chose nine Ghibli spot luminaires for the tour and used 60 Khamsin profiles in the bigger rig for the 360 show. “I’ve always kept up with what Ayrton is doing,” he notes. “I’ve used all kinds of brands, and you always plan on some breaking down, but my Ayrton fixtures have all been fine – they’re such workhorses and give me everything I need.”

While last year’s tour had lighting carts, this year Wookie wanted to hide the ground package. “The Ghiblis are mounted in GT truss at the same height level as the drum riser,” he explains. “They give really good aerial effects and cut through everything. I’m extremely happy with them.”


For the Bridgestone appearance, “there was no need for the floor package we carry on tour so Bandit upgraded us to 60 Khamsins for more fire power in that space,” says Wookie. Twelve were positioned on the floor with the rest in the air in dual chevron configurations.
“It was very easy to merge over from Ghiblis to Khamsins: the gobos and colour mixing are almost the same. We had no issues at all, and I was very happy with their output. “I plan to use more Ayrton fixtures in the future; I’ve already told Bandit that I’m pushing for a full Ayrton rig of spots and washes for next year.”


Wookie is a fairly recent convert to grandMA consoles and chose grandMA3 running in MA3 mode for the tour and 360 show. A single grandMA3 full-size console controls lighting for the tour; an additional full-size unit was on hand as backup for the 360 show.

“Pre-COVID I started learning the grandMA2 and during the shutdown I was lucky to have one at home and had the chance to learn more about the system,” he says. “Then grandMA3 came out, and I went head first into it for this year.”

He enjoys using grandMA3 recipes. I had some programming from 360 that I wanted to incorporate with the standard rigging. With recipes I could pick and choose what I wanted and merge them. No issues – they worked like a dream.” He also finds the selection grid “makes my job so much easier.” Bandit Lites’ Deneau notes that grandMA3 is “now moving into a leadership position” among consoles “for its sheer, raw processing power.”


Wookie also began to use a pair of MDG theONE™ atmospheric generators last year, which Deneau calls “the go-to system” for bigger tours. “I was extremely happy with their output in the arenas we were in; at the minimal setting they gave me perfect coverage,” Wookie says.
“Even at festivals, their output was amazing, and the blower fan was exactly what I needed. I had no issues at all with theONEs I used. Bring them out, plug them in, turn them on and they are ready to go!”

This year Wookie has another pair of theONE™s for the tour and the Bridgestone show. “I want the beams to cut through and pop so for the tour and the 360 show I had them on the floor, away from the stage behind everything. They give me a great atmosphere that allow the spots and washes to pop with no plumes of smoke like you see with some other brands.”

More information on Ghibli, Khamsin and the full portfolio of innovative Ayrton LED and laser-sourced products can be found at www.ayrton.eu

Rainbow Lighting Invests in Astera

A beacon of positive energy and enthusiasm for life and lighting, appropriately named Cape Town based ‘Rainbow Lighting’ was started by freelance gaffer Desmond Gqitekaya in 2020. At the time, he was working mostly on major movies and feature films being shot in South Africa and was lucky enough to also start picking up commercials and music video work through his contacts, for which there was always a demand for thinking quickly and ‘out-of-the-box’ when it came to lighting. This soon led him to Astera.


His first purchase was Astera Helios Tubes in 2022, and this has quickly expanded to also include Astera’s workhorse Titan Tubes, HydraPanels and NYX Bulbs.

He was first inspired to look at the wireless LED brand after seeing other film lighting professionals using them on set and in the studio, and observing how some lighting set ups struggled to make lighting changes quickly and easily which is always a demand, especially on fast turnaround projects where time pressure is a constant challenge.

“The wireless functionality and Astera’s App-based control can make things incredibly fast and adaptable,” he noted, “and they have been a game-changer for my business.”

He thinks that the Astera accessory / fittings packages are brilliantly well thought out to make the kit even more exceptionally handy like diffusers, handles and other basic rigging necessities. He also finds that the lighting fixtures are designed to dovetail perfectly with the DOP choice range of products.


“Whatever the director of photography might want on sight, you can deliver using these lighting products,” he declares, “especially the quality of light and excellent colour mixing, and with the high CRI they are great for close ups just as they are for set dressing and background lighting.” He thinks the ability to run the Astera units wired if desired is another bonus, especially for some scenarios and when the unit is working longer days! “I will be using only Astera going forward.”


The NYX Bulbs he finds “very practical” for providing pleasant soft light in any colour. He notes that whenever Astera is dropping a new product, he will automatically check it out and is now prepared to invest in the brand as a matter of course as he knows it will also be good and there will always be an application.


He’s looking forward to using his latest purchase – a new PlutoFresnel – as soon as it’s delivered by SA distributor, DWR Distribution, one of the country’s leading sales and service companies.

He describes DWR as “Fantastic, very friendly and knowledgeable and so much more than just a service company,” reporting that they also deliver swiftly, which is often important as he needed both the NYX Bulbs and the HydraPanels within 2 weeks of placing the order to go on specific jobs. Often projects are confirmed late in the day as we all know!

Desmond has introduced some of his friends and colleagues to DWR as the service is so good, and he’s also been a great advocate for Astera, with several of his contemporaries investing in lights themselves based on his glowing recommendations.
He started off in the beauty and wilds around Port St. Johns on the Eastern Cape where he initially worked on a documentary. He found the broadcast industry interesting and then jumped straight onto another project and then another and another as things started to snowball, and his aptitude for lighting and illumination shone through.

