Robe’s reporting team caught up with Kilowatt AV in Cape Town and chatted to their Chief Operating Officer Neil Zaayman about their latest Robe purchases – which included VIVA CMYs, Spikies, MiniPointes, LEDWash 600 and more LEDBeam 100s …
Neil has worked with the event technical specialist company for five years and is one of 52 full time employees. Kilowatt was founded by Dillon Jearey 10 years ago and has been operating out of their current warehouse in Ndabeni for the past four years.
Kilowatt’s roots lay in creating incredible guest experiences at electronic music events, and via some truly groundbreaking shows that pushed the realms of technology and design, some initial corporate doors opened. The process then gathered pace and allowed the business to develop into what it is today.
As well as supplying lighting, sound and video, they also manufacture custom sets and stands for exhibitions and attractions via two divisions of the business - Kilowatt AV and Kilowatt Innovation Solutions. The later concentrates on custom projects and manufacturing.
The investment in the kit, especially this year, has been strategic, and primarily planned to facilitate their own productions. Kilowatt AV has never positioned itself as a rental company, and that has defined their purchase decisions.
Robe is the only moving light brand that they currently own. The wide range of Robe products has enabled exactly the right fixtures to be selected and applied to various projects over the years, starting with LEDBeam 100s and 300E Spots around 5 years ago.
This year's investment has definitely stepped on the gas and shifted up a few gears on the moving light front.
The LEDBeam 100 has proved itself invaluable for its small size and versatility. Being “bright and unobtrusive" makes it ideal for set lighting and, especially in quantities, it's perfect for stage or crowd lighting at dance parties.
The Spikies are also ideal - for the same reasons - in conference rooms and hotel function suites - maximum funkiness for minimum space and power requirements, whilst also being a perfect complement for the LEDBeam 100s and MiniPointes.
The LEDWash 600s are reliable workhorses for most shows and can be used virtually anywhere on any type of event to provide base washes and colouring.
Typically most Kilowatt events are also lit by their in-house LDs, and lighting design services are included in the package. For any larger outdoor shows, they will outsource greater quantities of bigger fixtures.
Kilowatt AV was the first company in SA to own VIVA CMYs - launched in 2016, and they are very happy with the results. The units are out constantly on shows, utilized for gobo projections as well as lighting stages and other areas. "The output is excellent, the CMY mixing is a real benefit, so together with the smooth dimming and gobo facilities, they are super-adaptable," confirms Neil.
All Kilowatt's kit is worked hard and is well used - in 2016 they covered over 800 events of different sizes and complexities … and are expecting to do similar this year.
Talking more generally about Robe, Neil says “Great brand reputation, coupled with an extensive product range and outstanding localized customer service from DWR, make our investment into Robe’s fixtures an obvious choice!”
Neil and the team really like the new LEDBeam 150s and PARFect 150s which they saw properly for the first time at Mediatech 2017 this winter, and they think the PATT range – picklePATTs, pixelPATTs, etc. - has huge potential for their set creation and building division.