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Archive for March, 2013

Philips Vari-Lite to Display New VLX Colors and Three New 1500W Luminaires at Prolight + Sound 2013

26th March, 2013

Germany – Philips Vari-Lite is offering visitors to Prolight + Sound Frankfurt the opportunity to experience first hand the creative potential of the extremely bright output new VL3015, VL3015LT and VL3515 luminiares.

Also on show will be the newly released software for the popular VLX Wash luminaire. This enables individual cell control of the seven powerful 120-watt RGBW LED light engines inside. Sparked by the success seen in the VLX3 Wash, the software update is applicable for all existing VLX fixtures and now gives lighting designers the creative freedom to deliver stunning multi-colored effects with unique output capabilities, easily programmed from any lighting controller.

“Lighting designers really loved the individual LED cell control feature of the new VLX3 Wash and began asking for it to be available in the original VLX Wash,” explains Brad Schiller, product marketing manager for Philips Vari-Lite. “The new software means designers can use all seven light engines as one, or operate each one independently. This enables users to create a plethora of dynamic chases and exciting looks, both on the front of the fixture and in the aerial beams.

“In addition we’re delighted to be exhibiting our new VL3015, VL3015LT and VL3515 luminaires, which deliver a great range of professional lighting products to designers and specifiers featuring all the creative tools they are looking for,” continues Schiller.

The VL3015LT Spot luminaire provides an unprecedented 42,000 lumens of output and also offers an unmatched 10:1 zoom optics system. It comes complete with CYM color mixing, a variable CTO wheel, two five-position color wheels, three gobo/effects wheels, a beam size iris, a separate dimmer, ultra-fast strobe mechanisms and a standard palette of gobos, effects and colors.

In addition the VL3015LT Spot contains an independent rotating and indexing 3-facet prism as well as an independent frost glass. The zoom range of 6° to 60° allows for use in a multitude of applications from stadiums to theatres and an optional handle attachment allows the fixture to be used as manually positioned followspot while retaining DMX control of all other functions.

Also using the double-ended Osram 1500W lamp, the VL3015 and VL3515 Spot luminaires feature a 6:1 zoom optics system along with CYM color mixing, a six-position color wheel, variable CTO color temperature correction, gobo/effects wheels, and ultra-fast strobe mechanisms.

“The VL3515 Spot luminaire has an added feature of a four-blade shutter mechanism that allows the blades to be operated independently or in unison for a clear and crisp image,” continues Schiller. “Both luminaires also house standard dual reflectors that allow users to choose between either a peaked or flat field beam. In the peaked beam, the fixtures provide 27,000 lumens of output, and in the flat field beam they both provide an output of 22,000 lumens. The reflectors are easily changed, and whichever one is not chosen rides securely inside the luminaire on a specially designed mount.”

“The new VLX software and the ultra-bright VL3015LT are definite game changers, that will easily enhance the multifarious types of productions that happen worldwide,” concludes Schiller. “We are really looking forward to showing them off to the visitors at Prolight + Sound, which is held at the Messe exhibition centre in Frankfurt from 10-13 April. You can find us in Hall 11 on stand no D73.”

Philips Showline to Exhibit High Output New Luminaires at Prolight + Sound 2013

26th March, 2013

Germany – Frankfurt Prolight + Sound will see Philips Entertainment lighting’s recently-launched brand, Showline, exhibit five of its powerful, already in demand, new luminaires designed specifically for the entertainment and touring market.

The vibrant range of luminaires can be found in Hall 11, Stand D73 and includes Philips Showline’s 4-foot SL BAR 640 and 6-foot SL BAR 660 linear wash luminaires. Both deliver exceptional light output and can be used as a wash or as a direct-view linear bar.

Joining them will be the SL BAR 520 – a two-foot RGBW linear wash luminaire that produces over 8000 lumens of output with six standard 8° lenses. In addition high-resolution pixel mapping control and a unique locking system allows for quick connecting of multiple units both vertically and horizontally while retaining perfectly even pixel pitch.

Also on stand the SL PAR 150 ZOOM – an LED Par with a manually adjusted beam angle of 15°-70° and utilizing nine homogenized RGBW LEDs to produce over 3200 lumens of output. It features a dual-purpose yoke that can be used to hang the fixture or as a versatile floor stand.

