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LED light in historic Royal Wedding dresses

Old 05-07-2011, 03:46 AM
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Default LED light in historic Royal Wedding dresses

The historic Royal Palaces presents a special collection about the ancient Royal Wedding dresses , which using the lighting design and technology and can date back to 1816, including Queen Victoria, Princess Margaret and Princess Charlotte. Entec was chosen as the lighting provider.

Too fragile for public exhibition, the display of dresses was open to the world's leading media in order to allow a wider audience to experience them. Ahead of the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey, the dresses received global coverage, filmed by BBC, ITN, Channel 4, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN as well as Australian, Canadian, French, German and Japanese broadcasters.

The extremely delicate and intricate task of lighting the 6 wedding gowns fell to Richard Lambert, who chose fixtures from ETC's SeladorTM white light LustrTM range, which he describes as "Perfect" for the project.

The challenges were many. To ensure that the preservation of the dresses was not compromised, they could not be exposed to over 200 lux at any point - calculated on elements like room temperature, the age and nature of the different dress materials, and their individual storage methods, etc,.

The drawing room also has limited power, each dress required at least 3 lightsources and everything had to feed off the available supply. With the Seladors drawing only 1.05 amps each, this was viable.
Additionally, the lighting fixtures had to be as unobtrusive as possible in the room.

On the aesthetic front, each dress required its own exclusive, subtle tints of colour, warmth and coolness to accentuate distinctive features and details like embroidery or the texture and consistency of the cloth. They needed lighting to facilitate a variety of TV and stills cameras getting their optimum shots.

Lambert specified 18 Selador Lustr units in total, all of which were rigged on Manfrotto stands. Each fixture has 7 individually controllable LED down light that have been designed to render pigments in their natural state, and so ideal for the application. In particular he needed to produce an almost imperceptible range of beige/whites and creams which, despite their extreme discretion, had stunning effects on the exhibits. For others, he needed to dial in a minutiae of blue or red hues to lift certain areas.

The Lustrs feature a slide-in groove for the lenses, which are available in 10 degree sections on both horizontal and vertically planes between 30 and 80 degrees, enabling precise areas to be covered with concentrated amounts of light.

Lambert pre-lit the exhibition - top secret until a week before the Royal Wedding, and then open to the press for a few days only - using mannequins in the designated positions. Once the dresses were in place, some tweaks were necessary requiring the alteration of a couple of the lens configurations. However, this was a quick and easy exercise illustrating the flexibility of the Lustr system.

"There were many challenges but all the solutions were there," says Lambert who enjoyed the job enormously. In the process, he became quite an aficionado on historical wedding dresses, the finer cultural, political and social ingredients of their design and making and their safe storage and preservation.
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