Lighting News

Blade of Light
Friday, 1 December 2000

London’s Millennium Bridge may have its wobble problems, but as a piece of static architecture it provides a strong visual connection between the City and St. Paul’s Cathedral on the North bank of the Thames and the newly-opened Tate Modern gallery on the South.

At night, that link is emphasised by a lighting scheme supplied and installed by Lighting Technology Projects. LTP has been involved with the project since mid-1998, and project manager Jonathan Hilton worked closely with lighting designer Claude Engle, who in turn linked with architect Lord Norman Foster’s design team. The night-time ‘look’ of the Bridge, frequently described as a ‘blade of light’ from bank to bank, is created by the use of Light Pipe, the only form of illumination employed. A total of 84 8m lengths of TIR Light Pipe 6" units, plus another 10 8m lengths of various 4" units connected to 250W light sources with specific colour temperatures, produce the desired effect.

However, this was a complex project, with problems of tolerances in running sections of lighting across bridge section joins and the necessary allowances for expansion and contraction. The bracketry had to be ‘disguised’ as an integral part of the structure and the control gear housed underneath the walkway also needed to be placed neatly and away from the sightlines. As for the Light Pipe itself, the tube coating had to allow for light to be emitted from the correct areas, so as to illuminate the walkway and relevant parts of the structure.

Space Cannon Middle East
Thursday, 30 November 2000

Space Cannon vH Germany has opened new Middle East office, in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Projects in the pipeline for the new arm of the company include the illumination of the new airport in Dubai. Space Cannon Illumination Middle East will develop lighting concepts for companies and agencies, advise on event production and provide equipment rental and full technical backup. Kai Niedermeier will head up the Middle East office.

CompuCAD 2.0 Released
Thursday, 30 November 2000

Stagetec has announced the release of CompuCAD version 2.0, which includes moving light support. CompuCAD files from version 1.5 are compatible with version 2.0. The CompuCAD 2.0 CD, that includes the upgrade to version 2.0 and moving light libraries, is now available.

Berreen Joins Fisher
Tuesday, 28 November 2000

Ken Berreen has recently joined Fisher Productions as a lighting project manager/Health & Safety Officer. He previously worked at the Dome as technical manager for Pro-Design Ltd, where he was responsible for assisting the NMEC Lighting Dept in ensuring that all stage lighting was in place and working in time for the Dome's launch on New Year's Eve 1999. Prior to this he was the lighting designer for the 1998 production of John Godber’s ‘Bouncers’ at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, and also spent four years as pantomime lighting designer for the Harlequin Theatre. During this time he was also responsible for the electrical and sound layout specification of the Harlequin Cinema which opened in September 1997.

Learning 300 or 500 With White Light
Monday, 27 November 2000

White Light, in association with The Service Company, has announced the latest addition to its popular Training Initiative training scheme: courses covering every aspect of Strand Lighting’s popular 300- and 500-series lighting consoles. White Light will be running courses on the consoles as an extension of The Training Initiative; these will take place on Wednesday mornings during the first part of 2001 at White Light’s new West End offices in Shaftesbury Avenue, and will be open to West End theatre staff and lighting freelancers in particular, though all are welcome! The courses will be led by experts in different aspects of the console. Course leaders confirmed so far include Antony Bridges of The Service Company (who has commissioned many of the most complex 500-series control systems, including those at the Coliseum and the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon) and freelance programmer Rob Halliday (who has used the consoles on many shows since 1995, including Pan in Australia and The Witches of Eastwick in London).Anyone interested in taking part in these courses is invited to e-mail, detailing any particular areas they would like to see covered.

Gearhouse Offers High-Tech Solutions
Friday, 24 November 2000

Gearhouse has launched a new division operating from Birmingham, the NEC and Manchester. Called Gearhouse Computer Rental Services, it has been started in response to customer demand, mirroring market trends where computer technology has become integral in conference and exhibition presentations. Duncan Murdoch is the new head of the division. Formerly a director of the highly-successful Gearhouse Multimedia operation in Surrey, Murdoch has worked with Gearhouse since June 1992 in several divisions of the Group. The new division offers a wide range of laptops, low- and high-end PCs, networking services and internet connections including routers and hubs, which are used for cyber cafes, and to enable PowerPoint presentation delivery. Printers, LCD screens and plasma screens will be available to clients in a turnkey service.

