ADJ IP65-Rated Fixtures Create Dazzling Festive Lightshow For Christmas In Solvang

ADJ’s flagship Hydro Beam X2 IP65-rated moving head beam luminaires, as well as the popular 18P HEX IP LED-powered par fixtures, are being used to light up the City of Solvang, CA for its Julefest holiday celebrations. Moreover, the fixtures have been programmed to create an impressive holiday-themed lightshow.

Located in Santa Barbara County, California, Solvang is a unique city known for its Danish heritage. Featuring distinctive half-timbered architecture, windmills, restaurants and pastry shops serving Danish specialties, and quaint bed & breakfasts, Solvang attracts more than a million tourists each year. However, most visitors tend to come in the spring and summer months to tour the local wineries and enjoy the warm Californian climate, which is why the city is working hard to bring in more visitors at other times of the year.

The annual Julefest Christmas celebration is a well-established Solvang tradition, however this year the event is being taken to a new level to encourage more visitors from out of town. Advertised as a month full of lights, celebration, and holiday cheer, Julefest 2019 has been organized by IDK Events on behalf of the City of Solvang. Julefest runs until January 3.

For the ‘lights’ part of the celebration, IDK Events brought in local specialist Jeremy Cable and his company Islay Events

The Solvang Lightshow all came together pretty quickly,” shares Jeremy. “IDK Events reached out to us initially for a gear list and I went back to find out exactly what they wanted to achieve. This led to a few calls with Scott Shoemake from IDK, who explained to me what Solvang was trying to do, and I told him that I thought I could put something together in time.

The brief was to illuminate a three-block section of the city’s main downtown street, Copenhagen Drive, to provide festive mood lighting for the Christmas Market. This runs Thursday thru Saturday nights every weekend in December, with shops and eateries staying open late for Christmas shopping and festive dining. In addition to illuminating the street, Jeremy was also tasked with creating a festive lightshow that would serve as an added attraction for the Julefest celebrations.

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From the start, I knew that we had to be looking at IP-rated fixtures,” Jeremy explains, “because they would be outdoors for an extended period of time and – even though we are in California – this was the middle of the season where we do sometimes get rain. After I’d seen some of the new ADJ gear, and read about it, I felt that it was probably the right choice for the job. And, so far, three weeks into the run, it has worked out really well and we haven’t had any issues at all. It was actually raining quite a bit while we were doing the install." 


Lighting installation in Copenhagen Drive and surroundings

To light up the street, as well as the trees that line it and a wooden gazebo in nearby Solvang Park, Jeremy invested in 110 of ADJ’s 18P HEX IP LED-powered par fixtures. With a solid all-metal construction and IP65 rating, these versatile units are ideal for providing multi-colored illumination in any conditions. 

They each feature 18 x 12-Watt 6-in-1 HEX (RGBAW+UV) LEDs that generate a powerful output and allow for a wide gamut of colors to be created, ranging from rich saturates to subtle pastel shades. In addition, to allow moving beams and projected GOBOs to be integrated into the programmed lightshow, Jeremy also purchased 18 of ADJ’s Hydro Beam X2 moving heads. However, due to the short timeframe between confirmation of the project and the opening night, speed was of the essence.

Jeremy and his team deployed 16 Global Truss America Totems, spaced approximately 110’ – 150’ apart, down the length of Copenhagen Drive. Each of these supports four 18P HEX IP fixtures, with a Hydro Beam X2 mounted on top. The DMX signal is connected between the units and between most of the totems using Accu Cable, however, for crossing the street a wireless solution was required. As well as the WiFLY transceivers built into the Hydro Beam X2s, we used the ADJ WiFLY EXR Battery units to get the data signal across the street. 

The lightshow features a number of different festive songs, which play at regular intervals throughout each evening. Each track has its own lighting programs, which have been created using ADJ’s myDMX 3.0 software. Meanwhile, music for the show is played through speakers from ADJ’s sister company, Avante Audio. Jeremy and his team set up 16 Achromic A10s each evening, with one positioned at the base of each truss totem.

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The star of the show is undoubtedly the Hydro Beam X2. Powered by a 370W LL Osram Sirius HRI discharge lamp focused through precision-engineered optics, it generates a piercing 3-degree beam that is ideal for creating mid-air effects either outdoors or in large inside spaces. Packed with features, it offers both 8-facet linear and circular prisms, as well as a frost filter, rotating and replaceable GOBOs, and a 14-position color wheel that includes a four-way split filter.

The result of the effort put in by Jeremy and his team is absolutely stunning. The lighting system brings the whole of Copenhagen Drive to life with vibrant color and energetic GOBO projections, while the mid-air beam effects can be seen from miles around. Combined with the city’s distinctive architecture and unique atmosphere, it makes a festive visit to Solvang a truly unique experience.

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