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American Idol LD Kieran Healy Keylights with Prism’s RevEAL LED Profiles

After eleven seasons and an Emmy Award, Lighting Designer Kieran Healy continues to raise the bar for live television design with his dynamic and well-balanced looks on FOX's American Idol. His design provides much of the visual looks for the program, especially for the numerous performances, but the singers are not the only artists that must be well lit during the performances. Healy also balances the look of the judges' lighting to ensure a clean and seamless transition as the camera moves between the judging table and the stage. This season Healy chose to keylight the three judges—Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson—with the RevEAL LED Profile from Prism Projection.

“I chose the RevEAL LED Profile for the keylighting of the judges since the light provided me with a beautiful, flat field and for the fact that I could choose any color temperature that I wanted—and maintain that balance,” explains Healy. “I am typically using them with a color temperature around 4,700-4,800K. We have a lot of different arc sources in the lighting design and that just averages it out. It is also easy to match the followspots, because you want all your keylights to match. Invariably the handheld camera will shoot the judges and then turn around and shoot the performance, so if you have one color temperature for the judges and another for the stage it is very noticeable; at least it is to me. The Prism did a good job of matching color temperature.”

Healy is using four of the Prism RevEAL LED Profiles to keylight the judges as they sit at their table. “I usually use a followspot as a key when people are moving around but here I had a fixed location. I am keying the judges from a 45° angle left and right. Principally because when you try to key them from straight on it ends up backlighting all the theatrical smoke on stage, which then creates a fuzzy diffused image of the performers.”

The Prism RevEAL Profile, unlike other LED profile units, can be used effectively in long-throw applications. Where other LED profiles that are currently available don’t have the output to be used much beyond a 20-foot throw, the RevEAL Profile is regularly being used for throws up to and over 75-feet. The Prism Profile is able to hold its own against automated lighting levels, as in this television application. Healy found that the RevEAL Profiles, "held up well in terms of brightness with all of the arc sources."

The RevEAL Profile is a true high-CRI, LED Profile Spot with a lumen output of 16,000 lumens, a variable Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) range of 2,800–6,500K, an adjustable focus from hard to a very soft edge, interchangeable lenses for beam angles from 14º–50º, and a flat field. It also has four shutters on a tri-plane; accepts M-size gobos; uses DMX, Art-Net, or local control; and features a universal power input of 90–260V AC and a maximum power draw of 350-watts. The RevEAL unit produces an extended color gamut using a five-color mixing process: red, green, blue, cyan, and amber. The advanced optical algorithms produce amazingly pure and consistent colors, including white light with a CRI above 93. Prism’s innovative TrueSource® color management and calibration system allows its products to deliver exact color over the entire life of the luminaire.

When asked about the features of the light that he finds important, Healy comments, “The key aspect is the color temperature control. With most automated units you don't get that kind of control because they only have 3,200K and 5,600K dichroic filters. With the Prism LED Profile, I can get a nice color temperature right in the middle since I key at 4,800K. Also, I find the interchangeable lens are very good and I like that the light has a nice, even field; you don't get any of the old school multiple shadows from LEDs." For American Idol, Healy is only using the Profile for white light, not for color; although he would use the color mixing abilities in other applications. “If I were using it in theatre, I would have more use for the color control. Here on Idol, I found the white met my needs very well. It is a good light.”

American Idol is produced by 19 Entertainment, a division of CKX, Inc. and FremantleMedia North America Inc.

For more information about Prism Projection, Inc. and its RevEAL series products, please go to:

About Prism Projection’s RevEAL Products

In the fall of 2009, Prism Projection, Inc. introduced the first of the RevEAL™ (Revolutionary Entertainment & Architectural Lighting) line of products, the Color Wash. From the beginning the RevEAL CW generated industry awards and attention, including Best Debuting Product for Lighting at LDI 2009. In 2010, Prism again moved LED technology forward with the debut of the RevEAL Profile. RevEAL has received numerous product awards from LDI, WFX, ABTT, and Live Design tradeshows and magazines. In 2011, Prism added the RevEAL Studio, for applications where a Fresnel would be used.