In 2001, he decided to make the move to the heart of the industry in Cape Town and start a whole new life there … from which he has not looked back! He loves the industry’s family atmosphere, plus the fact that every lighting project is different and challenging offering the chance to learn every day. Moving to Cape Town has opened his eyes to many experiences previously unimaginable.

Rainbow Lighting is Desmond himself at the moment – so he can stay agile and reactive as a business – but for the larger jobs he will train people up to work alongside him for the duration of the project. His Astera kit will go on most of the jobs which has also recently included Japanese Manga series ONE PIECE (project Panda) for which he was Best Boy.

For more info about astera, you can visit Astera Led.com

 

ETC adds PAR jr to the ColorSource fixture family

ColorSource PAR jr is the newest addition to the affordable line of ETC fixtures that has become a staple in venues around the world. A perfect complement to Spot jr, PAR jr boasts a similar feature set and includes a four-color red, green, blue and lime array.


If you’re looking for a flicker-free fixture for broadcast, concert venues, worship services, or live TV, look no further than PAR jr. The fan-free, convection cooled design makes this luminaire ultra-quiet. And at nearly half the weight and half the price of a full-sized ColorSource PAR, PAR jr is ideal for venues of every size.
Offering stunning colors and precise dimming, this wash light is available in two array options. The Original array provides subtle pastels and beautiful white light to enhance skin tones. While the Deep Blue array is for anyone needing more saturated, dramatic colors.

Like all ColorSource fixtures, PAR jr includes ETC’s color integrity technologies so you can be sure the colors you set in rehearsal are the same colors you see during the show. This includes thermal droop compensation and comprehensive factory color calibration.

ETC offers an industry-leading 5-year warranty on the entire fixture, and an astonishing 10-year warranty on the LED array. Pair that with the unmatched 24/7/365 phone support and you’ll be glad you chose ETC.
With almost 2300 lumens of brightness ColorSource PAR jr gives you more of what you love at a fraction of the cost AND a fraction of the size. Download the MyETC: Photometrics app for full photometric and color information on this, and all other ETC fixtures.

Learn more about PAR jr and request a demo at etcconnect.com

 

Robe Footsies Crack It at Orlando Ballet

As the cornerstone of its 50th Anniversary Season, the Orlando Ballet commissioned a spectacular new production of The Nutcracker, one of the world’s most popular and most performed ballets, which debuted last December.


Billed as “bigger, brighter, and full of surprises” as well as the largest ballet ever created by an Orlando-based performing arts organization, the production was staged in Steinmetz Hall at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts.

New choreography, all new sets, costumes, and an updated storyline by Jorden Morris, who also serves as the ballet’s artistic director, brought an exciting edge to a timeless classic, combined with a host of interesting and innovative staging elements including a lighting design by Joseph R. Walls.

Robe Forte

Joseph incorporated Robe Forte moving lights and Footsie Led foot lights into his lighting scheme to bring extra vibrance and flair as the onstage action unfolded.

Joseph’s brief from Jorden was to create a fresh and invigorating contemporary look for the show as they presented an extravaganza of color, drama, and emotion to thrill Orlando and mid-Florida ballet lovers now … and for some years to come, as it is scheduled to run for the next 19 years over the festive holiday period.

The 26 x Fortes and 26 x Footsie1s were part of an additional lighting rental package supplied to the Orlando Ballet by Main Light from Delaware and were used in conjunction with the substantial house generic lighting rig.

Footsie1

Additionally, 6 x Anolis Calumma S multi-chip RGBA luminaires were purchased by the Ballet for this show and used for lighting within various scenic elements, proving ideal for offsetting the naturalistic interiors of scenes like the toy shop, pastry shop, and snow globe.

Joseph worked closely with Jorden and set designer Robert Perdziola to craft the show aesthetic. The set combined classic elegant touches with some high-impact operatic elements. The trim heights for productions in the venue are often around 30 feet, but for this one they were 48 feet, accentuating the scale of the scenography and requiring powerful lighting to work from that additional height.


Joseph consulted Main Light account executive Patrick Bellino who first suggested he look at Robe’s Forte as a solution, particularly as a good zoom and excellent dimming were top of the wish list. A demonstration followed which confirmed to Joseph that Forte was the “right fixture for the job.” “I needed a high CRI, a good range of whites, to be able to change colors and gobos, as well as a light source that was essentially clean and soft,” he explained, which is where Partick mentioned that units could be fitted with a heavy frost filter.

Of the 26 x Fortes supplied by Main Light, eight were fitted with the heavy frost, and two of the standard Fortes were run as follow spots, linked to a RoboSpot system operated via two base stations. Five Fortes were positioned on five of the overhead house bars (25 total) effectively replacing a whole ‘traditional’ top lighting system, while the rest were distributed on booms and additional ladders specified for “The Nutcracker”. They were used together with other luminaires from the Main Light rental package and the house rig.


Fortes saved valuable time and enabled Joseph to work quickly during the tech period. “I could not have lit the show with as much detail and complexity in the time without using moving lights,” he noted, also praising the talents and calm demeanor of his programmer, Bridget Chervenka, who worked purposefully and tirelessly through all the surrounding production hustle and pressure.

The 26 x Footsie1s in variable white were positioned along the front of the substantial stage in the standard footlights position. Lighting from these positions, especially for a ballet, has always been problematic as any lighting fixtures will obscure front sightlines, and specifically for those sitting in premium front stalls seats! “For years we have struggled to find fixtures that could be fitted in these positions and work effectively,” he commented, and now Footsie offers a practical solution.

