White Light on track for Christmas Trails
Wednesday, 8 February 2023
christmas-cathedralChristmas Cathedral by Mandylights at Dunham Massey (photo: Kat Gollock)
UK - For the past several years, White Light (WL) has worked closely with Culture Creative and Sony Music to supply the lighting and technical support for their Christmas trails. Taking place at locations across the UK, the trails feature trees and woodland drenched in Christmas colour, shimmering waterside reflections, tunnels of light as well as fire gardens. WL once again supplied the Trails in 2022 and not only invested in several new fixtures for the illuminations but also helped develop a new unit that is now part of the company’s extensive hire stock.
The 2022 Christmas Trails featured a more expansive list of locations than ever before, ranging from Kew Gardens and Blenheim Palace to Leeds Castle and the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. As always, WL’s role was to work closely with Culture Creative, Sony and the designers involved to bring their vision to life.
WL’s technical director Dave Isherwood comments: “We’ve worked with Culture Creative and Sony for over a decade now and have a very strong, collaborative relationship. We also work specifically with their lighting designers, such as Tony Simpson and Adam Povey, in order to help fulfil their designs for the various locations. With the trails taking place outside, it’s vital we supply them with the appropriate equipment; fixtures that are able to sustain the often quite harsh weather conditions whilst also being flexible enough to deliver their artistic vision.”
For the 2022 Trails, WL decided to specifically invest in a range of new fixtures. Dave explains: “Over the past couple of years, we’ve been monitoring the exciting development of outdoor fixtures; given we often supply projects based outside. As a company, we want to be able to offer LDs the full functionality they are familiar with on interior products, but on exterior rated fixtures - without massive size and weight penalties. After looking at many options, we decided to invest in several specific ones which we knew would be perfect for the Trails and beyond”.
The fixtures WL invested in included the Chauvet Professional E910 FC (IP65 Profile), Chauvet Professional ColorStrike M (IP65 Strobe/Flood/Blinder with tilting head), Chauvet Professional PXL Bar 16 (IP 65 tilting batten), Ayrton Perseo (IP65 framing moving head profile) and Martin MAC Aura XIP (IP65 moving head wash).
Dave explains: “We invested in these fixtures for numerous reasons – all of which we believe will be to our clients’ benefit. The E910 FC is a high-performance ERS-style fixture with full RGBA-Lime colour mixing and colour temperature presets of 2800 to 6500 K that match the output of a tungsten source to perfection, whereas the ColorStrike M is an IP65 rated motorized strobe/wash with two ultra-bright, white light tube elements surrounded by an electrifying, colour-mixing, and pixel-mappable face.
“Similarly, the Aryton Perseo is the first compact multi-function luminaire with an IP65 enclosure rating developed by Ayrton for intensive outdoor use whereas the Martin MAC Aura XIP is the first of the MAC Aura family to be rated for outdoor use, with close to zero compromises in weight, size, and aesthetics due to Martin’s smart outdoor-capable design”.
Another fixture that WL invested in was the Chauvet Professional Expo PAR (IP 65 WW PAR). Yet, rather than simply investing, the company actually had a hand in its development. Dave explains: “We started talking to Culture Creative and Sony early last year about what they wanted from their lighting fixtures; both in terms of artistic output and energy usage. At Kew Gardens, one of their most well-known sites, they were keen to dramatically reduce their use of tungsten; although the challenge would be to find a unit that could replace the hundreds of 1K Par Cans they are usually reliant on.
“As such, I spoke to Chauvet Professional as I knew they were developing a prototype which I thought would satisfy the needs of Culture Creative and Sony; and which would eventually become the Expo PAR. We were invited along to look at the product and offer our feedback on its features and application. It was fantastic for us to pass on our client’s specific requirements and see them implemented as we knew there was a strong market for this product. The end result is a warm, white LED PAR that has the same intensity as a 1K tungsten Par Can. We ultimately ended up investing in over 500 of them – 450 of which were used on Kew!”.
Dave concludes: “Whilst the products we invested in were initially for the 2022 Christmas Trails, these are now available to anyone working on any form of outdoor project. Ultimately, our investment in these fixtures signifies our continued commitment to the latest technology, fulfilling designer’s needs as well as our sustainability and environmental aims.”

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