On Saturday, May 21, 2011, DIFFA (Design Industry Foundation Fighting AIDS) Kansas City held their signature fundraising event Dining by Design at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center Exhibit Hall. Having raised over $1 million for HIV and AIDS education, this annual event showcases the area's most exciting and intriguing visual designers complete with an elegant dinner and evening of dancing. Tasked with the technical production of Dining by Design, DIFFA turned to long-time partner XS Lighting and to make sure the event was a complete success, XS Lighting turned to the RevEAL Color Wash from Prism Projection.
“This is our 5th year overseeing the event production for Dining by Design, and we are very pleased to once again be involved with this fantastic fundraiser,” said Rick McConnell, XS Lighting. “For the event, we needed to set-up a complete lighting design that covered both the dining and entertainment lighting area. Since the large hall is not conducive to entertainment lighting, it was a challenge to effectively light the stage for both the evening speakers and the band, and power usage and heat distribution were also a bit of a concern.”
Understanding the challenges before him, McConnell began to draw out the ideal lighting plot. With his previous experience and successes with these lights, McConnell decided to use 10 RevEAL Color Wash fixtures from Prism Projection.
“One of my main goals for the design was to be able to offset some of the energy being used by the functional lighting in the exhibit hall with the use of low power consuming LED fixtures for the stage and dance floor. We would also need both white light and color washes from these same fixtures so I had to go with a color-changing LED, and the RevEAL Color Wash is my go-to fixture.”
Using six fixtures for the general stage wash and four as the back lighting, McConnell put the RevEAL Color Wash to work, and was once again pleased with the outcome To fully understand his appreciation for this fixture, McConnell notes that we need to start at the beginning.
“My relationship with Prism Projection and the RevEAL Color Wash began about two years ago. We do events for UMB Financial Corporation and a few years ago they began a Green initiative. They were looking at how to be more energy efficient in all their facilities and operations, so they came to us and asked how we could make the events more efficient as well. There is only so much energy you can save in sound and video, so we turned to the lighting. The logical first step was to replace the back lighting, up lighting and general ambience lighting with color changing LED's. That gave us a good power reduction, but we did not have a good replacement for stage lighting that would also make skin tones look good on video. We needed a light that could combine front lighting and a white light that would work for a live audience, but equally as important, make a white light to work for video. Fortunately, I was introduced to Prism Projection through a colleague, and they brought a RevEAL Color Wash to Kansas City. When they arrived we plugged it in, turned it on, and the moment I saw the color of the light on my skin, I was sold. Then they showed me it could change color and I knew we had our light.”
Convinced this was the light to help him achieve all he needed, McConnell took eight RevEAL Color Wash fixtures to the UMB Financial Corporation Management Conference ready to let them shine. While he felt confident of how the lights would perform, others met him with a bit of apprehension, especially those behind the cameras.
““Most LED white light comes out of a blue LED with some sort of a white phosphor and they tend to make skin look pasty giving it an unappealing look. When you take that look and make it five feet tall on a video screen, it's not a good thing. Prism Projection nailed what needed to happen for LED white light. However when I arrived at the UMB Management Conference with the RevEAL Color Wash as my key light for the video, the camera operators and video engineers were very skeptical. They were yet to see an LED fixture that complemented skin tones in HD video, however like me, they were quickly proven wrong. They loved the fixtures and were ecstatic about how they looked on camera.”
Since the original mandate of UMB Financial Corporation was to reduce the power consumption of the lighting rig, McConnell had one more hurdle to clear before he could call the event a complete success. But it was one that the RevEAL Color Wash cleared with ease.
“The first time we used the RevEAL Color Wash we were able to use one fixture to do the job of three or four fixtures and we had about a 70% total energy savings. We went from having to tie-in power and running 100 Amps to a dimmer rack, to plugging two circuits into the wall. Because we went with the RevEAL Color Wash we used fewer fixtures, produced less heat from the fixtures, and used less power. This made our client very happy.”
With energy-efficiency mandates being put into place across the nation by corporations, exhibition halls, and manufacturers, there are an ever-growing number of LED fixtures hitting the market. So what is it about the RevEAL Color Wash that makes it so appealing to designers and event planners everywhere? For McConnell, it's simply something you have to see for yourself.
“To see how the RevEAL Color Wash stands out amongst the competition, you really need to experience them for yourself. It is the only non-automated LED fixture that makes a light indistinguishable of an incandescent and that makes it acceptable for video. The colors are incredibly punchy. If I did not use the RevEAL ColorWash I would have to use twice as many fixtures with gels. So, if you have a desire to produce more energy efficient and sustainable events, these are an excellent choice. If you have a desire to ultimately save time and money on doing your event, these are a great choice. With the RevEAL Color Wash I don't have to think about changing lamps. I don't have to think about what color gel I might need or about electrical consumption and load calculations. I can literally plug my front truss into an outlet in the wall. The return on investment is massive on so many levels.”