In the UK, the coronation of King Charles III was a weekend-long event that culminated in a huge concert featuring some of the world’s biggest performers. One of the highlights was the ‘Lighting up the Nation’ segment, where landmarks across the country were lit in patriotic colors and symbolism. In the northern English city of Sheffield, a special Union Jack flag created by light was commissioned for the façade of the Town Hall.
To achieve the look on the intricate frontage, lighting designer David Bishop sourced 41 VL3600 fixtures, which were rigged 66-meters from the building on seven-meter-high trusses. The weather in the run-up to the event saw torrential rain over the course of a week, but Bishop reports that the IP-65 rated VL3600 luminaires performed perfectly throughout.
Bishop color-matched the flag’s red, white and blue, and utilized the rich palette, optics and super high lumen output of the VL3600s to throw light onto the building.
“The Sheffield project was meant to be a projection mapping job with a few luminaires around the building as fill light,” says Bishop. “However, this approach changed after I realized I could use the VL3600s even at a 66-meter throw from the building to both create strong enough light and match the colors of the flag perfectly.”
Bishop and his team used an official Union Jack product from which to homogenize the red, white and blue colors. They then set about creating the intricate shapes that make up the flag design, using the flexible zoom range of the fixture to gain coverage, while the framing shutters provided the shapes making up the flag. Mark Jones served as lighting programmer for the event.
“It isn’t an easy design to replicate, but the VL3600s did a great job of creating the rich blues and reds, and bright white which was required, and creating the odd shapes and angles that make up the flag,” says Bishop. “The flexibility of the fixtures opposed to a media server/projection solution using a stock graphic also meant that we could scale perfectly to the size and intricate façade of the building using multiple colors and shapes, rather than having just one graphic.
“In fact, after the event was broadcast, I had well established lighting designers messaging me to ask how we’d created the projection, and I had to tell them it was actually achieved using the VL3600s. I thought that was the biggest accolade.”
The VL3600s were supplied by Simon Perrott at Version 2 Lights Ltd.