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  •   A.C. Lighting Confirmed as Major Supplier to Londons' Millennium Dome

A.C. Lighting Confirmed as Major Supplier to Londons' Millennium Dome

9th August 1999

A.C. Lighting Ltd. has been confirmed as one of the major lighting suppliers to the New Millennium Experience Company, the company behind the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, London.

Since winning one of the many tenders to supply conventional lighting and related equipment to the New Millennium Experience Company for the mammoth task of lighting up the 'Millennium Dome' for New Year's Eve and throughout the year 2000, A.C. Lighting has reached far and wide endeavouring to provide the most up to date - and in some cases custom made - technical equipment to befit this one-off extravaganza.

The Millennium Dome consists of a central show area and 14 outlying theme zones, each representing a different area of our lives. In addition to this is 'Skyscape' a separate structure located next to the Dome. Lighting all of these areas is quite some task but one which A.C. Lighting are only too happy to help play their part in.

For the main central show area A.C. constructed an extensive lighting control system which consists of two Wholehog II units, each with a remote control and tracking backup in the form of the Hog II rack-mounting replay unit. Coupled with this is a custom made 5,000 DMX Channel WYSIWYG lighting visualisation system from CAST Lighting. This system takes DMX signals from both controllers, or their back-up units, to create a visualisation of the show area as it is being programmed and has the added advantage of making distribution of the paperwork information that accompanies the lighting rig extremely easy. All of this control equipment has been linked together via MIDI, allowing full communication between each relevant unit. Additionally incorporated into the system is an Artistic Licence switchover unit that allows manual changeover from the main set of controllers to the back up set, should the need arise.

For control around other areas of the complex, A.C. Lighting have supplied a further seven Wholehog II control consoles, four Wholehog II expansion wings, seven WYSIWYG 2000 visualisation systems and a variety of smaller consoles Australian manufacturer Jands, including units from the Jands Hog, Event and ESP II ranges. DMX test equipment has also been sourced from A.C. with Micro Scope 3 units from Artistic Licence and L'il DMXters from Goddard Design being supplied.

Coupled with all of this control equipment are a number of dimmer racks. Two 72 way Vision racks fitted with Jands modules and a single 24 way Vision rack, also fitted with Jands modules have been supplied along with two 66 channel ART dimmer systems from Avolites.

On the mains power front, Simon Brophy, Head of Lighting for the NMEC, chose the PowerLock connector from Veam Litton and has, so far, installed 150 of the single pole 400 Amp connectors. The very latest PowerLock product also appears on the spec sheet. The PowerLock NRG sequential locking system, which only allows the mating and un-mating of the five connectors in the correct order, is a brand new product and some of the very first production units are already destined for the Dome. In addition to these A.C. Lighting have also supplied 78 power distribution units of varying sizes for use throughout the complex.

The fixture list, as I am sure you can imagine, is quite extensive. Vision Fresnels, in both 1.2 and 2.5 kW sizes feature, along with more than 550 ETC Source 4 fixtures, in both ellipsoidal and PAR format, with quite a number of the ETC units being supplied in a silver finish. A number of these fixtures are to be fitted with colour changers from the Chroma-Q range, with units from the smaller Broadway unit right up to the larger M range, being supplied. For part of the exterior lighting, 26 Powerflood units have also been supplied.

To ease the installation of the lighting systems, additional lighting fixtures have been supplied on internally wired bars, once again supplied by A.C. Lighting. 60 bars fitted with James Thomas ACL fixtures, 30 bars fitted with ETC Source 4's and 20 bars fitted with James Thomas PAR 64's are just the beginning. At one point during the supply of this equipment, Roland Hemming, Head of Sound for the NMEC, even decided to make his life easier and commissioned A.C. Lighting to construct a series of internally wired bars to his specification to ease the audio installation.

James Thomas Engineering product has also been specified for the supply of additional fixtures including PAR lanterns, in a variety of sizes, MR16 Battens, 8-Lite units and 4 cell cyc floods. Strobe lighting supplied for the complex includes 198 egg strobes and sixty 3kW linear strobe units from American manufacturer Diversitronics Inc.

A.C. have also supplied a number of followspots for the venue including six of the massive Gladiator III units from Strong International, which utilise a 3,000 Watt Xenon lamp and a smaller 1202 unit from Austrian company Pani.

A number of Vision LE200 haze machines have also been supplied, helping to create the 'atmosphere' inside the complex.

The majority of the lighting fixtures supplied to the NMEC have been fitted with Tourmate Ebony connectors, the predominantly black 16 Amp CEE connector. So far, more than 1,400 of these connectors in both male and female varieties have been installed. In addition to these, hundreds of Neutrik XLR data connectors and Socapex multicore connectors, each in a variety of sizes and formats have been supplied.

All this brings about the subject of cabling this massive amount of equipment, and once again A.C. Lighting were on hand to supply what was necessary, for both the power and data requirements. So far, more than 20,000 metres of power cable has been used and has been supplied as both raw cable and as complete made up cables, with fitted connectors, from A.C. Lighting's manufacturing facilities. The range of cable needed for a project such as this covers from single core, 70mm for single pole, three phase supplies, through to 18 core multicore cables, and 3 core 1.5mm power cable, for regular extensions and multicore spiders, and much more besides.

For the data cable side of the installation, A.C. Lighting have again supplied both raw cable and completely made up cable. Using a selection of Tourflex Datasafe 2 and Tourflex Datasafe 4 DMX cables, the amount supplied so far is in excess of 52,000 metres. Now also this may seem like a lot of DMX cable, after all it is a lot of DMX cable, when you consider that the Millennium Dome has a circumference of more than one kilometre, a sense of perspective starts to appear. It's still a lot of cable though!

The lighting specification outlined here only constitutes a part of the total lighting system at the Millennium Dome complex, as a number of other companies are also involved in supplying the NMEC, including those companies that are supplying the intelligent lighting specification.

As the eyes of the world will be on the Dome on the last minutes of this millennium and the first of the new, A.C. Lighting can rest assured that they flourished in their role as a well established and far reaching company. Providing the NMEC with their intense dedication and attention to this project and to the lighting team at the Dome, helping to ensure that the UK's Millennium Dome and the 'Millennium Experience', combined, is the most spectacular millennial event anywhere in the world.