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Carlisle High School

Location: Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Venue Type: High School Proscenium Theater
Application: All LED Based Stage and House Lighting
Venue Representative: Grayson Rech, Live Events Director
System integrator: Brian Strom, Pittsburgh Stage, Inc.

Carlisle School District is located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, a small borough in the middle of the state not far from the United States Army War College. The Carlisle area High School’s grades 9-12 class are comprised of over 1,600 students

Grayson Rech is the Live Events Director for the school district, and oversees over 200 events and rehearsals requiring A/V sound, backline, lighting and staging technical support per year.

In the late spring of 2014, Rech received approval to replace the existing 25 year old traditional centralized dimming/incandescent fixture based system. “I immediately pushed for an all LED system with energy savings to match our on campus 1MW solar panel array (yes 1 million watt). This lighting system would further expand on the district’s green energy initiatives. From a production stand point, the creative lighting possibilities would be endless and only restricted by our tech team’s imagination.”

Enter Brian Strom and Pittsburgh Stage Inc. Looking back, Strom says, “The completion of the LED Lighting Fixture Upgrade at Carlisle High School was really a four year process. It began with what sounded like a very simple request in 2011 from Grayson Rech, the school’s Event Coordinating Technician. Grayson wanted to go 100 percent LED in the theatre. At the time, such an upgrade came with a very hefty price and a ton of uncertainty with regard to products and performance.”

Stage Lighting: The stage is lit using (48) 250w RGBW Altman PHX LED profile spot fixtures with 19, 26 and 36° lenses powered by custom Altman 450 series power and data distribution. “Through the following few years, we brought demo units from several manufacturers in to test in the space. Seeing a demo unit of the Altman PHX 250w LED ellipsoidal in that space in late 2014 finally eased our concerns about using LED technology in the 40 front of house lighting positions that this project required.” says Strom while Rech offers, “These lights are the real deal. I’ve rented from the industries top manufacturers and these fit the bill, and the price point sealed the deal. In the last 7 years, we’ve demo’d and rented numerous LED lighting fixtures for various events at our district spanning all the major LED players in the stage lighting realm. It wasn’t until Altman’s PHX line during a meeting with Pittsburgh Stage that I knew in an instant this was the fixture to spec for our all LED lighting system for our 1000 seat auditorium” said Rech. These will be on any of my recommendation lists and spec’d for any future installs that I’m involved with here at Carlisle School District. I plan to utilize fixtures from this system from time to time in order to better produce and support events both in our smaller auditorium (460 seats) and within our mobile system.” Rech continues, “The output of the PHX fixtures verses needed power draw allows me to no longer be forced to choose which is more important: ample audio support power or limited lighting to evenly and adequately cover the stage performance presentation area. These fixtures give me back control and allow me to say – yes we can do this and do it right and not compromise on any part of the A/V aspect.”

“The affordability and performance of the PHX 250w fixtures allowed us to finally proceed with the project and even left a bit of space to include 38 additional Altman Chalice 3K6K LED house light fixtures.” says Strom.

House Lights: For the theater’s house lights Rech and Pittsburgh Stage chose to employ Altman’s Chalice series down lights. The space is lit with (30) 100w DMX controlled 3000 6000K variable white pendent mounted Chalice fixtures using very wide spread lenses coupled with (8) 50w variable white recessed Chalice fixtures using 60° conical lenses. “The Altman Chalice LED fixtures have given me what I call permagrin that stupid facial look of pure enjoyment where words just don’t seem to fit the excitement of the lighting side of productions.” Rech says. “Being an audio guy for the last 20 years, it takes a lot for anything in the lighting world to really move me. However, our house has now been transformed from a dark dreary house, to a bright warm facility that now receives endless comments of how different (for the better) the room looks and FEELS. The reality is the seats are the same. The walls and paint are the same, but the lighting has added such a huge improvement that it feels like a brand new house.”

Rech and lighting designer, Doug Hewlett work closely with the school’s tech students ensuring they receive extensive, hands on experience working and designing live events. “With these LED’s, they put us in the forefront of lighting technology both on stage and with our many mobile site events, thus continuing a Carlisle tradition of leading the way of technology in the classroom.” says Rech.

With the project now successfully installed and operational, Brian Strom and Grayson Rech look back at the experience: “Pittsburgh Stage, Inc. is very proud to have joined forces with Altman Lighting and Carlisle High School on a successful and innovative project that will provide many years of enjoyment to come.” says Strom with Rech offering “These LED fixtures not only give us the tools to make any production look bright and colorful but basically pay for themselves in energy and lighting expendables savings across the lifetime of the system. When our old system was rolling at full tilt, we were eating up an estimated $25 per hour in energy alone. This new rig is estimated at $7 per hour and is considerably brighter than the traditional 750w Lekos they replaced. I have nothing but smiles with the Altman LED line, and I know they will continue to make my job easier and keep Carlisle’s reputation of being a technological leader in classroom at the head of the class . . . thanks Altman.”

For more information about the Altman range of LED luminaires and Altman’s entire line of theatrical and architectural fixtures and accessories, email us at sales@altmanlighting.com or visit us at www.altmanlighting.com. For more information about Pittsburgh Stage Inc. visit their website at www.pittsburghstage.com and to learn more about the Carlisle Area High School please visit www.carlisleschools.org.