Touted as the future of entertainment lighting for a number of years, LED-based lighting fixtures are now rapidly entering the mainstream, as witness the re-equipping of Dorking Halls in Surrey that we've recently supplied.
The staff at the Halls, a versatile multi-purpose venue that hosts everything from concert recitals to wrestling to conferences to cinema to pantomime, felt that the time had come to replace the existing rig of 1000W Fresnels and Par Cans. The aim of both Michael Knight and Craig Gravett of Dorking Halls was to build a lighting rig that offered more versatility compared to the existing gear while retaining the high-quality illumination and fades the Hall's users expected – all while being more energy-efficient than the previous set-up.
In the first instance, Craig Gravett compiled a list of products that he thought would work well for the venue, including both fixed focus and moving LED fixtures. A full comparative demonstration of this equipment together with a selection of other products was then arranged by White Light.
Based on this hands-on testing, the final rig chosen consisted of a core fixed-focus rig from Prism Projection: 8 Prism RevEAL CW wash fixtures and 6 Prism RevEAL Studio wash fixtures. As with all of the Prism range, these fixtures include colour mixing with built-in monitoring of the fixture output, allowing the light output to be consistent from unit to unit and to remain consistent over the fixture's life. The Studio offers all of the flexibility of a traditional Fresnel, with a beam that can be varied from 20-70Ëš either under local or DMX control.
Complementing the Prism fixtures are moving lights from JB Lighting (two A7 Zooms), Martin Professional (two Mac350 moving spotlights) and Philips Vari-Lite (four VLX washlights).
The considerably lower power requirements of this all-LED rig compared to more traditional lighting fixtures meant that the Hall was able to fund their purchase with an interest-free loan based on a scheme to provide loans for energy-efficient equipment, as long as the new equipment will pay for itself within five years.
“We have been delighted with our new rig,” comments Craig Gravett from Dorking Halls, “primarily because it has provided incredible flexibility compared to our old rig of traditional lanterns, letting our users enjoy a whole new range of lighting possibilities. That it uses less energy than our previous rig is a welcome bonus!”
“White Light was invaluable during the process of deciding on the new rig,” adds Michael Knight, “since their extensive equipment stock and their huge experience with all kinds of fixtures meant that they were able to offer advice and let us try things for ourselves hands-on, which is always the best way to pick new products. They were a delight to work with.”