An Ensemble of LED fixtures
AUSTRALIA: Based in the suburb of Kirribilli in Sydney, Ensemble Theatre is believed to be the longest continuously running professional theatre company in Australia. As such, it was no surprise that the theatre group’s lighting fixtures were starting to show their age, with maintenance costs rising. As the troupe started its search for a new lighting solution, an LED system was decided upon to save on setup times as well as cost, so production manager Tom Blunt placed an order with Herkes Electrical for 24 ETC Source Four LED Series 1 with EDLT lenses.
‘We also wanted to cut down on consumables such as lamps and gel stock,’ noted Mr Blunt. ‘Prep time in cutting gels and running costs in terms of electricity were also a consideration. I had a look around at what was on offer from a few manufacturers but the ETC products really were the stand out. The ETC fixtures also seemed to have the best reputation both here in Australia and overseas.’
In addition to the 24 Source Four units with EDLT lenses, Mr Blunt invested in another 12 with standard lenses. As a result, Ensemble has been able to reduce its lamp stock, saving on storage. ‘We moved from having three different types of lamps in stock for profiles to just one,’ Mr Blunt explained. ‘The construction of the ETC fixtures is also far better than our previous fixtures.’
Part of the production manager’s decision to opt for the ETC solution was down to the local support provided by the manufacturer’s Australian distributor, Jands. ‘Not that we’ve needed any support with our ETC Source Fours as yet and hopefully we never will,’ he chuckled.
Complementing the purchase of the ETC fixtures, Ensemble also bought 22 Jands JLX-Lite modular lighting bars. ‘The JLX-Lite lighting bars have opened up a whole different realm of opportunities to the lighting designers that was not available before due to their restricted position,’ said Mr Blunt, noting how the lighting bars enable a lighting angle that is comparably flatter to the stage. ‘The ETC LED fixtures have also reduced the number of lamps in the air, so instead of having a two-colour profile wash, we’re now down to a single lamp with infinite colour possibilities for the designers. That has led to extra benefits too in terms of air-conditioning and general running costs as the fixtures are cooler.’
The lighting rig is now run using an ETC Gio console, and the production manager is impressed. ‘The colour matching with that is just phenomenal compared to anything else,’ concluded Mr Blunt. ‘You just plug it in and turn it on. It means the designers can call up any Lee, Rosco or Gam colour that they want and it’s incredibly close, if not spot on.’