Monday, April 25, 2016

NAB 2016 Wrap-up

NAB 2016 | Barbizon Lighting
John Gates busting common myths about LEDs in Production
Thanks to all of you who took the time to stop by Barbizon’s booth at NAB in Las Vegas last week. 
We hope that you enjoyed the show and learned a thing or two about the latest developments in production lighting.
 We are in the process of adding the 2016 NAB Show Report to our website that will break down all the new equipment our saw from over 50 manufacturers at the show, all for you to read about in one place. It should be complete by the end of the week so check back if you don't see what you are looking for.

Perhaps you attended one of our in-booth classes by John Gates and Jim Sippel, but if  you were not able don't fret.  We've made all four presentations available for PDF download for you with the links below.

If you have any questions about the presentations feel free to contact us at or call your local office at 866-502-2724.

PDFs of Barbizon's 2016 NAB educational seminars from John Gates & Jim Sippel with these links:

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Updating Aging Neon With Something New

The Hudson Hotel in Manhattan has two prominent escalators that are the focal point to their entrance.

Under the hand rails yellow/green neon tubes were originally installed, running the entire length to match the color scheme of the rest of the hotel. Over time, the neon deteriorated and faded significantly, and the high cost of repairs made it difficult to keep it looking good. The Hudson Hotel reached out to Barbizon's NYC offices just a couple blocks away for help with improving their main entrance and updating their escalator lighting.

After assessing the situation and looking at the options, a great solution was City Theatrical's QolorFlex NuNeon, an LED product that resembles neon tube, could be a solution for this project.
NuNeon can be cut to length on site, bent easily, and unlike neon, can be controlled to produce any color. And unlike fragile glass neon tubes, NuNeon is unbreakable. NuNeon also produces a complete straight line the entire length of the escalators instead of being broken up by power inputs for the neon tubes.

The NuNeon was installed into an aluminum extrusion in the hand rail. This was done with Velcro to
accommodate the curvature of the hand rail and the lack of material to screw the extrusion to.
City Theatrical supplied D3 Dimmers to control the NuNeon on this installation. The D3 Dimmer has a built in user interface that allows level settings to be made without the need of a lighting controller.
The D3’s were installed in a control room and the wiring was run to each individual leg of the NuNeon on the escalator. Power was then run to the top of the escalator to power one half of the strip and the other end was powered from below. This allowed the two sections to meet exactly in the middle without a gap.

After all four runs were installed the NuNeon was adjusted to the chosen color using the level set
feature on the D3’s user interface. After one D3 was set the other three were matched in settings to
duplicate the color set on the first one.

The Hudson Hotel replaced an old and fragile lighting technology at their main entrance and reduced
power consumption and maintenance costs, while producing a great new visual experience for guests arriving at the hotel.

If you'd like a proposal to update your existing system or would like to add a NuNeon highlight to your space contact your local Barbizon office today.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

If You're Going to Talk the Talk You Need to Walk the Walk

At Barbizon we've been showing our customers the benefits of energy efficiency and helping them to make their spaces look and function better.  But sometimes it can be a little like the "Cobbler's children" parable.  We're so busy helping our customers we sometimes let things go for ourselves.

Barbizon Florida's Miramar office has a large warehouse that was originally lit with 8’ T-12 fluorescent fixtures that were old, the ballasts were worn, and a change was needed.  Federal energy legislation such as EPACT (The Energy Policy Act) mandates the phase out of many of the older T12 linear fluorescent lamp types (which these were) for newer, more energy efficient technology.

Systems Manager Drew Bongiorno and General Manager Nicholas Cohen took this opportunity to look at the available options on the market and settled on replacing the older technology with new 8’ T-12 LED lamps.  Below you will see before and after pictures.  The benefit to the office was dramatic - they were able reduce power consumption as well as increase visibility in the warehouse - a win win for everyone.

