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Quincy Newspaper Group Applauds Litepanels LEDs

Brady Dreasler QUINCY, ILL.—Quincy Newspapers is a group owner with stations in medium and small television markets. With the deployment of HD cameras for newscast production, we also changed our studio lighting equipment as well, electing to go with Litepanels LED fixtures.

There’s definitely money to be saved on the power bill, but the really big advantage is the quality of the pictures.

We found that the new LED fixtures can do everything our old tungsten—and a few fluorescent fixtures—could do. Talent flesh tones really pop and we’re very happy with the on-air look we’re getting, which, of course, is what we really care about.

Our news anchors agree. They look better with the HD cameras and the new lighting, and they’re very happy about that. And as there’s almost no heat associated with the LED lighting, they don’t have a problem wearing jackets on set during the summer.

Our lighting designer, Steve Mulkey of Redwood Media Group, relied primarily on Litepanels Sola 4 daylight balanced LED Fresnel fixtures, which combine the advantages of LED technology with the classic Fresnel fixture design. He also incorporated daylight balance Litepanels’ 1×1flood and 1×1 spot fixtures in the studio, and Litepanels Sola ENG daylight Fresnel fixtures in the newsroom.

The Litepanels products we’re using are daylight color-balanced, as this seems to work better with our new cameras. Daylight fixtures also have the added benefit of being easier to color match with the video monitors used on set.

A dimmer board isn’t required with the Litepanels instruments either. We’re running a PC with DMX control software, and have loaded scene configurations at control stations in the studio and control room. These stations are simply single gang faceplates with 10 buttons for making lighting changes.

At our flagship station in Quincy, WGEM-TV, our old tungsten lighting package drew around 50 kW of power. The Litepanels LED fixtures which replaced them draw just three kW. (That reduction also reflects the amount of air conditioning we supply to the studio.)

We not only save on our monthly utility bill, but we got a rebate of about $15,000 from one of the power companies.

I’ve read estimates in some trade publications of a six to 10 year payback when you convert from tungsten to LEDs. This depends, of course, on the kilowatt hour rate, but I think that our payback period will be a lot shorter than that. We calculated that it would occur in about three years at KTTC, our station in Rochester, Minn. Incidentally, once the Litepanels LED lighting was installed at this station, something happened there for the first time ever. It seems that the old tungsten lighting package did a good job of masking the brutally cold Minnesota winter temperatures— sometimes 20 degrees below zero or colder. The first winter after the changeover to LED lighting, the station actually had to provide heat in the studio to keep the news anchors comfortable. However, that was a small price to pay for the many bonuses that have come with our LED lighting equipment.

Brady W. Dreasler is director of engineering, capitol and facilities at Quincy Newspapers. He may be contacted

For additional information, contact Litepanels, a Vitec company, at 818-752- 7009 or