The PLCyc LED Luminaire Covers TheStreet, Inc.ís Studios
Houpla, Inc. and Shadowstone retrofit a virtual LED studio using the PLCyc LED luminaire
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
by Philips Strand Lighting

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Around the world, news programs are updating their TV studios to take advantage of the latest in entertainment lighting technology as LED lighting and control systems have enabled these productions to significantly reduce the amount of power needed without having to compromise the quality of their broadcasts. Such was the case for TheStreet, Inc., which reports on the latest business and financial news from its headquarters at 14 Wall Street, who was also in need of a studio upgrade. To accomplish this, TheStreet turned to Houpla Inc. to help them renovate into a state-of-the-art LED facility complete with 12 Philips Selecon PLCyc LED Luminaires supplied by Shadowstone.

“We have worked with TheStreet’s CEO Elisabeth DeMarse many times before on various projects,” began Michael Brassert, Houpla, Inc. “We are brought in to develop video or other media products and over the course of our work we often build studios to develop those elements and that’s how we became engaged in this project. We knew we were going to create an all virtual set, so first we had to have a two-wall cyc and we had to light the cyc up. That’s when Shadowstone recommended we take a look at the PLCyc LED luminaire.”

“This was our first time working with TheStreet and we were excited to help out on a retrofit application to their previous system which was made up primarily of tungsten fixtures,” added Jason Teague, Shadowstone Lighting Designer. “We started with a new pipe grid and then moved onto the Green screen install. As with many studios, due to power concerns Houpla wanted to go all LED and we knew the PLCyc luminaire would work perfect for the Green screen cyc wash.”

As one of the latest additions to the Philips Selecon PL family of LED luminaires, the PLCyc LED had never been used in a Green screen application before, and although no one had thought to use them in such a way, this did not deter Teague from believing they would be the ideal solution.

Teague continued, “We first saw the PLCyc LED luminaire when Kara O’Grady brought one over to our warehouse for a quick demo. One of the first things I noticed was that we could get a great white out of it, and we knew it would be reliable because we have other PL series lights in our shop as well. Typically, in a Green screen application you only need a good white for the video, but the great part about the PLCyc is that they can also dial any additional amount of green to really make it pop on the monitors.”

Brassert added, “I agree that the most unique thing about these fixtures is their ability to change color at infinitum without having to use gels. You can go from the deepest violet blue to a bright green and then a white plus everything in between. When I first saw the lights I thought they were perfect for what we wanted to do. When I saw the amount and evenness of their light output, we noticed that the Green screen was flawlessly lit with no hot spots. It’s a perfectly lit cyc.”

A breakthrough in cyclorama lighting, the PLCyc LED luminaire delivers smooth and even cyclorama lighting in a compact and light weight design. Using a maximum of 120 watts, each unit can replace the equivalent of a traditional 4-color, 500-watt per cell, cyc light. A typical cyclorama can also now be powered from a single circuit using the convenient PLCyc LED Powercon cabling system for power in-and-through applications.

Teague continued, “With the cyc lights chosen, we placed 12 PLCyc LED luminaires into the pipe grid and spaced them four feet apart. Because of their power in and through connections, and to be in line with the studios power concerns, we were then able to daisy-chain them all together to run on only one 20 Amp circuit. Plus, as an added feature, they are all also running DMX in and through to control as one fixture. After it was all said and done, the PLCyc LED was the perfect fixture for this application.”

“With an LED studio there are so many advantages that we knew of and then surprisingly, some that we didn’t know about until after we finished,” said Brassert. “Besides the obvious energy savings, we also found that due to the long lamp life we no longer have to worry about things such as changing a bulb during the show. TheStreet’s various media brands, including, and The Deal, put out about 500 shows per month and any sort of delay puts off the entire schedule so the reliability of the equipment has to be spot on. We had not worked with LED fixtures in this type of application before with a cyc light and I have to say I was a little bit skeptical of the light output, but the PLCyc LED fixtures are working great.”

With the renovated, virtual, LED studio now up and running, TheStreet launched its new productions with an updated and rejuvenated identity to each broadcast. Watching behind the scenes, Brassert and his team at Houpla Inc. were extremely pleased with the LED fixture recommendations of Shadowstone, and they are also excited about the performance of the PLCyc LED luminaire.

“This was out first time working with Shadowstone and the PLCyc LED,” concluded Brassert. “We looked at several companies during the process, but we liked how Shadowstone approaches a project in a very professional manner based on knowledge and experience. They understand that things need to get done on time and their crews need to be the best in the industry. When you do anything in television production, the biggest complement to any lighting system is that you don’t notice it. If everything works perfectly and the way it’s supposed to you kind of forget about it. With these fixtures you never have to think about them because the PLCyc LED luminaires do their job perfectly.”

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