TSL Lighting has developed an innovative new COVID-Secure ‘remote control’ lighting system to enable simple set-up and operation.
The Basingstoke-based company devised the solution in response to a project brief from digital web streaming pioneers Beings Broadcast, on behalf of creative agency Collider.
“The COVID-19 lockdown has required companies across the event production industry to look at new ways to deliver client communications,” says TSL’s Loz Wilcox. “When the message is important, it’s imperative that this is delivered in a slick, professional manner and sometimes this can be tough to do outside of the normal production environment.
“TSL was contacted by lighting designer Paul Cook, who required a lightweight and easily transportable lighting solution. There were multiple needs: no bulky flight cases which might not be suitable for a home broadcast, simple setup that could be achieved by someone from a non-technical background, and the ability to control it all remotely to ensure lighting levels for camera balance could be monitored during the presentation.”
After exploring various options, TSL created a package using their Litepanels Astra 6X Bi-Color LED Panels and a pre-configured laptop as the interface to the remote lighting controller. Once the client receives the lighting and control package, they connect the colour-coded system by following the supplied instruction manual and simply connect the laptop to the local network or WiFi.
Once connected, the laptop automatically logs on to TSL’s central server, and onwards to the remote console, enabling the lighting designer to remotely set levels for the cameras, adjust colour temperature and obtain the optimum results.
“This is part of TSL’s continued commitment to supporting our clients during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says TSL’s Loz Wilcox. “Networking of show consoles is something we do on many events we supply, so this was really just a means of expanding that network knowledge across the web rather than within a venue. Working through the brief with Paul we considered and tested a couple of options but we’re confident we’ve come up with a robust system which gives the best mix of functionality and most importantly reliability, which is paramount when considering remote control.”
TSL has designed the system so that if there is a break in connection, the local lighting levels stay constant until the session reconnects. The system is also sympathetic to the event and the location. Lighting levels are monitored throughout so that nothing is a distraction outside of the show environment and even remotely operated lighting cues that suit the show’s running order are possible.
The systems are scalable and can be designed to fit any size space and can be set up in advance to make sure that all cabling and connections are colour coded and pre-labelled.
The company has also considered internet load, designing the system so that it leaves as much remaining bandwidth as possible for the video and audio transmission, using the minimum possible upload/download data.
“The system packages neatly into Peli-style custom boxes, ensuring that no large flight cases are required and that transport and set up to a residential venue is possible with the minimum of stress,” Wilcox continues. “We are glad our solution allowed our client to present a beautifully lit event online as we all adapt to new ways of doing business.”