The Catalan theater has been among the first to include LED luminaires in its facilities and has relied on ETC to equip its rooms, stages and access points.
Although we already know that technology advances rapidly and constantly, we are currently facing a turning point in the lighting sector. The progressive replacement of conventional luminaires by the new and powerful LED has just begun, but it is now the time to make decisions about which products to invest to successfully switch to LED, especially in the large spaces in which This change may involve a high cost.
We are in the midst of a process of change that will bring many opportunities at a technical, artistic and economic level and, although we think that the most classic stage spaces are going to be reluctant, the truth is that some theaters are being the first to include LED equipment and They enjoy the advantages it provides.
Located in a characteristic place of the city of Barcelona, in the heights of Montjuic, is the peculiar Teatre Lliure. The fact that one day of 1976 was founded, among others, by Lluís Pascual - now in charge of the management - is one of the most important theaters in the country.
The Teatre Lliure (Teatro Libre) is an emblematic place for many reasons: they are unique in their way of understanding the theatrical representation, they are innovative in the selection of their works and they are pioneers in the inclusion of technology to take the theater to the next level . The Lliure, as vanguard in the scenic sector, is not afraid to be different and stands out for it.
It began three years ago to incorporate LED devices in its rooms, which currently still coexists with tungsten or conventional lamps, being the first theaters to include this type of lighting.
"We made the decision to switch to LED in a production of the Teatre Lliure, specifically in King Lear", Explains Marc Lleixà, Head of Lighting at the Teatre. "The improvement and the fact that we have ETC material that we can complement with LED engineering made us bet on the change", in a theater in which not only the cuts of the rooms, but the whole room lighting system and Access, dimmer and control have been entrusted to ETC, a premium lighting brand especially popular for its theatrical use that markets both luminaires and control systems capable of being integrated in a simple way, and which is represented in Spain by Stonex.
The fear of some illuminators in this transition is rooted in the ability to work with the light offered by conventional lamps. However, the advantages of LED are numerous and with their arrival these possibilities begin to become obvious. For example, as Lleixà states, "the strong point of the ETC LED is undoubtedly the administration of color". Tones that were previously worked with gelatins or filters can now be achieved much easier with the new LED devices and with a control that is capable of squeezing this potential. In the case of the Lliure the Gio @ 5 e Ion Xe Series EOS of ETC, are the consoles chosen to get the most out of the color. Each focus is capable of producing the entire color palette, being an inexhaustible source of creativity for the illuminators and a simple tool with which to program different shows.
But another advantage that must be taken into account when replacing our appliances with LEDs is "considerable energy savings, lamps and filters", according to Lleixà, because after the inclusion of LED devices in the Teatre Lliure "the percentage of consumption saved has been high ". With this new technology, light output and energy savings are not exclusive values, apart from requiring less dimmer channels. "You also have to take into account that the appliance emits less heat, this can positively affect the operation of the air conditioning of the room" adds Lleixà.
In addition, ETC has committed to market only LED chip with a duration of up to 54.000 hours in the case of the Source Four LED Series 2 -of which the Teatre Lliure has a total of 24 units-, which means a performance optimal and the security that the acquired devices will be functional for long periods of time. The examinations carried out at ETC to ensure compliance with these quality standards differentiate their LED products from others found in the market.
At the present time the LED coexists with conventional lamps in the scenic spaces. A point of inflection where the most avant-garde technology blends with the tools already established. In the case of the Lliure, the LED of the Source Four LED Lustr Series 2 coexists with the tungsten of the Source Four of the same brand. We are in a moment in which the illuminators have a multitude of instruments to achieve the expected result. Marc Lleixà recommends "give an opportunity to ETC LED devices, because they have their advantages". The best option is to take advantage of the positive aspects of each tool and know how to combine them. "My opinion is that for the moment it is still early to stop using tungsten, and both technologies should coexist for a while," he adds.
New possibilities appear on the horizon, such as the mobile LED heads that have opted to include blades and finally position themselves in more classic stage spaces such as theaters. The options are numerous, from light bulbs such as Ghibli or Ayrton Khamsin, to small size heads such as Claypaky's AXCOR 400. The LED has come to stay, inaugurating an exciting moment for the world of lighting, and spaces like the Lliure continue betting to be the vanguard in this revolution.
* Originally published in Interempresas.net