The crown jewel of Fort Worth’s cultural district, the third largest such district in the country, Bass Performance Hall has recently invested in LED stage lighting equipment from the Showline brand.
This latest lighting upgrade has not only given the venue all the benefits and savings of LED technology, it has delivered a quality and consistency of light which has impressed visiting lighting designers time and again.
Bass Performance Hall plays host to a variety of shows, from touring Broadway productions and concerts to performances from its four local resident companies - the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Opera, the Texas Ballet Theater and The Cliburn - as well as educational performances for local students through its Children’s Education Program.
The person responsible for ensuring the venue’s technical systems live up to the high standards of performance on the stage is technical director Steven Truitt. With the help of Mandy Stockhausen of Hossely Lighting Associates in Dallas and Jon Felt of Barbizon’s Dallas office, Truitt made the decision to invest in Showline SL BAR 660 and SL Punchlite 220 fixtures.
“I had used the SL BAR 660 strips before in modern dance and appreciated the ease of use and time-saving efficiency, and it’s now our go-to instrument for cyc lighting and ground rows,” he says. “The SL Punchlites were chosen when we were redesigning the light plot for our orchestra shell. Bass Hall is a highly acoustically sensitive environment, so in selecting fixtures for that project we had one basic rule: no fans, so as not to add to the ambient noise floor level. The SL Punchlites were a natural choice as they are fanless, for their IP65 outdoor rating.”
The majority of the silent SL Punchlites are now used to provide down-light and back-light in the orchestra shell, while others are used in one of the building’s smaller performance spaces. Truitt says, “We have noticed a saving in lamp costs and labor, thanks to not having to replace burn-outs like we did with the incandescent fixtures.”
Commenting further on the fixtures’ feature sets, Truitt says, “I like the homogenized LED arrangement of the SL Punchlite 220 and SL BAR 660. I find the 8-40° zoom of the SL Punchlite very impressive. Once you’ve had that, it’s hard to go back to anything else. The Showline fixtures blend together very well; they make an excellent solid, clean wash. The color quality is smooth and even, due to homogenized mixing at the source.”
With the high performance criteria met, Bass Hall is also enjoying the benefits of reduced energy use. “There is a lesser heat load onstage and we have figured that we have had a 75% reduction in electrical usage,” says Truitt.
Confident that his choice has been the right one for the venue, Truitt says, “I have had good feedback from two lighting designers who frequent the Hall every year, and positive comments from visiting lighting designers who come through here for one-offs. I get a kick out of introducing lighting designers to these products, because I know they will be impressed. There is a ‘wow factor’ when people see them in action for the first time. I never get tired of that.”