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Accessorizing Your Gear

A continuation of ‘Know Your Gear’… Now that you have selected the best fixtures to add to inventory, how are you going to use them? It’s time to start thinking about grip, control cable, power cable and distro. There is a decent chance, on a special event, that your distro may be seen to guests – there is an absolute chance that your cable will be visible. The look of your gear is just as important as how you lay it out and run it (stay tuned for that blog post!). Grip. In the special event lighting world you may be hanging these fixtures in a variety of different type of spaces, which requires different type of grip. Consider where, and how, you are hanging the fixtures – in a ballroom on a truss, in a tent, inside a piece of scenery or decor, top mounted to truss. All different

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Know Your Gear

Know the gear that you are going to purchase. Let’s look at LED lighting fixtures as an example. There are many many different choices of LEDs to add to inventory. While trade shows like LDI are an excellent opportunity to see a vast variety of gear from many different manufacturers all in one space, there isn’t too much of a chance to get some real quality time with what they are exhibiting. Vendors also typically bring their brand new, high end pieces of gear. If possible, you are going to want to get your hands on whichever piece of gear you are thinking of buying. Have the sales rep bring a demo fixture to your shop. Write down or have in mind some questions for the rep about the fixture, hook it up to a console and put it through your test. I know that it is possible to fall

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When it’s time to punt, are you ready?

No one likes the punt. Not in football, and certainly not on a gig. Sometimes, when the time crunch is on and it’s do or die time, you will have to punt. As a tech, how you handle the punt and what the end result looks like shows what you are made out of. Although no one wants to be in the position where an element of the design or a piece of gear just isn’t working, it happens. We all use a system wether it be Vectorworks, AutoCAD, old school paper & pencil drafting or making & triple checking gear lists, to ensure layout is solid and that spare fixtures can be built into the job. However, eventually you will find yourself in a situation where it’s just not going to happen on time. Sometimes it’s something small and only noticeable to the designer (which sounds like the better

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A Celebration Of Hope

It’s not very often that I will admit I am feeling nostalgic.  Although I’m more sentimental than I let on.  Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of working a benefit held at 8500 Euclid Avenue – the former home of the Cleveland Play House.  I spent many years in various capacities at the old House of Play, and luckily had some time to aimlessly wander my old stomping grounds.  It seemed every square foot sparked a memory.  Every backstage area, hallway, and stairwell had its own story about my time there.  I’m sure I’m not the only one.  Entering the vacant theatres was sad and almost sacred – like visiting the grave of a long lost friend. Seeing the spaces so lifeless was sobering. However, each space brought back memories of wonderful creative teams and productions from years past. Some of my favorite memories are of the Children’s Series

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Event Techs…What’s In Your Workbox?

Twitter has inspired me today!  More specifically, trade show veteran Melissa P. Michel inspired me with her “Trade Show Toolbox” blog entry.  I was reading over her blog post and I started thinking about what I always have with me at events, as a lighting tech.  As I was going through my list, I realized that the core of my workbox is always the same no matter if it is a “one-off” event or a large corporate conference that lasts for days. If I have the space (and luxury) to put an actual workbox on the truck it is a must!  If the space does not allow, or if the show is small enough, I have a back-up…which gets the job done, it’s just not on casters.  Ok, here we go… Spare Lamps – a decent ratio is one spare for every six fixtures, but the type of fixture will

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Holidays at home and around the world

Holidays at home and around the world

What are your favorite things to see and do around the holidays?  Here are some of our picks of holiday special events from close to home and around the globe. We’ll start off in Cleveland, Ohio – as that’s what we know best!  Here is an awesome guide from of must-sees for holiday vistors and locals alike.  One of our favorite holiday events happens in University Circle, Wade Oval Winter.  Here you will find an outdoor ice rink that features live music on Wednesdays and a couple of movie nights.  Admission to the rink is free, and if you show your rink wristband you get a discount at the museums around Wade Oval.  One of the museums offering the discount is the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  Through out December & the first weekend of January, CMNH presents Ice Age 2013: A Winter Event of Prehistoric Proportions.  Ice Age

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Who Says You Can’t Go Home?

Back in 2003, when the Case Western Reserve University MFA program made Cleveland Play House their home, I designed a production of Twelfth Night in the historic Brooks theatre with a fantastic creative team.  We were all familiar with how one another worked through the creative process and were truly in sync.  Challenges were overcome through collaboration, and the show turned out brilliant. I recently had the pleasure of designing the lighting for the CWRU/CPH MFA production of Twelfth Night now running in the Helen Theatre at Play House Square.  Having been involved with the program for many years, I was thrilled to be asked back and a bit nervous to be part a new team in a new space.  What if we didn’t click?  What if my process drove them crazy?  After all, it has been over seven years since I had designed for CPH.  What if they had

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Why hire specialty professionals

When selecting vendors for your event, there is the option of a one-stop shop or a specialty shop.  This blog post explains the benefit of selecting the best all around fit of services.  From Scratch Weddings blog written by Lighting Designer James Bedell.  You can find the entire blog post here.  ~Beth Reyes, Lead Production Technician Solus Lighting LTD Wedding DJs are necessarily limited in the lighting statements they can make.  The typical DJ has a stock of lighting they’ve purchased as part of an inventory. Financially speaking, they treat these lighting elements just like audio gear. By investing in this equipment and building a rental fee into their contract price they pay back the cost of the gear and eventually begin making a profit. By investing in what they see as universal gear, they will rent it over and over again until they recoup their investment. The problem with that

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The After Ceremony Event – Graduation Style!

High school, undergraduate or post-graduate…YOU DID IT!  After the formalities of the ceremonies are over, it’s time to get down and have a great time with your family and friends.  Whether your graduation party is in a ballroom, a private residence or in a tent – we can help you get your party started and keep it rocking all night long! Solus Lighting LTD specializes in special event lighting, and nothing is much more special than celebrating your entrance into higher education or the work force.  Lighting can help enhance the theme of your graduation party and can offer color support in your former or future school colors.  We customize our lighting designs for every event, and work with you or your event planner to make your vision come to life.  Having a true lighting professional on site for the party is essential to get the best & most out

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Spring brings commencement season

Spring awakens the senses to new beginnings.  Now that April is here, many people are looking forward to a major event – Commencement.  Graduation Ceremonies are tradition to mark a milestone achievement, and, for many, mark the beginning of a new chapter in their lives.  Colleges and universities are continually expanding their curriculums to offer more majors and degrees for undergraduate, graduate, post graduate, and trade certifications.  This expansion has increased graduating class sizes.  Commencement ceremonies are being held in larger and larger facilities – tents, auditoriums, convention centers, and arenas.  Friends and family members attend to watch their loved one cross the stage and receive their hard earned degree.  With these ceremonies taking place in larger facilities, technology is needed to ensure the occasion can be clearly seen and heard.  Sound reinforcement and image magnification (IMAG) are often used to ensure each walking member of the class can be

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