This case study was written for dBS Solutions by Matt Moss who is the performing Arts Technician at Runshaw College, one of our long-standing customers.
Matt contacted us after some conversations within the collage, to discuss changing over some of the lighting in the theatre.
‘The plan to upgrade the fixtures in our mostly permanent but flexible rig design in the theatre was born from a number of factors.
Firstly, the college management is keen on investing in energy-efficient fixtures, having already replaced all fluorescent tubes across both sites with LED replacements and installed swathes of solar panels on rooftops.
Secondly, the theatre gets very warm during the spring and summer terms and shows can be quite uncomfortable for audiences as the air handling does not have the ability to chill, so the theatre can never be cooler than the outdoor temperature. Add to that 120 people and a couple dozen heat emitting fixtures and you’ve got a ready-made sauna!
Thirdly, as mentioned above, the main overhead rig in the theatre very rarely alters as it is designed to provide the basics for a range of different shows and exams. Therefore, to add flexibility in terms of at least colour and maybe also focus would mean that the rig can offer much more.
The Director of Facilities first approached me in June 2019 offering to fund some LED purchases, unfortunately, his quick Google of LED theatre lights had led him to believe I could get what I needed for just a few thousand pounds. Once I had priced up exactly what I thought I needed, he agreed to fund part of it at that stage and look to fund the rest in the next financial year.
So, after trialling some LED spots from dBS hire stock and some LED fresnels from another supplier, Chris was able to provide the best price for the initial purchase of 8 Showtec Performer 2000 RGBAL fresnels in summer 2019. These immediately provided a much-improved multi-colour wash of the stage with the added flexibility of motorised focus replacing 6 Rama fresnels which had only offered a warm and cold wash. This also freed up the 4 Chauvet R2 washes which had been doing the job of a rear colour wash for the past 2 years.
With the college closing in March 2020 the next stage of the upgrade was put on hold. When we returned in the summer break, the Director of Facilities approached me with the good news that he had managed to acquire funding to upgrade a number of areas of the college and could now fund the remaining fixtures I needed to make the entire overhead rig LED.
Once again, dBS Solutions was able to provide the best price for 8 Showtec Performer 650 profiles and 12 Chauvet RX2 Spots. These came in to replace 12 Source 4 Juniors (which will go on to be used in a drama studio with the Ramas) and 8 Elation Platinum 5R Pros which will go into the stock that is added in various ways for the range of shows we produce each year.
I have also used Chris and the team for many other purchases over the years. One of the main reasons I keep going back to dBS is I know the after-sales will be just as supportive as if Chris is on-site running an event for you. I can drop him a text, give him a call with queries that range from the complicated to the blonde moments that befall us all at times and he will usually be able to help me out of a hole. I can also buy second hand from Them safe in the knowledge that the kit will have been looked after during its life at dBS and will still come with same after-sales support that brand new equipment does. From radio mic systems to LED tubes, I’ve taken all sorts off his hands and it’s all still going strong!!’
If your venue is looking to replace ageing lighting fixtures, want help to make your theatre greener and more energy-efficient or are looking to open a new venue please do get in touch. Our team here at dBS Solutions have years of experience in supplying and designing lighting and audio systems for theatre and events. We have great relationships through our rental department with most major suppliers, that allows us to provide very competitive quotes along with real-world support and demo stock.