AC-ET Delivers Lighting Spectacle for British Grand Prix Ball

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A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) Ltd again provided a spectacular architectural lighting system for the Clubhouse of the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) at Silverstone racing circuit, for their annual British Grand Prix Ball event.

The legendary BRDC Ball is staged in a luxury marquee adjacent to the Members' Clubhouse on the eve of the F1 Santander British Grand Prix Weekend. It attracts the highest profile members, a selection of celebrities and important players in the world of motorsport.

AC-ET - a leading UK entertainment technology supplier and Patron to the British Racing Drivers' Club's exclusive Rising Stars programme - worked closely alongside the BRDC Events team to deliver the impressive temporary lighting installation.

The brief was to transform the three-storey Clubhouse – located right by the racetrack in prime viewing position – into a dynamic space for the event, bringing a new and exciting ambience for the occasion.

The lighting scheme was designed by AC-ET's Andy Smith. It was based on the highly successful 2011 installation with some new elements, and utilised cutting-edge LED lighting solutions from leading brands including Chroma-Qâ„¢, PixelRange, SGM and Robe.

The roof of the clubhouse was lit with Chroma-Q Color Forceâ„¢ 48 colour-changing battens positioned at floor level on the roof of the terrace.

The outside of the building provided a chance for the new IP65 rated Chroma-Q Color Force Compactâ„¢ fixtures to show their durability in the heavy rain, shooting intense shafts of white light up the back of the Clubhouse. They were positioned on the roof of the first floor. Additional Color Force Compact units were stationed on the floor outside the Clubhouse entrance gates.

Inside the courtyard area, a BMW car display was under-lit with one of the new Chroma-Q Studio Forceâ„¢ V fixtures – a variable white light fixture, trimmed to daylight in this case to produce a mega-bright lightsource emanating from beneath the black car.

On the first floor, Chroma-Q Color Block 2â„¢ fixtures in each of the windows – one unit focused inwards and another outwards through the windows – produced exceptionally bright blocks of colour. Particularly stunning were a number of red, white and blue looks, fine-tuned to add a celebratory ‘Britain 2012' flavour.

The tented material entrance porch was illuminated with Color Force 72 battens, and Chroma-Q Color Chargeâ„¢ fixtures were used to draw attention to the welcome desk as guests entered the Clubhouse. The highly portable, battery powered DMX units are perfect for temporary events such as this, where laying cabling is difficult or needs to be kept out of sight.

The Chroma-Q LED lineup was completed by Color Force 12 units lighting the merchandise tent.

Chroma-Q 4Playâ„¢ and Magic Boxâ„¢ DMX buffers were used for data distribution throughout the installation.

AC-ET also supplied a number of other lighting fixtures. The BRDC sign at the top of the building was highlighted with PixelRange PixelPAR 90 fixtures, and SGM LED strobes were scattered within the sign, providing ‘random' bursts of atmospheric flashing light.

On the roof terrace, Robe ROBIN 300E Beam moving lights were utilised for beam and searchlight effects, and Robe ColorSpot 2500E ATs were used to project powerful break-up patterns into the gardens and onto the canopy roof.

Below on the first floor balcony, more ColorSpot 2500E ATs projected break-up gobos into the trees and gardens.

On the ground floor, positioned in the gardens, Robe CitySkape Xtremes were used to wash this area, tied into the same colour themes as all the Chroma-Q LEDs. These also proved very resistant to the wet weather that persisted throughout the weekend.

To make a special statement at the front entrance, two of the Union Jack Clay Paky Sharpies that featured so prominently on the Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace in June were placed to catch eyes and generate comments from guests as they entered the Clubhouse!

The BMW car was augmented with more PixelPAR 90s and Robe ROBIN 600E Spots, which were also used to throw colour and texturing onto the entrance of the marquee.

The entire lighting system was controlled by a Jands Vista S1 console connected to a laptop running the latest Vista v2 software, programmed by AC-ET's Jack Moorhouse. Once again, Jands Vista v2 proved to be a perfect, powerful and practical control solution for the complex multi-faceted installation.

Challenges – apart from the appalling weather – included an extremely tight timescale, with just two days to set up and programme, some exceptionally long cable runs and a large proportion of the kit having to be packed away for the qualifying rounds on Saturday …. and then re-set for the event in the evening.

Stuart Pringle, Secretary of the British Racing Drivers' Club commented, “AC-ET have built up something of a reputation for springing surprises with BRDC Members and their guests over the last few years, but this year the team really surpassed themselves. Guests were amazed to see the transformation of the Clubhouse when they left after dark. It looked stunning, stylish and dynamic and added an extra and very memorable dimension to the evening.”

The event was a complete success and the lighting helped make a fabulous evening even more unforgettable for all involved.

Photo copyright required – © Jakob Ebrey

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