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Archive for February, 2015

Philips Strand Lighting upcycling competition announces finalists

26th February, 2015

The Philips Strand Lighting centenary competition to upcycle a vintage Strand PATT 23 or 123 lamp has announced its three finalists. The competition saw much success with numerous international entrants and 175 people following the Pinterest inspiration board.

Award-winning architectural lighting designer Paul Nulty’s ‘Anamorphosis’, architectural lighting designer Joe Vose’s ‘Back to The Future’ and artist/designer Derek Goldsmith’s ‘321 Zero’ have all reached the final round. The three designs artfully reflect the brand’s significant history, whilst giving the iconic luminaires a new lease of life.

“The old Strand designs are classics so it was interesting to see how people responded to the challenge of upcycling them, whilst retaining the heritage of the original products,” says Philips Lighting Application Design Lead and competition judge Mike Simpson. “I think in the winning entries we have different perspectives from something more akin to a piece of art to practical designs that could work as modern lighting pieces.”

‘Anamorphosis’ sees Nulty use the Strand PATT 23 as the focal point of a dynamic feature chandelier, highlighting the technological advancements in the lighting industry by ‘taking the good of the old and combining it with the ingenuity of the new’.

Vose’s ‘Back to the Future’ design replaces the lamp of a PATT 123 with a WiFi connected media projector creating a fun tool for watching films or television that also works as a beautiful decorative object when not in use.

Goldsmith’s ‘321 Zero’ is a multi-functional flying saucer design, which can work as a small table downlighter or, with the addition of a Philips pocket projector and the replacement of the Fresnel lens with clear glass, can project moving images onto a surface below.

All three finalists will have their designs brought to life by Howard Eaton Lighting and will be exhibited at The Society of Light and Lighting Fresnel Lecture on Tuesday 10 March 2015. The special event, taking place at The Royal Institution, is chiefly sponsored by Philips and marks 200 years since Augustine Fresnel invented his Wave Theory of Light. The anniversary also coincides with the UNESCO International Year of Light 2015. Lucky attendees will get to witness the announcement of the competition’s overall winner.

To register your place at the exciting event simply email Juliet Rennie at Booking is essential as places are already going very fast. The Royal Institution of Great Britain can be found on Albemarie Street, London, W1S 4BS. The nearest tube is Green Park.

Triple E’s Chaintrack installed in Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra’s new Concert Hall

26th February, 2015

Entertainment engineering expert Triple E has designed and supplied 12 of its industry-leading Chaintrack systems for the newly opened world-class concert hall in Katowice, Poland – a new venue for the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR).

The new building is billed as a concert hall with ‘perfectly-designed acoustics’. In addition to smaller spaces and an atrium, at the heart of the building is the 1800-seat Great Concert Hall, which is shaped in a hybrid form mixing classic ‘shoe-box’ and more recent ‘vineyard’ designs.

The 12 Chaintrack systems, which were supplied with Spiral storage areas, are installed on the three balcony levels within the Great Concert Hall, with four systems on each level.There are two systems on each balcony side, which share a common stacking area, and the tracks layouts are mirrored on each level and on each side. The installation required over 450 metres of Chaintrack for the deployed areas in the auditorium and in the staking area voids created in the side walls of the space. The Chaintracks carry curtains designed to change the acoustics of the hall when deployed.

The Chaintrack system was launched in 2000 and won that year’s Product of the Year for a New Rigging Product at LDI in Las Vegas. Chaintrack consists of a machined UHMW section, which carries the upper portion of a 3/8″ duplex roller chain. The UHMW is inserted into custom Triple E aluminium profiles. The complex spiral stacking areas were completely pre-assembled and tested at Triple E prior to shipping to Poland.

Triple E supplied the equipment through Warsaw-based stage technology design company LTT, which commissioned the Chaintrack system directly from Triple E’s Managing Director, David Edelstein, following site meetings in Katowice.

“This project has been a huge success and well managed by LTT,” says Edelstein. “LTT carried out the installation very efficiently and Triple E was assisted by accurate drawing information, which allowed us to create the curved tracks to exactly the right shape to fit the contours of the auditorium. Another success is that the storage areas in the auditorium are kept clear of other building systems, which is often a problem on this type of installation.”

The Great Concert Hall opened in October 2014 with a concert by NOSPR, performing a variety of pieces by the great composers, including Brahms and Beethoven.

The NOSPR building is part of the “cultural axis” planned in Katowice, which will also comprise the International Congress Centre and the Silesian Museum. The site was previously 20 hectares of “post-mining emptiness’, and continues to undergo revitalisation.

Rapenburg Plaza provides Philips Selecon colour changing solution for National Military Museum

26th February, 2015

King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands has opened a prestigious new cultural and historical institution at The Netherlands’ former Soesterberg air base. The National Military Museum (NMM) is the largest of its kind in Europe and displays the significance of The Netherlands’ armed forces in the past, present and future, with an array of Philips Selecon luminaires lighting the majority of the exhibits.

