- by Jacob Coakley
When the Charles W. Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts in the Dallas/Fort Worth area received a federal grant to become more energy efficient, Master Electrician Carolyn Lloyd used the funds to update the cyc lights, purchasing 44 PLCyc LED luminaires from Philips Strand Lighting. Lloyd chose the PLCyc thanks to their “great punch” for their size as well as their color mixing capabilities.
The PLCyc LED Beautifully Illuminates at the Eisemann Center
ME Carolyn Lloyd applauds the performance and cost-savings of their new LED Cyc Lights
Dallas, Texas – Since its opening in 2002, the Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts has been one of the leading performance venues serving the Dallas/Fort Worth area, heralded not only for the performances inside, but also for the facility itself. As the home of such groups as the Richardson Symphony Orchestra, the Collin County Ballet Theatre, and Pegasus Theatre, the Eisemann Center operates year-round and Master Electrician Carolyn Lloyd must keep the lighting rig up-to-date with the latest technologies. When the facility received a federal grant to make it more energy-efficient, she immediately looked to update the cyc lights, and to do so she chose 44 PLCyc LED luminaires from Philips Strand Lighting.
“I have been the ME at the Eisemann Center for four years and previous to that I was the light board operator, so I have been here almost since the building originally opened,” began Lloyd. “When we recently received the federal grant designed to help make the facility more energy-efficient, I knew we wanted to replace the cyc units which drew both a large amount of energy and were costly in replacing gel throughout the production year. I had done some research into what LED cyc fixtures were available so we decided to have a demo at the facility with the PLCyc and other competing LED cyc products, and we decided that the PLCyc LED was the best option for us.”
Inside the Eisemann Center there are two performance spaces with a cyclorama, the 1600-seat Hill Performance Hall, and the 400-seat Bank of America Theatre. Since it’s the home to several regional performance groups, plus available for public rentals, productions at the Eisemann Center run almost the full calendar, except for only two weeks when Lloyd and the crew perform maintenance on the equipment.
She explains, “We only take two weeks off for maintenance at the Eisemann Center so besides that time the production schedule is pretty constant with all art forms from dance, to music, and theatre; plus, we do a number of public rentals so we have a lot of various events that come through with a variety of lighting needs. The pieces of lighting equipment that almost always get used are the cyc lights. With our cyc lights running about 40 hours per week in each venue, we were spending a lot of money on gel replacements with our old cyc fixtures as the gel burned-out quickly, but now that we have the PLCyc fixtures in both theatres we are already seeing a significant cost savings and a significant reduction in power draw as well.”
While the PLCyc LED Luminaires have been successful in reducing the gel and power costs associated with the previous cyc fixtures, Lloyd also needs them to be successful in the practical application of illuminating the cycloramas, which is exactly what has happened.
“I actually kind of laughed when I first saw the PLCyc fixtures because they are so small and light,” continued Llyod. “But when we got them into the space and turned them on I was very impressed. They have such a great punch for such a small fixture and they have a great color output with fantastic mixing capabilities. I believe the actual words I used when I first saw them were ‘these are awesome’. We just celebrated our 10th Anniversary and in our smaller venue we had an event called ‘Tech 101’ where we opened up the space for the general public to come in and see how things operate behind the scenes. For this, we put both a top and ground row of the PLCyc fixtures on the cyc and had a great time showing how beautiful we could make it with unlimited color choices.”
A breakthrough in cyclorama lighting, the PLCyc LED luminaire delivers smooth even cyclorama lighting in a compact light weight design. Using a maximum of 120 watts of power to illuminate drops up to 18 feet high, each unit can replace the equivalent of a traditional 4-color, 500-watt per cell, cyc light. A typical cyclorama can be lit with the PLcyc and powered from a single circuit using the convenient Powercon cabling system for power in and through applications.
Lloyd concluded, “What has impressed me most about the PLCyc LED is the sheer output from such a small fixture. The Richardson Symphony Orchestra had their season-opening concert in our larger theatre and we got to use the new cyc lights on both the orchestra shell wall and on the ceiling of the space, and it created a very cool look. The new Maestro wanted to have orchestra shell illuminated with bright and colorful fixtures and the PLCyc LEDs worked perfectly. These are really great fixtures.”
Philips Strand Lighting and Philips Selecon offer the world's most comprehensive and competitive range of luminaires, dimming equipment, control systems and software to answer the creative needs of lighting designers working in theatre, television, film, themed environments and sophisticated architectural applications. www.strandlighting.com. www.seleconlight.com