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Canto USA’s RETRO Series Becomes the Big Star at Charleston Gaillard Center

Construction of the new Charleston Gaillard Center in South Carolina began in August of 2012 and was finished in October of 2015. The new Gaillard Center features the 1,800-seat Martha and John M. Rivers Performance Hall, a 15,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom space, and three floors of City offices. One of the City’s most notable spaces, the Charleston Gaillard Center is a non-profit that provides the Lowcountry with a world-class performance hall, elegant venue space, and vibrant educational opportunities.

Recently the Center updated their lighting system with Canto USA’s RETRO Series. We reached out to Daniel Grummer, Facilities Manager for the Gaillard Center, to see how the RETRO Series worked out for them.

What prompted the Center to upgrade their lighting?

Since the renovation in 2015, the Charleston Gaillard Center’s Martha and John M. Rivers Performance Hall’s fixtures have required two a-style bulbs. We were changing bulbs before every event, and with 91 fixtures and 182 bulbs, replacing bulbs just inside the performance hall took an hour or so. 

What made your dealer recommend and help you choose the RETRO series for the job?

Before I left Charleston Southern University, I oversaw a LED retrofit performed by Productions Unlimited, Inc., which utilized the Canto USA RETRO LEDs. When we had the opportunity to upgrade the house lighting at the Gaillard Center, I knew RETRO was the best choice for a state-of-the-art facility. I reached out to PUI to see if custom-built RETRO fixtures were an option, and they took the project from there.

What were some of the challenges?

Some of the last ETC Sinewave dimmers ever installed were the 3 for house and theatrical lighting for our symphony shows at the Gaillard Center. While the demo of a fixture worked great, as we got the last few fixtures installed, we noticed a few were not constantly dimming. We discovered the Sinewave dimmers were causing interference, and we decided to move the LED circuits to a Sensor rack with D20 modules. 

What were some of the customizations that had to be done?

The fixture design is pretty shallow, but Productions Unlimited made a custom laser-cut aluminum plate that Canto USA mounted the LED components onto, allowing them to just swap out the old fixture’s interior with just 4 screws, while allowing the decorative ring and globe to remain.  

How long did the installation take?

The install took about a week as hunting down the dimmer issue was difficult; it affected different fixtures at different times. 

What was everybody’s initial reaction when the job was done?

We were relieved to not be replacing light bulbs before every event! To the average person, you cannot tell a difference in the lighting in the theater. But for those who noticed the shadows and the filament that projected on the glass, it is night and day.

How does everybody feel about how the RETRO is performing in the space?

The staff are all very pleased with the performance and output of the fixtures. We look forward to our larger capacity events returning for patrons to enjoy the new lighting as well. 

Charleston Gaillard Center Canto USA Box

The RETRO Series Line of Products

RETRO-Classic™ – Flexibility & Customization

CantoUSA RETRO-Classic Series Product Photo

The RETRO-Classic our original 0-100% phase dimmable (forward and reverse) variable wattage LED 2700K-6500K 80-97 CRI engine retrofit house light and most customizable RETRO in the entire RETRO family. They are heavier than the Fusion, yet lighter than Passive.

RETRO-Fusion™ – Lighter & Smaller

CantoUSA RETRO-Fusion Series Product Photo

With the RETRO-Fusion being lighter and lower profile, along with a beveled top edge, it is able to squeeze into more shallow fixtures without having the lens protrude from the front of the trim ring. That reduces any type of glare. This new design opens up more opportunities and applications.

RETRO-Passive® – Absolute Silence

CantoUSA RETRO-Passive Series Product Photo

Being fanless, the RETRO-Passive is perfect for sound-sensitive spaces like museums and concert halls. They also have heavier heat sinks to compensate for not having active cooling.

RETRO-PAR – PAR Lamp Replacement

CantoUSA RETRO-Par Series Product Photo

The RETRO-PAR is easy to replace/install, modular, and customizable. Customizable features include active or passive cooling, different wattage outputs, and different optical beam spreads. It comes in PAR 38, 46, 56, and 64 styles, as well as custom.

