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Radiohead tour sets new green standards with all LED lighting technology

Royal Philips Electronics’ LED based lighting solutions have contributed to the overall reduction in energy consumption on Radiohead’s latest tour. Proving that energy efficient lighting can be both environmentally friendly and provide high visual impact on stage, Value Added Reseller, Architainment, supplied a variety of LED systems advocating Radiohead’s keen commitment to environmental responsibility.

Radiohead tour sets new green standards with all LED lighting technology

Living up to environmental pledges is a full time job for most companies, all the more remarkable then that British rock band, Radiohead, has whole heartedly immersed itself into the full spirit of what it means to go green.

From encouraging fans to car share when travelling to and from gigs right through to issuing tour members with aluminium water bottles to reduce the amount of plastic used, Radiohead has looked at all aspects to reduce the impact of its carbon emissions.

It comes as no surprise, therefore, that when the lighting came under scrutiny LED technology seemed to be the obvious path to take.

Andi Watson, creative director for the “In Rainbows” tour, explains, “Doing away with conventional lighting on set was a massive leap of faith for us. Of course our concerts are all about delivering the music but the fans expect a visual spectacle as well. At the same time, we can’t just pollute the atmosphere merely for effect.”

As anyone who has ever seen a Radiohead show will know, the band has never knowingly compromised on delivering a stunning production. Today’s revolutionary LED technology means that visual quality can still be achieved without compromise to environmental values.
As Watson continues, “Having put the LED equipment through its paces we were convinced it was the right way to go. To be honest, not having a single discharge or incandescent lamp in the design has set a new benchmark for us.”

Always open to see how the set could be further improved Watson and Tour Production Manager Richard Young were shown pre-production units of the latest LED innovation namely Color® Reach Powercore which can project a staggering 5000 lumens of light over 500 feet. Needing no further convincing, 5 modules were supplied for the South American leg of the tour by Bristol based Utopium Lighting, the first rental company to fully invest in this ground breaking fixture.
Watson comments – “The ColorReach has such an awesome output that as soon as the units became available I wanted to use them.”

To ensure the fixtures were securely positioned, Radiohead’s production team hired the services of Specialz Ltd, who, as their name suggests, specialise in bespoke fabrication solutions for the stage and theatre industry. The Color Reach modules were supported within custom made aluminium ‘yokes’  and attached to the front truss. UK audiences will now also gain the benefit of this addition to the spectacular lighting display as the band finishes off its tour with festival dates culminating in Leeds and Reading.

Adding to the on stage drama and used throughout the entire tour, iColor® Flex SLX, a multi purpose LED based strand of light, has been used to edge light  equipment pods or “quins” as Watson likes to call them.

Designed for accent or perimeter lighting the iColor® Flex SLX is an ideal building block for the design and creation of custom applications such as this. Having individually addressable nodes, means that virtually any colour can be generated at any specified time.

To ensure the band members stand out, iW® Blast Powercore key lights the group. Its adjustable colour temperature ranges from a warm 2700 K to a cool 6500 K allowing just the right shade of white to be selected. The additional benefit is that unlike conventional light sources, such as incandescent, LEDs emit a cool beam of light.  As Young comments, “They provide what is probably the most natural-looking white light from any LED fixture we’ve seen. Plus, of course, the LEDs don’t project as much heat on to the band so they are not as uncomfortable as they might be despite so much light shining down on them.”

Without doubt the tour is an excellent example of how adopting a green approach can be achieved without detriment to entertainment or lifestyle.


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