Robert Juliat Dalis for LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore

by Michael Eddy
The LASALLE team (L to R) against a backdrop of RJ Dalis 860 Cyclorama lighting: Herman; Senior Technical Officer, Sayuthi Bin Jasmin; Zahidi; LD and LASALLE alumnus, Adrian Tan; Senior Technical Officer, Patrick Wong.
The LASALLE team (L to R) against a backdrop of RJ Dalis 860 Cyclorama lighting: Herman; Senior Technical Officer, Sayuthi Bin Jasmin; Zahidi; LD and LASALLE alumnus, Adrian Tan; Senior Technical Officer, Patrick Wong.

Founded in 1984, the award-winning LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore is an example of modernity and creativity dedicated to providing its students with top class education in contemporary arts and design. It moved its main campus in 2007 where its many new facilities included the 480-seat Singapore Airlines (SIA) Theatre and several studio and rehearsal spaces. Ten years later, it was time to update some of the SIA Theatre’s original lighting inventory, and Senior Technical Officers, Patrick Wong and Sayuthi Bin Jasmin, were happy to take delivery of 10 Robert Juliat Dalis 860 Cyclorama LED battens this summer to replace their 10-year old conventional cyclorama and groundrow lighting.

“Prior to the acquisition of our new Dalis units we were using eight tungsten cyclorama lights and a similar number of tungsten groundrows,” explains Wong. “These have been excellent workhorses, but conventional lighting fixtures come with their problems as well. The age and fragility of these fixtures meant lamp replacement was becoming more and more frequent and a bit of a chore. Focusing was cumbersome and limited to the tilt angle provided by the yoke, and the weight of the fixtures made it less attractive to move them around the venues as needed. The number of colors one could use was always limited to four, and we had to fly the bar down between scenes to switch colors.”

Wong continues, “Most importantly, each unit within the four-part fixtures drew 1,000W of power, meaning all eight fixtures at full power would draw 32,000W (double that, when you include the groundrows), which was simply too much and required quite a number of dimmers to power them.”

Tevin Heng, Executive Director at Total Solution Marketing Pte Ltd, Robert Juliat’s exclusive Singaporean distributor, brought the Robert Juliat Dalis fixtures to the attention of the team at LASALLE. Wong and his team established that 10 units would be perfect to backlight the 13m x 7m span of The SIA Theatre’s cyclorama, despite the short throw distance available. Five RJ Dalis units have now been installed on a truss behind The SIA Theatre’s cyclorama cloth and another five Dalis units placed on the floor at a distance of 1.5m, from where they combine to provide seamless and supremely controllable coverage.

“As with most venues in Singapore, there is always a lack of distance between cyc-cloth and wall for proper cyclorama lighting, with the distances normally ranging from 0.5m to 2.5m,” says LASALLE’s Bin Jasmin. “The Dalis, however, were able to give an excellent beam coverage even at these short distances. The output is extremely bright, and the operation is simple with a very user-friendly interface on the fixture. Add to that the light weight of each unit combined with the good quality manufacture and we are very happy.”

“The Robert Juliat Dalis provided our venue with solutions to all the problems we had with the old lights,” agrees Wong. “Being LED units, there is no more need to replace lamps, which in turn means we need less storage space for replacement bulbs. The 8-color LED system provides us with infinite color possibilities, from dark blues, to bright reds and cool whites. What is even more impressive is the warm LED mode that provides a color temperature similar to a tungsten source: Dalis succeeds where many other LED fixtures have failed in creating exceptionally good warm white (2,200K) and cool white (6,500K) colors.”

“Focusing Dalis is easy, without any restrictions, and the weight of the fixture is manageable enough to be carried effortlessly by one person, so we can move them to which ever space we want. Best of all, because Dalis only draws 300W of power per unit, it is far more cost-efficient to run these units long-term. Ten of these babies would only take 3,000W to power, which is less than one single unit of our old conventional fixtures!”

Wong added, “There were several LED cyclorama options we looked at and, other than the product suitability, we also strongly considered the level of local pre- and post-sales support available from their distributors. We knew from past experience that we can depend on the excellent after-sales service and support from Total Solution, which has a long reputation for being a trustworthy lighting distributor with great products and services.”

Lighting designer and 2006 alumnus of LASALLE College of the Arts, Adrian Tan, has had the opportunity to use the Robert Juliat Dalis fixtures in production at LASALLE, and his experiences confirm the views of Wong and Bin Jasmin. “Robert Juliat Dalis has exceptional beam coverage at 90° vertical angle. I could place the fixture just 1.5m away from the cyclorama and still cover the entire cloth with no problem,” he says. “This means that venues with short distances between cyc and wall no longer have to compromise on light quality.”

Tan continues discussing the colors of the units. “Dalis also has one of the best color mixes I have ever seen in any lighting fixture. The warm white mix is exceptional, and the color mix is equally impressive. With eight colors, I have more precise control over which colors I wish to see. The brightness of the fixture is also worth mentioning—it means that I will never again have a dark blue that is not bright enough!”

“I also found that Dalis has an excellent dimming curve which means that there are no more problems with long fade-in cue times,” says Tan. “I was able to run a cue list that let the fixture fade from 0% to 30% over 45 seconds, and it faded in and out with no visible jumps in light intensity. This is something rarely seen in an LED fixture. Fading between colors was also very smooth, eliminating the undesirable color shifts that are seen on some fixtures. I would recommend Dalis to any venue as it is an extremely well made, well thought out fixture that provides unlimited options to any designer.”

Further information from Robert