Creative Technology finds “the future of auto show lighting” in new, auto show-optimized LED moving head. Lightswitch principal John Featherstone calls Fuze Wash 575 “the best light I’ve ever seen for lighting automobiles”
When auto companies present their newest cars at exhibitions, aesthetics are crucial and especially high demands are placed on the lighting. Rental company and production house, Creative Technology, met the challenge at this year’s LA Auto Show using Elation Professional’s new, exhibit optimized Fuze Wash 575 luminaire to highlight cars on the Kia and Volvo booths.
Creative Technology has used Elation Design PAR 575 opti par moving heads on auto show booths for years - as have many other production companies - and plenty of Design Par 575 fixtures were to be found at the 2017 LA Auto Show. The company sought the benefits of an LED solution and turned to Elation’s new cool-white Fuze Wash 575™ LED PAR moving head luminaire with motorized beam control.
Optimized for auto shows
Held December 1-10 at the LA Convention Center, the LA Auto Show is one of the most influential auto shows in the world. Elation has a tradition of lighting excellence on auto exhibitions and has designed the Fuze Wash 575 to optimize the way a vehicle looks and assume the role as a new workhorse fixture-of-choice. Featuring a high-output 350W Cool White / Daylight COB LED engine, the fixture gives designers what they need without the cost, weight and power needs of conventional 575W discharge daylight PAR lights.
Ian Dobson, Project Manager Lighting Division at Creative Technology, worked with Elation Sales Director Eric Loader and National Sales Manager John Dunn to customize the Fuze Wash 575 in order to get the exact fixture they needed. “We collaborated with Elation on the LED chip set to get the light output and color temperature we liked,” Dobson says, noting that the optimal color temperature decided upon was 6800K. And with a high CRI of 95, the Fuze Wash 575 excels at accurately reflecting an object’s true color.
Creative Technology has worked on Kia booths for many years, providing a turn-key audio, visual and lighting solution. Rigged on straight trusses at a trim height of 27 feet, some 190 Fuze Wash 575 fixtures were used on the Kia booth, six fixtures per car, three per side. “It’s an upgrade from the Design Pars we’ve used on several previous auto shows and is a cost effective solution as well,” Dobson commented. “The zoom, pan and tilt positioning, electronic dimming and its remote-focus capabilities are all important.”
Weight was a major factor as well as the LA Convention Center has a relatively low weight capacity due to building and earthquake zone restrictions. “It’s always our biggest issue,” Dobson says. “At only 27 pounds, the Fuze Wash 575 gives us greater flexibility in design and allows us to have a greater concentration of fixtures in one area.” Other advantages of the LED-based Fuze Wash 575 are energy efficiency and savings due to lack of bulb changes. “No bulbs means big money savings,” Dobson states. “And with its lower wattage and the fact that you’re cutting down on the power requirements, it’s a benefit for the client while reducing our energy footprint. It is really the future of auto show lighting.”
CT played a major role on four booths at this year’s LA Auto Show (Volvo, Audi, Jaguar Land Rover and Kia) and was the first big event in which they’ve used the Fuze fixture. “They are working out great and having them in our inventory has paid off,” Dobson said. The Kia booth was designed by exhibit company EWI.
Kia press event
Kia held a press event prior to the exhibition opening in order to reveal their redesigned Kia Sorento, as well as other popular Kia models. Design group Lightswitch were tasked by the XD Agency to light the event and used the Fuze Wash 575 for the task.
Press events have two elements, according to Lightswitch principal John Featherstone - the presentation and the scrum, which is when a gaggle of photographers descend to take photos for press and social media. “We want to light each car so that it is worthy of a banner photo in the major news press,” he says, explaining that the Kia image has gone from less rock ‘n’ roll to more high design, one might say European aesthetic with a line of cars that are crisp and clean. “Kia has significantly elevated their finish quality and that includes their auto show presence.”
Featherstone explains that, as specialists, Lightswitch is expected by their client to have the right tool for the right job. “We’re not looking for a fixture that can do multiple things but need exactly the right solution for Kia,” he says. “Kia is super detail oriented and we need to be aware of that when we light a car. Fidelity of the color rendering index and accuracy of the color temperature, for example, are very important.”
The Fuze was therefore perfect for the project, Featherstone says. “The CRI is extremely high and the color temperature is extremely accurate. It has a beautiful quality of light and is also screaming bright. The fixture is super clean, has the right finish and has no honeycomb look to it so aesthetically it’s nice to look at as well. In fact, this is hands down the best light I’ve ever seen for lighting automobiles. It has all the benefits of a discharge fixture but with none of the disadvantages.”
Creative Technology Production Staff on Kia Booth at the LA Auto Show:
Chris Wasilauskas, Lighting Designer, Technical Director, Creative Technology
Paul Reeves, Programmer, Creative Technology
Alan Schwartz, Lighting Tech, Freelance
Ian Dobson, Project manager, Rigger, Creative Technology
Kia Press Event
John Featherstone, Lightswitch
Dennis Conners, Lightswitch
Lacey Taylor, Lightswitch