Amsterdam-based agency Rapenburg Plaza was in charge of the lighting design, AV and control systems for the entire Museum, choosing 42 x Philips Selecon PLcyc1, 12 x PLprofile1 RGBW and 269 x PLfresnel1 RGBW luminaires for key lighting in six of the museum’s themed halls.

“The concept for the space is that each of the halls are interactive and follow a storyline,” says lighting designer and Rapenburg Plaza partner Pelle Herfst. “We selected Selecon fixtures as excellent tools to achieve this. The DMX-controlled colour changing possibilities meant we were able to create a wide range of ambiences for the different thematic spaces. I am also very impressed by the optics of the PLprofile1.”

The NMM is a specifically designed building by architects Felix Claus Dick van Wageningen with a floor area of 35,000 metres squared and an overall height of 17 metres. Rapenburg Plaza designedsophisticated technical lighting bridges installed in the high ceilings for access to lighting and AV equipment for maintenance as well as long distance cable runs and multiple server rooms. As visitors wander through the space they experience real life soldier stories, live action demonstrations and numerous awe-inspiring historical images, artifacts, large objects such as tanks and aircraft, carefully illuminated by the energy efficient and intelligent Selecon luminaires.

“All the Selecon luminaires are currently working really well with no big issues,” concludes Herfst.

The National Military Museum is open every Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm and is open on Mondays during school holidays

Enlightened Lighting invests in Showline

16th February, 2015

Leading Bristol-based rental company Enlightened Lighting has boosted its offering with an exciting investment in the latest addition to the Showline eSeries family, the SL eSTRIP 10 luminaire.

Established in 2000, Enlightened is one of the principle lighting supply companies in the South West of England, stocking some of the latest and best technology and most recently bringing 24 of the powerful Showline units on board. Since the investment, they have been flying off the shelves, with Enlightened supplying them to various award shows, theatre productions, dry hires and other corporate rental companies.

“Many of our customers are looking for an LED luminaire with the features that the SL eSTRIP 10 offers, both for purchase and rent,” says Enlightened’s General Manager Andrew Bartlett. “All the feedback has been fantastic so far, with our customers commenting on how much they love the pixel control and their brightness.”

The Showline SL eSTRIP 10 comprises ten cells of homogenized RGBW LEDs, which deliver a blended wash of color and can be controlled individually for maximum flexibility. The fixtures emulate the traditional halogen strip light effects, with the benefits of reduced power consumption, lower heat output and minimal maintenance.

“We had been waiting for an LED batten of this quality for a couple of years,” continues Bartlett. “We held off buying one of the many alternatives from other companies as we just didn’t think they were good enough. The specifications of the SL eSTRIP 10 alone made it stand out above the rest and playing with a demo unit cemented this. We are looking forward to many more enquiries for these units, and hope to expand our number of them in the near future.”

Avolites Ai staff reshuffle as V8 launches

9th February, 2015

Avolites has appointed London-based Annalisa Terranova as its new Ai Support Engineer and Trainer and Pratheepan Vigneswaran moves to Ai Sales as Ai launches its revolutionary V8 software.

Terranova has been freelancing with Avolites Ai as a programmer, operator and beta tester, before a permanent position arose. She has a degree in Stage Design and a Masters in Performance Design and Practice from Central St. Martins, where she also works as a guest lecturer. In the past two years, she has experimented with various programs for live video manipulation, such as Isadora, Quartz Composer and Processing, and also the Kinect infrared sensor for motion tracking.

Terranova has worked with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Science Museum, designing interactive installations and sound reactive visuals.

“I saw the amazing work that Avolites had undertaken for the London 2012 Olympics, and I wanted to find out how they achieved that, technically,” says Terranova. “I find it very exciting to work at the cutting edge of video technology, working side by side with people who push the boundaries of what can be achieved with the technologies that we have today.”

Pratheepan ‘Prads’ Vigneswaran has been working with Avolites for 10 years, having joined straight from school. He has progressed from their Production department, through to Sales admin. He now moves into Ai Sales.

“I’ve had some great experiences with Avolites so far, my proudest moment being having a hand in building the servers that were used in the video mapping of London’s Olympic Stadium. I see media and video as the future of show design. Recently shows have been more video and LED based, lighting is no longer the only focal point, and the possibilities are only growing. I’m excited to be a part of that.”

The Avolites team also says a sad goodbye to Simon Graham, who departs after two years as Ai Service and Support Engineer to become Video and Media Server Technician at Media Powerhouse.

“It was not an easy decision as I was very happy being part of the Avolites Media family and supporting all the cutting edge projects that Ai media servers were used on throughout the world,” says Graham. “The job offer that came from Media Powerhouse was an excellent opportunity to expand my live event skills across the board into sound, staging, lighting, rigging and of course video.

