One Town Chamber’s Experience with Canto USA’s RETRO Series

The Town of Cary, a diverse and thriving community in the heart of North Carolina, had a dilemma. The ambient lighting in the Town Council Chambers was in dire need of renovation, but LED retrofit solutions were not lining up with their Mission Statement for cost-conscious growth with comprehensive planning for the future. LED retrofits were either too costly, or they offered inferior performance to the existing luminaires and could not be considered a long-term solution. Furthermore, the existing luminaire layout with wide spacing and mini-candelabra lamps was presenting a logistical challenge: any LED retrofit would need to have wide optics, high output, and either replace the entire luminaire or screw into a mini-candelabra base.

Cailen Waddell (Program Supervisor of Technical Operations for the Town of Cary) was charged with finding a solution for the chamber. Cailen’s extensive background in audio, visual, and lighting production made him keenly aware of the Town of Cary’s challenge to find a quality retrofit that would dim smoothly on camera, operate at precise low levels without flickering during council meetings, and integrate with the current lighting controls. Adding to the pressure, the town had recently identified lamp replacements in the Council Chambers as high-risk and potentially hazardous. Maintenance staff were having to change lamps over seating risers, and the slope of the riser system complicated maintenance. The town needed to act quickly, but it also needed to be the right long-term solution.

To explore fixture, control, and logistical options, Cailen called on Bandit Lites’ Andrew Fisher with the Charlotte office. Cailen and Andrew explored replacing luminaires with wireless, wired, and line-voltage dimming options; however, the labor to install new luminaires and costs to update the architectural control system were quickly adding up to put the project overbudget. The Town of Cary needed an LED screw-in retrofit that would outperform their current Halogen lamps while offering the same line-voltage dimming curve and light quality.

Luckily, the team at Canto USA had been steadily working in the background towards the exact solution Cary needed. The initial line of Canto RLED lamps had always offered mini-candelabra sockets, high CRI tungsten performance, wide optics, and smooth, reliable dimming performance, so when Cailen and Andrew reached out to Shawn Harmon of Canto USA, they were surprised to find out that their new RETRO line of fixtures had more than doubled in output. The newer, high output fixtures would allow Cailen to achieve the lighting levels needed for video production, and the wide optics ensured that the council would be evenly lit, even with the current luminaire spacing. Canto USA offered a solution that was as simple as screwing in a light bulb.

With the lamp replacement dilemma solved, the Town of Cary issued a procurement request for the RETRO-Classics. Once in-hand, the maintenance staff climbed their ladders for the last time and were able to complete the retrofit in-house in half a day. The labor costs were minimal, the energy savings were appealing, and the RETRO-Classic cost was exactly what was needed for the high output, high quality retrofit the town needed.

Ultimately, the Town of Cary utilized 20 RETRO-Classic’s, all at a tungsten-perfect 2700 Kelvin CCT. The RETRO series worked flawlessly with their current dimming system, installed in the existing mini-candelabra sockets, and offered a variety of lenses and lamp extensions to make sure that the beam spreads were spot-on and the lamp fit perfectly in the luminaire and minimized glare. “Not only did the lighting look perfect, Canto USA went above and beyond on this project,” said Andrew, “They worked with Cary to send out lamp and lens samples, they swapped out lensing as-needed, and they supported the project at every step of the process. I can’t say enough about the customer service at Canto USA.”

“It worked and was really easy to complete the project and get back to production right away,” said Cailen Waddell. “We’re extremely happy with the house lights and considering the RETRO-HPL for our stage lights.”

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-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-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-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 Series Availability

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?

Let’s Talk Tripods & Stands—Now Available at Canto USA

Canto USA is pleased to announce that we have greatly expanded our line of tripods and stands! Meeting customer and industry needs is at the forefront of our mission statement. When trying to find tripods or stands from two leading suppliers in the US, we found the market to be underserved—little to no stocked products, built-to-order, and six to eight week lead time. However, when tripods and stands are needed, especially in the entertainment industry, sooner rather than later is key. Thus, we decided we would pursue offering a high quality, well-made tripod, stand and accessory line. Because of product quality & price, we believe we can fill a great need in the market.

