A bright move has been made towards alleviating the Chilliwack Cultural Centre’s ecological footprint.
The incandescent lights in the centre’s main theatre have been replaced with LED fixtures.
“We’re continuing our environmental stewardship with the new LED fixtures; they use one-tenth the power of the old incandescent lamps and have about a 10-year lifespan,” said Steph Brubaker, development officer at the centre.
They removed 45 incandescent lamps and replaced them with 15 LED fixtures that offer more options for functionality.
It was made possible thanks to the British Columbia Arts Council, which approved the Chilliwack Cultural Centre’s application to the arts infrastructure program grant and awarded the centre $39,842.
With the funding provided by the province of British Columbia by way of the BC Arts Council, the Chilliwack Cultural Centre has continued its growth towards sustainability, Chilliwack Arts and Cultural Centre Society stated in a press release.
“The main goal was to help our environmental impact,” Brubaker said. “The last year we have suffered record-breaking wildfires, atmospheric rivers and catastrophic flooding. These disasters will have long-term and lasting effects and it is important that we recognize our impact on the planet. The old bulbs last in a landfill for far too long and use too much energy. Making the move to LED was a cost-effective, meaningful change that offers higher performance. That performance ability helps us provide our user groups, our renters and our community partners with an improved and professional lighting program.”
Technical director Chris Reid said he’s excited about the many benefits the new lights provide, as well as the vast increase in flexibility of how the lights can be used.
“We’ve gone from 15,000 watts of power to 1,500 watts, in terms of power consumption. We also no longer have to use gel for any of these fixtures to change the colours of the lights, which means we’re no longer buying gels or disposing of them, which is a plastic product,” Reid said.
“As well, they have a life expectancy of 50,000-plus hours, so we won’t need to change the bulbs for 10 years, which means we’re not having to buy or dispose of as many incandescent bulbs. They also don’t produce as much heat as an incandescent light does, so we don’t have to spend as much energy on cooling the building back down because it’s not heating up as much. That also benefits the performers on the stage, because they’re not being heated up by the lights like they were.”
The lights also have a much wider range when it comes to what colours they can provide, he added.
“We had a five-colour top and tip wash available for what we could put on the stage with our old lights and now we have 1.3 million. It can’t be understated, the massive increase in flexibility with what the wash can provide colour-wise,” Reid said.
“The lights also give us better area control, because they have a Fresnel attachment on the front of them which means we can shutter them off, which means we can focus the lights better and isolate the light more. It also gives us a higher level of control from the console because everything can be changed remotely.”
Not only do the lights benefit the environment and user groups coming into the Chilliwack Cultural Centre, but they also improve the patron experience. Audiences can enjoy shows with more dynamic lighting, enhancing their experience of seeing a show in the theatre.