The award-winning Hanover County Public School System in Ashland, Virginia, serves approximately 17,500 students across 25 different campuses. At two of these locations, Bell Creek Middle School and Liberty Middle School, the district recently approved a renovation project for their aging and outdated theatrical lighting systems. Desiring a more cost-effective and user-friendly design which could accommodate a multitude of different events, Barbizon Capitol worked with the school system and installed a new design using AP-150 RGBW PAR LED luminaires from Altman Lighting.
“Prior to these two projects, Barbizon Capitol had been working directly with the Drama Club from another school in the county, and through those connections we were able to expand our relationship with the rest of the Hanover County Public School System,” began Gretta Daughtrey, Systems Integrator for Barbizon.
As Daughtrey and Barbizon Senior Project Manager Steve Snyder began to look deeper into the technology systems currently in place at both Bell Creek and Liberty Middle Schools, they were a little surprised at what they found. Greeted by antiquated and dusty border lights powered by resistance dimmers and switchboards, they were excited to introduce the instructors and students to a more modern lighting environment.
“The old 1960’s lighting systems for these two schools were original to the 60-year old buildings, and compared to current technology, they were barely ‘systems’ at all,” continued Daughtrey. “Since one of the drama teachers had already been renting LED Pars to enhance their staged productions, this was the perfect opportunity to make the transition from incandescent lighting to LED technology.”
Turning their attention to the lighting solution which would be most advantageous for the new designs, Barbizon was focused on bringing in a dependable technology which could be used in a variety of applications. Knowing that the high lamp-replacement and maintenance costs of the old systems were a challenging issue for the district, they decided upon the proven LED capabilities of the AP-150 PAR luminaire.
“The AP-150 luminaires were chosen because of their performance and reliability and now there is a light plot in place that is available for daily use and provides flexibility for all departments that utilize the stages,” explained Daughtrey. “Additionally, the reduced maintenance needs of the AP-150 PAR luminaires were a driving force in fixture selection and are much appreciated by the Facilities Staff who no longer need to change lamps or color media.”
The AP-150 PAR from Altman Lighting is a compact and lightweight, 135-watt RGBW LED wash which produces deep, saturated colors and soft, delicate pastels, while maintaining a smooth, uniform beam throughout the entire motorized zoom range. Weighing only 11 pounds, the AP-150 replicates the soft output of a traditional par wash light with control states from 8 Bit, 16, Bit, RGB, and HSIC. Its factory and custom color presets allow for the quick selection of the most widely used entertainment color choices, and it also adds the ability to record color presets directly to the luminaire for custom color playback.
“Both spaces are gymnatoriums and the AP-150 PAR luminaires are providing the top light needed over stage,” added Daughtrey. “Unlike many of the LED luminaires at a similar price point, the zoom feature will allow for maximum flexibility, and they are now controlled through a theatrical lighting console using wireless DMX transmitters and receivers. This allows them to set the console anywhere in the space quickly and easily while power is supplied from a standard breaker panel with in-line relays to protect the drivers and power supplies.”
Now up-and-running, the new systems for Bell Creek and Liberty Middle Schools are ready with a modern lighting experience. No longer constrained by the limitations of creativity or performance, these two designs will beautifully illuminate any event needed and shine bright for many years to come.
“We receive great customer support from Altman, and we know our clients will as well,” concluded Daughtrey. “As the Hanover County Public School System continues to bring us back for other projects in the district, not only are they pleased with the technology enhancements, but they have also noted how they appreciate our commitment to complete the projects on schedule. Altman was a big contributor to that on-time delivery.”