Creative director Phil Supple provides magic moment on Glasgow nature trail
Lighting designer Phil Supple (of Light Refreshment) has again turned to SGM’s P-5 IP65-rated wash light to create a mesmerising lighting ‘trail’ at the Rouken Glen Park in Glasgow for East Renfrewshire Council’s Electric Glen Festival.
As the event’s creative director, for three years his inspired design concept created the same wow factor as it had two years previously with a similarly memorable night time trail illumination of the Palm House at Kew Gardens — again using P-5s at the famous London World Heritage site.
Meanwhile, the self-guided illuminated trail at Rouken Glen followed the woodland paths to the holy grail — the waterfall, which was brought to life over the two weeks by 24 of the low-profile, carefully concealed P-5s. With this cavalcade of colour as a backdrop, many visitors took the opportunity of a selfie.
The fixtures were supplied to main technical production company, NL Productions by SGM’s Glasgow-based partner Teknique Systems, who hold a large inventory.
“I would always use the P-5 for design areas that require a serious volume of light,” Phil Supple confirmed. “The waterfall is very much the centrepiece of this trail, and the P-5 provided the perfect solution — with its compact size, various rigging options, great intensity and quality of colour, precision in control and reliability.”
The designer set high demands during the focus stage, insisting that all the lighting units be hidden and the sources masked to highlight the beautiful landscape.
He also achieved some magical angles from a variety of beam apertures — the 43º option overlapping for consistent wash and the smooth spread of colour transitions, and the 21º for the long throw and ‘special’ focuses — such as lighting tree tops and punching light under the bridge arch.
“I also like to use half coupler clamps as the rigging option on events like Electric Glen, as they provide strength and security when outrigged or yoked back — and as with the P-5 units’ cleverly designed single clamp mounting, they give full flexibility in orientation and focus in sometimes awkward rigging positions.”
The P-5s were run off NL Productions’ networked grandMA2 lighting console, programmed by Alex Passmore, “The process was totally painless and Alex got great results, saving me a lot of valuable creative time and allowing the process to stay on schedule throughout,” continued the designer. “The P-5s and the waterfall rig were integrated into a sequenced timeline that looped throughout the evening with the public continuously moving through the piece.”
He also praised the assistance given by the NL Productions support team, led by Craig Bellshaw, who was site manager. His company had won the event on a public tender, providing sound and power distro as well as lighting.
He had already fallen in love with the LED wash lights after trialling them at a demonstration in Edinburgh late last year. “We were hugely impressed then, and once again they worked great. There were major storms during the build up and spray constantly coming off the waterfall, which shipped large volumes of water, but the P-5s took it all in their stride and worked flawlessly.”
In conclusion Phil Supple said, “Once again, the P-5s provided the perfect solution, delivering great intensity, colour response, smooth transitions and great reliability. Credit also goes to Craig and his team, who were always willing to deliver even the most challenging of design decisions.
“The public response has also been universally great; Twitter, Facebook and Instagram lit up with images and the client was really happy with the results.”
Photo: © Alan McAteer