Luminis deliver large Elation KL lighting system for ultra-modern Bulgarian broadcast studio
Leading Bulgarian media company Nova Broadcasting Group recently opened an ultra-modern studio complex of nearly 17,000-square metres in the capital of Sofia. To ensure top-quality, professional illumination in the new facility’s multiple studios, Nova Broadcasting Group worked with Elation distributor Luminis Ltd. on a broadcast-optimised lighting solution.
Nova Broadcasting Group is one of the biggest multi-platform media and technology companies in Bulgaria, part of United Group, Southeast Europe’s leading telecom and media operator. The new facility, designed for high-quality television and radio production of international standards, features five television studios, four radio studios, spacious equipment rooms, editing rooms and newsroom. The capacity of the new studio complex, unique for the Bulgarian media market, allows Nova Broadcasting Group to produce highly impactful content using the latest technologies.
Several years ago, Budapest-based Luminis Ltd. collaborated with a broadcast technology company called Rexfilm Ltd. on a significant project. Later, when Nova Broadcasting Group was looking for someone to manage the lighting for their new studio, Rexfilm Ltd. recommended Luminis for the job. Luminis was then tasked to deliver a comprehensive lighting solution including power distribution and lighting control network.
Luminis worked with a local lighting designer on the specification and design of the system, which is made up of 202 KL Fresnel 8 FC, 20 KL Profile FC, 137 KL Panel and 89 KL Panel XL fixtures, along with 36 Arena Zoom Q7IP. The lights are spread across a large 1000-square metre television studio plus two smaller studios of around 350 square metres each. Luminis installed the luminaires working with lighting personnel from Nova TV and programmed initial lighting scenes for the studio. Elation’s Bulgarian distributor, Pro Audio Ltd, works with Luminis to provide local support when needed.
Péter Rábay of Luminis, who worked closely on the project for 18 months, says that the studio required soft lights, profile luminaires and Fresnel lights that would work with their state-of-the-art HD and 4K set-up. “It was important that the lights be in the same family,” he explains. “In the past, with halogen lights and their more consistent color, it wasn’t that necessary that lights all be from the same family of fixtures. But now with LED, because their color engines can differ so much, it is more necessary.”
Due to the studio’s high definition and 4K capabilities, as well as its numerous video walls and modern cameras, it was imperative to utilize luminaires with high output. Rábay states that the KL Fresnel 8 FC, which provides a total fixture lumen output of 18,000, was a wise choice as it offers additional lighting power when required. The fixture houses a 500W RGBMA LED engine with precise colour temperature control, full spectrum colour rendering and even wash coverage. It also includes a motorised zoom of 10 to 50 degrees and meets the strict standards of studios like Nova Broadcasting that are light critical and noise sensitive.
Luminis first encountered the KL Profile FC ellipsoidal during the Prolight + Sound trade show in 2022 and were impressed with the fixture. With a seven to 50-degree zoom, the fixture requires no additional lens tubes, reducing cost, complexity and providing excellent flexibility. They decided to order a demo to test it before presenting it to the client for consideration.
Rábay notes: “In the beginning, they were considering using different brands but after demoing and testing the KL Profile FC over several days, they absolutely agreed that it was very reliable and a good professional light with nice CRI and TLCI. They could see that it complements the KL Fresnel 8 FC very nicely as they both have RGBMA LED engines and they also commented that it looked like a quality-built product.”
When deciding on the KL Panel and KL Panel XL, Rábay says the main requirement was their colour temperature changing flexibility while the LED softlight’s green-shift adjustment was also deemed significant. The fact that they can project the full spectrum of colours was seen as a bonus, he says. Furthermore, the availability of various accessories, such as snapgrids and snapbags that allow for easy manipulation of the light, was also considered important.
Additional to the rig are Arena Zoom Q7IP, full-colour PAR fixtures that work nicely with the KL fixtures and allow the studio to forego renting fixtures in when hosting live performances. A further requirement was a simple yet reliable DMX/RDM splitter, a need fulfilled by Obsidian Control Systems’ NETRON RDM6XL, which Rábay says are easy to work with and work very well. Some 114 RDM6XL splitters are used across the lighting control network.
The first of the new Nova Broadcasting Group television studios opened in late November in time for the FIFA World Cup and Rábay reports that the client has been absolutely thrilled ever since. The other studios, all of which are used for multiple programs such as news, current affairs, and sports shows, opened shortly thereafter. et now