“A key reason for my employment at Media Powerhouse is my expert knowledge of Ai and its dedicated hardware. I will continue to beta test Ai for Dave Green (the lead developer of Ai) and give feedback about key features that benefit the corporate sector work for which Media Powerhouse are best known. As with many of the hardware suppliers Media Powerhouse uses, we give valuable feedback to the manufacturers so that they can better support our needs and in turn so they can develop the tools that make their products attractive to other companies like ourselves.”

Avolites MD Steve Warren comments: “We would like to wish Simon all the best, and look forward to working with him in the future. We also welcome Annalisa to the Avolites family and Pratheepan into his new role. With the launch of V8, these are exciting times for Ai, and we’re looking forward to a great year.”

Running on Avolites’ industry-leading range of Ai media servers, the new V8 software includes the revolutionary new Autoblend feature, distinctly setting Ai apart from the competition by allowing blending of large projection surfaces using multiple projectors. In addition, there is a brand new Surface Modelling page for the creation of editable 3D sets, and performance is hugely improved, with render engine optimisation offering 50% increased video throughput. Compositing high-resolution background layers with low-resolution foreground layers is also much improved.

Philips announced as main sponsor for The Society of Light and Lighting Fresnel Lecture

5th February, 2015

Philips Entertainment has been announced as the main sponsor of The Fresnel Lecture; a very special free event organised by the Society of Light and Lighting (SLL) that will take place on Tuesday 10th March at the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

The talk is to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Augustine Fresnel’s Wave Theory of Light, which also coincides with UNESCO’s International Year of Light 2015.

Fresnel’s findings are the basis for the lecture, which will discuss: ‘200 years of Fresnel: Why everything we light and look at today depends on what he said’ and will be presented by Peter Phillipson.

“I am delighted that the Society of Light and Lighting Fresnel Lecture is being sponsored by Philips, alongside the International Association of Lighting Designers,” says Phillipson. “Thanks to their support it means that 200 years of Fresnel’s wave theory will be celebrated as it should be.”

The lecture has now become an industry wide event, where lighting designers in the architectural, theatre and other fields will convene at The Royal Institution in London to learn more about Fresnel’s work.

The audience can look forward to guest appearances, artefacts and live experiments. Attendees can also get up close and personal with the prototypes of the Philips Strand Lighting competition finalists, which will be on display in the lecture space. Not only that, they’ll be able to see the winner announced live on stage by one of the judges after the event.

The competition, which closed at the end of last year, challenged entrants to ‘upcycle’ a vintage Strand PATT 23 or 123 theatre lantern – a lamp that was one of the first to use a Fresnel lens in a professional entertainment lighting application. Over 90 people registered their interest and the entrants have been whittled down to three finalists by a prestigious judging panel, made up of renowned lighting designer Rick Fisher, architect Patrick Downing and Philips technical director Mike Simpson, with the designs to be fully manufactured and displayed at Frankfurt’s Prolight and Sound 2015. The overall winner will also get their hands on a special Philips giveaway, presented to them at The Fresnel Lecture.

To register your place at the exciting event simply email Juliet Rennie at Booking is essential, as places are expected to go very fast. The Royal Institution of Great Britain can be found on Albemarie Street, London, W1S 4BS. The nearest tube is Green Park.

“Unbelievable” Ai V8 Autoblend proves invaluable for Phish and DMDS7UDIOS

5th February, 2015

American rock favourite Phish recently played a string of dates at Miami’s American Airlines Arena to ring in the New Year. The prolific band wanted to really make a statement for the shows that tied in with their iconic imagery.

Enter DMDS7UDIOS, brought in to projection map the building’s huge curved exterior with custom content using Ai and its new headline feature, Autoblend. The feature has been lauded by DMD Principal Scott Chmielewski as “unbelievable” for its speed and accuracy in making a perfect blend on a difficult surface that looked to threaten the success of the project.

DMD are the first company to have been allowed to projection map on the AA Arena, and as Principal Scott Chmielewski explains, “the arena is a complex building with very unusual throw distances and angles.”

In order to accomplish the task, DMD used eight 40k Barco projectors to create two 4k images on the north and south sides of the building. DMD created all of the content for the project using the band’s logo and assets as a basis, with some of the more interesting elements created using Ai’s tools and effects on site.

“Despite the complexity of the building we were able to use our normal process with Ai to create an accurate model and UV map, and to work with the proper photometrics for the projectors well enough in advance that there were no technical concerns about accomplishing the goal,” Chmielewski continues.

On arrival, however, the DMD team found that one of their four projection towers was significantly closer than expected, as well as a much steeper curve to the projection surface.