RETRO-HPL

CantoUSA RETRO-HPL Product Photo

The RETRO-HPL is a direct replacement for existing Source 4 PARs in the marketplace, especially those used for house lights.

About CantoUSA

Founded in 2013, Canto USA is a manufacturer of houselight retrofits and followspots. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to our mission: “Our customers come first. In order to do this, we continuously train our team on the latest trends and needs of the industry, while at the same time becoming a trendsetter in the development of new products and technology that no other company has available.” 

Have a custom job we did for you and want to be featured in one of our blogs articles?

Canto USA’s RETRO Series Is a Perfect Fit for Paw Paw High School

Paw Paw High School in Michigan was having some issues with its auditorium. However, the biggest problem was access to their fixtures. Lamp replacements were a major cost and time issue with the need for lifts and scaffolding to reach them. They knew it was time for a change.

Technical Director, Kristofer Perkins, began researching options. Being a small rural school district with limited funding for their theatrical program their biggest obstacle would be the cost. During his research, Kristofer discovered Canto USA’s RETRO series. He reached out to his local dealer, TPC Technologies, Inc. and together they determined the RETRO was an excellent fit at an affordable cost for their budget.

Once they had the fixtures in hand, the install happened quickly. In total the job took only three days. Two days for electricians to reach the ones they could from their catwalks and with an in-house lift. The final day the remaining were replaced using scaffolding. No major changes were made to their preexisting system and only minor adjustments were needed for their house cans to accommodate the RETRO. In all 70 RETRO-Classic™ 700’s were installed using Edison and mini candelabra bases.

“The look is amazing,” said Kristofer. “The output is amazing as well. We never run our house lights above 90%. Knowing it will be years before I ever have to worry about my house lights is fantastic. I have been asked many times if we have had any compatibility issues. We have Strand CD80 dimmers, an ETC board, and RETRO houselights. Thanks to the team from TPC Technologies, they all work in harmony.”

The RETRO Series Line of Products

RETRO-Classic™ – Flexibility & Customization

CantoUSA RETRO-Classic Series Product Photo

The RETRO-Classic our original 0-100% phase dimmable (forward and reverse) variable wattage LED 2700K-6500K 80-97 CRI engine retrofit house light and most customizable RETRO in the entire RETRO family. They are heavier than the Fusion, yet lighter than Passive.

RETRO-Fusion™ – Lighter & Smaller

CantoUSA RETRO-Fusion Series Product Photo

With the RETRO-Fusion being lighter and lower profile, along with a beveled top edge, it is able to squeeze into more shallow fixtures without having the lens protrude from the front of the trim ring. That reduces any type of glare. This new design opens up more opportunities and applications.

RETRO-Passive® – Absolute Silence

CantoUSA RETRO-Passive Series Product Photo

Being fanless, the RETRO-Passive is perfect for sound-sensitive spaces like museums and concert halls. They also have heavier heat sinks to compensate for not having active cooling.

RETRO-PAR – PAR Lamp Replacement

CantoUSA RETRO-Par Series Product Photo

The RETRO-PAR is easy to replace/install, modular, and customizable. Customizable features include active or passive cooling, different wattage outputs, and different optical beam spreads. It comes in PAR 38, 46, 56, and 64 styles, as well as custom.

RETRO-HPL

CantoUSA RETRO-HPL Product Photo

The RETRO-HPL is a direct replacement for existing Source 4 PARs in the marketplace, especially those used for house lights.

About CantoUSA

Founded in 2013, Canto USA is a manufacturer of houselight retrofits and followspots. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to our mission: “Our customers come first. In order to do this, we continuously train our team on the latest trends and needs of the industry, while at the same time becoming a trendsetter in the development of new products and technology that no other company has available.” 

