Arcola and Philips partnership delivers a carbon-neutral Grimeborn

Arcola Theatre aims to become the world’s first carbon neutral theatre. This year, we took a big step towards that goal by bringing low-energy, high-quality LED stage lighting fixtures to our flagship opera festival, Grimeborn. Arcola estimates that the inclusion of Philips Lighting’s LED technology in the Grimeborn lighting rig delivered a 36% power-saving overall.

Philips Selecon PLprofiles and Philips SL BAR wash lights augmented Arcola’s existing lighting equipment.  “This dramatically reduced our power consumption,” says Technical Manager Geoff Hense. “Currently, our older lantern stock is a major obstacle to our efforts towards being carbon neutral, due to the high power consumption and lamps that regularly need replacing. The Philips Selecon PLprofiles do not have these limitations. We see this partnership as a bridge to converting entirely to LED lighting.” ​

Hense, along with Assistant Technical Manager Michael Paget, created a fixed lighting rig for the festival, with some additional ‘specials’ available to meet individual requirements. “Some companies may bring their own lighting designers or programmers, but all have to work within these limitations,” says Hense.

Based on the feedback from this year’s lighting designers, the fixtures have more than met expectations. Robert Price, lighting designer for Samson & Delilah, comments, “My brief was to make the light almost another character in the opera. The characteristics of the main singers are often represented by light, sometimes a very heavy use, sometimes stripped all the way back. Again, these units hold their own very well. Even if I solo down to just one light, I know it’s going to look good. It’s made it very easy.”

The LED color-changing has been a great advantage, says Price. “We go through so many colors and shades, but I can color change very smoothly and easily with the same units. From a time-saving and programming point of view, they’re a big advantage. And the mix between the tungsten and LED is just beautiful.”

Price was also impressed by the power of the Philips SL BAR wash units used to light the rear wall. He adds, “The wall is almost black and yet they appear very punchy and bright on it. The color match between the units is perfect, and the wash is incredibly clean, with no hotspots or blemishes.”

Colin Kavanagh, General Manager Philips Entertainment Lighting said: “We are delighted to be able to support the Grimeborn festival again this year. We applaud Arcola Theatre’s sustainability ambitions, as they reflect Philips Entertainment Lighting’s own values with regard to the environment. Producing high-quality, low power consumption LED stage lighting fixtures is part of our commitment to providing lighting designers and venues with the tools they need to meet their future lighting requirements.”