The creative agency of ACTLD in Brussels has been deploying SGM’s LED luminaires for a long time. Why? Because of the artistic possibilities and technical superiority of the products.
World-wide renowned Koert Vermeulen is the Principal Designer, Founder, and Managing Partner of ACTLD, directly leading 50% of all of the agency’s projects and highly involved in the end-result of every single project. The company is constantly innovating and has evolved from being a pure lighting design company for entertainment projects back in 1995, to embracing first video design, to architectural design, to now being a team of 20 people with a great diversity of skills. Today, ACTLD has a broad project span of exterior, interior, temporary and permanent entertainment and architectural installations.
More than 60% of the projects ACTLD is involved in take place outdoors, and for a long time Koert Vermeulen was lacking a specific product on the market.
“SGM is for us a natural partner being the only company at that point to develop an IP65-rated moving head. I had been talking – begging on my knees – for the last 15 years for a fixture like this. Everyone said to me: “the market isn’t big enough” or “order a thousand and we’ll make you one”. So, when Peter Johansen came with the G-Spot, I felt that finally someone had listened to my prayers,” says Koert Vermeulen with a smile.
Finding the right product
Koert Vermeulen was once leading all the company’s projects as principal designer, however, with the growths of the company, he is now relying on great team members such as Luc de Climmer involved in entertainment projects, Andrea Mantello working on architectural and retail, and Bruno Demeester involved in architectural master planning and heritage projects. Still, he has the desire to lay down the basic strategy of every project, plus he goes onsite for programming and final touches.
Due to such high level of immersion into the details, Koert Vermeulen has an extensive product knowledge. When selecting the right product, he approaches with both the artistic and the technical point of view.
“There are alternatives out there for a SGM P-5. From a pure artistic point of view, you put it up a wall, you lit it and it changes color. For me, the fact that it’s IP-rated and that it stays in such good quality over time is the most important thing. The reliability!
After that, from a technical point of view, the P-5 is an amazing product. The whole SGM range with the P-5, the P-2, the Q-7, the G-spot is amazing. You have a reasonable small package delivering a high output, which is ahead of its time.”
High scores in product comparison
As independent lighting designers working on many versatile projects, the products’ quality is key for ACTLD’s creativity and end-result.
Koert Vermeulen explains:
“Years ago, we did a big shootout with SGM and seven other manufacturers. We had to be two people to lift some of the other fixtures, while the P-5 was one third of the size, half of the weight, such more discrete, but still delivering an output that was comparable to products that were using 6-7 times the amount of LEDs. So, there is really a huge technical advantage.
Now, the P-5 is a standard. That’s quite amazing to be so much ahead of time that after six years on the market, the product is still relevant. In the LED market, that’s not easy to find. The product range that SGM came out with is lasting. You put a P-5 from six years ago next to a new one, and they are very, very close in comparison. Looking at other manufacturer’s products from six years ago and now, there is maybe 10% that is still available.”
Naked Truth Bilzen Mysteries Place du Château
SGM for high-profile projects
Some of the recent great projects of ACTLD are “Naked Truth” for the Bright Brussels Festival 2017, “Bilzen Mysteries” at Alden Biesen and Place du Château in Strasbourg.
For the outdoor Naked Truth installation, ACTLD deployed solely SGM LED luminaires (G-Spot, Q-7, Q-7 W, P-5 and P-2). Luc de Climmer worked on this project as Senior Lighting Designer & Console Operator. He explains:
“We, of course, needed durable fixtures for these tricky outdoor settings. So, the fact that SGM’s fixtures are IP65-rated and stable in almost any conditions, was of course important to us. However, we considered the output and color rendering at least equally important.”
For the night-time tourist attraction of Bilzen Mysteries, ACTLD illuminated the heritage site of Alden Biesen with its 16th century castle, church, and gardens. In the story, the castle takes on fire. “For this purpose, the SGM G-Spot was the most accurate product on the market due to its IP-rating, and we avoided having to purchase any external accessories such as domes or specific connectors.”
To illuminate the Place du Château in Strasbourg in relation to a contemporary shadow theatre for Le Ballet des Ombres Heureuses, where the heart of the cathedral takes over the role of the storyteller.
ACTLD again turned to the SGM P-5 and Q-7 to complete this amazing project.
These are just a few of the high-scale projects with ACTLD and SGMs involvement, and Koert Vermeulen concludes:
“We have an enormous amount of projects coming up with SGM fixtures, which we look forward to reveal.”
Photos: © ACTLD