The Training Initiative On The Road!
Friday, 24 November 2000

White Light’s Training Initiative, launched in 1999, took on a new form during October and November 2000: the White Light Wednesday Roadshows. These are an expansion of the popular Wednesday Workshops, open training sessions held at White Light’s Fulham base. Intended to allow the Workshops to reach a wider audience, the Wednesday Roadshows brought the familiar faces of White Light, plus established industry professionals, directly to drama colleges. Over five consecutive weeks, the Roadshows visited the Bristol Old Vic College, Rose Bruford College, LAMDA and Croydon College, as well as holding a specialist moving light session at The Moving Light Company’s new demonstration suite in Parsons Green.Aimed at students and young professionals who are keen to find out more about the industry, topics included ‘Pyrotechnics’, hosted by Le Maitre and Just FXs, ‘Health and Safety in Theatre’, ‘Using Scrollers and DMX Devices’, ‘Moving Light Operation’ taught by lighting programmer Rob Halliday, a specialist workshop on ‘Using Colour and Gobos’ with DHA Lighting and Rosco, and a seminar on Lighting Design Practice presented by lighting designer Jenny Kagan.White Light are already planning similar seminars to run in tandem with future college semesters, and would also like to extend the Roadshow schedule to include other colleges.

Lighting Control for Sky
Thursday, 23 November 2000

Stagetec has been awarded the contract to supply five new Compulite lighting control systems to the BSkyB studios in Isleworth. Four of the studios will be fitted with Photon systems, complete with riggers controls, and an additional Sparktop system will be supplied which can be moved to different studios as required. One of the systems will be installed in the 24 hour Sky News studio.

Stagetec Sets up Distribution Arm
Thursday, 23 November 2000

Stagetec (UK) Ltd has recently formed a new company to handle the product distribution side of its business. The new company, Stagetec Distribution Ltd, will take over the UK distribution of the Compulite range of lighting control and dimming products previously handled by Stagetec (UK) Ltd and has also just been appointed UK distributor for LSC Lighting Systems in Australia. The new company will provide a platform for further development of the distribution side of the business and enhancement of the dealer network, whilst ensuring that Stagetec (UK) Ltd can concentrate on the fast expanding sales and installation aspects of its business.

Martin Pro to Supply Lighting for Eurovision 2001
Wednesday, 22 November 2000

Martin Professional has reached agreement with TV station Danmarks Radio to supply intelligent lighting for next year's Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Copenhagen's largest outdoor stadium, Parken, on May 12, 2001. Danmarks Radio has ambitions to produce the most spectacular Eurovision ever, with a unique show that will boast one of the largest intelligent lighting rigs ever used in a single event in Europe. Lighting design will be a cooperative effort between Danmarks Radio and Martin's local subsidiary, Martin Danmark. Martin Danmark A/S will deliver 400 Martin moving head fixtures along with tracking systems, smoke machines and other equipment - the largest contract ever for the local subsidiary. The Eurovision Song Contest has featured Martin intelligent lighting the past two years, in Israel in 1999 and last May in Sweden. The Eurovision 2001 package will include a wide range of Martin MAC luminaires, including the recently-introduced MAC 2000.

Lighting Tech Buys Durango
Wednesday, 22 November 2000

Lighting Technology Group has purchased outright the equity of Durango, the French distributor and service centre for entertainment lighting products. Based just 30km to the west of Paris, Durango currently represents many well-known industry names including Anytronics, Andolite, Lite Structures and Powerdrive, on an exclusive basis within the French market.Lighting Technology Group's Garry Nelsson told us: "This is a great acquisition for the Group. It strengthens our position outside the UK, where channels of distribution have changed significantly in recent years. It allows us to offer a full service facility and showroom right in the heart of one of Europe's most influential lighting markets. "We now have the platform to duplicate in France the success we have enjoyed in the UK," continued Garry Nelsson. "With Durango's founders Jean-Francois Cheron and Brigitte Delehaye we have chosen two of the most experienced people in the French lighting industry as partners. This is another big step in what is a very exciting phase of the Group's development."

GET Light Relief
Wednesday, 22 November 2000, the UK’s internet trading portal for the entertainment industry has launched an Auction Campaign in support of Light Relief - a new fund set up to provide financial aid and moral support for professional lighting designers encountering severe personal difficulties. The interactive Auction Site area of G-E-T’s website is appealing to lighting equipment manufacturers and rental houses for equipment to be put up for auction with G-E-T - the proceeds of which will go to Light Relief. Visitors to the site can put in a bid in for equipment through the usual, easy-to-operate channels. The G-E-T campaign fund was kicked off by West London-based Entec Sound & Light who donated a Martin Centrepiece effect for auction and also by G-E-T themselves, who auctioned a new Palm M200 digital organiser. Light Relief has been set up by the manufacturers of performance lighting and equipment represented by PLASA and lighting designers as represented by the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD), which has over 600 members across all lighting disciplines.

