As all eyes fell on Houston for Super Bowl LI, HTV Houston at City Hall had their own field for the occasion. The Legacy Room was the backdrop for the mayor’s press conferences leading up to the big game. “Legacy” is the perfect name for the room, as it is located on the first floor of Houston City Hall, which was built in the 1930s. Like many rooms within the historic building, renovations have updated the building to meet its modern-day needs. The process of incorporating new technologies into the historic city hall, while at the same time preserving its historic look and feel, has been a challenging balancing act. Rich Fanning, the Studio and Lighting Technician at HTV Houston, shared with us how the Rosco Braq Cubes have been a key part of the solution.
Across the hall from the Legacy Room is HTV Houston’s Studio A, which houses a hard news set that films programs focused on public education and government access such as Focus on Abilities and Latina Voices. When the time came to renovate the production facility three years ago, Rich, along with the Operations Team, consulted with outside resources to help design the lighting configuration. They needed something for a modern TV studio that was efficient, could be hung on their existing grid and could be color adjusted to match their current lighting – a mix of Mole Richardson and fluorescent fixtures. Rich was given an opportunity to test Rosco’s variable color temperature Braq Cube WNC LED fixtures in his working environment to see if they were a good fit.
“When I compared the Braq Cubes with other lighting options, I was blown away,” said Rich. “They were everything we were looking for – small, quiet and more than powerful enough for our Studio A hard news set.”
One of the main selling points was that the five-inch Braq Cubes were unobtrusive and inconspicuous inside the historic Houston building. There are 20 Braq Cube WNC fixtures hung on the grid in Studio A, and Rich depends on all of them to deliver the output he needs, while keeping the studio’s energy costs and heat emission down. All twenty of those Braq Cubes, combined at max output, only use 2,000 watts – a fraction of the power their predecessors consumed. When you consider that some half hour programs shoot for nearly three hours, that adds up to a lot of cost-savings for HTV Houston.
The Legacy Room was also recently renovated into a press conference space after serving as a gift shop for the Conventions and Visitors Bureau. Once up and running, Rich realized the same need for a powerful, yet inconspicuous, permanent light that would deliver the 30-foot throw visiting TV crews needed. He tested a few of his Braq Cube WNC fixtures in the space and again was impressed by their powerful output and small footprint.
In the end, Rich installed three, Braq Cube WNC’s (this time in white) inside the Legacy Room. “One of the nice features of the Braqs is the ability to use Rosco’s asymmetric spread lenses to create a swath, rather than a pool, of light,” said Rich. “That is very useful for cutting the light off the drop-down projector screen behind the press podium while lighting a group of people standing behind a speaker at the podium.”
Rich has been working with his Rosco Braq Cubes for over two years now, and they continue to perform in more ways than originally intended. For example, every February Rich and his team work in the field throughout the city to cover the 14 city council-hosted meetings held to inform the public about the upcoming year’s Capital Improvement Plans. After testing them out last year, Rich and his team now include Braq Cube WNC fixtures in their travel kits. The lights exceed expectations when faced with the small, dark meeting venues they often have to shoot in. Rich remarked that another surprising advantage is how durable, portable and lightweight (3.5 lbs./1.6 kg.) the Braq Cubes proved to be in the field.
To see more examples of the Braq Cubes in action, visit the HTV Houston website where you can watch live streams of their programming and archived episodes of their shows. To learn more about the Braq Cube LED fixtures that Rich is using at HTV Houston, explore the Rosco Braq Cube WNC product page.