Philips Vari-Lite VL2600 Illuminates Forest Live

Pearce Hire supplied the VL2600 Profiles to the Forest Live weekends for long-standing client, The Forestry Commission. Photos © Pearce Hire

Signify’s new LED stage luminaire, the Philips Vari-Lite VL2600 Profile, made a striking world debut on the stages of the Forestry Commission’s Forest Live shows in June.

Supplied by Pearce Hire, the VL2600s were used to light performances by artists including Gary Barlow, The Script, Kasabian and Paloma Faith on this summer’s first Forest Live weekend.

Peterborough-based Pearce Hire is the first company in the world to invest in these latest luminaires from the Philips Vari-Lite brand. Impressed by the fixture’s feature set, they purchased 40 VL2600 Profiles from London-based show lighting specialist Flashlight Ltd. Upon delivery, 20 fixtures were supplied to each of two Forest Live shows, at Thetford Forest in Suffolk and Delamere Forest in Cheshire.

Pearce Hire’s General Manager Jim Brown said: “We’d looked at several alternative fixtures and the VL2600s were the brightest by a country mile. We do a lot of outdoor shows in the summer season, so we need fixtures with the light output to compete with daylight. The VL2600’s brightness and the high color temperature produce beams that really stand out.”

He added: “A big plus was the two gobo wheels: having access to that number of effects gives real flexibility. Often fixtures will sacrifice the second gobo wheel to make room for the framing shutters, but with the VL2600 Profile there is no trade-off. They’ve got everything, the gobos, the framing, the quality optics, the colors – they’re everything you would expect a Vari-Lite to be.”

For the Forest Live shows, Pearce Hire’s Project Manager John Huson created a flexible festival rig for the visiting lighting designers to use for their artists. Jamie Thompson, lighting designer for The Script, had his first hands-on experience with the fixtures. He said: “The VL2600 seem really great. It’s nice to have a compact, bright moving head profile with the stunning optics that define Vari-Lite.”

Pearce Hire and its clients also benefit from the lower powered LED technology, explained Brown. “Many of our clients are concerned with sustainability and environmental impact, so the lower power usage is another plus. When using our diesel generators, the lower the power demand the better. Also, using LED means that we don’t have to spend time and resources re-lamping.”

Commenting on the price point of the VL2600 range, Brown added: “The price is very attractive, which gives us great confidence that we’ll get the payback on our investment. If they were not so affordable we may have had to buy fewer of them, or cut back elsewhere, but the price didn’t affect our decision to go for these fixtures – they are the best of their class that we’ve seen.”

Signify became the new company name of Philips Lighting as of May 16, 2018. The legal name of Signify will be adopted across all global markets in the course of 2018-2019.

Signify Entertainment Lighting comprises the Philips Vari-Lite, Philips Strand Lighting and Philips Selecon brands, as well as the Philips Showline range of LED stage luminaires.