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11 August 2014

Pic credit: Canna Gray
Pic credit: Canna Gray

Yorkshire’s iconic Emley Moor TV mast was transformed into the world’s largest light-sabre as part of Hypervelocity, the grand finale of the 100-day Yorkshire Festival in July. It was the first time the 330m concrete tower, the tallest freestanding structure in the UK and the main UHF transmitter for most of the county, had been fully illuminated.

UK lighting and visuals rental specialist HSL supplied equipment for the interactive ‘Control t’force’ project, created by lighting designer and apparent Jedi James Bawn, which also celebrated the start of the 2014 Tour de France race in Yorkshire. It was commissioned by TG Events on behalf of Kirklees Council, and was made a truly public affair with the help of the council’s events Twitter page where members of the public used #lightthemast to request their favourite colours when the installation went live each night. On the first evening, the hashtag was the fourth most popular trending topic in the UK, inciting a remarkable reaction that also sent thousands of people flocking to the tower to engage in the experience first-hand.

HSL supplied A&O Technology Falcon 6000 searchlights, Robe CitySkape Xtreme LED floods, Chroma-Q Color Force 48 LED battens and Clay Paky Sharpies, along with a bespoke Luminex fibre optic system incorporating Gigacore 16Xt switchers and Ethernet convertors coupled with a 350m run of Armourflex fibre cable.

To establish the exact kit needed and its optimum location for the 360° illumination, HSL provided some sample fixtures and helped conduct a series of site tests. Seven separate platforms were erected in a radius around the mast, about 20m away from the structure and each 20m apart. On each platform was an array of searchlights and a CitySkape Xtreme. On the floor directly in front of the platforms were another Falcon 6K and two more CitySkape Xtremes, all firing at the tower. Inside the Mast’s control room (which is 274m off the ground) were the 10 Sharpies and 20 Color Force 48s, arranged so light bounced off the celling and was clearly visible through all the windows. A 30W RGB laser was rigged on the roof of the control room and could be seen from miles around. 
These fixtures were all controlled from the production platform set up in the field below via the fibre backbone.

And the most requested colour for Control t’force? Yellow – for the leader’s shirt of the Tour de France – closely followed by blue and pink.

Source: media release

HSL Group: www.hslgroup.com


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