Barely the same height as a standard sprung dancefloor, Footsie can blend seamlessly with the surrounding stage space. For The Nutcracker, Joseph used them to create spooky shadows for puppetry and various other sections of the show, utilizing the fixture’s individual zone control.


Zone control also enabled fluid ripples of light to flicker across the whole stage. The Footsies were used during the battle and other special magical moments when the stage was filled with color, either to denote specific locations, or to balance out shadows with an extra push from that position.
“They were invaluable in so many ways,” he commented, ‘The color, intensity and dimming from that angle were exactly what we needed,” and they were also ideal for highlighting Robert Perdziola’s striking costumes.

The show was a contrast between two worlds, reality, which was more naturalistically lit, and fantasy as the narrative followed a young girl’s love for a favorite Christmas gift from her town’s toymaker. The fantasy environments were energized with an enchanted aura including crispy, white, snowy wonderlands with twinkling lights which the Robe fixtures helped create.


The Fortes and the Footsies were also used to fine-focus on the protagonists onstage, while visual effects, color and textures were layered on and swirled around them.
Joseph appreciated the great teamwork and camaraderie of putting the show together. “It was a massive collaboration and hugely enjoyable,” he concluded.

Also on his lighting design team were associate Matt Taylor and assistant lighting designer Abi Farnsworth, production LX Lizz Pittsely and head LX Mike Boyle, all working alongside a great crew from IATSE 631. The show premiered in December 2023 and ran for 3 weeks and will return in December 2024.

For more info about Robe Lighting, you can visit the Robe Lighting website

 

Claypaky illuminates “Raffa in the Sky” at the Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo

‘Raffa in the Sky’ is a tribute opera to the iconic figure of Raffaella Carrà, a prominent Italian TV personality also renowned internationally. It is the story of an artistic career that not only evolved with the changes in Italian society over the last half a century but occasionally inspired them.
Through Carrà’s extraordinary experience, the work also aims to reflect on the artist’s role in society, the value and use of art, and the role of television and other media, not forgetting the songs she performed. The narrative transcends into the surreal and paradoxical to strike a chord with us all.


Show lighting designer Alessandro Anderoli told us: “As soon as I was appointed as LD for ‘Raffa in the Sky’, I started thinking about the kind of light and therefore which units to use for this rig. There are two main reasons why I preferred Claypaky. First, because of the quality.
Through my experience of working on four operas directed by Francesco Micheli, I’ve come to understand his need for frequent shifts in lighting to vary lighting conditions and create different directorial strata. His productions are highly dynamic.
Right from the first scenic sketches, it was clear that the two to three main alternating stage scenes would require different approaches. Hence, the decision to use Claypaky lights which allowed me to exploit nearly all the features of each fixture to their full extent.


Second, my choice was influenced by emotional and practical reasons: I have known Claypaky for over twenty years and used their lights for various events like theatre productions, summer shows and ceremonies. I have always found the right light in their catalogue, along with utmost reliability.

The Fondazione del Teatro Donizetti has been working with Claypaky for over a year, and there was a mutual desire for a Bergamo-based partnership. Moreover, the Claypaky technical team have always solved our problems promptly when needed. This is an absolute linchpin for me.

Alessandro Andreoli then elaborated on the role of the Claypaky Sinfonya Profile during the show: “Its unique value in this opera lies in its main feature, the ability to vary the colour temperature of the LED engine, along with the light’s extraordinary technical performance across all parameters.


From the beginning, it was clear that the Italian national broadcasting company (RAI) was going to film the opera, and the Sinfonya Profiles enabled me to confidently program the fixtures during rehearsals, knowing that I could later optimize the effects without drastically altering them once we were joined by the technicians for the shoot. They had specific colour temperature requirements for balanced in-camera images.
In addition to the Sinfonya Profiles, the lighting rig also included 10 Claypaky Xtylos units, 6 Claypaky Sharpy-X-Frames, 16 Tambora Flash fixtures, 4 B-EYE K25s and 12 Midi-B WWs.


Referring to the Xtylos units, Andreoli told us that “the director was looking for a lighting effect that could both emulate a ‘heavenly ray’ for Raffa’s entrance and simultaneously represent a ‘cage’ as the narrative unfolded.

We tried various options including the use of fibre optics and LED strips on frameworks, but it was when we saw the Xtylos in action that we immediately realized we had the solution. It was the perfect fit for us with its powerful, concentrated beam, zoom capabilities and gobos.

Sharpy X Frames were used as backlighting on the backing singers’ podiums, and one was placed upfront to create a spotlight effect. “I placed five of them to backlight the backing singers because we needed a different light for when the podiums appeared, since they were on a different physical and directorial level.
Discharge lights served this purpose well. The potential to shape them led to that part of the stage being illuminated in its own unique way. One final X Frame was tentatively used as a followspot and, as the rehearsals progressed, it turned out to be a brilliant choice.”

The use of the powerful, hybrid Tambora Flash units, which can operate simultaneously as strobe lights, washlights and blinders, was very distinctive. Andreoli continued: ‘These lights were a real gamble. I was looking for a fixture that physically resembled a 1960s/70s/80s TV studio ceiling light, which was what set designer Edoardo Sanchi envisioned for the stage space.

Obviously, I needed a fixture that also had colour changing capabilities to adjust the tone of the fixed units and that provided enough light to support the scenes.
We slightly angled the Tambora Flash beams for backlighting so that the four lamps were clearly visible, which turned out to be the right choice.
I spoke of a gamble because this unit was designed as a blinder, as its name implies. However, I wanted to use it in a non-conventional way, and I must say it surprised me. The two strips of strobe lights left us awe-struck by the amount of light they produced.”

