New Coat of Paint and Seats? No—New Lights

Dwain McMillan, Lead Sound Support and Lighting Tech for Fairfax County Public Schools, attended Fairfax High School, so when it was time for them to upgrade their auditorium, he had extra reasons for wanting the job done right. One of Artistic Concepts Group’s typical go-to solutions for houselight replacements are The RETRO series, and they have produced a number of success stories with them.

Fairfax High School originally had 500watt E11 Mini Candelabras, and they replaced all 105 units with 3000K RETRO-Classic™ 500 E11 mini candelabras with short reflectors. They dim on ETC dimming system Sensor 3 Dimmer Rack. The school went from using 500 watts to 49 watts per unit, over 90% reduction in power. 52,500 watts down to 5,145 watts instead! Replacing with The RETRO-Classic also increased the light quality in the room by 30-40%. This is assuming the auditorium was fully lamped, as their previous lamps would start to go out after only 2-3 months of use.

CantoUSA RETRO Before After Fairfax High School Photo

The school’s drama teacher loves how he can actually see the seats now, and it looks like the auditorium had a makeover with a new coat of paints and seats. The secret was just changing the lighting!

Below is a video of the before/after timelapse. The video was shot with a smartphone. Please excuse an iris/aperture adjustments during dimming up or down.

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RETRO-Fusion™

CantoUSA RETRO-Fusion Series Product Photo

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RETRO-Passive®

CantoUSA RETRO-Passive Series Product Photo

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RETRO-Classic™

CantoUSA RETRO-Classic Series Product Photo

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Northern Virginia High School Shines a Little Light on the Subject

Falls Church High School in Northern Virginia has a robust performing arts program between theatre, band, orchestra, choir, guitar & music theory. The auditorium was built in the 1960s, and since it is such a widely used space between extracurricular activities and school events, it was important to have a nice, bright space, as well as save on energy being used.

According to this Education Week article, “Data: US School Buildings: Age, Condition, and Spending,” the average age of high school buildings in the United States is 44 years. Schools have a lot of areas of maintenance to be sure that they cover, and lighting is one area that can make both aesthetic and necessary improvements for the buildings. Switching to LED can help save money in the long run, freeing up funds for other building development later on.

The auditorium had 38 200 watt long neck A lamps, and we replaced those with 38 RETRO-Classic 500s without reflectors at 3000K with lamp extenders. Their dimmer rack is a new ETC Sensor 3 Dimming Panel using standard D20 dimmer modules.  Power use was decreased by 75%, and the auditorium became 200% brighter. Light distribution really evened out, covering the walls.

CantoUSA RETRO Before After Install Falls Church Photo

Michael Wysolmerski from Artistic Concepts Group (ACG) was the dealer for this job, and commented that “The client was really interested in improving the overall coverage in the room. Because the RETRO was able to have adjustable optics, we were able to change room coverage without having to make modifications to any of the existing lighting positions.”

Teachers and administration at the school were happy they could use the auditorium to full potential again as it was so much brighter than before. “The best solution by far; money well spent,” said Dwain McMillan, Lead Sound Support and Lighting Tech for Fairfax County Public Schools.

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RETRO-Fusion™

CantoUSA RETRO-Fusion Series Product Photo

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RETRO-Passive®

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RETRO-Classic™

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Let There Be Light: RETRO-Classic™ 500 Installed at Virginia Church

Churches are an example of one type of venue that benefits from our RETRO series. McLean Bible Church, a popular and large congregation in Northern Virginia with five locations, reached out to their theatrical lighting supplier, Artistic Concepts Group (ACG), about the problems they were having with the existing system at their Vienna location: aging infrastructure, high energy costs, a lighting system that didn’t meet their needs, and limited budget for capital improvements. Leaders of the church committed to improving the church’s infrastructure while ensuring that services and other activities weren’t being disrupted.

ACG brought CantoUSA in to consult about the space. They already had T4 500 watt E11 mini candelabras. We determined that they would need 208 RETRO-Classic 500 units with 2700K and varying optics depending on throw distance. They used E11 stems of different lengths depending on how recessed the cans were. The church was able to have a one-for-one replacement and didn’t need to add supplemental cans. That sometimes happens if venues have dark spots or areas that they want to bring more light to. Installation was easy enough for the building engineers to complete the work on their own.

Upon project completion, McLean Bible Church had the following improvements:

  • Power consumption reduced by 91%
  • The room became brighter by 20%
  • CO2 emissions reduced by 91%
  • Roughly 337,709 kWh saved annually
  • Return on investment (ROI) time of about 1.7 years based on the price paid, not including rebates from the power company, which was in the area of $10,000
  • RETRO-Classic 500 is upgradeable and serviceable, reducing maintenance needs and costs
CantoUSA RETRO Before After Mclean Bible Church Photo

Everyone was pleased with the final results, from the building engineers to church leadership. The church was able to receive an energy rebate through Dominion Power. On three occasions, they have ordered for other places in their building such as the lobby, one of the youth rooms, and their secondary auditorium. In the secondary auditorium, 143 RETRO-Passive 150s were placed along with 24 RETRO 500s. In the lobby, 22 RETRO 300s on the lower end of the ceiling, while the higher part of the ceiling of the lobby was done in 65 RETRO-Classic 500s. For the youth room, 35 RETRO 150s went in.

Michael Wysolmerski from ACG reported back that “The client was looking for a way to save money on electricity and the complications of replacing lamps.  The RETRO fixture was chosen because it required no infrastructure change and was a quick installation.”

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RETRO-Fusion™

CantoUSA RETRO-Fusion Series Product Photo

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RETRO-Passive®

CantoUSA RETRO-Passive Series Product Photo

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RETRO-Classic™

CantoUSA RETRO-Classic Series Product Photo

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