GDS Raises Curtain on Bristol Hippodrome

In 2017, having reached the age of 105 years old, the Bristol Hippodrome, replaced its tungsten house light system with a modern, sustainable LED alternative.

ATG was aware of GDS’s reputation through having installed the Bristol company’s BluesSystem working lights at The Hippodrome back in 2005, declaring them to work “fantastically well”. A conversation began in respect of a new house light system and GDS introduced ATG to ArcLamp Fade To Warm, its latest LED development. Integrator Push The Button (PTB) who already had wide experience of working with GDS, was engaged by ATG to install the system.

During a two-year process GDS succeeded in achieving the perfect emulation of a tungsten lamp, which can run for 55,000 hours, and matching the appearance of a 45W light bulb. At the Hippodrome, PTB retrofitted more than 200 ArcLamp Candle Clear FTW fixtures, largely utilising the building’s existing wiring. ArcSystem’s capacity for retrofit was essential, given that to rewire a listed building on such a scale would have involved prohibitive costs.

Managing Director at GDS, Matt Lloyd commented: “Perhaps the most significant thing to observe about the installation of ArcLamp Fade to Warm at The Hippodrome is that it hasn’t been noticed by the theatre’s patrons. Usually, any new addition to the landscape attracts some kind of reaction but the fact that visitors are oblivious to the change represents a complete success! Whilst ATG is firmly committed to introducing low-energy technology to its venues, it has been determined from the outset not to compromise the experience of patrons, nor affect in any way the objectives of producers and companies using the theatres. Fade to Warm wins on both counts and in terms of its capacity to reduce costs, is already having a significant impact on the day to day running of the Bristol Hippodrome.”

Brendan Gage of ATG concluded: “ArcLamp Fade to Warm, while bright for the audiences safety, reproduces the gentle enveloping fade of a traditional incandescent lamp. It maintains the Hippodrome’s beautiful ambience without compromise, perfectly meeting our requirements. Running costs have already dropped significantly. In the long term, the savings on lamp replacements as well as those on air-conditioning, will offset the cost of the installation and further assist our sustainability goals. We have also regained time that was spent changing lamps and reduced our exposure to some of the more inaccessible areas. We have been able to realise other projects and raised the quality of service we can offer to visiting companies and shows.”