Pittsburgh Takes On Holiday Glow With VLS and CHAUVET Professional

Every night in December, America’s famous “Steel City” is being transformed, taking on the air of a holiday village, courtesy of a Vincent Lighting Systems (VLS) design that features CHAUVET Professional COLORado Solo 1 fixtures.

An alternative to Pittsburgh’s traditional “Light Up The Night” public gathering, which was canceled for the first time in 60 years in 2020 due to the pandemic, the reimagined event created an organic drive-by experience on the city’s streets by adorning the downtown district in brilliant seasonal colors. Vincent Lighting was brought on board by Flyspace Productions, which produced the event in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

“Instead of running our annual big event for one day we adapted and pivoted to light up many buildings for the holiday season (Nov 27th-Jan 4th),” said Noland Jenkins, production manager and lead designer for the project. “Although nothing can replace an in-person event, we wanted to make this city-wide display as colorful and immersive as possible to provide some much-needed holiday cheer for the people of our community.”

Key to helping the VLS team achieve this goal were the 70 COLORado Solo 1 fixtures specified for the seven-week project. The IP65 rated RGBW fixtures were hung on lamp posts throughout the downtown district and were used to colorize buildings, as well as to add background and depth for the event’s numerous gobo projections.

“Gobos were critical when we designed this project,” said Jenkins. “When we actually got to implementing the design, our biggest challenge was finding good projection surfaces for our gobos and getting good readable images from the limited hang positions available. We also had to utilize the existing ‘house power’ that was pulled from lamp posts in this city. But we got creative and made it work.”

The vivid colors created with the COLORado Solo 1 fixtures helped to make the gobo images more visible and intense, according to Jenkins. “Our gobo patterns on the buildings, even those with less-than-ideal surfaces, popped when complemented by the colors from the COLORados,” he said. “I was especially pleased with the way the motorized zoom of these fixtures helped us create tightly focused light.”

Jenkins also appreciated the onboard scene settings of the COLORado fixtures, using them to control color fading and zoom movement. “We control colors locally from the COLORados static scene settings,” he said. “Everything came off perfectly, thanks to our quality gear and the planning by the talented team that put this all together, including Cory Cope and Jennifer Owen from Flyspace Productions, as well as Jack Dougherty, Russell Howard, and Jeremy Waldrup from the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.”

The way all involved in the lighting project reflected the best of the holiday spirit, notes Jenkins. And in a year as challenging as 2020 has been that’s something to celebrate!