DL.3s, intellaspots Help Define the Political Landscape

The intellaspot’s wide range of features came in handy

High End Systems, a Barco company, DL.3 Digital Lights and intellaspot automated luminaires helped define the political landscape for The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) 2012. The week-long event in February drew thousands to the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. for presentations, press conferences, panel sessions and parties.

LD Matt Mills designed the lighting and the set, and programmed and operated the show for CMI Communications. He elected to use 3 DL.3 Digital Lights and 18 intellaspot LED automated luminaires, provided by Mainlight Industries.

Mills used the DL.3s in Collage mode, using two to create one seamless panoramic image above the podium for the press shots. “The press would get right at the downstage edge of the stage and take an upshot of each of the candidates at the podium. I thought it would be a nice touch if there was something in the background besides just the ceiling of the ballroom, so I projected an American flag up there. The toughest part was getting the collage right while working around all the molding up there. The third DL.3 contained some custom artwork the client wanted around the room to provide a theme for the nightly dinners.”


Mills selected the intellaspots after having seen a demo three weeks before the event. “I was impressed with the zoom capabilities and the gobo package. I didn’t have much trim height and needed as much zoom as I could get, and the intellaspots delivered,” he said.

He positioned 8 intellaspots on a downstage truss for ballyhoos, general room texturing and specials; 4 intellaspots on cable bridge trusses for set texturing and specials, and 6 intellaspots on a mid-stage truss for more set texturing.


The intellaspot’s wide range of features came in handy, he said. “The intellaspots helped me out when the client threw an ‘oh, by the way’ at me. It was at a place on stage that I had covered with a general wash but not with any specials. So I pulled 4 Intellaspots for that segment of the show. I got them zoomed in to where I needed them, dropped in the frost, added 70 percent CTO and 15 percent magenta and I was all set. It all looked great on camera.”

CNN along with other media provided event coverage. Again for the cameras, Mills made use of another intellaspot feature: Indigo Highlighter, which is made up of four 1-watt indigo LEDs surrounding the lens. It offers the designer another layer of lighting texture to play with.


“I used the Indigo Highlighter for the ‘video look,’ Mills said. “I dimmed the light out and brought that up when they went to a video presentation. It looked pretty cool, definitely different. I also used it for the overnight look. CNN did a live show in the corner of the ballroom with the stage as a backdrop, so I would leave a look up all night long. I would kill the stage wash, put the intellaspots all in Stars gobo, and turn on the Indigo highlighter. It gave the stage a nice, dark look.”