Astera Gets an Elite Touch in Australia

The Elite Team of Jaal Hanley, Ruben Pereira, Steven Forrest, Michael Hardy, Darren Russell, Neil Whiteley, Denis Vrkic, Tauno Napritson and Blake Watkin.

Astera LED sales have been rocking in Australia since the brand was fully introduced there at the start of 2019, with several leading lighting rental companies investing – one of which is Elite Event Technology based in Canberra, ACT.

Headed by owner and founder Darren Russell, Elite Event Technology typically supplies a full production package – lighting, audio, video rigging and staging – to its clients, embracing all sectors of the industry, from music events to corporates and industrials, TV and theatre productions.

Last year, Elite Event Technology purchased 96 Astera LED AX1 PixelTubes in kits of eight, supplied by ULA Group, Astera LED’s exclusive distributor for Australia and New Zealand.

More recently – and in spite of the pandemic – the company has invested in another 48 AX1s and 48 Astera AX5s with a full complement of accessories which are for general stock, delivered by Astera LED’s Australian distributor, ULA Group.

Russell first stumbled across Astera LED products at a trade show, where he described experiencing a “lightbulb moment” before investing in a substantial quantity of the Astera LED AX1s. The first 48 AX1 units were purchased for general stock and proved so popular and useful that they were quickly followed by another 48.

One of the first AX1 events where Elite Event Technology utilised all 96 units was during a gala dinner at Parliament House, the seat of the Australian government, for which Elite Event Technology is the in-house audiovisual supplier.

Around 40 AX1s were used as table centres and the balance of 56 built into a spectacular chandelier that was flown in the centre of the Great Hall – the largest of 11 event spaces in Parliament House. All 96 fixtures were then pixel mapped.

The lights have proved ideal for numerous applications from room lighting to table centres, from architectural illumination to highlighting gardens and pathways, thanks to the IP rating which makes them very usable outdoors, and from stages and music shows to car launches and brand activations.

When lighting foyers and washing walls and other public areas for events, the AX1s are perfect for both decorative and practical lighting. “They are so lightweight and handy that there is almost no limit to how and where they can be used,” Russell enthused.

He believef the Astera App control is a genius idea and at Elite Event Technology they use this extensively in conjunction with iPads. “It’s a very quick, straightforward and cost-effective way of getting lighting up-and-running without the need for a console.”

For the recent Master Builder Awards at the Canberra National Convention Centre, Elite Event Technology used AX1s to light the concrete pillars in the foyer for the pre-dinner drinks. When the time came to getting guests into the main dining room the main cast of the Australian production of Jersey Boys, who were the opening act, started the process by bursting into song, picking up the AX1s in their hands leading guests – Pied Piper-style – into the dining room.

So far, Elite Event Technology has always used its Astera LEDs wireless, but they all appreciate the flexibility of being able to run them wired if necessary. Venues such as Parliament House have a limited power supply for an effect like a room-wrap in light, so it’s also much easier to achieve without having to run cables over doorways and across floors.