Published Monday, January 7, 2013
by Philips Vari-Lite

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A cast of VARI-LITE VLX Wash luminaires have been installed as part of a massive AUS$136 million revamp of the iconic Australian theatre, Hamer Hall.

Adrian Sterritt, head of lighting at the Melbourne venue, says his team chose the VLX Wash luminaires following a shoot-out between the VARI-LITE fixtures and other brands.

“We were looking for a number of aspects from the lighting fixtures; speed, quality of light, operation modes,” says Sterritt. “‘The VLX Wash zoom was better, its quality of light was similar to what we were used to, and in terms of colors we wanted to produce, it was more suited to our desired color palette. There was also an environmental aspect to the project so ‘green’ products were favorable.”

Harmer Hall is used for a wide variety of events from rock-and-roll concerts to orchestral and theatrical shows, and the VLX Wash luminaires are now incorporated into the standard rig configuration.

One of the key decision drivers for the Hamer Hall technical team when choosing lighting fixtures for their new venue was the ability of the VLX Wash to color match with conventional luminaires as Sterritt reports, “Incoming LD’s love them. They have a lot of punch, especially with the saturated LED colors, however they also produce the more subtle pastel hues that we require in a theatre environment.”

The VLX Wash is a powerful and flexible luminaire, which harnesses the benefits of LED technology to give brilliant color and long-life sources. Its low energy consumption also means it is eco-friendly and economical, ensuring that it meets the needs of 21st Century venues such as the redesigned Hamer Hall. Its output is approximately 14,000 lumens, with 70% intensity maintenance over the 10,000-hour life of the chip.

“What make them ideal for Hamer Hall are their output, speed of pan/tilt, and their ability to match conventional fixtures,” concludes Sterritt. “It’s great to have a light that can do a ballet pastel blue wash in the daytime and then work at night to produce a heavily saturated wash for concerts.”

Hamer Hall, part of the Melbourne Arts Centre, has a long history as an entertainment space but was badly in need of an update when it closed its doors two years. Theatre-goers were thrilled when it re-opened in July 2012 to reveal its glorious new image. Foyer areas have been redesigned, as has the seating in the theatre itself. The space now seats 2464 people over three levels. Extensive work has been carried out on the ceiling and walls to ensure sound is distributed evenly and clearly to audiences and performers alike. The project was overseen by theatre consultants Schuler Shook, and designed by architects Ashton Raggatt McDougall.

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