The Midi-Bs were used as space-filling washlights. Eight were mounted on the battens on stage, two in the auditorium to support the front-lighting, and the last two as sidelights in front of the curtain, one on each side. The latter are essential in supporting all proscenium scenes with the frame folded down due to the compact size of the light itself.

Lastly, there is an interesting story behind the use of the four K25 B-Eyes. During rehearsals, it was decided to perform the second scene of Act II in the stalls with all the soloists wandering around the audience. Andreoli revealed that ‘having already installed all the available units on the battens and brackets, there was a clear need for something extra and special.
Claypaky came to our rescue by providing us with these additional lights which, thanks to their power and zoom range combined with their capability to project videos on the curtain, created a magical, cinematic spectacle. The K25 was the right light for the purpose.”


Andreoli concluded: “I would like to thank the entire Claypaky team, and especially Alberico, Daniele, Giulia and Sandro for the support I have received from the very beginning of the project, which goes back several months before the staging.”

Massimo Boffelli, General Director of the Fondazione del Teatro Donizetti, emphasized that “the Fondazione del Teatro Donizetti is very proud to work with Claypaky. Our partnership brings together two internationally acclaimed Bergamo-based organizations and allows directors and lighting designers to express their creative ideas fully, even in the case of unique and experimental projects like ‘Raffa in the Sky’. We are confident that our alliance will continue in the coming years, touching new aspects of the Fondazione del Teatro Donizetti’s programme and events.”

Claypaky Sales Director Alberico D’Amato said: “We are proud to provide our most advanced technology to the Teatro Donizetti, which has always been an institution for the people of Bergamo and a global benchmark in the theatre world. Our company has provided top-ranking lighting products for a large number of entertainment sectors worldwide for nearly fifty years but has always had strong roots in the Bergamo area with which it shares the proverbial industriousness and attention to quality craftsmanship.

We would like to thank the General Director of the Teatro Donizetti, Massimo Boffelli, the President of the Fondazione, Giorgio Berta, and the head of stage set design, Sergio De Giorgi for making the partnership between our two renowned Bergamo-based organizations possible”.

For more information about Claypaky lighting fixture, you can visit the Claypaky website

 

ISE 2024

EUROPEAN LAUNCH OF THE JDC2 IP, THE NEW SUPER-POWERED HYBRID STROBE/WASH FROM GLP

A new generation version of the famous JDC1 appears in the German Light Products catalog. We find out about it in detail with Greg Westwood, product specialist for GLP.



A great success established in service provider equipment lists all across the globe, the JDC1 now shares the spotlight with its little brother logically called JDC2 IP. Small, not so much because the head of the fixture has seen its dimensions almost double.


The brand new JDC2 de GLP, the logical step further after the JDC1.

Speaking of its appearance and stats, it proudly has an IP65 rating and will therefore be able to follow you indoors and outdoors.
If we delve a little deeper into its technical data, we find out that its central line now has 84 10 W white LEDs (in other words, it’s awesome!).
This central bar is surrounded by 1728 SMD LEDs and can be controlled in several ways, which constitutes one of the major developments of this new version.

Using DMX and/or network, the fixture will occupy a maximum of 128 parameters to control segments of the LED matrix. One of the fixture’s modes also allows it to be 100% compatible with the JDC1 and therefore to interchange them at will!

The JDC2 IP integrates a new effects generator called DigiFX which uses the motherboard’s 3D-oriented dual-core processor to create a multitude of graphic visuals using each of the small SMD LEDs for very precise and fine-tuned renderings (and easily accessible via macros), almost worthy of an LED screen. While we’re on the subject, this 1,025 cm² pixel matrix can also be used as video support since the fixture can receive video streams in NDI via the Ethercon connector.


Here it has its removable Frost “lens”, used to soften the powerful LEDs.

Its head, still motorized in tilt, is equipped with a new protective glass specially treated to eliminate as much as possible unwanted reflections coming from other sources.
The device is also equipped with the GLP iQ Mesh wireless network accessible from a smartphone, the redundancy of which is automatically generated between the fixtures, it can also optionally be equipped with a CRMX Lumen Radio wireless module.

A small additional perk, the head can receive many accessories, we had the demonstration with a diffuser filter whose rendering suggests the patterns generated by the sources with a little more softness.


The first units of this half-strobe, half-pixel hybrid available for shipping by the end of March.

For more information on the GLP website

Ayrton’s Cobra Strikes the Right Light for Luciano

Throughout February 2024, German Rap artist, Luciano, worked his way across Germany, Switzerland and Austria on his Seductive tour. One of the first German-speaking rappers in the UK Drill style, Luciano was Germany’s most streamed artist on Spotify in 2022 and deserves nothing but the best for his music and outstanding live shows.

80 Ayrton Cobra fixtures were duly supplied by TDA CLAIR GmbH for this year’s tour and they proved to be a brilliant success for the show.


Cobra is Ayrton’s first IP65 laser-sourced fixture. Designed for rendering a D65 white point that allows perfect colour reproduction, Cobra has an incredible output of 386,000 lux at 20m, an unprecedented 38x zoom ratio and an incredible zoom range of 0.6° to 23°. It also sports a highly innovative colour section, unrivalled graphics capability and continuous pan and tilt.

The Cobra fixtures were specified by Stop Making Sense’s Timo Martens who created the lighting design for the tour with great support and cooperation from Bertil Mark (also from Stop Making Sense), and Raphael Demonthy.