Launching at Prolight+ Sound, the extra rugged, compact, 4-in-1 RGBW LED SL BAND 310, offers exceptional light output and incredible color definition at a stunningly bright 2400 lumens of output and 23° beam angle. The blended color output ensures smooth color mixing whether projecting on a surface or illuminating an audience. The compact size utilises an internal power supply, so no external supplies or cables are required.

All of these Showline luminaires feature Harmonize Color Calibration, intuitive LCD menu system, stand-alone abilities, RDM capabilities and other standard features. Additionally a totally new Showline product with unprecedented output and capabilities will be revealed at the Prolight + Sound show.

“Showline is an exciting addition to the Philips family,” said Brad Schiller, Showline product marketing manager. “In the development of the complete product family, we have taken our time to ensure that all Showline products integrate into a seamless package of useful and reliable LED luminaires. For example, all Showline products utilise homogenized RGBW LEDs, built in effects, color calibration, and many more features never before offered on LED luminaires. So whether used in wash or a direct-view application, Showline luminaires will add to any production.”

Prolight + Sound will be taking place at the Messe exhibition centre in Frankfurt from 10-13 April in Hall 11, stand no D73.

KOI Awards’ Concert Touring and Events Category off to a Rocking Start

26th March, 2013

UK – The Knight of Illumination Awards’ Concert Touring and Events category recognising excellence in lighting design in Concert Touring Stage and Arena, Live Events and Video Electronic Content is buzzing with more entries than ever only one month after launch.

Four weeks in to this year’s Awards submissions an incredible array of exciting and diverse nominations have been received via the website celebrating LDs pushing the boundaries of lighting design.

“So far we have had an inspiring range of entries from LDs touring with the bigger arena shows,” says Concert Touring and Events chairwoman Sarah Rushton-Read. “This has really boosted the build up to this year’s Awards ceremony, which is growing and evolving at a rapid rate. We are still keen to hear from lighting designers or their colleagues working on the smaller theatre and club tours, however, as this is an important part of this category, and as deserving of nomination as the larger events. As we’ve launched the first lighting and video design awards for Events this year we are also very keen to hear from LDs working in the event industry – the often unsung creatives who are delivering exciting visual experiences for exhibitions, sports events, corporate events, product launches and more.”

Now in its sixth year, KOI is organised by the STLD, ALD and Clay Paky, and enthusiasm for the awards has increased year on year. KOI remains the only industry event that celebrates the outstanding creative achievements of lighting designers working in the sectors of Television, Theatre, and Rock in one phenomenal event. At the same time it continues to forge ever-closer ties between the world of lighting design and the lighting industry as a whole. This year marks the initiation of a new award celebrating the creative integration of video and all that it entails across all sector awards including, Concert Touring and Events, Television and Theatre.

“Lighting designers, service providers, production managers, technicians and gig-goers have all been quick off the mark to get involved this year, but of course there’s always room for more!” continues Rushton-Read. “So if you’ve seen a live touring show or event that you feel ‘trips the light fantastic’ for its lighting and / or video then get on over to the KOI Website – – and make your submission now.

“And if you want to see who has been nominated so far, would like to check out show photography or hear about the latest news from behind the scenes then ‘Like’ the KOI Facebook, ‘follow’ our tweets and join the KOI LinkedIn group!”

Charcoalblue Collaborates on Visionary ‘Recyclable’ Performance Venue

26th March, 2013

UK – Venue consultancy Charcoalblue has worked with long-term collaborators Haworth Tompkins Architects, in close association with the National Theatre’s directors and in-house teams, to design an intimate, exciting, low-energy and sustainable temporary theatre on London’s South Bank: The Shed.

Managed for Charcoalblue by Senior Partner Jon Stevens, the project was designed in under six months and built in eight: “This forward-thinking experimental building will serve as a temporary and flexible space during the closure of the Cottesloe Theatre, which is undergoing major refurbishment before reopening as the Dorfman Theatre in Spring 2014 as part of the National Theatre Future project.”

