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Clay Paky Igloos Domes and Sharpys Shine a Light on Holiday Trees for “Illumination: The Lights at The Morton Arboretum” in Chicago

Christmas trees were not the only magical trees during the holiday season. Visitors to “Illumination: The Lights at The Morton Arboretum” in suburban Chicago discovered magic of a different sort along a one-mile, gently rolling paved path where tree lighting effects were created by Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures in Igloo domes, which were programmed on grandMA consoles. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for Clay Paky.

The Morton Arboretum was founded in 1922 by Morton Salt magnate Joy Morton whose father inaugurated Arbor Day in the U.S. The “Illumination” event featured stunning lighting effects along an outdoor path through the trees and offered opportunities to interact with the trees to change the color and intensity of the lights.

Lighting designer John Featherstone of design firm Lightswitch specified 28 Clay Paky Sharpys for “Illumination” choosing them to light the path and provide lighting effects. Their tight beams, long range and low power consumption were well suited to the tasks. The Sharpys were fitted into custom outdoor domes and a dozen Igloo domes from Clay Paky. Igloos are sturdy enclosures that offer protection against the elements while maintaining a perfect working temperature. Quick to install and simple to use, Igloos are indispensible for outdoor events, festivals and installations. Injection molded from UV-resistant transparent polycarbonate, Igloos ensure flawless projections without loss of light or image distortion.

“The fixtures and Igloo domes held up great – they sat outside from early October to mid-January, and we had almost no failures,” reports Matt Pearlman, senior account executive with Intelligent Lighting Creations (ILC), a Chicago-based lighting rental company. “We used wireless DMX control in the Igloo domes, which cut down on a lot of cable.”

Pearlman says the Sharpys created aerial patterns in some areas. “In one area the fixtures were placed within the landscape architecture of a massive hedge garden allowing the shafts of light to visually extend the pattern of the garden,” he notes.

The light show was programmed on a pair of grandMA2 consoles. “The programmers were able to share the show file and make adjustments in real time,” Pearlman says. “For the show run we ended up using solid state computers running grandMA onPC software with multiple nodes over a wireless network. The control system worked flawlessly.”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, commented, “This is a great application of our Igloo Domes and a very interesting project. We’re glad they chose our product lines for this application.”

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