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Vari-Lite Profiles impress at Cleveland Orchestra

The compact, feature-rich VL2600 Profile luminaire from Vari-Lite, a Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) entertainment lighting brand, met some crucial needs for lighting designer Alexander V. Nichols in his design for a production of Richard Strauss’s comic opera, Ariadne auf Naxos, by the renowned Cleveland Orchestra.

As one of the USA’s older concert halls, Cleveland’s Severance Hall presents certain challenges to lighting designers. Limited space for hanging luminaires and a lively acoustic which accentuates the noise from cooling fans and electronics mean that lighting fixture choices must be carefully made.

“The main features I was looking for,” said Nichols, “were low noise output and a compact size, to allow for more fixtures to fit in the limited space.”

“I also needed an adequate lumen output, a good zoom range and framing shutters.”

Through his contacts at supplier Vincent Lighting Systems (VLS), Nichols was introduced to the compact, quiet, LED-based VL2600 Profile. He said, “I’ve always been a big fan of Vari-Lite products. The VL2600 attracted me because of its small size, low noise, and relatively high lumen output. In past designs at Severance Hall, I’ve used VL1100AS units, because they are also fairly low-noise fixtures. The VL2600s were a natural step up from those.”

Nichols specified 17 of the new luminaires in his rig, all of which were positioned above the stage on overhead truss. “All the VL2600s were dedicated to performer lighting,” he said, “which concentrated on colour and texture washes in combination with very sharp, bright geometric squares and polygons of light to etch out performance areas.”

“While the units provided nice colour and texture washes, the ones used for these ‘boxes of light’ were clean and clear, which helped them cut through the washes very well.”

The new generation of LED Vari-Lites has more than lived up to Nichols’ respect for the brand. He said, “I was impressed by how many features were packed into this small unit. They have a good array of gobo options, framing shutters and fast, quiet movement. I will certainly be using the VL2600 again.”

Christopher Shick, VLS Production Manager, said, “VLS chose to invest heavily in the VL2600, as they offer a high-quality, flexible, automated fixture to our customers.They produce a brilliant beam of light, vivid and saturated colours, with fast adjustment between beam sizes and different effects.”

“They are quickly becoming a favourite of our customers, as they continue to perform flawlessly and produce beautiful results.”

Images © Roger Mastroianni