LIT Lighting in Tempe, Arizona recently specified, designed, sold and installed new lighting and production equipment in the Footprint Center, home arena of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.  The installation, which comprised a new entertainment lighting solution, included Ayrton, MA Lighting, MDG and RapcoHorizon brands, all exclusively distributed in North America by ACT Entertainment.

“Pro basketball is not just a game anymore, it showcases elements promoting crowd activation and interaction, which at the Footprint Center include a dance team, half-time performances often by A-list artists, and a dunk team with trampolines and the team mascot,” says LIT Lighting Project Manager Casey Jones.  “There are a ton of moving pieces that now require entertainment lighting solutions to guarantee that fans have a better experience at games in every possible way.”

LIT Lighting, which specializes in professional lighting, video and special effects production and staff for live events, selected 27 Ayrton Huracán LT fixtures at the heart of the system.  The Huracán LT combines exceptional power with an ultra-intense beam and long-throw capabilities to deliver a formidable tool for large venues, such as arenas and stadiums.

Twenty-six of the Huracáns are active with 20 mounted in 40-foot truss in each corner of the court where they can cover “anything, anywhere with spots, gobos and colour,” notes Jones.  Six Huracáns are under the east and west videoboards, three per side, to ensure great facial lighting.

“Prior to installing the Huracáns our only spots were traditional, manually-operated follow spots,” Jones reports.  “We felt the Huracáns were the best in class.  They have a super high output, great colour reproduction and mixing for the camera, and perfect long-throw lensing for our 85 to 90-foot trim.”

LIT Lighting also chose a grandMA3 full size console to control house lighting, illuminate the players’ benches and control haze.  “It was the only option that made sense: The grandMA is industry-standard for a reason,” says Jones who is programming the system in MA3 mode.  “I’m excited about it.  It has so many advantages and is much more powerful than other consoles I’ve used.”

Four MDG ATMe haze generators are now on hand, too.  “People want to see beams of light and atmosphere but not fog,” Jones points out.  “After testing several systems ATMe seemed the best product for the job.  It’s a great hazer, and its particulates are thin enough that they disperse quickly so people don’t see clouds when the arena lights come back on after the entertainment.”

Additionally, RapcoHorizon custom fabricated socapex power distribution boxes tailored to the large venue.  “They enable us to have smaller custom drops around the catwalk to power each truss,” Jones explains.

The new gear was quickly put to use on two pre-season games for the Phoenix Suns and was ready to go for the team’s first regular season game, October 28.

“Although I drove the design of the new system myself, ACT was incredibly helpful throughout the project,” Jones reports.  “They provided demos, answered all my questions and even connected me to other users – and lighting for basketball is a pretty unique use case.  ACT was on top of meeting our delivery deadlines and if any difficulties arose helped out by supplying temporary units.”

Eric Abad, ACT Western Regional Sales, concluded, “Joining forces with LIT Lighting to deliver extraordinary experiences is always a thrill.  When the goal is to create magic—something  LIT regularly delivers their customers—ACT Entertainment’s portfolio of cutting edge technologies puts us in a privileged position to empower our customers. »

Text: Courtesy of ACT Entertainment
Photos: © Jesse Colocado

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