Artistic Licence Engineering Showcases Multichrome Tube for Bow Arts Trust
Bow Arts Trust, the East London arts educational charity, is the recipient of the first major installation of Artistic Licence Engineering's new modular Multichrome Tube LED fixtures.
Technical Entertainment Services, an integration company specializing in architectural LED feature lighting, was commissioned by Bow Arts Trust to refurbish its permanent installation of vertical tubes of light that are suspended over the public walkway between its two buildings on Bow Road.
"Bow Arts Trust wanted to replace the existing fluorescent tubes with an LED alternative which would better comply with their environmental concerns, and offer extended lamp life with reduce maintenance and running costs," explains TES' technical director, Matthew Owen.
Owen proposed a multi-pixel RGB fixture as the best solution to these requirements, which would also allow artists in residence to offer their design input to the artistic direction of the installation.
Owen then set about sourcing a suitable product from a range of international and UK manufacturers, ultimately choosing Artistic Licence Engineering's modular Multichrome Tube fitting.
. Multichrome Tube is a linear LED fixture, available in a variety of customized lengths and in different configurations, including single- or double-sided strips and a choice of pixel pitches. This modularity offered the client the extra flexibility to alter the design as required.
The company says that no fewer than 16 million high-purity colors can be obtained from Multichrome Tube's color mixing ability, in addition to excellent white tracking.
Owen specified ten 500mm and twenty 1000mm customized RGB LED Multichrome Tubes, which, despite their standard IP67 rating, were made even more rugged for permanent outdoor use by Artistic Licence Engineering, who provided additional waterproofing, ensuring the product's suitability for the long term outdoor installation at Bow.
"The performance of Multichrome Tube met the design intention of the system, both from an engineering aspect and in providing the artists with a platform that allowed flexible, individual control of each of the 800 pixels," says Owen. "The product was excellent, even with the current 'summer' weather testing them to capacity! Artistic Licence Engineering has worked above and beyond to engineer these LED tubes so successfully for the particularly harsh environment in which they have been installed.
"But, ultimately, the specifying of the Artistic Licence product to the client came down to its no nonsense approach of simple direct connectivity to Art-Net, with minimal interface components. As the installation contains some 800 individual fixture heads across six universes of DMX, the risk of system failure that can happen when using multiple signal conversation components was dramatically reduced."
Only three Artistic Licence E2 Art-Net controllers were needed to control the thirty Multichrome Tubes. "Instead of having an individual controller for each tube, all I needed to do was link ten tubes to each E2 box, then link each box with data cable and connect directly to my computer," says Owen.
The E2 controllers are triggered by a ChamSys Replay PC, outputting Art-Net. "Art-Net has the huge advantage of not being restricted to any particular manufacturer," continues Owen. "Instead it allows many different brands of lighting controller to be connected directly to the system. As soon as I saw I could use Art-Net I knew I could create a really simple, easy-to-control system."
Owen programmed the desk with series of scenes, which are automatically triggered at dusk and continue until dawn. Owen also incorporated a pulley system which can raise and lower the tubes for maintenance or to change the design pattern.
"I was very happy to source a product that met the requirements of the design concept and offered the additional flexibility to control each pixel individually," says Owen. "Artistic Licence, as a reputable manufacturer of multi-pixel/ bespoke lighting and control products, provided just what we were looking for. The client is delighted with the flexibility, the on-time installation delivery and the cost savings achieved, and with the visual enhancement of the local area during the night-time that succeeds in creating a draw card to people passing through the area."