Steve Tompkins, Haworth Tompkins Architects comments: “The Shed was conceived in a process of concentrated dialogue between trusted collaborators. We always enjoy Charcoalblue’s willingness to challenge received wisdom, to keep gnawing at problems and to listen as well as lead. The energy generated in these conversations is hugely creative and highly enjoyable.”

Andy Hayles, Managing Partner of Charcoalblue continues: “We developed the design to create a tightly-focused three-sided playing area with a small fixed balcony, internal performer/audience circulation and the possibility of in-the-round and flat-floor formats by the addition or removal of blocks of seating. Charcoalblue’s involvement has led to a highly innovative sustainable approach to the design, making use of natural ventilation, LED theatre lighting fixtures, stage floor and galleries constructed from reusable modular panels, and seating taken from the Cottesloe Theatre itself. Charcoalblue collaborated with Haworth Tompkins and the team to ensure that the space is as low-energy, sustainable and recyclable as possible, in recognition of its one-year lifespan. It’s been a joy to work with Steve on this unique building.”

Nick Starr, Executive Director of the National, said: “It’s always instructive how creative and liberating a temporary project can be. Charcoalblue and Haworth Tompkins are ideal collaborators. Their impulse for innovation and experimentation has resulted in a building that is ridiculously good.”

“By their nature, the process in creating temporary buildings is exciting,” adds Charcoalblue’s Senior Partner Gavin Green. “We’ve been privileged enough to be involved in many including the RSC’s temporary thrust stages – the Courtyard, the Roundhouse temporary theatre and New York touring venue. However none quite compare to the speed and intimacy of The Shed. It’s a unique creative box for the NT designers and directors to explore.”

Nicholas Hytner, Director of the National, says the repertoire at The Shed will ‘celebrate new theatre that is original, ambitious and unexpected’; the programme opens in April with a play called Table written by Tanya Ronder and directed by Rufus Norris, followed by Bullet Catch, written and performed by Rob Drummond. Booking is now open at

Avolites Titan Mobile Controls Edict of Milan Opening Ceremony

26th March, 2013

Serbia – Avolites’ compact yet fully-featured moving light control system Titan Mobile has powered an inspired light show in Serbia to mark a year of celebrations marking 1700 years of the Edict of Milan.

Avolites’ Serbian distributor Studio Berar Projekt, based in the city of Novi Sad, supplied the Titan Mobile for the opening ceremony, which featured a dynamic lighting design beamed onto the façade of the Serbia’s National Theatre in the city of Nis.

Serbia will mark 17 centuries of the Edict – a document on tolerance and religious equality signed by Roman Emporer Constantine – over the course of the year with theatre performances, exhibits and concerts. The Opening Ceremony offered a reading of the Edict of Milan and a gala concert of spiritual music attended by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić and hosted by Russian Ambassador in Belgrade Alexander Chepurin.

“Avolites’ Titan Mobile was incredibly fast and easy to set up in this outdoor space,” says Lazar Josanov from Studio Projekt Berar. “It’s compact dimensions means it really is very mobile yet capable of fast and precise control of the lighting system for the event, using an array of Spot and Wash luminaires to light up the beautiful frontage of the National Theatre.”

Studio Projekt Berar is a passionate supporter of Avolites products, regularly conducting presentations and demos to rental houses and end users in Serbia.

“As official Avolites distributor we’re keen to offer full support to our clients, providing post-sales training and install solutions,” continues Josanov. “In our premises in Novi Sad we have a fully-equipped showroom where we run training and demo events – and we pride ourselves on our continuing warranty and support for customers choosing Avolites consoles.”

Koy Neminathan, sales director for Avolites commented: “The Avolites Titan Mobile binds the awesome power of Titan software with a compact and lightweight unit that connects to a laptop to produce a fully featured moving light control system, enabling lighting designers to ‘keep it live’ while preserving their show’s visual integrity. I’m delighted that the Titan Mobile’s features are being utilised at an event such as the Opening Ceremony of the Edict of Milan celebrations – and it’s fantastic that with the dedication and support of our friends at Studio Projekt Berar, the range of Avolites products is supported to such a degree.”

Triple E Launches New Wireless TracDrive Controller

26th March, 2013

UK – Motorised systems specialist Triple E has launched a new wireless control for its popular TracDrive motor systems.

