GDS ArcSystem brightens Brighton Dome

Friday, 19 May 2017
brighton-domeBrighton Dome dates from 1803 (photo: Jim Stephenson)
UK - Brighton Dome, built in 1803 for the Prince Regent, features an 1800 capacity concert hall that stages a varied programme of top class international entertainment, including contemporary and classical music, theatre, dance, visual arts and comedy.
In recent years, the Dome's technical team had earmarked a new house lighting scheme as a priority. Its existing dimmers were obsolete and channels were failing, energy consumption was high and maintenance very difficult. Integrator Stage Electrics was awarded the works to supply, install and commission an entire new house lighting and following a site visit, made an immediate suggestion that a GDS solution would be best.
Integrator Stage Electrics were to design an energy efficient house light system, with an increase in lux level, that retained the aesthetic of the auditorium without compromise. Maintaining a warm tungsten colour temperature was vital as was the capacity to take control of different areas of the auditorium via the lighting desk and Paradigm system. A low maintenance solution was essential due to challenges with high level access around weight restrictions on the auditorium floor.
The timeframe for the installation was tight, strictly limited to four weeks and co-ordinated around other routine maintenance works. Ensuring the least possible disruption to the venue's busy programme of events would require meticulous planning and co-ordination ahead of the shutdown.
Having successfully installed GDS ArcSystem schemes at a number of large and prestigious venues such as Glyndebourne Opera and Sadler's Wells, Stage Electrics was familiar with its l light quality and environmental benefits. GDS visited and surveyed the site in the early stages of the project and produced detailed Dialux design detail with 3D rendering based on a final design developed between Stage Electrics and GDS. Cost comparisons carried out by GDS further underlined ArcSystem's credentials and it was duly selected as the solution.
More than 240 ArcSystem fixtures from across the whole range (including GDS's latest award-winning ArcLamp) were retrofitted on a like for like basis throughout the hall. These covered the stalls, circle and immediate backstage area and included emergency lighting.
The install was part wired and part wireless - the listed status of the Dome limited the running of cabling in certain areas and the wireless option controlled by GDS's ArcMesh protocol enabled the least possible intrusion where heritage issues intervened. GDS applications engineer John Blamey assisted with the completion of the system commissioning and with end-user training at handover.
The install was completed within the allocated time frame to the satisfaction of the Dome's authorities and the system now draws a mere 4.5kW tungsten equivalent from its previous level of 18kW, reducing energy consumption to just a quarter of its previous level.
Paul Roughton, regional sales manager at Stage Electrics reflects on the installation: "We've worked closely with GDS on a number of projects and our experience meant that we were completely confident that ArcSystem was the best choice for the venue and specification and would meet all the needs of the brief.
“The team at the Dome now has significantly increased capability and flexibility in terms of setting house light scenes for a vast range of events. We enjoyed working with GDS and the Dome team to bring the project to a successful conclusion. The response from all quarters has been to say that the Dome Concert Hall has never looked so good."
(Jim Evans)

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