First ever Illuminated Trail takes visitors on a mile-long journey of magic and light
White Light’s inventory of SGM P-5 IP65-rated LED wash lights was recently pressed into service to help illuminate the famous Kew Gardens.
For the 2013-2014 holiday season, production management company Culture Creative teamed up with the lighting specialists to help re-imagine part of London’s Kew Gardens, a World Heritage Site, for a special night-time trail. The Illuminated Trail took visitors on a mile-long adventure, with lighting and production elements uncovering hidden spaces and revealing new looks for the Garden’s mainstay structures.
Overseeing the project was Culture Creative Director Zoë Bottrell who worked with Lighting Designer Phil Supple of Light Refreshment to bring Kew to life.
The project continues a long relationship between the companies, with White Light supplying several Culture Creative projects over the past eight years including illuminated trails and outdoor site specific work across the UK from Kent to Glasgow.
Breathtaking nature-based project
For this project — Culture Creative’s biggest nature-based project to date — White Light supplied 24 tonnes of lighting equipment, 900m of rigging bars, more than 26km of cable, and more than 300 ways of dimming, as well as production support, to get the show up and keep it running. Staged deliveries from White Light’s base in Wimbledon brought more than 650 fixtures to site including cutting-edge LED technology in the shape of more than 40 of the new SGM P-5 LEDs, under the control of Avolites Pearl consoles, while hazers provided atmospheric effects on the trail.
At Kew’s Palm House, Phil Supple created a vivid four minute light show to serve as the trail’s finale, using all the P-5 wash lights to bring the trail’s largest structure to life. The powerful RGBW units pack a real punch, with 44 individual LEDs producing more than 23,000 lumens per unit. The fixtures offered Supple a bright, low-power lighting solution for the project, providing countless colour options and interchangeable lenses for added flexibility.
High demand for SGM fixtures
The SGM fixtures are a recent addition to White Light’s hire stock and are already in high demand for concert touring, live events and installation clients. Stated White Light Hire Director Dave Isherwood, “We’ve had designers looking for punchy, compact LED wash units for a while, both for use indoors and outdoors, and the feature set on the P-5, including compatibility with Wireless Solution’s wireless DMX, fits perfectly into our existing inventory. They were a logical choice for this project at Kew Gardens.”
Culture Creative Director Zoë Bottrell describes the unique nature of the Kew Illuminated Trail: “This project has been the longest and most challenging trail we have undertaken in terms of length of trail, complexity of infrastructure and length of run, with 27 shows.
“Working with White Light and the team is always a pleasure and they are an integral part of the success of how our site specific work can be delivered. We have always had exceptional service and 2013 was no different — from warehouse prep to site services everyone has been great.”
As for tackling the project’s inher-ent challenges, Dave Isherwood says, “It was a lot of fun. We love working on Culture Creative projects, especially where we can do something that has never been done before – like the Kew Gardens Trail.” He continued, “Two of the biggest challenges were the large amount of equipment across an expansive space and the outdoor conditions. We were able to overcome these by carefully planning logistics and providing flexible support for Phil [Supple] and his team. The end result was fantastic and we are proud to have been a part of it!”