The Stop Making Sense design collective was responsible for the entire realization of the stage, the lighting, the content production, as well as the programming and supervision of the project.


Martens explains why the Cobras were chosen for this tour. “In order to create the greatest possible impact with the lamps, so that we could practically make backdrops out of light, we needed a moving light that would provide maximum output with a low weight and a great CMY colour mixing. We compared a lot of moving lights and finally decided on the Ayrton Cobra, which we have not regretted.”

48 Cobra units were rigged around a specially made 10m circular truss upstage and 16 Cobra fixtures lined the catwalk. “The Cobras in the circle were primarily there to draw shapes and lines in space,” explains Martens.

“The basic idea was to create backdrops of light that extend across the entire width of the venue, or to be able to create a tunnel of light that extends through the whole venue, no matter how large it is.
We placed the remaining Cobras on the stage to use as floor lamps to provide additional options that gave the show even more variety.”

The technical team and lighting designers were extremely pleased with the overall performance and versatility of their choice of light. “In the end, it was a very good decision to put our trust in the Cobras, because the concept worked out perfectly,” confirms Martens. “We didn’t have a single breakdown on the entire tour. The Cobra light beams looked sensational and we have never regretted our decision.”


There was praise too for the service and back-up from both supplier and manufacturer: “We have always received friendly, excellent support from Ayrton and are very happy with such good cooperation. However, because the Cobras were so reliable, we didn’t have to put too much strain on customer support! TDA Clair always had an open ear for us and left nothing to be desired. We felt well looked after and supported at all times. Special thanks also to Captured Live for their trust in us, as they were responsible for production management and implementation.”


Credits:

Lighting Design: Timo Martens/ Bertil Mark and Raphael Demonthy
Design Collective: Stop Making Sense
Production Management: Captured Live GmbH
Technical service provider: TDA CLAIR GmbH
Rigging: Big Rig GmbH
LED walls: Faber Audiovisuals GmbH
Special structures: Satis&Fy AG
Pixera media servers: Rec Tec AG
Pyro FX: FOG SFX GmbH


For more information on Ayrton Cobra and Ayrton’s full range of LED and laser-sourced lighting fixtures, visit www.ayrton.eu

 

CAMEO OPUS X4 1400 W PROFILE AND THE LASER SOURCE ORON H2

Relentlessly continuing to offer new products in terms of lighting, Cameo has chosen Catalonia at the start of 2024 to unveil a range of new products. We meet up with Fabrice Dayan to guide us through the ranges.



The Opus X4 Profile and its 1400 W LED source

The Opus X4 Profile, the new IP65 flagship of the Cameo range.

Let’s start with the two major new Cameo products, first the Opus X4 Profile, the brand’s new flagship: an IP65 Spot/Profile moving head boosted by a 1,400 W LED source!

Dedicated to long-range applications where the power must be generous, it offers a source almost twice as efficient as the Opus X, housed in a body that, although imposing, does not ultimately take on exaggerated proportions. with a weight of less than 37 kg and will be easily carried/lifted thanks to its handles well integrated into the yoke

Although all its technical data has not yet been revealed, we already know that it houses a motorized framing shutters module, two gobo wheels, two progressive frosts, a 5/55° zoom/focus module, a trichromic CMY+CTO, an animation wheel, an iris, two color wheels… It looks like it will be very complete!

Laser source Oron H2

First steps in the world of laser source fixtures by Cameo with the Oron H2.

Next to it sits the Oron H2, the latest innovation for the brand, bringing it into the still restricted circle of fixtures equipped with a laser source.
The Oron H2 is an IP65 hybrid moving head focused on Beam and Spot whose new white source combined with its different modules makes it possible to obtain an ultra-tight beam with a minimum aperture of 0.6° up to a beam of 32°.

It is equipped with a trichromic CMY along with a linear CTO, two rotating and fixed gobo wheels, as well as 8 effects including prisms, a frost, or multicolor filter.
Its source uses a blue laser at a wavelength of 455 nm so the beam passes through a phosphor wheel thus creating the yellow color, remixed in the lightbox with the initial blue to obtain white, this same principle is used in some video projectors.
Here the rendering of the source would be superior to a 480 W type 20R lamp. Note in passing that the fixture has already obtained its FDA certification, essential for use in the United States.

The Azor W2

In detail, the specificity of the Azor W2, its white LED segments well hidden under black diffusers.

Next comes the Azor W2, a small wash moving head equipped with a LED source with extended colorimetry (RGBL), 7×40 watts that can be controlled pixel by pixel.
It contains a motorized zoom variable between 4 and 50°, thus quickly passing the beam from an honorable aperture to a very tight beam.

As for the little twist of this fixture, it is discreetly hidden on the contour of the output lens. This is where 4 segments of white SMD LEDs can be controlled independently, arranged under 4 diametrically opposed black diffusers which blend perfectly with the bodywork. This effect, which is quite energetic and can also create strobe bursts, is called Eclipse Burst.


The Azor SP2

The new Azor SP2 spot/profile moving head is dedicated to medium-sized venues.

As for moving head Spots, the new Azor SP2 is the first cousin of the S2 and has most of its characteristics, starting with its white LED engine with a power of 300 W, the same 5/50° zoom range, the trichromic CMY (second, and this is new compared to the S2, a variable CTO), a color wheel, the animation wheel, the frost, the prisms, etc.

The major difference lies in the presence of a motorized framing shutter module, thus placing this device in the category of Profiles dedicated to short and medium-range applications.

The only concession is that to fit all of these parameters into a rather compact product, you will have to do without the second (fixed) gobo wheel to free up a little space in the head, it thus keeps its main wheel equipped with rotating and indexable gobos.

