SolaSpot Pro 1500s for Ipswich Civic Centre

Posted on Friday, February 24th, 2017

The Ipswich Civic Centre, south-west of Brisbane, is a typically busy and multi-faceted regional performing arts venue, hosting an eclectic mix of touring theatre and musical acts, local productions, community events, and business functions. Its beating heart is the George Hogg Auditorium, which can accommodate 740 punters in flat-floor concert mode, or 540 in raked theatre seating. In their lighting rig, the Ipswich CC needs to be nimble, cost-effective, rider-friendly, and polished, which is why they’ve chosen to install four High End Systems SolaSpot Pro 1500s.

“We started looking at LED because we wanted to get away from bulb changes and heat related issues and maintenance that come with conventional light sources, as well as trying to reduce our overall power consumption.” said Ben Harth, Senior Technician, Lighting at Ipswich CC. “We like the overall longevity, colour saturation, and brightness of LED sources.”

Ben and the Ipswich lighting team auditioned a range of moving lights, carefully choosing the best fit for their existing rig. “We were looking for an LED mover that would punch over the top of the lighting rig giving us some really powerful beams looks. With the advancement of LED we knew LED lamp source was the only way to go regarding the balance of venue power and delivering the lux level range required. In the end, it was the SolaSpot Pro 1500s brightness that won out.”

While the 20,000 lumens produced by their 400w LED engines was the killer spec that got the SolaSpot Pro 1500s in the door, it was the raft of other features that has made them a staff favourite. “The shutters are a huge bonus because that enables us to use them as theatrical fixtures as well as dance fixtures,” continued Ben. “For the dance schools, there’s plenty of flash and they’re punching over the top quite easily, but we’ve also been using them in corporate settings. We’ve been able to throw a lot of different looks around the room using things like layered gobos and colour. We’ve created custom effects using the on-board features, and used the shutters when shooting onto panels to neaten up the look.’

Getting the new fixtures up and running was a breeze, said Ben. “It was really easy to integrate them into the rig,” he confirmed. “As was getting the fixture profiles into our desk. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the speed of their movement, and by the quality of their colour. For an open white LED engine, they are phenomenal as far as colour mixing is concerned. They’re just a really good unit that works really well.”

Ipswich Civic Centre’s SolaSpots were provided by Graeme Hicks of Entertainment Production Supplies. EPS, based on The Gold Coast, specialise in servicing performing arts venues, supplying lighting, sound, control, and theatrical infrastructure. “Graeme was great,” Ben related. “He’s been coming in and showing us new toys for a while now! He offered us good advice in getting them running, and directed us to where to get the profiles. He made it all really easy.” Ipswich and EPS are both backed by Australia and New Zealand High End Distributor Lexair Entertainment, providing quality technical and service support for every application.