Archaeological Breakthrough for LTP
Tuesday, 21 November 2000

When the audience arrive at the Land of Myths zone at Spain's new Terra Mitica theme park near Benidorm they come as witnesses to the climax of a major archaeological dig. As part of the ploy, whilst they are queuing in the pre-show holding area they are in the company of a TV film crew documenting the 'event'. A team from Lighting Technology Projects, sub-contracted by Electrosonic and working to drawings from DHA Design Services, supplied and installed all the lighting and control equipment. Once through to the 'ride', visitors are taken on a six-minute multi-media 'journey'. Equipment ranges from festoon lighting to embedded strobes, ETC Source Fours, Arri Juniors (to assist the film crew), Clay Paky Stage Zoom 1200s and Mini-Scans, numerous architectural fittings, MDG Atmosphere and smoke machines and two Helvar control systems working to time code one for the queuing area and one for the ride itself.

Compulite Control for BskyB Studios
Monday, 20 November 2000

Stagetec has been awarded the contract to supply five new Compulite lighting control systems to the BSkyB studios in Isleworth. Four of the studios will be fitted with Photon systems complete with rigger’s controls, and an additional SparkTOP system, which can be moved to different studios as required, will also be supplied. One of the systems will be installed in the 24-hour Sky News studio, which necessarily called for a high level of reliability. Compulite’s reputation for reliability, along with Stagetec's standard provision of 24-hour call-out and technical help line were the prime reasons for BskyB’s choice of system.

Colourfast from Lighting Technology
Monday, 20 November 2000

Colourfast is the new expanded colour filter service for the entertainment industry from Lighting Technology. Based at its London headquarters at Park Royal, the service includes the supply of all major filter brands and the production of scroller streams. A major investment has seen colour stocks increased and Lighting Technology's colour room has been expanded and refurbished. To expand the service a custom-built air-suction preparation table has been installed for scroller stream assembly on site.

Hughes Falls on Grey Area
Monday, 20 November 2000

Further to our news on Friday of Rowland Hughes’ heroic achievement of the £64,000 question on ITV’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, we can now report that the ShowCAD man still has £64,000. When faced with the question ‘What official post was held by Earl Grey, after whom the variety of tea was named?’, Hughes decided discretion was the better part of valour, and chose not to take the chance, although he later said he knew the answer, referring to himself as ‘a pratt’. That’s easy to say in hindsight, but being on the spot is a different pot of tea altogether . . . well done, Rowland.

To the Lighthouse . . . With Illuminatum
Friday, 17 November 2000

Illuminatum, outdoor lighting and laser specialist, put on an impressive show for the re-launch of the New Brighton Lighthouse near Liverpool, part of the invigorating ‘New Wallasey’ regeneration programme. The council-sponsored project will see £116,000 spent on rejuvenating this historic landmark for the 21st century, including permanent architectural and feature lighting of the structure itself. Illuminatum supplied eight of its 7 kW Diablo mega searchlights which were stationed around the lake, panning, beaming into the air and honing in onto the lighthouse.The lighthouse itself was internally lit with red Codas for the side windows and two Coef MP250s in the central light chamber which created different coloured effects. The company also supplied a 45 Watt YAG laser positioned down one side of the lake, in between the Diablos, run from a Magnum controller.

Hughes Wants to be a Millionaire
Friday, 17 November 2000

Some of our UK visitors from the lighting industry may have spotted a familiar face last night on ITV’s 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?' for the third contestant to take to the hotseat on the hour-long show was none other than ShowCAD’s Rowland Hughes. Asked by Chris Tarrant what he did for a living, Hughes replied: 'Make lighting control systems for the kind of lighting you’ve got in here. It goes mostly into nightclubs, theatres, theme parks.' Tarrant then asked him what he thought of the studio lighting, to which he replied: 'I couldn’t possibly comment.'Persuaded by his family to enter for the show because he could 'win them a fortune', Hughes certainly didn’t let them down, coolly making it up to £64,000 before the show’s end. He returns on Saturday’s programme to go for the £125,000 question . . . and he can still phone a friend. Best of luck, Rowland.

Pulsar Announces 2001 Training Schedule
Friday, 17 November 2000

Continuing its training for excellence programme, Pulsar has announced its seminar schedule for 2001. The Masterpiece training has been expanded to two one-day seminars: the Masterpiece Intensive Seminar will cover basic programming of the desk, whilst the Masterpiece Advanced Seminar will encompass advanced programming techniques. Three different one-day seminars will be available for the Clay Paky range of products: the well-established Service Seminar will now incorporate the Stage Line, in addition to the moving head luminaires; the Display Line Seminar will give delegates practical advice on how to provide lighting solutions using this versatile line of projectors; finally, the Clay Paky Products Seminar will give delegates a good understanding of the entire product range.In addition, Pulsar tell us that tailor-made open days can be arranged to cater for colleges, installation companies, corporate users, etc.

