In 2020, light artist Simon Fenoulhet completed a lighting commission for the Torch Theatre, one of the area’s longest running theatres dedicated to improv. The theatre had been refurbished, including re-cladding the 18 m (59 ft) tall fly tower, which is highly visible from the town center and nearby marina. The project, funded by the Arts Council of Wales, was to find a creative, cost-effective, and low-maintenance solution for illuminating the cladding on the upper half of the building, thereby transforming its bland appearance into something far more attractive.
Color Kinetics luminaires were selected for the project due to their high quality and extremely long-lasting performance on many similar installations, including those in harsh environments. Working with LITE Ltd, 22 Color Kinetics ColorGraze MX4 Powercore luminaires arranged in 16 x 120 cm (6 x 47 in) lengths and spaced 1.2 m (4 ft) apart were mounted to the metal cladding to light it from below and provide even coverage of light across the south and east faces of the top half of the tower. Controlled with Pharos LPC1 and powered by Color Kinetics Data Enabler Pro, the different sides of the building are lit independently and are permanently out of phase with one another. To the casual viewer the change is not immediately noticeable, but over a period of 30 seconds, the colors slowly change, subtly shifting through intermediate hues to create gentle color differences.
At 6:45pm each evening, the lighting pattern changes to a color spectrum that travels across the face of the tower from left to right. This more noticeable color sequence reflects preparations for the theatre’s evening performance. Once the performance is underway, the lighting reverts to its original sequence.
Torch Theatre’s iconic fly tower now illuminates the evening sky with an eye-catching lighting effect that engages the local community and serves as a beacon to the surrounding town.