Ayrton fixtures enhance high-energy games

Pittsburgh Penguins fans enjoyed an even more dynamic game experience this season, after the installation of Ayrton Zonda 9 FX LED moving head washes beneath the new scoreboard at the PPG Paints Arena, all provided by Ayrton’s exclusive North American distributor, ACT Entertainment. 

Kevin Hogan, the Lighting Designer and Programmer for the NHL team since 2005 and the owner of Pittsburgh-based Process of Illumination LLC, chose eight Zonda 9 FX fixtures for the new scoreboard.

Designed and built by Mitsubishi Electric, the much larger, four-sided scoreboard features 50-foot LED panels around a hollow central core with two Zonda 9 FX positioned on the lower mounting rail of each panel.

It was Ayrton’s promotional video for the fixtures that sparked Hogan’s interest in using Zonda 9 FX. “It was all I needed to see,” he recalled. “The Zonda 9 FX was an amazing fixture with so many features built-in, including the LiquidEffect and individual pixel control. I hadn’t seen anything else like it. It was a great quality wash light with eye candy effects that were second to none – exactly what I would like for the new scoreboard.”

Hogan talked to Rick McKinney at Main Light about seeing the Zonda 9 FX in person. “Main Light has a reputation for being one of the best partners you could ask for in this business,” he said. “They are always advancing their inventory, so it was no surprise that they had added Zonda 9 FX. They were able to provide me with the lights and great support I’m accustomed to.”

The primary function of the scoreboard lights was to illuminate the centre ice logo and then spin out for crowd shots. The fixtures are busy during any lights-out sequence, including the game open, team intros and national anthem as well as goal-scoring celebrations and any broadcast breaks, time outs or stoppage of play.

“They keep the energy up by moving and dancing to the music,” Hogan explained. “Dan Kibel, who serves as game night operator, does a great job of getting the fixtures to play along with the music. I programmed a building block of basic moves, colours and strobe effects so everything looks like a different set of cueing, but there’s lots of improvisation by the operator.”

“The fixtures have a zoom range from really narrow to very wide,” Hogan pointed out. “The game height of the scoreboard is 42 feet above the ice, but the scoreboard can be pulled up to twice that height for other events. Even with a higher trim than usual, you can use the Zonda 9 FX thanks to their great zoom range and versatility.”