Empire of the LEDs

Posted on Thursday, November 24th, 2011


Last year the Australian electronic music act Empire of the Sun were about to embark on a tour of Europe and they wanted some consistency in their stage set up – something that was instantly recognizable as theirs.

To meet this requirement, lighting designer Hugh Taranto put together an LED lighting package consisting of eight Pro Shop LED Fusion Bars and eleven Pro Shop Honeycomb 36 fixtures that travel everywhere the band goes.

The Honeycombs provide footlights for the dancers who are an important feature of the act whilst the Fusion Bars help create a console area known as The Emperor’s World. Set upon a riser this console is from where Luke Steele performs a lot of the show. Some more Fusion Bars are situated on gold bars positioned around the musicians to add some depth to the stage.

Simon Aitken has taken over from Hugh as lighting designer and operator for the band and nearly a year after hitting the road he is still amazed at the performance offered by the Pro Shop LED fixtures.

“The Honeycombs have been fantastic even though they have got wet on outdoor stages,” he remarked. “The Fusion Bars have been extremely reliable. We’ve been on the road with them nearly twelve months and we’ve only had one main PCB issue and one power issue on the units which is fantastic. Despite the lights being freighted from one continent to another and constantly on the road, they always seem to work.”

Since Hugh’s initial design Simon has added white Pro Shop LED Strips to each of the risers as well as some RGB LED Strips around the projection screen frames that double as set pieces.

“Controlling the LED strips is Show Technology’s four channel 5-24 volt DMX LED controller which enables us to tour only a small amount of cabling and data to run the whole show,” said Simon. “All of the LED products run off one 10 amp circuit and happily run on 110 to 250 volt all around the world – I’ve never had to have a transformer on them.”

Empire of the Sun headlined at the recent Fat As Butter festival (pictured) where Cliftons supplied the rest of the lighting and will appear later this month at the Stereosonic festivals.

Photos: Troy Constable