Litepanels Aids NASCAR Race Coverage
March 23, 2010
The new Litepanels lighting in use at a NASCAR event
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA.
We light our announce booths at NASCAR race tracks so the audience can see the track and grandstands in the background. And that background can go from being fully sun-lit in the middle of the day, down to the illumination provided by the track's own artificial lighting as the racing events continue into the evening hours. This necessarily requires some amount of adjustment of the booth lighting itself.
LEDS TRIUMPH OVER HMI FIXTURES
We had been using HMI instruments for announce booth lighting, but decided to switch to Litepanels' Bi-Focus Spot/Super-Spot daylight fixtures. One of the reasons for the switch was the overloading of existing AC circuits by the conventional HMI instruments. The new LED fixtures draw much less current and work well with existing booth electrical power configurations. Also, we needed more directional control of the lighting than we could get with the older fixtures. The Litepanels units allow us the ability to vary the beams from 30 to 15 degrees, and this goes a long way to achieving the lighting results that we were looking for.
We're using a Litepanels Bi-Focus Spot/Super-Spot 2x3 (a gang of six Litepanels 1x1s) and 2x2 (a gang of four 1x1s) to front light the talent, along with several Bi-Focus Spot/Superspot 1x1 fixtures for backlighting and other special lighting requirements.
Both the beam focus and intensity of all the Litepanels fixtures installed in the booth are controlled with a small dimming console via DMX technology. This allows the intensity of the fixtures to be adjusted between zero and 100 percent with no noticeable change in color temperature. This feature has allowed us to match the dwindling background light as the Daytona races continue into the night.
As the LED fixtures achieve full intensity when first turned on, and require no cool down or restrike interval between uses, we can turn the booth lights off after each on-camera sequence without the worry of not having lighting ready if we have to cut back to the announcers.
ANNOUNCERS STAY COOLER
The track announcers are themselves pleased with the new Litepanels installation too. One of their biggest complaints in the past was about the heat buildup in the booth from the conventional lighting fixtures. The LED fixtures radiate no detectable heat and that can make a big difference within the confined areas where we work.
We're also using Litepanels with our wireless roving cameras down on pit row. These camera-mounted MicroPro lighting fixtures are powered by six AA cells. When we're doing pit interviews, we bump up the fill light with a battery-powered Litepanels 1x1 fixture. These LED lights are light and easy to carry, which is a big asset when moving from place to place.
Another very positive thing about the Litepanels LED fixtures is that when the race is done and we're tearing down, they can be packed away immediately without the need for cool-down time that the HMIs required. Another plus too is that the LED lighting package is much lighter in weight than the HMIs and their ballasts; this reduces the load that our truck has to carry.
Michael Davies is vice president of field operations for Fox Sports. He may be contacted at [email protected].
For additional information, contact Litepanels at 818-752-7009 or visit www.litepanels.com.