Sky News has chosen Gekko LED lighting for its newsroom on the 15th floor of the 180m 'Gherkin', one of the London financial district’s most prominent landmarks.
The studio, which is used for the daily business update Jeff Randall Live, has as its backdrop a view directly through an exterior glass wall. Airing at 7.30 each weekday evening, the cameras have to contend with the setting sun as the rear outlook of the studio is due west. Care was taken to achieve camera positions which used nearby buildings to mask direct views of the sun but this can be hard to achieve consistently as the sun sets.
The initial solution considered involved using HMI fixtures running through DMX-controlled dimmer shutters into soft boxes. This introduced complications in terms of control, power draw, and the large amounts of heat that multiple HMIs produce, especially when used in a confined space. Sky then approached Gekko Technology via Broadcast & Production Services to investigate an LED-based solution.
Gekko specified a solution based on a range of its fixtures powered by kleer colour, the company's colour-tunable LED light engine. The chosen solution centres on Gekko’s kezia hard-source lights which provide a high volume of even light, the colour temperature of which is accurate at points between 2900K and 6500 Kelvin. Colour temperature stability is maintained via a feedback loop built into each light. If a shift in output is detected as a consequence of rising ambient temperature, for example, the kleer colour system automatically adjusts to the temperature specified.
For back-lighting, the kezia 50 was deployed. This requires only 50 watts of power yet equates to a 250 watt tungsten source. Power supplies for the lights are contained in separately integrated units, each capable of driving up to four lamps. This made rigging a relatively straightforward process with no undue loading on the ceiling-hung grid.