At IBC last month, it was eye-opening how many lighting manufacturers were exhibiting – not least because of their bright booths! This influx of new manufacturers, each attempting to muscle in on the established brands, has the potential to distort user perception of what professional equipment really is.

With more selection available than ever before, the decision-making process of where to invest has never been tougher. Perhaps the smartest choice is to replicate the installation of a television studio. After all, you can be sure they have conducted rigorous testing of all aspects that matter – light quality, colour reproduction, power consumption and more.

In the Netherlands, sports and news broadcaster NOS recently completed renovation of their studio 8 & studio 10. It could be said that lighting is the most important aspect of any studio installation. It defines the look and tone of the programming, so it’s vital to spend wisely.

A key objective for NOS was to reduce their carbon footprint, overall power consumption and the associated running costs. In addition, lighting designer Bas de Vries sought a modern, natural look – without harsh shadows – using fixtures that would not distract presenters or guests.

Light design was particularly challenging in studio 8 due to its varied output, ranging from prime-time newscasts with one a single presenter to multi-person interviews & debates. After extensive testing, NOS selected to adopt a 100% LED setup using VELVET 2 panels together with ARRI L7-DT Fresnels.

VELVET exceeded the demanding project requirements set by NOS across all aspects. First off, VELVET lights are renowned for their natural soft light output, reproducing colours and skin tones immaculately. This distinctive quality ensures a shadow-less light effect while maintaining depth and contrast.

Operating costs, beyond the reduced energy bill, are tenfold compared to traditional tungsten lighting – with LED fixtures requiring less maintenance. Even with a low electric power consumption, the light output still remains comparatively high.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of adopting LED technology, particularly in a studio environment, is the capability to instantly change colour temperature and brightness for different scenes. VELVET’s can be set between 2700°K and 6500°K with flawless 0-100% dimming.

Although NOS elected to install VELVET 2, other sizes are available to cover all location and studio use cases. For an owner-operator, VELVET Mini & VELVET 1 are ideal choices, whilst studios and film sets may prefer larger VELVET 4 or VELVET 2×2 panels.

Two variants of each model exist to suit the exact needs of the user – VELVET Light & VELVET Studio. VELVET Light has an IP54 rain & dust ingress protection rating with a sole DMX input, whilst VELVET Studio features an IP51 dust protection chassis, along with DMX in & out ports.

In addition, all panel sizes and both variants can be obtained as part of the VELVET Power range. These deliver a 30°concentrated beam, as opposed to the 100° spread beam on the VELVET Light models.

There can be no doubt that times are changing. Just remember – this holds particularly true in our industry – you get what you pay for.