DALLAS - August 17, 2004 - The introduction of the VL3500(Tm) Spot and VL3500 Q Spot luminaires by automated lighting pioneer Vari-Lite provides new opportunities for lighting designers requiring 1200W fixtures with automated shutter capabilities. The VL3500 Spot luminaires match perfectly with the VL3000 Spot fixtures to provide a complete 1200W spot package. Designers now have a pair of fixtures that can satisfy all of their spot luminaire needs.

The VL3500 Spot fixtures' shutter system consists of four shutters on two planes, which allows the blades to be operated independently or in unison on the two planes. This, combined with the opposing chamfers allows designers a clear, crisp focus on all four blades at once. The shutters move quickly and fluidly. The VL3500 Spot fixtures share the same high standards in quality - such as imagery, even field, beam control, color and intensity - set by the original VARI*LITE Series 3000 Spot luminaires.

The fixtures were first shown to the industry last week at a product launch at New York's Manhattan Center Studios. Lighting designers and industry professionals who were unable to attend the New York event will have a number of opportunities to see the new fixtures firsthand in the coming weeks. Vari-Lite will debut the fixtures in Europe Sept. 12-15 at PLASA in London. The VL3500 luminaires will also be at Vari-Lite's booth at LDI Oct. 22-24 in Las Vegas.

"Designers will be pleased with this product," said Vari-Lite product manager George Masek. "No other competitor can provide the 6-to-1 zoom range we do in a 'Q' version, silent-running 1200W fixture with shutters."

The VL3500 Spot fixtures have 11 total gobos--five rotating and six static. With its shutter configuration, the fixtures have just three fewer gobos than the original VL3000 lights. Designers can use the same gobos and carriers in all Series 3000 fixtures. All are interchangeable, which should please rental houses. The fixtures are available in the popular "Q" version, which has a 50-percent less audible fan noise for situations where silence is critical.

"Designers become comfortable with the tools they're used to and the way they work," Masek said. "Rather than giving them a completely new fixture that they have to become acquainted with the nuances of, we are expanding the capabilities of a fixture they are familiar with. This is crucial because when a designer is beginning a new production, the last thing they want is to commit to a light that has unfamiliar characteristics. They know how the VL3500 Spot fixtures will perform because they are already familiar with the VL3000 Spot units."

Vari-Lite expects the VL3500 luminaires to be extremely popular in the theatrical, television, houses of worship, corporate event and trade show markets. The core instrument used to light practically every theatrical production is the ellipsoidal reflector spotlight, which almost always features shutters. Designers rely on the shutters to harness control of light beams--shuttering off a doorframe or a set piece, for example.

"The basic concept is that designers need to light this stage piece very well without dumping light all over the stage area next to it," Masek explained. "And they need to do it with a shape that isn't necessarily a circular beam of light."

For example, a lighting designer might need to light a vase of flowers on a table very brightly while the rest of the stage remains in complete shadows. If any light spills onto other areas of the stage, the audience will see what's happening behind the scenes and secrets of the plot or how effects are created will be given away. To make it work, the designer shutters the beam tightly on the table and flowers, providing extreme intensity in just that area of the stage, keeping the secrets safe.

For technical information on the VL3500 Spot fixtures and a comparison versus the VL3000 Spot luminaire visit www.vari-lite.com under the "products" section.