Philips Selecon Provides 'Amazing' LED Upgrade for Prime Time TV Studio Red Pepper

Red Pepper specified the remarkable LED technology of Philips Selecon for three new prime time gameshows

Award-winning set designer Michael Gill recently worked alongside lighting designers Joshua Cutts and Francois van der Merwe on South African TV studio Red Pepper's ambitious upgrade project, specifying the remarkable LED technology of Philips Selecon Studio Panels, SPX Zoomspot and PLcyc1 luminaires for three new prime time game shows.

Red Pepper's CEO Cecil Barry and facilities manager Marius Maritz joined forces with Gill, Cutts and van der Merwe to come up with a revolutionised set design and optimised LED lighting rig, including 14 x Philips Selecon Studio Panels, 6 x Philips Selecon PLcyc1 luminaires and 8 x Philips Selecon SPX Zoomspot luminaires, supplied by DWR Distribution, for their studios in Linden, Melville and Braamfontein.

"I was very surprised with the Philips Selecon Studio Panels," said Maritz. "They perfectly lit the entire virtual rig, which is 112sqm², and are amazing. I don't think we need any other lights for chroma key (green screen), and as a plus, the fixtures have variable colour temperature correction."


The Philips Selecon Studio Panel's variable colour temperature works from 2700K up to 6000K using a mixture of amber and white LEDs. In addition it is ideal for studio and location lighting as it can be easily transported around for a broad range of uses, and can be powered on location by the camera alone. It is also highly intuitive and easy to use, with three onboard buttons and a wheel, enabling the user to quickly adjust the colour temperature and dimming intensity.

Red Pepper's CEO Cecil Barry and facilities manager Marius Maritz


The Red Pepper upgrade project began in 2013 when the studios gained a new client, Connect, who planned to produce the three new game shows, Bounce, Ka Ching and Cula Sibone, to be aired during prime time from Monday to Thursday on the Mzansi Magic and Mzansi Wethu Channel. Red Pepper therefore needed a cutting-edge LED rig to deliver fantastic quality lighting for the new shows and so turned to the versatile and powerful Philips Selecon PLcyc1 and SPX Zoomspot luminaires.

"The game show lighting needed vibrant and energetic colours which I achieved through the Philips Selecon PLcyc1 luminaires' simple but effective colour mixing," says Cutts.  "I use them daily to flood certain confined areas of the set with their powerful, colour changing wash."


The Philips Selecon PLcyc1 LED luminaire seamlessly blends washes of colour on cycloramas up to 5m high. Using LED source technology combined with a properly shaped asymmetrical reflector, the PLcyc1 delivers consistent light distribution without the compromising performance of vertical or horizontal spreader lenses. The PLcyc1 also delivers on Philips Selecon's promise of LED Lighting through the fact that each luminaire can replace the equivalent of a traditional four colour 500W per circuit cyc luminaire, and with the convenient powercon power system, the PLcyc1 can light a typical cyclorama with a single 10A non-dim circuit. In addition, The PLcyc1 is highly intuitive, with an on-board LCD menu system for setup, control and addressing. This offers all configuration options with a few button presses, allowing for full productivity.

Red Pepper is also benefitting from the efficiency and power of the Philips Selecon SPX Zoomspot, which delivers 63% more light than the current industry benchmark without compromising on definition.
"The bright crisp light of the Philips Selecon SPX Zoomspot luminaires is fantastic," continues Cutts. "They also have a very even and clean edge of focus so I prefer them when it comes to lighting for camera. They're used for special effects on the contestant lecterns, and, again because of our confined space, I need a profile to shutter off set elements and other contestants, which is where the SPX Zoomspot never lets me down."


Alongside the Philips Selecon SPX Zoomspot luminaire's sharp shutter cut and excellent edge control, it has an adjustable beam range of 15°-35° and 25°-50° and allows the user to simply alter from smooth and flat for gobo projection to high intensity peak for stage washes. In addition, the LED luminaire boasts highly intuitive familiar controls, compartmentalised heat management system and a two-plane shutter design ensuring the same focus on all four shutters.
"Like always, the Philips Selecon luminaires are classy and well-manufactured, so I am always comfortable having them on my productions for Red Pepper," concludes Cutts.