Bringing light to Leonardslee

SGM fixtures lit up the beautiful woods and lakes at Leonardslee Gardens, England, in an enchanting Christmas light display.

Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens invited outdoor event producers Robin Morley and Simon Teesdale with lighting designer Phil Supple, to create a new large-scale light trail through what has been called the best woodland garden in England. The result of this cooperation was Leonardslee Illuminated and open for visitors throughout December 2019. Phil Supple worked with SGM fixtures to light 1.5 miles of Leonardslee’s paths through the woodland and along the lakes.


With over 20 years’ experience working on outdoor projects, Phil has collaborated in the creation of works and designed lighting in amazing locations across the globe, ranging from European Capital of Culture Spectaculars, Tour de France launch events, installations and interactive artworks for light festivals, private events in the UK and India as well as outdoor theater tours in Europe. 


“After my first visit with them on-site, I seized the opportunity of working with Robin and Simon at Leonardslee – the house and gardens have such an amazing variety, landscaping, and character. Leonardslee offers wonderfully theatrical views. I could instantly see the potential for creating something really special here; an opportunity in these fantastic gardens to guide an audience through a series of ‘worlds’ and magical atmospheres, all woven together by Robin, Simon and myself and the amazingly committed creative and technical team.”



According to Phil, things have come a long way, since he created illuminated work at the end of the 90s with encapsulated fluorescent tubes. “Over the last 10 years, the variety and availability of outdoor rated lighting technology has improved hugely, with SGM leading the way in the creation of a suite of fixtures that offer a solution to virtually any creative design challenge. SGM’s fixtures, in addition to the IP65 rating across the range, offer a surprising sensitivity and depth of color. You can design with real theatrical subtlety, exploiting the kit’s ability to deliver almost imperceptible tonal shifts, hugely powerful moments of saturated color, real intensity and almost everything in between – importantly including high-quality dimming. Superior LED binning, and color matching across the range offers real consistency between fixture types, whilst the G-Spots, incredibly bright G-Profile Turbos, G-4 Wash Beams, and S-4 Washes give real control and accuracy,” he says. 


At Leonardslee, the G-Profile Turbo gave Phil access to all the customary parameter control of a moving head, including precise and consistent shutter cuts in the IP65 package that allow concealment of the units out of sightlines without using visually clumsy and unreliable inflatable domes. This minimized the amount of crew time attending and physically maintaining the units. “We managed to create something really magical with Q-10s, P-5s, G-Spots and most importantly the G-Profile Turbos at our ‘moon pond’ – as the images attest.”


Robin Morley, events director, Leonardslee Illuminated, sheds light on the success of the event. “We had a huge response and interest from over 15,000 people to come to see the first Leonardslee Illuminated. They gave us the best feedback I have ever had for 12 years of producing illuminated trails across the UK. Phil Supple created visual magic across the Gardens with his lighting design. The magic that stunned our visitors to write many emails and make social media comments in appreciation of their delight in being immersed in a winter landscape of poetic lighting and color,” he says. 

Photo credit: Ray Gibson Photography