Changing Where the “Fourth” Wall Stops at Denison High School
Batts Audio, Video & Lighting uses PL House LED luminaires to enhance the work of an adventurous theatre department
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
by Philips Strand Lighting


When the Denison Independent School District won approval through a bond election to begin construction on a new high school campus, the 650-seat Smith Auditorium was initially conceived to be a modern performance space with the most current rigging, sound, and lighting equipment available. To fulfill all the needs of an adventurous fine arts department which included a desire to bring the audience into the performances, Batts Audio, Video & Lighting was brought on to make this desire a reality which they did using 110 PL House Light luminaires from Philips Selecon.

“The Smith Auditorium is a wonderful performance space,” began Batts. “The house is designed with stadium seating, but in the original design they had another LED house light specified that didn’t really have a great low end for dimming, which needed to be almost perfect. Since we have had previous introductions to the PL House Light and since we feel that Strand Lighting really gets what the low end of a theatrical fixture needs to look like, we set up a demo for the school, engineers and architects and we got the PL House LED into the lighting package and it’s doing exceptionally well.”

A revolutionary breakthrough in Theatrical and Entertainment House Lighting, the PL House Light is an LED luminaire that offers a 50,000 hour replacement for 300 and 500 watt halogen house lights. With a fully tunable high-output RGBW LED light engine supporting color temperatures from 2300K to 9970K and full color mixing, the PL House Light energizes the overall design of a production giving designers the control and flexibility to immerse the audience in color.

Batts continued, “The key to understanding how to best use the PL House Light in the market is to understand that it’s not just a house light, it’s a theatrical fixture. Having the ability to change color in the house over just a tunable white enhances the performance and that’s the key when you are putting the system into a place where you know its primary function will be whole-house theatrical performances.”

For energy-conscious applications, the PL House Light has a defined maximum energy consumption with power presets from 30 watts to full power. Additionally, with a quick selection of Warm White, Cool White and Daylight color presets, the luminaire simplifies matching existing light sources, and it has an adjustable 20° to 45° beam spread.

“Unlike most house lights, with the PL House Light you don’t have to order the beam angle when you order the fixture and we found that to be awesome,” added Batts. “The fixtures look great in the space, they have great intensity and their colors are full and saturated. The engineers were skeptical that we could meet the requirements for lumens on the floor, but when we got the PL House Light fixtures installed they were completely satisfied and now they get it too.”

With the Smith Auditorium set to officially open at the beginning of the Fall 2014 school year, Batts is confident that the new lighting system will exceed all the expectations of the ambitious theatre department and he is excited to see how they bring the performance space to life with the PL House Light.

Batts, concluded “Out of our 110 fixtures I don’t see any color variances and their tunable white fulfills all the engineering requirements. In this system every fixture is addressed independently which gives the theatre department a fantastic flexibility to wash the actors in flowing saturated colors as they walk up and down the aisles without changing the light over the audience. When you like to perform in the house, being able to use your house lights as part of the theatrical lighting plot is a very unique tool and the PL House Light has really changed where the ‘fourth’ wall stops.”

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