Owen Valley High School Simplified Two Systems into One with Canto USA’s RETRO Series

Owen Valley High School in Spencer, Indiana was looking to upgrade their auditorium’s existing lighting. The school had 20 300W mini candelabra standard pendant cans for performance dimming as well as 20 secondary mercury or sodium vapor fixtures for day-to-day activities. They wanted an option to do dimmable LED house lights for their performances.

They reached out to Aaron Seelig of Indianapolis Stage Sales and Rental, Inc. Aaron recommended the school go with 20 of Canto USA’s RETRO-Classic 700 and they would be able to replace both systems with one fixture type. The RETRO series customization and adapters also allow for the installer to replace the lamp without having to modify or replace the entire fixture and dimmer system.

Since no rewiring work was needed and the installation was as simple as replacing a lamp, the installation went quite smoothly. There was some minor work on the fixtures to remove the existing reflector and glass, install the RETRO-Classic 700, replace the reflector only, and attach the safety cable to the body of the fixture. Vapor fixtures were just abandoned in place. The auditorium was replaced in one evening so they could have classes meeting in the space the next morning due to COVID requirements.

Owen Valley High School Before Canto USA RETRO Series Install Photo
Before Canto USA RETRO Series Install
Owen Valley High School After Canto USA RETRO Series Install Photo
After Canto USA RETRO Series Install

The auditorium director was amazed that only 20 fixtures were able to replace the two existing systems.  They can now use one system for both dimmable house lights and daytime instructional periods. This also simplified their control system as opposed to having two different ways of turning on these fixtures.

“I am a huge fan of the Canto RETRO line!” said Aaron, “I have been able to use it on any dimming system I have come across, from ETC to Strand to Colortran and more. These have been a lifesaver for projects that don’t have the funds to hire an outside electrician to pull new LoVo wire to each fixture. At first my customers may seem hesitant to look at this theatrical screw-in retrofit due to the price. However, when I bring an electrical contractor’s quote to replace all the fixtures with new cans or pull new LoVo wire to each fixture they quickly see how this design and the phenomenal dimming curve it has will save them on costs and deliver superb quality.”

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

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.” 

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ComED Updates Classification of Canto USA’s RETRO Series

Many energy providers offer rebates and incentive programs for businesses, theatres, and other venues that update their lighting with something more efficient. ComED, a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation, is one of these. ComEd’s service territory borders Iroquois County to the south (roughly Interstate 80), the Wisconsin border to the north, the Iowa border to the west, and the Indiana border to the east. Making them the largest electric utility in Illinois.

Governors State University in University Park, Illinois was ready to do such an update. They were going to retrofit with 71 RETRO-Fusions™, all varying between 150, 300, and 500. Unfortunately, ComED and their implementer rejected the RETRO series for custom incentives because of the different screw-in options that can be used for power. They would only accept it if the RETRO’s would be installed using bare wire and by an electrician. Therefore, they were only prepared to offer a $5/bulb instant discount rebate.

Matt Huffman of Resource Innovations, an outreach service provider for the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program in Northern Illinois, felt this was wrong. They worked with GSU to get the final application completed, and then ComEd did their technical review. ComEd agreed they were mistaken and allowed GSU to apply for a custom incentive. The final incentive of $6,243.57 is based on 89,193.92 kWh of calculated savings at a $0.07/kWh incentive rate.

ComEd’s 2021 custom program will still use $0.07/kWh as the incentive for custom specialty lighting such as this.

“This is a positive movement forward since the requirements of having a professional electrician install would not allow a customer to install the RETRO series themselves,” said John Luhrs, General Manager. “Our RETRO series allows for the reuse of the current socket in a fixture. This decreases any extra work, installation time, and costs to meet the criteria. Allowing our Illinois customers maximize the savings of doing a retrofit in their facility.”

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?

Big Changes at Canto USA

2020 saw a lot of changes for every company in the entertainment industry, and CantoUSA was no exception. The government tariffs on key components in our supply chain as well as the coronavirus pandemic have given rise for us to change the way we manufacture our products.  We realized in 2019 that the tariff challenges along with our supplier and contract manufactures needed to change and change quickly. 

In the past, CantoUSA has relied on outside contractors and manufacturers for key components for many of our products. Unfortunately, many suppliers did not forecast the impact that the tariffs would do when they went into effect, resulting in the disruption of our supply chain and delivery schedules. The pandemic has also caused further disruptions that no one could have imagined. Due to this, lead times on our products in production were at risk of being extended as shipping from our suppliers went from 90 days to anywhere between 120-180 days. Taking this as a chance to secure our own manufacturing process we wanted to expand and bring all our essential components in-house. We worked with ASMHeller Industries, and PillarHouse, to name a few, to begin our own electronic driver setup. Through these companies, we purchased a driver board printing machine, pick & place machine, and selective soldering equipment. After lengthy setup, testing, and training we were completing boards by August and the first official runs of drivers for equipment in early September. We can now produce components on-demand and scale up or down our production depending on our specific needs. We’ve also secured direct access to component vendors allowing us to by-pass normal supply chain suppliers to ensure that we always have available stock.

Canto Usa Nest Photo 03
Canto Usa Nest Photo 01

“This has been a big change for us here at CantoUSA,” said John Luhrs, General Manager. “Now we have the ability to control all aspects of our manufacturing process. This is going to improve our production, increase quality control, and decrease lead times allowing us to pass these efficiencies along to our customers.”

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?