Elation KL Fresnel™ for state-of-the-art Al Arabiya broadcast facility

Venuetech supplies broadcast-optimized KL Fresnel 4 CW™ LED luminaires to new, ultramodern studio in Dubai.

Elation’s exclusive distributor in the Middle East, Venuetech Audiovisual & Lighting Systems, has supplied 100 Kl Fresnel 4 CW™ LED Fresnel lights to Al Arabiya’s new, state-of-the-art broadcast studio in Dubai. Integrated into several areas of the modern studio including the main newsroom, the cold white LED lights provide a superior quality of bright yet uniform white light for a variety of programming.

Next generation broadcast studio
Al Arabiya, an MBC-owned broadcaster, is the leading 24-hour news channel in the Middle East. An extensive modernization of its multi-venue 26,000-square-foot facility included newly designed newsroom and studio spaces, production areas and more. The sleek, clean design has a futuristic look with new technologies and visuals designed to take the broadcaster and its viewers into the next generation of broadcast and digital journalism.

The facility houses a number of active broadcast areas including the Command Center, the main broadcast area for the Al Arabiya news anchors, as well as a less formal discussion set, a standup area, other anchor areas, and a social media center. The new KL Fresnel series fixtures work alongside curved swaths of LED video – much of it configurable and some used for augmented reality – to emphasize the free flow design of the space while supporting the latest high tech cameras that capture sweeping views of the newsroom and production areas. Scenic design and master plan was by Clickspring Design.

Best light quality = Best image quality
Lighting designer in Venuetech’s design & application department, Ziad Shames Eddine, specified the KL Fresnel 4 CW for the space with lighting design handled by Safwan Harcouss, head of the lighting department at the MBC group. “The Al Arabiya channel has undertaken several renovations over the past few years in order to get the best light quality and therefore the best image quality possible,” stated Harcouss, who lists a small product size, brightness and high CRI as three key factors in fixture specification.

“We needed a CRI of high quality to be able to get perfect skin tones for the camera. Knowing that the skin color of presenters is different from one to another, we wanted to avoid any difficulty in the tone of the image. We did tests on camera using different skin tones, and based on our tests we decided to use and order the KL Fresnel.”

Harcouss says that due to the low height of the ceiling, a small lighting fixture was preferred. “The lights are visible on camera and for that reason we did not want big, bulky lights in the ceiling,” he says. “Not only did we want lights that visually suit our studio, we needed something with power that has a long life expectancy as the studio is used 24 hours a day. We have been using our Elation lights for 1.5 years now and have not faced any issues or problems.”

KL Fresnel 4 CW
The KL Fresnel CW series is a line of cold-white LED Fresnel lights with 5,600K Cold White LED engine available in 50W, 150W and 350W models. The 100 KL Fresnel 4 CW fixtures, 50W models, are installed throughout the ceiling to provide bright and clean light for the studio and high-quality key light for the news presenters.

Useful for a variety of purposes including keylight, washes and front light, light quality from the KL fixtures is superior with a CRI greater than 97. Its 2300 lumens of output is homogeneous throughout the space, also at the edges of the beam where it appears uniform and without a green or red tint. “The KL fixtures provide the right lighting for the presenters to give the best camera image,” comments Venuetech’s Ziad Shames Eddine, “and are one of the best products for TV production and theaters at the moment.”

The KL Fresnel 4 CW includes a number of useful features for broadcast environments including a 14° to 33° wide manual zoom with manual and DMX controlled dimming. Silent operation mode, barn doors and gel frame holder are also included. Ziad mentions several other factors that were key in its choice. “The accurate color temperature and the high CRI make it a high quality fixture for broadcast. Also, because of space constraints in the studio, the small size of the fixtures, the light weight and the fact that they produce little heat were important.”

Compact and discreet to place, the cooler running LED lights help to keep the overall temperature of the studio lower, meaning less strain on the air conditioning system and less noise. “The lighting system is not only energy efficient it is also a low maintenance solution, as Al Arabiya personnel do not have to deal with bulb changes,” Ziad concludes. Venuetech, who has worked with Al Arabiya before, also to great success, supplies technical support to the studio as well.

Project Credits:
General Contractor: Ebonite Group
Scenic Design and Master Plan: Clickspring Design
Lighting Design: Al Arabiya Network
Lighting Consultant: Eastern Lighting Design
Lighting Supplier: Venuetech
A/V Integration: InterTech Vision ME
LED Display Technology: Barco and DesignLED
Systems Integrator: Diversified
Project Management: Al Arabiya Network