As Chmielewski recalls, “While we were able to quickly account for the changes in the software, the very unusual angles made the blend very difficult and very visible, even to the naked eye. We exhausted every one of our known tricks and techniques, with very little success. We then remembered that the Ai Version 8 feature ‘Autoblend’ had just been released and fortunately, we had updated all of our servers to the latest version.”

Prior to this project, the DMD team had very little experience with Autoblend, except for a quick demo at LDI, but after a speedy run to a nearby electrical store to purchase a USB webcam for the camera based software, they were quickly in business!

“With two quick ‘trial-and-error’ runs of the new feature and a few small adjustments, we were able to run the process successfully in about 20 minutes,” Chmielewski notes. “It was almost unbelievable how quickly and cleanly the software made a perfect blend and accounted for the unusual shape of the building.”

The benefit of the revolutionary feature did not go unnoticed by DMD, with Chmielewski noting that “because of the last minute changes, I don’t think the project would have been a success if we didn’t have access to Autoblend.

“It was very intuitive, and if you’re familiar with the processes of Ai and the use of its patches, it acts and functions exactly the same. We found it very straight forward, requiring very little time to learn, use and manipulate.

“This is an invaluable tool and resource to an already powerful software and hardware set.”


Avolites’ heavyweight Sapphire Touch console and Wing control UFC

4th February, 2015

The UFC hit Stockholm’s Tele2 Arena for the one of the promotion’s most highly attended shows ever, with LD Jason Eible weighing in with Avolites’ heavyweight Sapphire Touch console and Wing for the show.

“This was UFC’s second stadium show, with over 30,000 fans in attendance, so it was important for us to show the size of the crowd inside this huge stadium,” says Eible, of Frank Gatto & Associates, where for 20 years he has designed television and special event lighting for networks including HBO, ABC, ESPN, Showtime, Fox Sports, NBC Sports and PPV.

The UFC show represents the high end of production requirements, and the show was broadcast on FOX in the US. “We had 126 moving heads, about 200 LED pars, 70 atomic strobes and miles of truss,” notes Eible. “We also had about 400 conventional fixtures. Given the size of the show, the Sapphire Touch was a no-brainer.”

Jason’s Sapphire Touch & Wing, supplied by HSL via Starlight, along with a second as backup, proved more than up to the challenge for the event, which saw Anthony Johnson defeat Alexander Gustafsson by TKO in the first round of the headline bout.

“The playback window is among one of my favourite features of Titan Software, it proved to be a great tool on this show,” notes Eible, who also singled out Multi User Backup as a great feature.

Jonathan Dawson-Butterworth of Lighting Productions Ltd. was on hand to set Multi User up and he also networked the consoles together, before Jason and his elected second LD Jim Matthews set about programming on their separate surfaces. Eible states, “it was nice having the extra surface for the two of us to program simultaneously, and then on the day switch the second console to act as back up.

“The setup was straightforward, with all the support we had from Jonathan Dawson and Avolites – getting setup and programming using Multi User was seamless. We also had great support from Starlight who got the lighting system up and running quickly.”

Jason has enjoyed his experiences with the Sapphire enough to purchase his own, having placed an order recently to complement a range including Titan Mobile. “Something that catches my attention is that people are constantly looking over my shoulder saying, ‘I didn’t know Avo could do that!‘ about things like the motorised faders and touch surface. The one thing that gets everyone is being able to set your own picture legends using Quicksketch. A lot of users, they really like that feature.”

Saudi event production house Maestro invests in Showline

4th February, 2015

An array of Showline’s cutting-edge LED luminaires have lit the launch of a national Saudi employment initiative following Riyadh-based event producer Maestro’s investment in Showline stock.

The award winning company purchased Showline SL BAND 300 RGBW, SL STRIP 400 (both RGBW and Tunable White) SL BAR 520 and SL BAR 620 luminaires. The units were employed to deliver stunning lighting for the function, which was attended by members of the ministry, members of the Shoura Council and top executives from the companies involved in the scheme.

“We came across the Showline products at Prolight and Sound last year, and were extremely impressed,” says Project Manager Nawal El Masri. “We decided to purchase them as the quality was so high – the standard we offer our clients.”

Maestro has an impressive portfolio, with experience managing a broad range of events from lavish weddings to national government conferences.

“The Showline products have added great value to our arsenal,” continues El Masri. “They’re versatile, reliable and the inbuilt effects are ideal for delivering stunning looks quickly, making our events extra special.”

The SL BAR 520 and 620 luminaires are highly flexible tools, enabling designers to employ them in any orientation and configuration. The SL BAND 300 is a compact color mixing luminaire, providing a vibrant wash of color wherever needed, with a 10-degree angle and hanging hardware so it can be installed at an event with ease. Similarly the SL STRIP 400 provides blasts of color in multiple applications and is designed with cable management capabilities for clean cabling and easy set up.

For more information about Maestro please visit


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