With 25 years of lighting experience, lighting director Dave Pekach joined the ShopNBC studios in Eden Prairie, MN, in October 2005. Upon his hiring, he instantly inherited the task of retrofitting Studio E with a new broadcast lighting system. The project had to be completed in less than one month, so Pekach chose Entertainment Technology’s Intelligent Raceway® for the studio’s dimming needs.

“In the beginning, Studio E was used for pre-shots, which means shooting still photographs of the products to be sold on-air,” explains Pekach. “There was no lighting or dimming in the space, but there were 20A circuits on breaker switches.”

Pekach, working with Dave Johnson with Gopher Stage Lighting in Minneapolis, MN, determined that there was enough power for a retrofitted system. “Because there is no ancillary space for dimmer racks next to the studio, I knew the Intelligent Raceway was the right choice when it came across my eyes,” says Pekach. “Space was the biggest advantage because the raceways could be installed onto the existing lighting grid and the dimmers would be located next to the lights.”

As the Intelligent Raceway distributed dimming solution is customized to each installation, Pekach would be able to place 120 2,400W dimmers in the studio through the usage of six Intelligent Raceway sections, each 64’ long with his choice of receptacles.

Noise was also a deciding factor for the new dimming system. In a TV studio, silence is a must, and a mechanical buzz, or hum, from the dimming system is simply not acceptable. “With the silent IGBT dimming and the fact that they are convection cooled, the Intelligent Raceway is perfect for an on-air studio,” says Pekach.

Built on Entertainment Technology’s patented IGBT dimmer design, the award-winning Intelligent Raceway provides advanced lighting control with silent IGBT dimming in a built-to-order format. It eliminates dimmer racks and lamp noise and can power and control conventional fixtures, automated luminaires, and auxiliary loads. The Intelligent Raceway is installed adjacent to the lighting position it controls; there is no need for a separate air-conditioned, soundproof equipment room to house noisy dimmer racks. And, compared to centralized rack systems, Intelligent Raceway requires less wire, smaller conduit, shorter runs, and fewer terminations.

“The installation was a piece of cake. We didn’t have a single hiccup,” says Pekach. “Gopher Stage Lighting was phenomenal, they really made it happen. They knew the product and how to put it in. They are true professionals and great to work with.”

As the system turn-on was commissioned, signaling the on-time completion of the project, Studio E is now completely configured with state-of-the-art dimming technology, and ready for the world of on-air electronic retail.

"Studio E is doing great. We have used it without encountering any problems. We now have future expansion planned with four other studios, and we will be using the Intelligent Raceway dimming solution for each,” concludes Pekach.