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Robe Specified for Shark Ray Bay Dive Theater

Chad Kuney of award-winning lighting design and AV production studio Full Spectrum specified four Robe ColorSpot 250 AT moving lights to illuminate the interactive Shark Bay Ray Dive Theater at Newport Aquarium, just outside Cincinnati, Ohio.

products involved

The Theater measures 30 x 48 feet, has a 23 foot high ceiling and is popular with Aquarium guests staging a variety of dive-based shows for an audience of around 150. It is also used as an events space. It features one of the largest water tanks in the Aquarium, the central focal point of which is a visible viewing area of 17 x 9 feet.

The four ColorSpot 250 ATs are rigged off the ceiling grid at the back of the Theatre. It’s a challenging space which entailed the use of custom brackets so they can be suspended below several large air ducts.

This gives an ideal angle for them to be pointed all around the space and also to light and project onto the new fabric ‘splash curtain’ which flanks the top and sides of the tank viewing area, serving as an eye-catching visual backdrop.

A wide array of events take place within the space. A principle design goal for Stone Mountain, Georgia based Full Spectrum was to showcase the marine life in the tank, embrace both education and entertainment and also help create a lively, flexible multi-purpose event space.

“We were searching for a real workhorse 250 series moving light fixture that was cost-effective,” explains Kuney.

Mark Ross of BMI Supply - who delivered the moving lights and LED PAR wash fixtures to the project – suggested they look at Robe’s ColorSpot 250 AT
Kuney and his team had also worked with Robe products before on a project in Midtown Atlanta, where they were very pleased with the results. ”After some research, we decided Robe was the way to go,” he says.

The ColorSpot 250 ATs were chosen to meet several criteria. First was to act as spotlights for the presenters of educational events.

Second was for their ability to project patterns and texturing effects onto the Splash Curtain. This is washed by linear LED strips, so the ColorSpot 250 gobos are the perfect contrast and compliment, especially when combined with the prism, so they can move, rotate and create vibrant patterns across the face of the structure.

Third, the lights can ramp up the excitement and anticipation in the Theater by being moved around the venue. At key moments in the dive presentations they can be instantly switched between the splash curtain and the audience, immersing guests in colour and motion, drawing them further into the action!
At night, they can also be used to create an intimate club-like vibe for special events and parties.

It’s amazing just how much can be done with four good quality small moving lights!

Full Spectrum programmed the ColorSpot 250s into the Pharos LPC lighting controller. Multiple shows can be recalled by local Aquarium staff at the touch of a button via an iPad, or from the permanently mounted Alcon McBride touchscreen room controller. Staff can also edit certain shows if needed to accommodate specific requests and the tastes of clients using the space.