Drama Studio Refurbishment to LED Stage Lighting

Type: Stage Lighting Design and Installation

Our Solutions

Exeter School has been on its existing site in the heart of Exeter since the late 1800’s with a mix of magnificent traditional and contemporary buildings. We were contacted by the head of performing arts to put forward a proposal to upgrade the tungsten stage lights in the existing main drama space to LED theatre lighting fixtures.

This sounds easy but it is not as simple as rigging a new LED light as the majority of the current fixtures require switched 230volt power and hardwired control. With these requests we investigate the following options –

A quick simple budget solution would be replacing the existing portable dimmer racks with the Zero88 Betapack 4 which distributes both dimming and “hot power” to the existing cord patch using a portable unit.

An intermediate solution would be the installation of ETC Colorsource Thru Power or Zero 88 Chilli ByPass Dimmer which would allow the existing tungsten theatre lights to be used via traditional dimmers but also the option to provide switched 230volt power to the LED theatre fixtures.

Or an energy efficient solution for the future by removing all the tungsten lighting fixtures and changing the entire rig over to LED sources. These could be powered by Zero88 Rig Switch which is a remote-controlled power switching solution or offering a bespoke custom built in house solution designed and manufactured by Otago Blue Ltd.

Following a detailed site survey and client meetings it was decided that given the age and condition of the existing infrastructure this needed to be replaced and they were not ready to switch over fully to LED as other venues on the site still used the tungsten theatre lights. We had a short window of the Autumn half term to complete the works in which we installed two ColorSource Thru Power Cabinets 24 way with RCD protection, a DMX control rack with XTBA DMX/RDM splitters and an electrical distribution board in a tight loft space wired to new internally wired lighting bars with 16amp sockets and XLR5 DMX control outlets all powder coated in black. The system was completed with ColorSource LED Engines with a selection of profile and fresnel lenses, Martin Rush MH1 Profile offering moving light effects and Chauvet Pro COLORdash Batten-Quad 12 and Chauvet DJ EVE PAR 130RGB offering general wash and effects. User control was achieved with the new Zero 88 FLX S48 lighting desk.

These old buildings always raise a few challenges but we completed the works on time within budget and delivered the system training to an excited Performing Arts department in time for the start of term.