The F2 FC

The F2 FC+, new in the conventional range, is a static fixture equipped with a Fresnel lens which, provides easier colorimetric compatibility for users, uses the same LED engine as the P2 FC, in RGB + Amber + Lime, source making it possible to achieve CRI and TLCI values respectively greater than 94 and 93 as well as a variable white between 1800 and 8000 Kelvins.

Otos multi-source wash fixtures

The three wash fixtures are Otos W3, W6, and W12.

Now let’s move outside (well almost) with outdoor fixtures. We first discover the new Otos wash version series with the W3, W6, and W12 models.
These IP65 moving heads are respectively equipped with 7x50W, 12x50W, and 31x50W LEDs as well as one, two, and up to three individually motorized zoom modules nested around each other for the W12.

In more detail, the front of the W12. We easily notice its three independent zoom modules and the aptitude of the LEDs for matrixing.

Behind each collimator there is an independently controllable RGBL LED for a complete matrixing effect. Additional effects are guaranteed thanks to the ring of RGB matrixable LEDs located around the contour of the head, the signature of this series.

Dura Spot for architectural use

Still in the IP range but this time IP67, we are presented with the Dura Spot series available in several static fixtures dedicated to integration and architectural lighting.
These products in “LED PAR” format (impressive for the largest) are available in four versions, between 3 and 20 x 20 W RGBW LEDs, with a tight beam angle of approximately 6° (other lenses, lockable filters, and accessories are available). The products are treated against UV and corrosion and have a 5-year warranty.


The new range of Dura Spot architectural fixtures, only the Dura Spot 60 (the most compact with its 3 LED sources), does not appear in this family photo.


All of these products will soon be available as of spring 2024.

For more information on the Cameo website

 

Robe Helps Power Red Bull Batalla World Final in Colombia

Bogotá’s Movistar Arena staged the 2023 Red Bull Batalla World Final, celebrating the creativity, importance, and popularity of freestyle rap culture in Spanish-speaking communities. The event was fully loaded with energy and excitement and lit by Madrid, Spain-based lighting designer Edu Valverde from design studio Experiencias Visuales.


Venue of the Red Bull Batalla World Final 2023 in Bogota, Colombia, on December 2 2023. // Gianfranco Tripodo / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202312030011 // Usage for editorial use only //

Edu utilized over 200 Robe moving lights to realise an eye-catching show design for the tournament which was attended live by a lively 14,000-capacity audience and streamed worldwide. On Edu’s lighting plot were 105 x Robe MegaPointes, 66 x Spiiders and 53 x BMFL WashBeams, all delivered by Bogota-based rental company, Linea Estratégica, who also take care of all things technical for the venue and were picked to deliver specific results for this spectacular show.


Edu has previously lit Red Bull Batalla tournament finals in Spain, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the previous one in Madrid, in addition to several national finals in Spain, so he knows the brief, and was very excited to be working with a great team in Colombia on this one.
The 2022 event featured an LED screen and video heavy design, so in 2023, he wanted to turn this around and produce an equally dazzling environment but this time with “light being the main protagonist”.

The set design was similar to 2022, a collaboration between producers Babbla Studio, the Redbull Batalla team and Experiencias Visuales. A long and slightly quirky shaped runway stage allowed contestants to strut their stuff and connect with fans in the audience.

The objective was to create an atmosphere that reflected the intensity and energy of freestyle rap, explained Edu, and one of his methods was to have different lighting zones, some which were high contrast areas reinforcing the drama of stage entrances, others where the battles took place which were perfectly illuminated.”

Apart from the demands of live show lighting, the multicamera shoot, directed by Paulí Subirá and global telecast meant he had to light efficiently and effectively for camera, all the time not losing that critical connection with the audience that is so fundamental to rap shows and live broadcasts.
The distinctive runway design was fundamental to Edu’s lighting strategy. His aesthetic involved two types of ‘base’ light, one covering access to the runways filled with harder, more dramatic key light, achieved using overhead BMFLs cutting across the runway, working in conjunction with the second, a perimeter of MegaPointes creating a ‘beam corridor’ matching the movement of artists as they entered the battle arena.


Robe MegaPointe

The 105 MegaPointes were located around the stage and the runway, and used for a myriad of dynamic effects and to emphasize key moments. In beam mode, some defined the outline of the runway, both on the deck and from the overhead trusses creating those special kinetic effects in unison with the artists.
The balance of the MegaPointes were rigged on the perimeter trusses running in spot mode, utilized to create beams with gobos and aerial movements.

The 66 Spiiders were used to enhance ambience across the bleacher seating areas and on the arena floor as well as providing general room lighting, while the BMFL WashBeams were the event’s primary key lighting.
They were positioned perfectly to light the front section of the battleground and also cover the talent waiting area in addition to the runway overhead lighitng.


Robe Spiider

BMFL WashBeam


Edu wanted these three different types of Robe fixtures for multiple reasons. He likes BMFLs for their “uniform output and shutter system”. MegaPointes he selected for their sheer versatility, adaptability, and effectiveness as both beam and spot fixtures for creating effects and textures. The high performance of the Spiiders in saturated colors and their zoom capabilities were ideal for illuminating the audience. Before drawing up the design, he ensured that all these fixtures would be available for the show.

Linea Estratégica is well known for its quality and service for the Balatta. They supplied all the lights plus trussing / rigging, audio and a full show video package. Also being technical supplier at the Movistar Arena and very familiar with all its nuances, “everything went wonderfully smoothly,” noted Edu. Robe is one of Edu’s go-to brands that he regularly requests “for its innovation, reliability, and the exceptional quality of the optics and light coming out of the fixtures, all aspects that are crucial in live events.”


