An Easy Introduction To LED Studio Lights –
Rosco Braq Cubes®

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Like many broadcast studios, KNPB-TV in Reno, NV has undergone major lighting renovations over the past few years as they transitioned to LEDs. The local PBS affiliate is housed in its own building on the University of Nevada – Reno campus, and their programming includes a mix of quarterly public affairs shows, promotional pieces for local non-profits and a showcase for local art and culture including the Nevada Arts Commission sponsored high school poetry contest.

Beth Macmillan, host of KNPB’s ARTEFFECTS, is backlit by Rosco Braq Cubes

Their investment in a set of Rosco Braq Cube WNC fixtures a few years ago was the station’s first foray into LED lights. Since then, they’ve replaced all of the incandescent fixtures that the studio had used since the 1990’s with updated LED fixtures. But you never forget your first. Below, crew members from KNPB remember how the Rosco Braq Cubes helped them realize it was time to switch to LED lighting in their studio.

It all began when a demo fixture arrived at the studio one day. “After seeing a demo of a few different models of lights, I liked the Braq Cubes for their ability to change color temperature/intensity and that they were DMX ready,” said Director of Local Content, Dave Santina. “At that time KNPB had no DMX system in place, but these lights would be future-proof so that whenever KNPB acquired DMX, these lights would be able to integrate nicely.”

Studio Technician Don Alexander describes their current lighting set-up. “Though the Braqs are capable of putting out an amazing amount of light, we often use just a small portion of their capabilities back-lighting our talent,” said Alexander. “The small footprint of each fixture really fit our preferred use.” Alexander also noted that, as part of their lighting upgrade, KNPB-TV also chose to change the color temperature for all of studio work to 5200K. “The Braqs are capable of handling different color temperature settings and fit right into our change.”

Several pairs of Rosco Braq Cube WNC LED fixtures backlight the KNPB ARTEFFECTS set

The studio has ten of the bright, compact, 100-watt, WNC Braq Cubes, and their small form factor makes them ideal candidates to mount inconspicuously from their lighting grid on Avenger C822 hangers behind the set. “Because of the light weight and size of the Braq fixtures, we could mount two lights on each hanger,” said Alexander. “The hangers allowed us to get an appropriate angle for the intended backlight use. With two lights per hanger, we had the ability to either use the pair to reinforce lighting on a particular subject or, more commonly, select different subjects independently.”

On occasion, the KNPB crew has even taken the Braq Cubes out into the field to tape remote segments. “Their high output, portable size and ability to change color temperature make them an ideal lighting choice for field assignments,” said Don. “With a Chamsys DMX software package and interface, we can send these lightweight and COOL fixtures into the field. The times our shooters have used these fixtures in the field, there has been praise over the cooler operating temperatures and lower power draw versus the ARRI tungsten kit that had been the only option.”

Thanks to Don Alexander and Dave Santina for sharing their studio lighting renovation story with us. You can find more information about KNPB and their programming on their website: www.knpb.org.

If you’re considering a lighting upgrade inside your studio, be sure to explore the Braq Cubes on Rosco’s website where you can learn more about both of their compact and bright LED fixtures – including the tri-color Braq Cube WNC and the RGBW, color-mixing Braq Cube 4C.

Sara Leeper
Guest Author: Sara Leeper
Sara Leeper is founder & owner of Walk the Moon Media, where she serves as storytelling consultant, writer, producer and video strategist. Sara transitioned into video production after more than a decade in Public Relations working both in-house and on the agency side with a focus on content development. Her career portfolio includes strategizing for companies including Red Bull, Disney Store and Nestle Crunch. Most recently, she was a communications manager at General Motors and oversaw media relations, social media and events for the western US.
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