Eaton and Leisuretec Give an Introduction to Lighting

Photo – by Louise Stickland - shows Day 3 group with tutors Andy Friedli (far left) and Mandy Bullock-Williams (fourth from left)

Eaton’s Zero 88 series continues its enthusiastic support for Leisuretec’s “Introduction to Lighting Basics” course, an innovative one-day fly-through of some of the fundamentals of stage, event and venue lighting, devised and presented by their lighting specialist, Andy Friedli.

This is the third of four “Lighting basics” sessions being run by Leisuretec throughout 2018. Over 30 customers and interested parties attended over these latest 3 1-day courses, and Leisuretec has now trained over 170 people via this straightforward, hands-on process, with great results.

Friedli devised and developed the course – initially for Leisuretec staff – three years ago. The first courses proved so popular that Andy and his colleagues at Leisuretec decided to open the training to their customers – specifically systems integrators and venue or event production staff and crew who may be involved in the peripheries of lighting, and who can benefit massively from a little bit of extra knowledge.

As the concept gained traction, Friedli appealed to the leading lighting brands in Leisuretec’ s portfolio and asked for their support, including Eaton, who were delighted to participate by providing a selection of consoles to illustrate the control side of lighting. The current package of desks includes the new Zero 88 FLX S range which is perfect for learning.

“Training and technical support that empowers end-users is right at the top of our agenda” confirmed Zero 88’s international sales manager Tyler Holpin, “We have supported Andy’s initiative right from the start, and it’s great to see it become such a success”

Topics covered on the Lighting Basics course include looking at the different types of available fixtures, what they do and how and when to use them – including profiles, fresnels, washes, PARs, LEDs, tungsten, arc sources and moving lights – for which Eaton provided several generic fixtures from Italian theatrical specialist, LDR.

The control section introduces DMX and basic desk programming and operation and goes into how to achieve colour changing in LEDs or making a light move and how to work effectively with gobos.

Grassroots wiring and electrical theory are also part of the daily syllabus. Each course culminates in the two groups being asked to set up some lighting for a theoretical corporate event utilising between four and six of the luminaires – with which they are now familiar – and a wind-up stand, while Friedli poses as the fussiest, most pedantic and hard-to-please event client / keynote speaker!

The daily class is split into two in Leisuretec’s purpose-built TecZone area, allowing both sub-groups to work on an identical set of fixtures and get properly hands-on with these, and the numbers are limited to 12 maximum per session.

Zero 88 and Leisuretec also stage console dedicated courses at other times in the year which currently focus on Zero’s award-winning new FLX and FLX S ranges and how easy they are to use. Zero 88 also run their own product training and awareness programmes.

Friedli also ran a Lighting Basics Juniors course for nine 13- and 14-year olds as a one-off day event, which he describes as “Probably the most rewarding course I have run. They had a genuine interest”, and followed the exact same course as the adults, “fully embracing the technology even though none of them had ever handled lighting equipment before!”.