A New Age for St. Aldates
Friday, 17 November 2000

13th Century St. Aldates, one of the oldest buildings in the City of Oxford, has completed phase one of a major reordering project that has resulted in one of the most advanced audio-visual installations in a church in the UK. Lighting Technology was appointed to manage the correlation of the design between the lighting, electrical, audio and video disciplines. The audio and video systems were designed by Brian Chapman of Chapman Communications and installed by Delta Sound whilst LTP's Simon Cooper worked closely with both teams to co-ordinate all the wiring facilities and with the Church's project director Claire McInnes to produce the front end to the system. This is based on an AMX touch-screen and an ETC Unison control with 48 ways of dimming.

The Big Mission
Thursday, 16 November 2000

Game shows just aren’t what they used to be and Denmark’s ‘Den Store Mission’ (The Big Mission) just may take the prize for, well . . . best prize.

The Big Mission is already generating a lot of interest in Scandinavia with the winner of the competition earning a trip into space aboard the first commercial spacecraft. The Big Mission went on air in October, billed as a competition whose lucky winner will be crowned "First Dane in Space".

The show consists of several ‘levels,’ each presenting a unique challenge in skills relevant to astronaut training - knowledge, physical skills, teamwork and mental strength. Contestants are eliminated over the course of several half-hour shows until The Finals in which 10 contestants remain. Much in the same style as the popular Survivor show, contestants will be eliminated one by one until a final winner remains. The elimination process will include a trip to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center in the USA, as well as authentic tests previously used to train astronauts.

Martin’s local distributor, Martin Danmark, supplied MAC moving heads including MiniMACs, MX and PAL scanners and a TrackPod followspot system to TV2 studios in Copenhagen. The luminaires were spread across a host of stages and incorporated into the lighting scheme at all levels of the show. Par cans were also used in the lighting scheme. Lighting designer for The Big Mission is Torben Lendorph, with lighting programming completed by Thomas Brockmann.

Lighting Technology in Central London
Thursday, 16 November 2000

Lighting Technology Group has opened a central London office at the Business Design Centre in Islington. The office will represent all areas of Lighting Technology Group activity but focus on attracting designers, specifiers and potential end-users. "The new office will be an appealing space for architects and designers to come into," said Lighting Technology Projects’ Bruce Kirk. "It will be permanently manned, and there is sufficient space for five staff and the appropriate meeting facilities. Our product and project managers will work between our HQ at Park Royal and the BDC to suit our clients' requirements. Our ultimate aim is to serve and support designers and provide an attractive and welcoming environment in which to discuss and progress their concepts." The showroom's display area will contain a constantly changing animated lighting presentation showing interesting 'old and new' solutions to lighting problems and provide visual demonstrations of new techniques.

Italian Cinema’s Intelligent Upgrade
Thursday, 16 November 2000

The multi-screen movie complex craze which swept across North America some years ago, has arrived in Italy with an added element of attention getting effect, namely Martin intelligent lighting. The Medusa multi-screen theater in Bologna is a 31,000 square foot theater complex featuring nine separate theatres. Outside the complex two Exterior 600 wash lights bathe the building in a colorful mix of yellows and blues while two PAL 1200 scanners add gobo and logo projection.Inside, in the large foyer, eight MAC 600 wash lights provide the colour wash with eight MAC 250 profile spots adding pattern and logo possibilities. All lighting is controlled from a Martin ProScenium, a DMX lighting control package for multi-media and architectural applications. Audio is provided by eight Mach Installation series M68 in-fill speakers, four Mach M208 subwoofers and four Mach M62 two way, near-field speakers.

City Theatrical Awards
Wednesday, 15 November 2000

City Theatrical and its founder and president, Gary Fails, recently received a Crain’s Small Business Award from Crain’s New York Business. The Award, which recognises companies that contribute to New York both economically and by reaching out to the community, joins the long list of accolades City Theatrical has already received since its founding in 1986. Located in the South Bronx, the company actively recruits and trains employees from the surrounding neighbourhoods. Earlier this year it was named to Inc. Magazine’s Inner City 100, a list of the top companies nationwide operating primarily in inner cities. More recently it has picked up its third ESTA Dealer’s Choice Award in the last four years. The company will be profiled in the December issue of L&SI.


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