ADB Lights Up Strasbourg Philharmonique Orchestra
The Erasme hall at the Congress Centre in Strasbourg, home of the Strasbourg Philharmonique Orchestra, has upgraded its stage lighting to an ADB Lighting LED system, designed to lower power consumption and heat on stage, and provide more uniform and flexible lighting.
By the summer of 2009 it had become clear to the Congress Centre operators that a new solution was urgently needed. The original lighting system, dating from the 1970s, consisted of 14 5kW Fresnel luminaires, suspended from telescopic poles left and right of the orchestra podium. 30 1kW tungsten halogen floodlights were rigged 10 meters above the stage to fill in shadows.
In total, over 100kW of power was used to light an orchestral performance or rehearsal, plus the power drawn by the air-conditioning (HVAC) system. The tungsten halogen light sources raised the stage temperature to around 20°, which then had to be rapidly reduced by the HVAC.
A further problem was that the telescopic suspension systems were at the end of their operating lifetime and required replacing.
The city of Strasbourg decided to seek a state-of-the-art lighting solution for their prestigious venue. During consultations, ADB's newly developed ALC4 LED modular luminaire was proposed, with a new reflector, designed by ADB's R&D department, that narrowed the beam angle to 36°. This unique luminaire delivers exceptional energy efficiency, employing four advanced RGB+White LED light sources to deliver the equivalent of 1250W of halogen power for an actual power consumption of just 200W.
With a choice of interchangeable reflectors and barndoors, it's capable of use as a cyclorama light, side light, footlight or for any set design requiring evenly spread areas of light. In this case it was specified to be used as a downlight, replacing floodlights.
On-site tests convinced the client and consultants that the second-generation ALC4-2's 8000-lumen power easily met the specification to light the world class Strasbourg orchestra uniformly with 1000 lux.
The final design included 54 ALC4-2 luminaires with the new 36° reflectors. A further touch was to position three ADB WARP/Motorised luminaires above the orchestra to highlight the conductor, making his gestures easier to see for the musicians, as well as accentuating the conductor for the audience, along with other moving lights in the positions previously occupied by the 5kW Fresnel units. Together with the ALC4-2 luminaires in colour mixing mode, these fixtures are used for other events requiring colourful lighting solutions.
The change of lighting concept from side lighting to central down-lighting using ALC4-2 LED luminaires with 36° reflectors mean that less flare is produced and musicians feel less blinded by bright light sources. The single luminaires are also evenly spread out across the width of the stage to create homogenous lighting.
The ALC4-2 units have also other great advantages as the unit produces no waste (e.g. gels, lamps etc.) and there are no possible safety issues from lamp glass splinters. Its light produces no degrading ultraviolet or uncomfortable infrared wavelengths, and, thanks to a unique mixing chamber, the ALC4-2 delivers a perfectly homogenous light output with no coloured shadows.
Rigging was performed very quickly - all the ALC4-2 luminaires are suspended from motorised aluminum truss systems suspended from the ceiling. Up to 10 lightweight ALC4-2 units can be daisy-chained for both power and DMX control signals, allowing them to be easily be moved around the venue as required.
The ALC4-2's light engine, providing over one million shades of fringe-free colour, features an internal feedback system that guarantees colour consistency across the entire system - automatically compensating for temperature change or LED aging.
Denis Fenninger, head of the project for Lagona SAS, based in Schiltigheim, France, says that while the ALC4-2's flicker-free light output is ideal for broadcast applications, early rehearsals with the orchestra saw an unexpected benefit from the tunable colour temperature mode. "Some of the musical scores are already many years old," he comments, "and the paper is a bit yellow and faded. The musicians found that this music became much easier to read when we raised the colour temperature from 3200K to higher Kelvin values - the light becoming slightly more blueish, resulting in higher contrast." This effect is tunable without any steps and adjustable in many areas.
The final step was the release of ALC4-2 IES files, which allowed the installation team to check the measurable results with the DIALux lighting simulation program. The ALC4-2 IES files for all optical reflector systems have been made publically available via the ADB website, where they can be downloaded free of charge.
ADB sales manager Alain Vincent says: "There was great teamwork between our R&D, our distribution partner Lagona and the consultant who trusted our capacity to provide a first class solution on time."
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