CBC/SRC Newsroom

    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Photo Credits: Brad Dickson, Société Radio-Canada/Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

    Canadian newsroom among the first lit by LEDs

    The Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) is one of Canada’s most successful networks, and its French division “Société Radio-Canada (SRC)” is one of the few French-speaking television networks to broadcast over the air. Its French-only newscasts are not its only unique characteristic; this Toronto-based station is one of the first newsrooms to be entirely illuminated by LED lighting.

    Brad Dickson, senior lighting director for CBC/SRC, was faced with a challenge. He had to find a new light source to illuminate the entire SRC newsroom, including the on-air personalities, but did not want to incur additional costs by adding extra power or cooling. The existing lighting system was tungsten, and although the light source illuminated the on-air talent effectively, the heat, power consumption and lifespan of the bulbs caused a major concern. He considered other light sources, including fluorescent fixtures, but they were not a good solution because he wanted to adjust the spectrum of the light to his own specifications. Dickson turned to Color Kinetics’ LED-based luminaires as the perfect resolution.

    With complete support from Marc Chartrand, Manager, Technical Operations of CBC, who was responsible for the renovation, Dickson began to formulate the LED-based concept design and decided to do what no other newsroom had done before. He created a set that was entirely lit by LED sources, from illuminating the set backdrop to the on-air talent, using Color Kinetics lighting systems.

    A ring of almost 40 iW Blast 12 Powercore luminaires (now specified with Blast IntelliHue) was suspended above the news desk to project high-quality white light onto the on-air host and guests. Each luminaire is color temperature controllable within the range of 3000 K to 6500 K to achieve precisely the right “shade” of white light. To add color he incorporated ColorBlast 12 luminaires (now specified with Blast RGBW), and the combined effect completed the total spectrum that he needed for variable on-camera looks. The compact size of the luminaires worked well within the confines of the location. Elsewhere, ColorBlast luminaires are also used to lend saturated color to the backdrop of the newsroom and the remainder of the set.

    "I’ve worked with Color Kinetics in the past, and I appreciate that it strives for optimal color consistency within its LED units,” said Brad Dickson, Senior Lighting Designer, CBC/SRC. “The iW Blast Powercore and the ColorBlast fixtures offered me exactly what I wanted; and by combining these two, I could create a light source that had an excellent on-camera rendering for the talent, and it allowed me to overcome the challenges of lighting a newsroom with a window by providing color temperature control.”

    The result is an entirely LED-lit newsroom that provides precise color control for the on-air talent and dynamic colors for the set, all without requiring additional maintenance, power or cooling.
    Project credits


    Marc Chartrand, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation


    PRG, Toronto

    Lighting Design:

    Brad Dickson, Société Radio-Canada/Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

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