Lighting Solutions for Caruth Auditorium in Dallas, TX

by Stage Directions
LED lighting fixtures from the Vari-Lite and Strand product portfolios have delivered a versatile, quiet and energy efficient solution for Caruth Auditorium in Dallas, TX. Photo Credit: ©David C. Brown RPT Assistant Director for Music Operations SMU Meadows School of the Arts
LED lighting fixtures from the Vari-Lite and Strand product portfolios have delivered a versatile, quiet and energy efficient solution for Caruth Auditorium in Dallas, TX. Photo Credit: ©David C. Brown RPT Assistant Director for Music Operations SMU Meadows School of the Arts

Caruth Auditorium, a classical concert hall at the heart of Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts, has benefited from a new stage lighting system from Vari-Lite and Strand, Signify entertainment lighting brands. The system has delivered improved light quality, color capability and quiet operation, plus major reductions in operational costs.

The new system was specified by theater consultants, Schuler Shook. Their team, led by Jack Hagler, with theater specialist Jean Gonzalez-Hill, worked closely with Steve Woods, head of the school’s Master of Fine Arts Stage Design program, on the specification.

“We wanted a system that could function for live events, and provide a good, flat field for televised events,” said Woods. “We needed a quality white light, but also to transform the stage and auditorium with color when needed. We wanted the auditorium lighting to visually enhance the sonic content and give the audience an immersive experience.”

From the outset it was agreed that the replacement fixtures would be LED. However, the venue’s finely tuned acoustics meant that power efficiency and light quality were not the only considerations. Fixture noise was the project’s biggest challenge, said Gonzalez-Hill. “We worked closely with Strand to find solutions that would work with the room’s sensitive acoustics and provide the required lighting levels. The acoustic requirements meant we could not use LED ellipsoidal fixtures currently on the market as front light.”

The solution was to use 25 Strand 200F LED Fresnels for front light, a choice made viable by Strand’s new fanless mode which is 6dB quieter, thus preserving the hall’s extremely low noise level. Another 12 200F fixtures provide white downlight over the performance area. Here, it was vital to deliver adequate illumination for the orchestra, as their music stands do not carry their own lights. “The 200F Fresnels provide a soft, smooth field of light,” said Woods.

Providing a color changing wash for the performance area, plus additional white light where needed, are 12 convection-cooled Vari-Lite SL Punchlite 220s, chosen for their silent operation. Strand SPX LED WW fixtures, with their locking shutter system, deliver precise downlight on the pipe organ, while Vari-Lite SL BAR 660 color changing LED fixtures, which offer quiet operation in Studio Mode, give colorful up light options.

The auditorium now has superior lighting, with fewer fixtures, a consistent lumen output and lower energy consumption. Given the projected longevity of the LED equipment, SMU should expect to see even greater savings in maintenance and labor, and the lamp replacement cost has disappeared. The Caruth is engaged for 300 days in the year, and the new LED system removes the daily burden of replacing burned-out lamps and color.

Further information from Vari-Lite: www.vari-lite.com
Further information from Strand Lighting: www.strandlighting.com

 

About Vari-Lite and Strand

For over a hundred years, we’ve been blending innovative engineering and a love of performance to create the high-quality solutions that drive some of the world’s most extraordinary experiences. With advanced optics, innovative control, and complete end-to-end entertainment lighting system solutions for installation and rental, Vari-Lite and Strand enhance the passion and performance of artists around the globe, whether that’s a school play or a world tour. Vari-Lite and Strand are part of the Signify portfolio of brands.

www.vari-lite.com www.strandlighting.com

About Signify

Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact connected lighting systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. With 2018 sales of EUR 6.4 billion, we have approximately 28,000 employees and are present in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We have been named Industry Leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for two years in a row. News from Signify is located at the Newsroom, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page.