There are tripods and stands for photography, theatrical use, and the movie and entertainment industry. They can be small or large in nature depending on the sizes of the fixtures and types of functions. There are tripods and stands that hold multiple lights or speakers. Specific features for tripods and stands are driven by grip studios and grips servicing the entertainment industry. They may need to accommodate large Film/Studio Lights, sound booms, and other applications. Usage really depends on the situation.

Tripods and stands are currently stocked and ready to ship. Please check out our collection of tripods, stands and accessories. We even offer customized labeling. If we don’t have a product immediately in stock, or something custom is needed, our lead time is about 3-4 weeks. For more information, please email info@cantousa.com or call 888-252-5912. Our representatives can be found here, and our dealer locator is here.

Tripods and Stands

Now available for shipping!

Learn More

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?

COVID-19 Statement and Updates 4/29/2020

A Statement from Canto USA

4/29/2020

Canto USA is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our staff and customers. We have been carefully monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and the ever-changing situation.

Georgia is rolling back it’s restrictions on businesses. We were deemed essential and continued to work under strict policies that have, so far, not resulted in any related Covid-19 illnesses. While we respect our state and local government’s decision to reopen, we feel it’s necessary to keep working with these policies and procedures in place to protect our staff, families, and customers.

Currently, our office is open, but no visitors are allowed in our facility. Staff that is able to work remotely from home are doing so and any unnecessary travel has been canceled. Door handles and common areas are disinfected 2-3 times daily. The production staff now works a 7-day week with a staggered schedule to limit contact between each other. All incoming and outgoing shipments are subject to outside delivery/pickup. Incoming packages are being disinfected prior to entering the building. Outbound shipments will continue to be processed as long as the trucking companies are running. In addition, outbound shipments will be sprayed with a disinfectant before leaving our facility.

Here is what a few of us have to say:

Despite the challenges presented to us during the pandemic, Canto USA has been able to keep our manufacturing operations moving forward to keep our customers supplied with product.  This uninterrupted supply has supported the efforts of our clients to keep their operations running. I am extremely proud of our staff who have pulled together during this crisis to keep Canto USA operating as normal.”

– John Luhrs, General Manager

Everyone at Canto USA has been concerned about Covid-19, how the virus could affect their health, their families and their finances so they have been very happy to work within the guidelines set up to keep everyone safe which in turn keeps their families safe and allows them to safeguard their finances. We are proud of how everyone has pulled together and been flexible so that we could continue to operate in a healthy and safe environment which has allowed the company to offer the same customer service we have always worked to achieve. This pandemic is unprecedented in our time and it is not over with yet. Canto USA expresses our sympathy to those who have lost loved ones to the virus and thanks the healthcare workers, first responders, grocery store workers, transportation industry, etc… for keeping the country working as well as the hundreds of thousands of others who have stayed at home to minimize the spread of the virus.”

– Wandra Luhrs, CFO

While I am thankful to already work remotely from home, it is incredible to be a part of the Canto USA Team in these uncharted times. Procedures and protocols were put into place to keep our entire team safe while still providing great customer service and continuing the supply chain to our customers. My hope is that each of you are able to work safely because when this industry is at full strength again – YOU are a much needed member of the team!”

– Amanda Romano-Harmon, Quotation Specialist

Canto USA has been a great support system to their employees in this difficult time. They make sure that the people that are a part of their team feel safe and financially secure. I am glad to be a part of a team with such an optimistic attitude.”

– Savannah Williamson, Project Specialist

We encourage our clients to share with us any concerns or needs that they have moving forward so we can help further assist them with their planning until this crisis is over.

While the environment around us is uncertain, we take comfort in the fact that we have a world-class team that is client and employee focused. Please feel free to contact us at (888) 252-5912 with any questions or concerns.

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.” 

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