Fat N and Chuty perform during the Red Bull Batalla World Final 2023 in Bogota, Colombia, on December 2 2023. // Maximiliano Blanco / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202312030013 // Usage for editorial use only //

Among the biggest challenges of lighting this event was adapting the rig to the unique design of the stage and synchronizing with all the fully improvised performances which kept everyone on the edge, proving a great test of their imaginative agility, rhythmic and technical skills!
On top of that, creating an atmosphere suitable for both broadcast and live performance was a “significant challenge,” recalls Edu.

The get-in and set up time was tight, with only two overnight onsite programming sessions which were intense. However, good advance planning and the magic and convenience of visualization using WYSIWYG and Depence3 enabled Edu to leave Madrid with the building blocks already programmed, so on site in Bogota, the focus was on tidying up and finessing.

For him, the most interesting part of the project was creating a unique atmosphere to complement the vibe, vibrance and spontaneity of freestyle, keeping the focus on the artists.
“You use both organization and flexibility to tune in to the performances unfolding onstage in front of you,” said Edu, adding that a “harmony and understanding of freestyle culture also helps this process.”
Audience LED wristbands were also integral to the overall illuminated effects, providing a very homogeneous yet dynamic and constantly changing background.


Chuty wins the Red Bull Batalla World Final 2023 in Bogota, Colombia, on December 2 2023. // Maximiliano Blanco / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202312030014 // Usage for editorial use only //

Edu worked alongside a highly talented team including three production managers, Javier Svietozar (Red Bull), Enrique Garcia (Babbla Studio) and Yalesa Echevarría from local company Duir, plus Fabio Cuellar from Linea Estratégica; lighting operator David Carrasquillas, lighting programmer Juan Manuel Lazaro, sound engineer Felipe Lara and video content director Jaime Dusan from Nativo.

“The team was amazing! The local production and technical crews worked tirelessly and were super professional, throughout all the months planning and leading up to the setup and show. AND, the passion and enthusiasm of the Colombian audience added another fantastic and very memorable dimension to the event.”

The Batalla World Final 2023 was enjoyed by peak audiences of over 850,000 people tuning in to the livestream broadcast to share the action-packed series of thrills happening in the Movistar Arena. The tournament’s many highs included a rap-off between the then reining, and only three times, champion Aczino and popular challenger Chuty who emerged as the eventual Red Bull Batalla 2023 winner after a final battle with Fat N that saw both artists delivering incendiary performances!

For more info about robe Lighting, you can visit www.robe.cz

THE NEW ELEMENT OF THE PORTMAN RANGE

Portman introduces the P2 Evo Element. The new luminous “object” proudly displays the DNA of the Polish brand, namely a retrofuturistic design of LED technology and here equipped with new modularity solutions. It is also presented, here in video, by Dominik Zimakowski, CEO of Portman.




The new Portman here in two parts, the Evo Element, along with its E-CONN connector.

Visually, it looks just like half of a P2 Evo, namely three hexagonal sources, each equipped with a 60 W haloLED™ stick emulating a tungsten pencil lamp. Each cell is equipped with color backlighting, still based on RGBW LEDs (12 W per cell).

The fixtures offer DMX control via 6 different modes, RDM compatibility and, the W-DMX option. Note that for the sake of range compatibility, the P2 Evo and Evo Element share the same pixel dimensions, light sources, and basic accessories.

The big news comes from the E-CONN™, an adjustable multidirectional connector designed to connect several Evo Element modules. Each E-CONN connection outlet can have its angle modified over a range of 30°.


The famous E-CONN multidirectional variable angle module is seen in more detail.

We therefore have many design and assembly possibilities previously impossible to obtain with a classic P2 Evo which we obviously could not fold in half!

Vertically, with or without E-CONN, we can stack or suspend up to six Evo Elements (which would therefore amount to three P2 Evos), for a total of just over 30 kg.

Portman reveals to us that this will not be the only new thing of the year and invites us to meet at Prolight+Sound to find out more!


An example of how the Evo Element can be used, along with the S-Tribe at the Portman stand at the ISE 2024.


More information is available on the Portman website

 

Ayrton Lighting Fixtures and grandMA3 Control Love the Nightlife at LIV Las Vegas

Ayrton lighting performs for John Summit and Metro Boomin at LIV Las Vegas

With its expansion to the famed Strip, Fontainebleau Las Vegas has launched LIV Las Vegas, the city’s newest nightlife destination, which Lighting Designer Stephen Lieberman has illuminated with an array of Ayrton fixtures controlled by a grandMA3 light console. ACT Entertainment is the exclusive distributor of Ayrton and MA Lighting products in North America.


Fontainebleau Las Vegas brings a new era of luxury hospitality to the Strip and promises a night like no other at its LIV Las Vegas nightclub. The LIV brand from Groot Hospitality was born at the iconic Fontainebleau Miami in 2008. Now, its 50,000 square-foot counterpart in Las Vegas delivers high-energy, A-list entertainment to that city’s clubgoers making its 2,000 guests feel in the middle of the EDM action.

Lieberman, who is President of LA-area SJ Lighting, which specializes in production systems for nightlife and hospitality, already had designed the lighting for LIV Miami when his firm was hired to design and develop the theatrical system for LIV Las Vegas.
His team worked in collaboration with BWA Architects, Rockwell Group interior designers and Sound Investment AV audio designers.

