Seven Batten™ linear LED lights join SixBar 1000s™ at one of world’s premiere opera and ballet houses
The Nationale Opera & Ballet in Amsterdam is the leading Dutch organization for opera and ballet and is regarded as one of the top five of its kind in the world. The theater recently upgraded its lighting system, acquiring Elation Professional Seven Batten™ LED linear lights, which join a state-of-the-art rig that also includes Elation SixBar 1000™ linear battens.
The Nationale Opera & Ballet creates, produces and presents both traditional and innovative opera and ballet productions of the highest quality. Seeking to replace a number of outdated fluorescent fixtures with something more modern, in 2018, the organization contacted leading lighting supply company Ampco Flashlight to set up a demo of several possible solutions.
Elation’s Key Account Manager for Benelux, Bert Schmeits, brought a Seven Batten 72 to Bas van Schelven of Ampco Flashlight for the demo at the venue. “Overall they were impressed with the light but they had some concerns about the dimming,” Schmeits explains. “That was an issue we were glad to address so we produced new software that met their criteria and a new demo took place at the opera in May 2019. This time it was with the Seven Batten 42, which was preferable for them in terms of handling.” Consequently, an order for 71 fixtures was placed via Ampco Flashlight and the units were delivered and installed in October 2019.
Deputy head of the lighting department at Nationale Opera & Ballet is Richard ten Hof. He comments, “The Seven Batten with its 7 LEDs projected the quality of light required, especially when we put a special microstructure diffuser (frost filter) on it. As far as dimming, I requested to have 16-bit control over each color and a dedicated dimming channel with 16-bit. The necessary changes were made so now we can make a proper color in 16-bit and we have a dedicated dimmer channel, which, in combination, wasn’t there before. The dimmer channel is important because without it the color can shift when dimming up or down. With a dedicated dimmer channel, that doesn’t happen and we stay in the selected color. And, of course, 16-bit gives maximum control.”
The one-meter-long Seven Batten 42 is one in a line of linear lighting effects using a 7-color multi-chip LED that gives a wide color spectrum for uniform projections of color. Useful as a wash light, uplight, cyc wash, accent light or even a direct view pixel strip, its individual LED control is a feature that ten Hof says came in handy on a holiday season production. “In The Nutcracker there is a scene where the Seven Battens were used to mimic light shining through a window but the light appeared too uniform so they tampered with the individual LEDs to make slight adjustments to the color along the length of the fixture to give the light more of a dynamic look.” Ten Hof says the new fixtures will be used for many different purposes, it is up to each production’s lighting designer. “We have provided the tool and they can use it however they want.” The Seven Battens join previously installed Elation SixBar 1000 linear LED strip lights, which ten Hof reports have been used in all kinds of situations over the past couple of years.
Ten Hof says that working with Ampco Flashlight was and is always a pleasure. “I have known them for a long time and they are kind of a house dealer for us. They listened to our wishes, especially concerning the dimming curve, and Bas van Schelven, together with the Elation development team, made it happen.” He adds that it was also ensured that the fixtures came from the same batch to ensure consistency in the LEDs.
Ampco Sales Manager Bas van Schelven ends by stating, “We have had a long-standing relationship with the Nationale Opera & Ballet and it is always a pleasure to work with such professionals. Likewise with Elation Professional. We have worked together with their European office for many years and are always pleased to specify products that do the required job.”