Stagelight AG Switzerland is the first to experience the magic of Merlin from Robert Juliat

Stagelight AG of Switzerland has been celebrating the receipt of the very first Robert Juliat Merlin followspots to roll off the production line. Merlin is Robert Juliat’s new 2500W HMI sturdy followspot designed specifically for the touring market.

Merlin worked its magic on the Stagelight team at Lucerne’s Light and Sound show in October 2014, where they immediately placed an order for four of the 2500W HMI touring giants from Robert Juliat’s Swiss supplier, Electric Claudio Merlo.

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“It was time to replace our old, big followspots, so we were looking around for a good alternative and found Robert Juliat’s new Merlin,” says Stagelight’s Managing Director, Peter Lemmenmeier. “We decided on Merlin because of its excellent new technology: the newly developed integrated PSU with the 2500W HMI arc lamp provide great brightness; the zoom range from 3° to 12°allows an extremely wide spectrum from 30m to 100m; and, finally, the low consumption of electricity with the 16A connector is really good and convenient. There is nothing similar on the market.”

The brand-new Merlin followspots arrived in time for the busy Swiss Festival season and have been put to full-time use from the day they arrived.

“Our very first use for the Merlins was Olly Murs’ show in Bern,” says Lemmenmeier. “We then took them to Open Air St. Gallen, one of the oldest festivals in Switzerland for which Stagelight has been providing lighting for the last 30 years.” The Merlins were rigged front of house and used on a stellar line up of bands which included Placebo, Paolo Nuttini, Royal Blood, The Chemical Brothers and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

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“Last weekend our Merlins were at the Open Air Frauenfeld Hip Hop Festival and this weekend they are again booked for the main stage at the Gurtenfestival. Many festivals are to follow, including Heitere Open Air and Summerdays. The Merlins are going to have a very busy summer!”

“Merlin works well for me as a lighting designer and I had good feedback from the spot operators,” says Stagelight’s LD for Open Air St. Gallen, Michael Hochrainer. “The handling is smooth and the weight ratio seems good. I like the lamp as it is bright enough to hold its own against LED-walls and the VL3500s across the distances that we used it. The technical details and features are less important to me as a designer as my focus is on the lamp itself. A good lamp is a lamp which is there when I need it and I don’t have to worry about it – Merlin’s reliability certainly fills this criteria!”

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The technical and operational features become important to those who install, maintain and operate the fixtures and Robert Juliat pays full attention to this when designing its profiles and followspots. Stagelight’s technician for Open Air St. Gallen, Stefan Rüttimann, was very happy with the new giant: “Merlin is a device that covers all I need as a lighting technician,” he says. “Size is a problem almost everywhere when positioning powerful followspots, but Merlin’s size and built-in power supply require minimal space. Merlin’s good optics mean distances in excess of 100m are no problem. The operation is very simple - it includes all the features you could desire – and the production and processing are very clean. All in all, for me, Merlin belongs at the top of the followspots.”

Cypress Hill - Open Air Frauenfeld Hip Hop

Merlin at the Open Air Frauenfeld Hip Hop Festival

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Robert Juliat also takes care to ensure operation of its followspots is a pleasure: Stagelight followspot operator, Juri Schmid, is equally excited by Merlin’s easy operating features. “Merlin takes followspot operating to a new level,” he says. “First of all the handling is just amazingly good and easy: the levers for adjusting the beam size, the dimmer and even the different colour filters are within arm’s reach. And you don’t need to be strong to move it as Merlin just glides from side to side and up and down.

“The rapid cooling is another advantage: the followspot doesn't get hot and can be boxed right after the show. This followspot is well thought-out right down to the finest detail: the power supply unit is integrated, the case is practically built and, if you want, you can even charge your smartphone from Merlin!”

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“Stagelight has been in the industry since 1989 and we know when it's time to invest in carefully selected new equipment,” concludes Lemmenmeier. “We are always happy when we get new ‘babies’ and are proud to be the first to take stock of the Merlins. It means we have our finger on the pulse of new innovations and shows we care about investing new technologies and high quality equipment for our clients.”

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