Litepanels Lights Up Wimbledon Coverage

This was the first year ESPN decided to go all-LED for its Wimbledon coverage in two of its courtside studios
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LONDON—When we founded Version 2 in 2016, our vision was to become the most trusted independent provider of specialized lighting equipment rental and support to the U.K. broadcast and event industries. Today our company boasts a state-of-the-art inventory covering the full spectrum of moving lights and LED technologies.

Nick Edwards

Nick Edwards

When ESPN approached Version 2 to provide a full lighting solution for its coverage of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships, we were ready. ESPN has been migrating away from incandescents and towards LED lighting to reduce temperatures in the studios and environmental impact. This was the first year ESPN decided to go all-LED for its Wimbledon coverage in two of its courtside studios.

The timing was great because we had recently added a significant number of Litepanels’ new Gemini 2 x 1 soft-panel LEDs to our inventory. For Wimbledon, we devised a solution consisting of 15 Gemini panels. Six of the Geminis were deployed in the main studio overlooking Court 18 with Court 1 in the background, with nine more mounted in a smaller and more remote studio.

In addition to offering a wide, soft, and flicker-free light source, Gemini has an on-board power supply and is therefore highly lightweight and portable. The fixture’s light weight is a significant advantage for outside broadcasts in which lighting is typically rigged on low-weight-bearing structures.

Malcolm Reed, ESPN lighting director was very pleased with the Gemini’s light quality. “Whereas a previous studio setup like this would have required two separate rigs—HMI for daylight and tungsten for night shooting—we are able to dial in any color temperature and light level we need on the Gemini,” he said. “Throughout the day and into the evening, we were able to control the light levels and temperatures remotely using DMX controls and make an easy transition from daylight to tungsten as the natural light changed. We were able to control key and fill lights just by changing the color temperature as the day went on.”

In addition to the two courtside studios, Version 2 had the full lighting contract for all of ESPN’s Wimbledon coverage including multiple commentary boxes and standup interviews on a rooftop. For all of these, we made ample use of the Geminis and also used Litepanels’ Astra 1x1 Bicolor LEDs for various commentary positions. In addition, we used Litepanels Brick light kits mounted on cameras for the standups and other ENG work.

The ESPN Wimbledon project is just one example of why we at Version 2 have chosen Gemini as our multifunction lighting solution for both studio and on-location projects.

Nick Edwards is managing director for Version 2. He may be contacted at nick.edwards@v2lights.co.uk.

For more information, please visit www.litepanels.com or call 203-929-1100.