“One of the challenges was having all the designers come together from different cities and make everything look coordinated, that’s as daunting a task as the actual design work,” Lieberman explains. “The theatrical lighting needed to include hybrid fixtures, wash lights to balance the look, strobes, LED strip lights, lasers and LED video panels with a high level of automation.


“The space is very fluid with a very clean layout and great sight lines: You’re able to do a lap around the first floor and second-level mezzanine and not get stuck in a dead end,” he says.
“Whether you are at a table or a bar, you’re an active participant in the show, and we did our best to make the experience as immersive as possible.”

The interior has soft, curved radial lines with an hourglass-shaped ceiling feature composed of two connected ellipses that move up and down. Another ellipse encloses six-part LED video panels, which also move up and down.
“There’s a lot of motion over the dance floor for a very animated environment,” Lieberman notes. Tables surround the dance floor and the mezzanine with bars left and right. The central DJ booth has enough counter space in front to serve as a performance stage, while coveted VIP tables are inside the booth.


Having had “good success with Ayrton Diablos in the past” Lieberman decided to use them at LIV Las Vegas. “We love their clean optics and nice aesthetic, and they have the right feature set,” he reports.

Ayrton Diablo

Forty-four Diablos do the heavy lifting throughout the space providing clean, even coverage from positions in the automated ellipses and under the mezzanine where they create layers of light.
The Diablos are supported by 48 Ayrton MagicDot SX luminaires. “We wanted to stay with the same manufacturer for the moving lights for ease of coordination,” says Lieberman.

“The MagicDots are compact, bright washes with zoom capabilities. Their 360º pan and tilt is an added feature for the rig.”

Six Ayrton Levantes are mounted near the stage for special looks and key lighting for the DJs and performers. “The Levantes were new to us, but when you build spaces like this having the right equipment for specials is critical.
Sometimes you have to allocate fixtures that are already part of the show. But here we didn’t have to sacrifice part of the big rig to light other positions. The Levantes have enough firepower, even when they’re throttled back, to cut through video and other lighting. They do exactly what we need them to do.”


He notes that his company’s close relationship with ACT Entertainment was a big factor in his use of Ayrton fixtures for LIV Las Vegas. “It’s important to us to not only choose quality equipment but also to have people who stand behind it supporting the gear. Having ACT behind the Ayrton line meant a lot to us.”

A grandMA3 light console controls lighting from a position in the DJ booth. It is interconnected with the video and automation control systems. “I’ve been using grandMA since the original version back in 2001, and we’re running grandMA3 in clubs now,” Lieberman reports.

“The light’s smaller footprint is key where space is at a premium. We programmed the system and trained the staff. We like to think we have a good philosophy of how to lay out the console intuitively in terms of what’s important to the operator. Within 48 hours the in-house operators felt very comfortable with the system.”

“Everything is performing fantastically,” he says. “The support we got from ACT was paramount to the success of the venue.”

More information on the full portfolio of innovative Ayrton LED and laser-sourced products can be found at www.ayrton.eu

 

THE FUTURE SGM I-3, A LONG-THROW WASH FOR THE POI ARCHITECTURAL RANGE

Denmark’s SGM, a leading specialist in architectural lighting fixtures, has unveiled a sneak preview of a compact, long-throw wash fixture that satisfies the most demanding technical requirements. Bruno Souchaud, the SGM sales manager in France for the architectural range, tells us about some of its features.



Designed for long-range use, the I-3 Wash POI (from the I – for “Intensive” – family) is equipped with a collimation system for each of the 93 individual coloured R-G-B-W diodes. There are no multi-chips here, and you can see this directly when the device is turned towards you. But this choice, which may seem anachronistic and baffling at first glance, is the fruit of a great deal of technical consideration.

Firstly, it turns out that where a long throw is required, this solution optimises the optical shaping of the beam while retaining the power and uniformity of the colourimetry. The appearance of the source is irrelevant because, remember, this fixture is dedicated to architectural lighting.
Another point is that the efficiency of the I-3 POI in shades of white is much greater as a result of this technical choice. SGM’s philosophy is to offer a fixture that is ultra-efficient in white but that can also do colour. The opposite approach would lead us to opt for the P3.


The I-3 Wash POI prototype debuted at the exhibition.

With its 11,000 lumen output housed in an IP66-rated unit measuring less than 30 cm in length, the I-3 is designed to offer a maximum of technology to its future users in a compact package that is well protected from the elements.

For example, it incorporates SGM’s patented DryTech active dehumidification system, as well as a dynamic power supply allocation function for the LEDs, to deliver precisely the right current required for optimum operation of the light engine, and thus provide equally precise control of the colour balance.

A close-up of the LED array. Each colour is collimated separately and carefully positioned to produce highly uniform projected lighting.

SGM offers a wide range of options, including a choice of collimating lenses depending on the user’s required divergence angle, from 8.5° to 60° (with an additional filter), as well as 10×60° and 12×39° elliptical and asymmetric fields.

Customers can also choose the colour temperature of the on-board white LEDs on request. They are available in cool white, warm white or even amber.

The fixture can be controlled natively using standard DMX, but can also be equipped (again as an option) with ArtNet & sACN or, if wireless is required, CRMX, as well as Airglow, Lumen Radio’s new ‘architectural’ standard (with range optimisation, direct Bluetooth control, signal repetition, etc.).

Presented here as an advanced prototype and therefore a preview, its official launch is scheduled for March. As we don’t yet have pricing details, we’re told that the cost of owning it will be in the same ballpark as that of the P3.

More information can be found on the SGM website