Outback Spectacular salutes SolaSpot 1000s

Posted on Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Australian Outback Spectacular in Queensland’s holiday paradise, The Gold Coast, is a quintessential Australian experience. A purpose-built arena sees skilled stockmen and women challenge each other’s horsemanship with death-defying stunts and superb showmanship. Currently running the production ‘Salute to the Light Horse, High Country Special’ up to six times a week, Outback Spectacular’s lighting rig needs to cope with a difficult environment, a demanding schedule, and arena-sized expectations. That’s why the production team have chosen to install four High End Systems SolaSpot 1000s.

“We needed to replace four of our old 700W discharge fixtures,” explained Clint Dulieu, Technical Director of Australian Outback Spectacular. “We wanted to reduce our operating expenses, so we definitely wanted to go to an LED source. We wanted an equivalent or better output to our old fixtures, particularly in white; I’ve found most LED profiles are good at saturated colours, but white and lighter shades have been a challenge in terms of output. After a long search, the SolaSpot 1000s were pretty much the only fixture on the market that ticked all the boxes.”

The SolaSpot 1000s run a 440-watt Bright White LED engine producing 18,000 lumens. Unlike their old discharge fixtures, Outback Spectacular now also have rotating animation wheels, fixed gobo and colour wheels, CMY/CTO system, iris, frost, prism, and zoom to play with. “Yeah, it’s always nice to get new features!” Clint agreed. “Now we have the animation wheels and other funky stuff, we’ve added effects we couldn’t do previously. But we really appreciate the higher colour temperature and higher perceived brightness, that’s what we really need in our arena show environment. We’re after punchy, and I’m really impressed with the significance of the output.”

It’s not just out in the arena that Clint appreciates the SolaSpot 1000s, it’s also on the service bench. “The build quality and the well-thought-out design is fantastic from a maintenance perspective,” Clint observed. “The SolaSpot 1000 is one of the best internally thought -out fixtures I’ve seen in terms of modularity and ease of service. Outback Spectacular is a sand arena, so dirt is a major issue. Having a fixture that is LED with minimal cooling means little airflow and very little dirt. From a long-term maintenance perspective, that’s our number one consideration. This is a show that will run for two to three years. Once a fixture is it in, it’s in, so for us, it’s all about reliability.”

Outback Spectacular’s long runs will be supported by Lexair, High End System’s distributor for Australia and New Zealand. “We’ve got a really good relationship with Lexair,” confirmed Clint, “They’ve jumped through hoops for us, and made everything easy. We’re very much looking to High End Systems fixtures as we assess the venue’s future needs.”