Chris Connelly at the desk during load in

LED tape is used everywhere in the entertainment world from major Hollywood movie sets to Broadway shows. One of the most well-recognized places LED lighting can be found is on anchor desks for sports entertainment, news programs, and talk shows.  When designers and technicians want to create state-of-the-art LED tape lighting setups that can be easily and effectively controlled, City Theatrical is there to help make it all happen.

At the beginning of August 2014, Chris Connelly and President Paul Tardue of Center Stage Lighting and Rigging were approached by Andy Himmelwright of Service Electric Cable TV to help light and control a live TV anchor desk broadcast from the Allentown PPL Arena.

Andy wanted to wirelessly control the lights from an iPad interface, rather than have a control console as originally proposed by the fabrication company ErectorSets of Philadelphia. Chris worked with Brendan Spencer of ErectorSets to design a system that would meet Andy’s requirements.

 Final look with ticker on in background

The desk had two sections that needed to be able change colors, as well as side columns that needed to be connected to power but controlled wirelessly.  The whole project was budgeted for under $20,000 for lighting and control. And they had only one month to get it done.

Chris chose City Theatrical’s QolorFlex™ Natural White LED tape for the graphics display light boxes, and QolorFlex RGBNW LED tape for the color changing columns and desk panels. Center Stage's Aaron Bach tested the system at their shop.

For convenience in size and four channel color control he used several City Theatrical D4 Neo® dimmers with built in wireless DMX receivers, and CTI’s SHoW DMX SHoW Baby® 5 as a transmitter. The SHoW Baby 5 received the DMX stream from a Strand touch screen controller that was networked with an iPad. Andy tested the set up at his shop and found that all five SHoW DMX SHoW IDs were satisfactory so he simply used the default adaptive hopping mode.

The desk can seat up to three announcers and is used for a weekly show on Monday nights.  It’s also active for any Phantom Hockey game and special events.  Remote news desks like these are gaining popularity everywhere and the solution Andy found using City Theatrical’s innovative products allows for quick, easy, and cost effective installation.