Dawlish Community College

Type: Theatre Stage Lighting System Refurbishment

Our solutions

The existing stage lighting system in the Quad Hall had the original Furse internally wired lighting bars which were manufactured using extruded ā€˜cā€™ section aluminium with a rubber strip insert intended for 5amp socket outlets. However, over the years the system had been poorly adapted and changed to 15amp outlets. Last year Otago Blue Ltd undertook an Electrical Condition Report on the system and unfortunately both a previous report by another company and our report highlighted many non-compliances with the wiring regulations BS7671. The system remained out of use for some time while a solution was investigated. It was decided that it was uneconomical to repair the installation and bring it in line with the current wiring regulations BS7671 and that replacement was the most cost effective solution. After a competitive tendering process Otago Blue Ltd were awarded the contract to engineer, supply and install a replacement stage lighting installation.

With ever increasing financial restraints in education the budget was limited and a pre-booked event requiring the system meant the deadline was also tight. In order to save installation time custom internally wired lighting bars were pre-manufactured, however they were also cleverly designed to be used as a cable management route to distribute both power and data circuits to other outlets around the venue. This saved installation time, costs and the need for additional cable management systems. Saving time and money on the installation we were able to purchase a Chilli Pro 24 Dimmer with bypass to provide the option of induction dimming or individual channel bypass switch for direct uninterrupted mains power. This would meet the schools current needs as they would be using their existing tungsten lanterns but in the future they would be able to hire or invest in LED and intelligent lighting fixtures, thus future proofing the system. To control LED and intelligent lighting fixtures a simple DMX tie line system was installed.

The installation consisted of a new electrical power supply, distribution equipment, Zero88 Chilli Pro 24 Dimmer with bypass, four internally wired lighting bars along the entire length of the hall, and distribution wiring and a DMX tie line setup. To save costs the school utilised their existing lighting control desk and tungsten lighting fixtures in the installation.

Working in old buildings meant the installation was a challenge. We were held up with independent testing for asbestos, had to work in term time alongside the school being in use and had delays with manufacturer deliveries due to the short lead times. However, with long days and dedication from the team the project was handed it over to the client on budget and in time for the pre-booked event.