Purple Rain of Flares on Grammys

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Recording artist Bruno Mars performs onstage during The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS)

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards last month was a confluence of stunning performances, controversies, and surprises. In collaboration with Production Designer Brian Stonestreet, LDs Bob Dickinson and Noah Mitz created a visual delight, capturing the mood of a wide range of musical genres including the stunning tribute to Prince.

Every year since its introduction in 2013, the super-bright Solaris Flare has played a key role on the Grammys. With an average of 20 acts per show, that’s 100 performances, each with its own distinct look, proving that the Flare’s versatility is second to none.

“The Flare has become the de facto standard for LED strobes on all of our shows. They are our go-to option for their intensity, reliability, and excellent colour rendition on camera.” Said LD Noah Mitz.

“We use the Flares to add specific tempo information to music,” added LD Patrick Boozer. “There is always a lot of change in television and schedules are very compressed. Having a dedicated system of Flares to pull out specific musical moments allows us to cue very quickly.

“The Flare has been an awesome tool in the field and, with its added wash light and pixel-map capabilities, a major upgrade over previous generations of strobes. I’ve always been particularly impressed by the solid performance of the Flare – from its smooth dimming curve to its reliability.   If you are going to pop 150 strobes to full in the crescendo of a ballad, you really need to have faith that the tool is going to perform well and the Flare has never failed us.”

Boozer continued, “As a programmer I really appreciate how the fixture’s profile is built. Allowing the user to control the ‘Strobe’ and the ‘Pixel’ as separate channels allows a flexibility not seen in other fixtures. In my opinion the Flare is far and away the best LED strobe/wash on the market – honestly it’s not even close.”

Lighting Designers for the 59Th Annual Grammy Awards are Bob Dickinson and Noah Mitz. Lighting Directors and programmers include Andy O’Reilly, Patrick Boozer, Ryan Tanker, Mike Berger, and Madigan Stehly. Charles Dabezies and Will Gossett are Assistant Lighting Directors. Producers are NARAS & AEG Ehrlich Ventures, LLC, and lighting design was contracted by Full Flood.

Solaris Flares are the standard for entertainment lighting worldwide. The new Flare Q+, has all the features of its predecessor, plus the added benefits of Solaris’ revolutionary Q+ Technology. New Q+ LED driver technology almost eliminates fan noise, while increasing brightness by over 40%, up to an amazing 52,000 lumens in the 96-LED format, and 58,000 in the Flare Q+ LR linear 108-LED unit. In Theatre Mode, the Flare Q+ is effectively silent; yet still 8% brighter than the original Flare. Both the Flare Q+ and Flare Q+ LR fixtures have a calibration function that allows matching of intensity and colour with earlier generation Flares.