When Ben Hunt, Head of Lighting at the Empire Theatres, Toowoomba, in Queensland first fired up their new Robert Juliat Dalis LED cyclorama lights, his first impression was ‘finally we’ve found something up to the task’.
“It’s no secret that to light a cyclorama with conventional asymmetrical floods is going to require some serious power along with its consumable lamps and colour filters – especially when you’re lighting a fourteen metre by nine metre cloth,” commented Ben. “That task had been dealt with by sixteen, four cell Selecon Aurora cyc floods and you could hear the power meter groan every time we flicked the switch on!”
Ben added that the theatre had been looking at the LED cyclorama light market intently for the last few years waiting for the right product to pop up that would allow them to light their cyclorama with a quality light, but also give them ultimate flexibility on how and where they use them in the precinct across their venues.
“We wanted something that could light a cyclorama one day, light a three-act ballet with multiple scenic cloths the next and finish off the week in another room theming a corporate function; something that would require a special unit to achieve.”
Ben and his team decided to test all possible product contenders onsite so they could properly evaluate them in different usage scenarios and spacing options.
“During the ‘shoot-out’ phase there were several things that we really wanted to see from the unit of choice,” he explained. “Firstly, it needed to be bright enough to light our large cyclorama, even if ground row wasn’t installed it should be able to hold its own. It also had to be able to light multiple cloths on multiple bars at different depths from the one lamp location ….. this really set the testing units apart. It had to be quick to install/uninstall and move about the precinct and it needed to provide a superior quality of light control and additive colour mixing.”
According to Ben, the Dalis 860 cyclorama light was the only unit on test at the time of the shootout that could tick every box, a true standout. Consequently, the theatre purchased twenty Dalis 860 cyc lights along with clamps cases and cables to suit. The units are configured in ten top cyc and ten ground row as default but can be reduced to eight and eight to allow for other units to be used elsewhere on the precinct.
Upon using the new product, Ben was immediately struck by its build quality and ergonomic design.
“When you first pick one of these units up, without even having powered them up you can tell that Robert Juliat have really outdone themselves,” he remarked. “It’s the simple things like its footprint in a fly space, its exterior robust construction and its quick release rigging system that makes putting it in varied configurations a breeze. Obviously, its light quality and its eight colour mixing system is impressive, but also take them off the bar and its standalone features allowing you to quickly set a fixed colour temperature and throw the units in for a photoshoot really adds in the units flexibility around the precinct.
“The unit’s network DMX options also help in managing its parameter footprint in a way that allows us to quickly change from their full out 4 cell 16bit mode (72 channels a unit) to a touring DMX merge that we can give an operator their simple RED/GREEN/BLUE/AMBER if required. Going from sixteen channels of conventional Cyclorama control to over 1400 needed to be simple and not a ‘scary’ concept.”
Designed to deliver powerful, smooth coverage and a huge variety of pastel and saturated colours, the Dalis cyclight offers silent operation which is perfect theatrical applications.
Robert Juliat is distributed exclusively in Australia by Show Technology www.showtech.com.au
Words by Cat Strom.
For more information on Robert Juliat Dalis and the full portfolio of RJ lighting fixtures, visit the Robert Juliat website: www.robertjuliat.com