Triple E – which has a 30-year history of inventing engineering solutions for the entertainment industry – has already put the system in production prior to its debut appearance at PLASA Focus in Leeds at the end of April. The system is a simple plug and play unit that attaches to the XLR socket on all TracDrive, Edrive, and SDrive motors.

Triple E’s motor units all use pre-stretched polyester rope with a grade and colour coded braid made only for Triple E. The rope offers near silent operation and is more user friendly than steel wire rope.

“Many venues require additional control positions or even the ability to operate anywhere in a building or auditorium so the simple ‘plug and play’ wireless system with a hand held pocket size remote is the answer,” says Triple E’s Managing Director David Edelstein. “It saves time and money on routing cables and literally takes a couple of minutes to connect and set up.”

The TracDrive range was launched 20 years ago and was designed to directly attach to the track as a bolt-on accessory, providing Triple E’s solution to the problem of where to locate the motor drive unit. All the TracDrive units provide variable speed and the modular design of the units makes it ideal where space is at a premium and specialist skills are not required for installation.

The Triple E team will be exhibiting the new wireless TracDrive controller at this year’s PLASA Focus at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, 30 April and 1 May.

Philips gears up for major showcase at Prolight + Sound

6th March, 2013

Germany – Philips Entertainment will be promoting all four of its entertainment technology brands at this year’s Prolight + Sound exhibition in Frankfurt in Hall 11, stand no D73.

Selecon, Vari-Lite, Strand Lighting and Showline will each be displaying the latest in lighting technology at the exhibition – one of the biggest and busiest in Europe.

Philips will also debut the latest in the LED illumination revolution, Showline. A complete range of super-efficient, feature-rich, professional entertainment LED luminaires, the Showline SL BAR 640 and 660, SL BAR 520, SL PAR 150 ZOOM, and the all new SL BAND 310 will be on full display as part of a well-planned family designed specifically for the entertainment lighting industry. In addition, a totally new Showline LED concept will be unveiled at the exhibition.

All Showline products utilise homogenized RGBW LEDs, built in effects, colour calibration, and many more standard features never before offered on LED luminaires. Whether used in wash or direct-view applications, the luminaires will add to any production.

Available from Selecon will be the new PLCyc 2, which offers twin single source RGBW LED chips, allowing for truly inventive colour mixing. Also on the stand will be the PL1 family, consisting of profile, Fresnel and Cyc, fixtures all renowned for their excellent optics, impressive brightness, diversity of colour, precision and dynamic use of LED technology.

Strand Lighting will be playing a strong hand with the mighty Palette VL console, system designer and the compact N21 ShowNet Nodes. The name of the game here is creativity, with products offering a range of ways to design and control lighting systems for all events.

Vari-Lite will show off the features of the Series 3000 luminaires bringing things right up to date with its three latest models, the VL3015, VL3015LT and VL3515. All benefit from the extra power of a 1500W lamp, which provides an extremely bright output and uniform field. All three are full featured, colour mixing spot luminaires, with the VL3515 offering precision framing shutters.

The all-new VL3015LT Spot luminaire provides an unprecedented 42,000 lumens of output and also offers an unmatched 10:1 zoom optics system. Complete with CYM color mixing, a variable CTO wheel, two five-position color wheels, three gobo/effects wheels, a beam size iris, a separate dimmer, ultra-fast strobe mechanisms, a standard palette of gobos, effects and colours, the VL3015LT Spot also contains an independent rotating and indexing 5-facet prism as well as an independent frost glass. The zoom range of 6° to 60° allows for use in a multitude of applications from stadiums to theatres,

In addition, Vari-Lite will be providing designers with unprecedented creative freedom with the newly released Indy software for the VLX Wash luminaire. This new software allows for individual control of the fixture’s seven 120-watt RGBW LED engines. Now a multitude of stunning looks and original chases can easily be created on the face of the luminaire, further enhancing the creative possibilities of the industry leading LED luminaire.

“We are thrilled to offer designers and specifiers a great range of professional lighting products with the creative tools they desire,” said Brad Schiller, Philips Vari-Lite Product Marketing Manager. “The new VLX software and the ultra-bright VL3015LT are definite game changers which can easily enhance various types of productions worldwide.”