Have a custom job we did for you and want to be featured in one of our blogs articles?

Theater of the Arts UDC Gets the RETRO Treatment

Theater of the Arts, housed in the University of District of Columbia, has echoes of symphonies within its walls, momentous Jazz band competitions, performances by the University’s gospel and concert choirs to name a few. The University has been graced with visits from guest lecturers, dignitaries, and political figures to stand on stage. The list of activities and performances conducted here are innumerable. The Theater of Arts Building is truly one of UDC’s hidden gems.

That’s why, in late 2019, the University began updating the theater for present and future generations. Working with Theatre Consultants Collaborative, Specified Electric, and Barbizon Lighting Company, University administrators began discussing what to do. Planning began for all-new performance lighting fixtures and accessories, a performance lighting distribution and control system, and integrating new cable management into the existing rigging system. One of the items suggested included a complete RETRO Series LED houselight upgrade.

“Canto USA’s RETRO Series was the right product for the job,” said Steve Siegmund of Theatre Consultants Collaborative. “The existing ceiling was so high that the idea of installing new fixtures and running new control just wasn’t practical. We had existing dimming and the existing fixtures themselves were still in decent shape. So, putting the RETRO in saved the customer money in terms of installation cost and all the complexities that would have gone into a complete fixture retrofit.”

The schedule was organized in a way that much of the work was done around the existing system. The theater was only offline for the month of December 2019 and the first part of January 2020. Overall, the project, including houselights and panel upgrades, took about four months, two of which the electrical contractor worked to install new wiring and conduit infrastructure. Altogether, 24 RETRO-Fusion™ 150’s, 15 RETRO-Fusion 300’s and 21 RETRO-Fusion 500/700 were used.

Theater of the Arts UDC Canto USA RETRO-Fusion Install After 01
After Canto USA RETRO Series Install
Theater of the Arts UDC Canto USA RETRO-Fusion Install After 02
After Canto USA RETRO Series Install
Theater of the Arts UDC Canto USA RETRO-Fusion Install After 03
After Canto USA RETRO Series Install

The RETRO Series Line of Products

RETRO-Fusion™ – Lighter & Smaller

CantoUSA RETRO-Fusion Series Product Photo

With the RETRO-Fusion being lighter and lower profile, along with a beveled top edge, it is able to squeeze into more shallow fixtures without having the lens protrude from the front of the trim ring. That reduces any type of glare. This new design opens up more opportunities and applications.

RETRO-Classic™ – Flexibility & Customization

CantoUSA RETRO-Classic Series Product Photo

The RETRO-Classic our original 0-100% phase dimmable (forward and reverse) variable wattage LED 2700K-6500K 80-97 CRI engine retrofit house light and most customizable RETRO in the entire RETRO family. They are heavier than the Fusion, yet lighter than Passive.

RETRO-Passive® – Absolute Silence

CantoUSA RETRO-Passive Series Product Photo

Being fanless, the RETRO-Passive is perfect for sound-sensitive spaces like museums and concert halls. They also have heavier heat sinks to compensate for not having active cooling.

RETRO-PAR – PAR Lamp Replacement

CantoUSA RETRO-Par Series Product Photo

The RETRO-PAR is easy to replace/install, modular, and customizable. Customizable features include active or passive cooling, different wattage outputs, and different optical beam spreads. It comes in PAR 38, 46, 56, and 64 styles, as well as custom.

RETRO-HPL

CantoUSA RETRO-HPL Product Photo

The RETRO-HPL is a direct replacement for existing Source 4 PARs in the marketplace, especially those used for house lights.

About CantoUSA

Founded in 2013, Canto USA is a manufacturer of houselight retrofits and followspots. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to our mission: “Our customers come first. In order to do this, we continuously train our team on the latest trends and needs of the industry, while at the same time becoming a trendsetter in the development of new products and technology that no other company has available.” 

Have a custom job we did for you and want to be featured in one of our blogs articles?