Pendleton, Indiana’s Dodd Technologies, Inc. (doddtechnologies.com), specializing in large special event and broadcast production and equipment rentals, has invested in 16 Claypaky Skylos versatile, laser-source searchlights. The new fixtures enhance an inventory that includes Claypaky Stormy color changing strobe lights.
“We had several upcoming shows that needed outdoor fixtures capable of drawing people’s attention from miles away,” says Andy Meggenhofen, Senior Vice President and Account Manager at Dodd Technologies. “There really hadn’t been anything new in searchlights since carbon arcs; nothing filled the bill for us that was compact and easy to handle until we saw Skylos.”
He notes that Claypaky’s Geoge Masek, whom he has known for a long time, “is very good about keeping us abreast of new products and how they can help us solve problems and create art. Once he showed us Skylos and demo’d it downtown I knew it would be right for us. I liked its output, form factor and power draw: We can get four Skylos on a 120V 20amp circuit without bringing in special power.”
While Skylos is a specialty light, “it is very versatile within that category,” Meggenhofen reports. “It has programmable movement, color and saturation that remain vibrant for the length of the light with no fall off, a zoom-style focus to fatten up the beam, and prism options that create unique looks without losing a lot of light output.” The fixture’s IP66 rating is also a bonus for worry-free use rain or shine, he adds.
Upon delivery of the Skylos Dodd Technologies did a test in their parking lot, which “drew quite an audience,” Meggenhofen recalls. ”Fifty or sixty cars drove up – they could see the lights from seven miles away and wondered what was going on.”
Dodd Technologies bought their Skylos fixtures with the four-day series of NBA All-Star 2024 events, hosted by the Indiana Pacers next February, in mind. “We needed something to deliver punch and draw attention to certain areas in downtown Indianapolis,” Meggenhofen explains.
But no sooner had the company held its parking lot Skylos test than they got a call from the governor’s office for lights to use at a State House event demonstrating support for Israel after the Hamas attack on October 7. “They needed fixtures that didn’t require a lot of power, and they needed them in place that night,” says Meggenhofen. “Three-and-a-half hours later the Skylos were up and running. Of course, it wasn’t supposed to rain and it did, but the Skylos’s IP rating kept them safely operating for two days.”
The following week Dodd Technologies deployed the fixtures for an event where they had planned to use them: Ball State University’s homecoming weekend. Twelve Skylos were located at various venues on the campus in Muncie, Indiana.
Meggenhofen says that the Skylos fixtures have already “exceeded our expectations. Everyone who sees the light is so attracted to it. We’re interested in the ability to create interlaced, almost basket-weave, patterns with the beams in the sky. When you use the Skylos in quantity, magic happens.”
That said, he expects some upcoming events will see the Skylos used “in different ways that don’t necessarily feature beams in the sky. These implementations will showcase the fixture’s versatility,” he predicts.
George Masek, Claypaky Strategic Marketing Manager North America, concluded, “We're incredibly appreciative of early adopters to new technology like the Skylos lasers. Andy immediately saw the possibilities with these fixtures and embraced them. I can't wait to see what Dodd does with these lights.”