“Prolight + Sound is a key opportunity for leaders of the lighting industry to gather and develop ideas as well as promote the latest achievements and ideas in lighting, comment Graham Eales, General Manager for Philips Entertainment. “Present at this year’s Prolight + Sound Europe will be Selecon and Strand Marketing Manager Pete Borchetta and Vari-Lite Product Marketing Manager Brad Schiller. Joining them will be members of the European sales team including Grant Bales-Smith, Rainer Weggen, Bob Roos and Alan Luxford. Frankfurt presents an excellent opportunity to come along to our stand and find out just what Philips can offer the creative lighting designer and the forward looking rental and installation businesses!”

Prolight + Sound will be taking place at the Messe exhibition centre in Frankfurt from 10-13 April in Hall 11, stand no D73.

The Fifth Estate Hits The Theatre to see Philips Selecon PLCycs Singing on Stage in Birdsong

4th March, 2013

We take a trip to the big smoke to talk to  Charcoalblue’s lighting designer Alex Wardle on his use of Philips Selecon PLCycs as part of his minimalist lighting rig for the well-received touring production of Birdsong.

Described by the Stage newspaper as a ‘superbly crafted production’ Rachel Wagstaff’s clever adaption of the Sebastian Faulks story of the same name features a well-known and talented cast, directed by Alistair Whatley.

With a number of very different scenes to evoke in a single environment set, designed by Victoria Spearing, Wardle had his work cut out. Lighting works with the set and direction to seamlessly shift the mood from the claustrophobic world of the tunnels under no man’s land to bright outdoor scenes and the house where main protagonist, Stephen Wraysford, falls in love.

Wardle uses the PLCycs to deliver an evocative backdrop, symbolically conveying the time, place, feeling and atmosphere of each with his clever application of colour, transition and intensity. Wardle explains: “Because this play shifts so quickly between locations and time periods, we need to help the audience understand where we are. We made an early design decision to include a cyclorama in the set design, and I knew we would have to light it well. The rigging space overhead is pretty tight, so every piece of equipment has to work really hard to justify it’s existence: we only have 45 luminaires overstage, and the show is touring to large venues.”

Birdsong has a gruelling touring schedule covering 28 venues in as many weeks across the UK. Wardle was keen to specify a robust fixture that could withstand the rigors of being moved from venue to venue with relative ease and requiring little maintenance.

“Lighting a cyc on tour can be a nightmare if you’re relying on in-house flood battens: you end up spending hundreds of pounds on rolls of gel and far too much time cutting it to size, and often the result will be disappointing if the venue has under-powered equipment. If you tour your own conventional flood battens, that’s a big chunk of space in the truck, a lot of money on spare lamps as well as gel.”

With just seven PLCycs, Alex has found a way to provide consistently excellent cyc lighting with equipment that fits into a single flightcase and uses less than 5A of power. “The luminaires are lightweight and don’t get hot – so they can be bolted to the back of the set, saving valuable upstage floor space,” continues Wardle. “The power and data can be daisychained between units, so we just need a single power supply and DMX input. Since the units are LED, we can use them to strobe different colours – useful when you need explosion effects. The colours balance well with the rest of the rig, which includes ETC Selador LED fixtures and Martin TW1s, as well as conventional tungsten sources. And, just like the rest of the PL range, the dimming is perfectly smooth.”

Grant Bales Smith, sales manager for Europe for Philips Entertainment, continues: “We are delighted to hear that imaginative lighting designers like Alex Wardle can see such a myriad of benefits to specifying the PLCyc. Whether it’s for a single venue where rig space is limited or a touring production where it’s the space in the truck that is at premium, the PLCyc is ideal. The fixture requires very little power, no consumables and is extremely robust. Not only that it’s a punchy and adaptable fixture with a small footprint that offers the full gamut of colour from the saturated to the pastels alongside an excellent dimming curve.”

Birdsong opened at the end of January at the Haymarket Theatre Basingstoke and will conclude on 29th July – 3rd of August at the Theatre Royal, Brighton.

We cannot recommend the show enough, we must admit it had us in tears!


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