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Theatrical Lighting

Switching to LED Fixtures Will Save School $500,000

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COLORado's and Ovations at Onate High School
COLORado's and Ovations at Onate High School

Moving from an incandescent to an all LED system featuring CHAUVET Professional fixtures lowers costs and opens creative possibilities for New Mexico high school theatre.

Las Cruces, New Mexico – Joe Price, the manager of Oñate High School’s Performing Arts Center, knew that the time had come to replace the facility’s incandescent lighting rig with an all-LED system. The 20-year-old incandescent fixtures used at the school’s theatre in Las Cruces, NM, were not only inefficient and costly, they also posed a potential hazard. This was made abundantly clear one day when an overhead lamp exploded.

In 2016, the school was able to make the change Price wanted with help from Hubbard Music, when it replaced its old incandescent rig with an all-LED system featuring CHAUVET Professional fixtures. This move will save the school an estimated $500,000 in energy bills over a 15-year period – and that’s not counting the reduction in HVAC costs! Making this change, however, was not without its challenges. Before the new LED system was put in place, it had to be determined that the new LED system qualified for energy saving rebates in order to defray the school’s upfront investment.

“We began to work up bids with Hubbard’s, comparing LED stage lighting products from four different manufacturers,” said Price. “We then sent that information to the electric company for final rebate numbers. When all was said and done, Chauvet was chosen.”

Will Sadler, who oversaw the Performing Arts Center project for Hubbard’s, recalls that value and flexibility were key factors in the decision to go with CHAUVET Professional.

“After we reviewed the bids, we came to the conclusion that Chauvet was the way to go in terms of price, performance and product selection,” said Sadler.

The new Chauvet fixtures are positioned on the three electrics (downstage, mid-stage and upstage) in the high school’s system as well as on the catwalk mounting position out in front of the stage. A collection of 20 Ovation E-190WW LED ellipsoidals with 26° lenses are flown from the catwalk position and used to provide front lighting.

Also included in the system are 20 COLORado 2 Quad Zoom fixtures, positioned to face straight down from the downstage and center stage electrics. “We arranged the 2 Quad Zooms this way to provide overhead light during normal concert productions and specialty lighting during theatrical productions,” said Sadler. “The zooming range of these fixtures will allow the school to create all kinds of special effects during plays.”

“Without technology from Chauvet that allows the output of LED fixtures to look that good, we could not have changed this school theatre to an LED system – it’s that simple.” – Will Sandler

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