ADJ lights up California Plaza

Photo: Farah Sosa, Edgar Gonzalez & Brian Dowdle

A lighting rig comprised of ADJ IP65-rated fixtures was used to illuminate the ‘Grand Performances’ series of free concerts in Downtown LA.

California Plaza was illuminated for the weekly Saturday evening concerts by ADJ’s lime-infused Encore series of static LED wash fixtures, complemented by Hydro Wash X19 moving heads. In addition, key lighting and GOBO projections were handled by ADJ’s flagship Hydro Profile IP65-rated automated profile luminaires, which sat at the heart of Lighting Designer Edgar Gonzalez’s extensive rig.

The free, non profit concerts were hosted in California Plaza Park. Gonzalez had already put together a proposal for a new LED-powered, IP65-rated system using predominately ADJ fixtures. The pre-season rain expedited the purchase of the new equipment, and it was all in place ready for the first night of the summer run.

Gonzalez was first brought in to work on Grand Performances in 2022 as a Programmer/Operator, which led to his appointment as Lighting Design for the 2023 season. The new lighting system was purchased through Latin Power Lighting & Sound, based in South Gate, CA, and installed by Edgar’s own company, Designs By Lighting, working in collaboration with Grand Performances’ in-house crew.

The new system’s key moving head fixture is ADJ’s Hydro Profile. It can be used for temporary outdoor shows and events in any weather as well as for indoor productions, the fixture combines a potent 660-Watt cool white LED light engine, which offers an impressive output of 25,000+ Lumens. A total of ten units are utilised across the Grand Performances rig, with four fixtures providing key lighting – two on each of the front truss towers, and six more, split equally between the two side stage trusses.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with the Hydro Profiles,” commented Gonzalez. “They are plenty bright, pretty punchy, and have all the features I could ask for. I’ve particularly appreciated the framing system, having the ability to precisely shutter off areas of the light output is extremely useful. For example, for one of the performances that was DJ-based, we had a video wall in front of the DJ setup and I was able to use the framing to light the performers perfectly without hitting the screen at all. It’s also great to have CMY colour mixing: sometimes I will run colour effects over both the LED fixtures and the profiles and that works really well. Finally, the rotating GOBOs, prisms and, particularly, the animation wheel, mean that I can create movement without actually moving the fixtures. Projecting on the buildings behind the stage, I was able to create some really nice looks that set the right mood for the more laid-back performances.”

The other fixture from ADJ’s Hydro Series which Edgar selected for the rig was the Hydro Wash X19. “I used the Hydro Wash X19s in a few different ways,” explained Edgar. “They could hit the stage as side lights, I could zoom them in to create a beam effect for ballyhooing, and I also had them in the full extended mode so could make use of their pixel control capabilities. Using the DyLOS media engine from Obsidian I ran effects across the X19s, as well as the LED panels and pars, which are particularly important as these shows started before sunset. I relied on those eye candy effects for the first part of the evening and then moved more into beam effects when it became fully dark later in the evening.”

Additional effects were created using ADJ’s multifunctional Jolt Panel FX LED strobe/wash fixtures. Each unit features a central strip of 48 5-Watt cool white SMD LEDs, surrounded on both sides by a total of 800 0.3W RGB SMD color mixing LEDs.  For Grand Performances, Edgar specified five of these units, which were rigged to ladder trusses positioned at the rear of the stage area.

“The Jolt Panel FX is a very bright fixture, in fact most of the time I had to dim them down!” explained Gonzalez. “They are also very versatile. I liked using the central white LED strip to highlight downbeats and to create big moments, while the coloured LED segments are great for eye candy effects, again, especially before it is dark enough to really make use of beam effects. Using the in-built macros has helped to speed up my programming and having the ability to select a custom color for those to tie in with the rest of the rig is pretty great.”

Gonzalez also utilised multiple fixtures from ADJ’s Encore Lime Series of LED wash fixtures to illuminate both the performance space and wider plaza area. Five Encore LP32IP panel fixtures were rigged to each of the side truss structures. In addition, Encore LP18IP LED par fixtures were mounted to the rear of the side trusses and used to point backwards and illuminate the trees and concrete planters which served as the stage’s backdrop. Finally, the smaller Encore LP12IP model was used to illuminate an amphitheatre located off to the side of the main audience space.

“Having the lime LED chip on the Encore Lime Series fixtures really does make a difference when it comes to CRI,” enthused Gonzalez. “With the old system, the fixtures we were using to light the trees behind the stage hardly showed up at all on camera, now they really pop. That was a real highlight for me, and one of the things I want to keep concentrating on moving forward. For next year I’m hoping to add more Encore LP18IPs to the rig so that we can highlight more of the landscaping around the edges of the stage area and really animate the space with color. The fact that the LP32, LP18 and LP12 all use the same LED chip was also really important when I was designing the system as it makes for even colour tones all across rig.”

Gonzalez also specified three of ADJ’s Hydro Spot 2 feature-packed moving head spot luminaires, he utilised the fixtures for a variety of duties, including key light for the poetry evenings and projecting textured patterns across the plaza.