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Lighting : April May 2011
70 LIGHTING MAGAZINE | April/May 2011 STRAPHEAD IN HERE TECHNICAL FEATURE Introduction The use of energy efficient light sources in the entertainment industry has come about because of the desire to get ever increasing amounts of light out of smaller luminaires. By the nature of this growth, the industry has pioneered a number of light source and luminare developments. The current rash of eco-initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions and carbon footprints has seen recognition of the ability of the entertainment industry to play its part Lighting contributes a significant proportion to these areas. The entertainment industry needs to be as aware as any business of Government initiatives in the drive to reduce our carbon footprint. But in fact the industry has been ahead of the game in some areas for many years. The entertainment industry has always been an early adopter of new and cutting edge technology and in fact has brought about the serious development of some lighting technologies. I will go through some of these developments that achieve energy efficiency. History The first cave men were probably early exponents of energy saving. By gathering a number of hunters around one fire to tell their stories, they saved having to light a whole lot of separate fires to cook and keep warm at night and in the winters. All of our current forms of entertainment have evolved from the earliest coming together of people to be entertained by story telling. Some people would probably consider the tribalism of some of today’s productions, not too far from those cavemen! Entertainment as a notion of collecting a group of people together to share a common performance evolved from the informal collection around a fireplace into the more organised entertainments of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Entertainment and religion kept a pace with each other as means of collecting groups of people for common experiences. Most of these activities took place in daylight in open areas, or open or roofless enclosures because of the lack of large-scale light sources for the darkness. Candles and sophisticated oil lamps in the Middle Ages allowed larger areas to be lit and larger groups of people could be assembled. It wasn’t really until the advent of town gas, and the lighting that it bought in the 19th century, that gas was used as lighting for places of entertainment. Electricity made its mark on the entertainment business in a big way and this advent has probably created most of the shape of entertainment today as we know it. From moving pictures through live theatres to clubs and other late night venues – none of these would have happened without electricity. energy saving technology courtesy of the entertainment industry Three major developments in the entertainment industry have had a large influence on the overall lighting industry. Today they are being used in the area of energy conservation. They are the thyristor dimmer, compact tungsten halogen lamp, and the metal halide lamp. The first was the invention of the thyristor dimmer. It was first used in theatre and television lighting to allow level and group circuit control. Although dimmers had been used earlier in theatres, the thyristor was the first dimmer to allow large scale dimming and effectively power saving by its method of dimming. In some of London’s West End theatres, from the early 1980s, a link was used between the maximum demand power metering and the stage lighting control to ensure the theatre never exceeded an agreed maximum and thereby saving money. Electronic dimming has well and truly left the stage and become a very valuable technology for energy saving nowdays in the commercial sector. The second development was an evolution in tungsten halogen technology. In a couple of specific areas the entertainment business has pushed this along. The first of these was the MR-16 dichroic lamp, first developed by GE as a light source for the Super-8 projector. Unfortunately, its development was concurrent with the advent of VHS videotape, which killed the film business stone dead. GE had to find an outlet for their investment and we received the Precise MR-16 lamp. The rest is fairly well known history. The other of these areas is the more recent creation of compact high output tungsten halogen sources for theatrical spotlights. ETC, David Cunningham, and Ushio pioneered a 575W Tungsten halogen lamp in combination with a dichroic glass reflector to give us the Source 4 ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY Chris McKenzie* *MIESANZ, Professional Lighting Services Ltd Auckland New Zealand, E:firstname.lastname@example.org .nz.
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