Stagebar 54™ Provides the “X Factor”

Stagebar 54™ Provides the “X Factor”

April 09, 2008

X Factor = that hard to define "something" that makes for star quality.

For the first few months of this year Friday nights in Denmark were reserved for “X Factor,” a televised talent competition that approximately 2.0 million Danes - nearly 40% of the population - tuned in to watch each week. The show, a type of Pop Idol created by Brit Simon Cowell, aired on Denmark’s DR1 network and commanded some of the country’s best television ratings ever.

Lighting designer for the series was Kasper Steen-Lange, who colored the set using Martin’s Stagebar 54™ LED luminaire and rig of Martin MAC moving heads that included MAC TW1™ tungsten wash lights, MAC 700 Profiles™ and MAC 250 Washes™ as well as Atomic 3000™ strobes. Other automateds and an LED video display were also used. Supply of the Martin gear was by rental company Litecom A/S of Copenhagen.

Stagebar 54
“We needed to find a small color changing fixture that would fit inside the set,” stated Kasper Steen-Lange. “We were looking for a small fixture that would not get warm like other fixtures because heat was an issue and the Stagebar was the solution.” In order to ensure the best possible lumen performance, on-demand fans on board the Stagebar monitor and regulate cooling. This smart heat management extends the lifespan of diodes, while maintaining low acoustic levels.

Some 112 Stagebar 54Ls were built into the set along a pair of central horizontal lines that ran the length of the space. The Stagebar, which functions as a wash luminaire for floodlighting surfaces but can also be used as a pixel bar for displaying imagery, washed the space in an even layer of color. With five colored diodes (Red, Green, Blue, Amber and White), instead of the usual three, the Stagebar offers a broader and finer range of colors.

“We needed to find a fixture that could do a decent amber, which is one of the main colors in the X Factor logo,” Kasper says. “That was also one of the main reasons for choosing the Stagebar. Most fixtures do not do amber very well but the Stagebars do.”

Kasper utilized the Stagebar’s extra white diode as well. “There is a big difference between making white with only RGB and doing it with the true white that the Stagebar has,” he says.

“Also, often on television LED fixtures will sometimes flicker but the Stagebars don’t have that problem.”

Because the Stagebars were located inside the set construction, setup problems and any subsequent issues were to be kept to a minimum. “We were a bit concerned about that because it was very difficult to get to the fixtures once the set was built,” Kasper says. “But the setup of the Stagebars was easy. They ran for about 2 ½ months and we had no issues – they are true workhorses.”

MAC looks
The MAC moving heads were spread liberally across the set, and in the overhead rig, with many located on the floor or used as set elements themselves, a testament to their aesthetic design.

Kasper placed MAC TW1s beneath the stage deck to light a staircase that runs through the entire set. “We needed to find a smooth but powerful soft-edged fixture that could light up the set in warm color tones,” he commented. “And again low noise was a must. I’m still impressed by the lumen output from that fixture.”

Lighting Designer: Kasper Steen-Lange
Lighting Director: Jakob Baekman
Project Leader: Kristian Dreier
Main System Engineer: Christian Olsson
Lighting Vendor: Litecom A/S

Lighting equipment:
112 x Martin Stagebar 54L
36 x Martin MAC 700 Profile
32 x Martin MAC 250 Wash
14 x Martin MAC TW1 80 Volt
9 x Martin Atomic 3000 strobe
9 x Martin Atomic Colors scrollers