If you have a space that has older florescent lamps and want to explore updating contact your local Barbizon office today.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Visit Barbizon at USITT - Win Cool stuff - Get Free Headshot for Social Media
In a short two weeks theatre technicians from around North America will be making the trek to Salt Lake City to attend the 56th Annual USITT Conference.

Team Barbizon lighting will be there to show you the latest in lighting equipment - we'll also have some great opportunities for you to win some cool new gear.  Barbizon is raffling off a lighting fixture from OSRAM.

We're also going to have a small area and backdrop set up all lit courtesy of Rosco Labs with their  Silk and Vector LED fixtures so attendees can take well lit headshots so you can use them on social media or professional websites like Linkedin.

If you still need a free Expo Foor pass to  USITT 2016 in Salt Lake City March 17-19 Use promo code BLC427 and this link will get you set up.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

The Ellie Caulkins Opera House Gets a ‘Transplant’

Ellie Caulkins Opera House
Written by Marshall Bissett 

In a state better known for skiing, scenery and the Broncos, Colorado was once home to 46 opera houses, built to provide the mining communities with cultural enrichment. A few still remain, and the 2,500-seat Ellie Caulkins Opera House (locally known as the "Ellie") is a perfectly restored example, sitting inside the Performing Arts Complex in downtown Denver, playing host to touring roadshows and local productions.

Ellie Caulkins control centerDespite extensive front-of-house renovation from 2002 to 2005, the "grand old lady of opera" was burdened with an obsolete and often nonfunctioning lighting-control system. After generating enough paperwork to choke a horse (or perhaps a Bronco), the job of tearing out the old Strand SLD dimmers, network and console, and replacing it with ETC product fell to the team at Barbizon Light of the Rockies. "The bidding and proposal stage of jobs is getting longer and more complex," says General Manager Rick Loudenburg. "The paperwork and approvals took over a year, but we pulled off the installation in a month."

Although the fixtures and the conduits to the dimmer room were in place, the equipment 'transplant' provided some unique challenges. "In the old system, the load cables entered through the top of the dimmers and were not long enough to work with the vertical Sensor configuration," explains Project Manager Dan Obenhaus. Faced with the dilemma of lowering the bridge or raising the river, the design team came up with the ingenious answer in the form of vertically mounted passive-patch boxes.

Ellie Caulkins dimmer roomThe challenges did not end there, and - mindful of the difficulties the building had experienced in the past - the new system had to include a high level of redundancy. "It was definitely belt and suspenders," adds Loudenburg. "We created a spanning tree loop for the signal path with switches at stage left and right, in the dimmer room and at followspot positions. Every system has a point of failure, but in this case, it would be hard to find." For added security, color-coded jacks were used whenever possible.

With over 700 dimmers, two Eos Ti® consoles and an RPU , there is enough horsepower to take care of the needs of the Colorado Opera and Ballet companies and the roadshows that pass through. Facility Production Manager Mark Gabriel Debell adds: "At some point, we might look at LED striplights, but for now, the ETC Source Fours are working just fine."

Cost overruns and unforeseen technical glitches can quickly turn any big installation job into a nightmare, and the team at Barbizon hates surprises. "We plan down to the last detail, and write a timeline showing when every bit of gear will arrive," says Obenhaus. It all went to create a very happy end-user. "Barbizon took a big leap of faith on this project, and it went crazy-smooth. We now have an ETC system that works and is more interface friendly," says Production Manager Gabriel Debell.

Barbizon Light of the Rockies was opened in 1995, and - with a significant portion of revenue coming from installations - is the company's specialist in that area. Loudenburg explains: "It was a one-man office when I moved out here from Boston, and I had a strong interest and background in the installation side of things." Later, he was joined by kindred spirit Obenhaus, who started his career at Norcostco in Minneapolis after college. "You can't name a middle school in the Upper Midwest where I have not done some kind of technical work," he jokes

(This story is a repost from the ETC news story