How Intelligent Lighting can Adapt to Visitor Needs and ExperiencesJune 17, 2020
Lighting is such an important, and powerful tool, in the right hands. We use it to enhance scenes or areas visually, or to highlight key zones in an exhibit or attraction. A good example would be a ‘Talking Heads’ attraction in a museum or ghost house, where we can draw attention to the area through highlighting. There is a danger for un-themed areas, where poor or no lighting can leave them hidden away. That’s why we take the time to think about and analyse the potential locations for lighting. Not only this, but it also helps to create more value for the client. With the use of lenses and intelligent moving lighting we can give areas a more coordinated approach and create that ‘Pop!’
Lately, we have seen more controllable, networkable, and manageable lighting systems, giving us an extra level of sensory engagement with visitors. This allows us, along with any scenic items, to create immersive spaces, taking guests out of their normal daily world, to somewhere engaging, interesting and fun. Intelligent lighting creates an opportunity to make emotional connections between attractions and guests, for example, dark areas with warm coloured lighting can give a sense of eeriness, where brightly lit areas with cooler colours can instil happiness. Like I said, powerful tools, in the right hands!
Lighting technology has come on leaps and bounds since I’ve been in the business, especially with LED lighting. We are now seeing LED chips with greater specifications and much higher power. Gone are the days of being able to select from 14 stock colours with filters. LEDs allow us to create much more obscure lighting, such as UV and warm white, in a single fixture! Motors within intelligent lighting fittings have also increased in efficiency, allowing for smaller and faster-moving lighting systems as well as more creative movement patterns, rather than basic X/Y movements.
Using intelligent lighting, and adapting it to visitor needs and experiences, is not without its challenges, however. Not only must we weave between the other teams on-site to fit our lighting, but post instalment adjustments can prove to be challenging. Sometimes we can envisage a great location for lighting, but after changes in scenic items and colour schemes, we can be left disappointed, at which point it’s back to the drawing board to come up with a new solution. Thankfully, it is never too long before our creative team have found the answer to our problem.
We extensively use intelligent lighting within our exhibits and attractions. Xplore Athens springs to mind, where we set up lighting with static colours and created focus areas, that when interacted with, really came to life. When visitors power up the Tesla coil on the pedal power interactive, the lighting works with the synchronised digital sound to produce something that represents an electrical storm, whilst enhancing the on-set colours. The lighting controllers we choose are selected for each venue specifically, to guarantee a totally flexible system. We design, install and program most major brands for lighting and controllers.