NELSON, New Zealand – A prominent rocky outgroup in Tasman Bay, Nelson’s Fifeshire Rock was once known and feared as a shipping hazard. In the years since, it has become one of New Zealand’s most treasured national landmarks. Standing some 14 metres above the high tide mark, it cuts an imposing and beautiful shape in the distant horizon and is often the subject of photography and artworks. Recently, Nelson’s Civic Trust desired to make the rock a round-the-clock attraction by lighting it during the hours of darkness. To illuminate the famous outcrop, MDR Sound & Lighting supplied AV Architects Ltd with a CHAUVET Professional Rogue RH1 Hybrid fixture.
A spot high above the waterfront drive was selected by Nelson’s Civic Trust to house the lighting source. However, since this spot was 236 metres from the rock itself, AV Architects Ltd recognized that any fixture placed there would have to be sufficiently powerful. For this reason, they selected the Rogue RH1 Hybrid. Thanks to the 330W high intensity discharge bulb, this fixture is able to deliver an intense beam to neatly encapsulate the rock’s irregular outline.
“Visually, the fixture was required to create stunningly bright light at a great distance without creating spill or light pollution to the surrounding harbour, residential areas or the nearby Airport,” commented AV Architects technicians James Cameron and Reagan Poynter. “Thanks to the direct beam of the RH1 Hybrid, we were able to ensure that the rock is lit perfectly without causing any unwanted light pollution.”
“The RH1 has some astonishingly vivid and saturated colors. We were especially impressed with the fixture’s selection of hues on testing, and they still look gloriously saturated even when projected onto the rock face from a distance, “continued Cameron and Poynter. “What’s more, thanks to Xpress 512, we were able to create a totally automated evolving landscape which changes the whole look of the rock several times an hour.”
While a bespoke housing system was created to protect the fixture from the salty and strong coastal winds, the RH1 fixture itself is put through its paces night after night in what could quite possibly be one of the harshest operating environments around for a fixture of this calibre. Therefore, one of AV Architects’ key fixture prerequisites was reliability and durability.
“The fixture has been up and running without a single hitch since the 5th of July this year, and has proved to be very reliable in such a difficult environment,” added Cameron and Poynter. “It is a testament to the quality of the fixture, all the more impressive considering its high performance output.”
What first began as an idea to celebrate the maritime history of the Nelson bay has been turned into an impressive illuminated feature of the coastline, attracting attention from far and wide. “Projects of this sort are hugely rewarding because of the community historical element involved,” concluded Cameron and Poynter. “Thanks to the CHAUVET Professional Rogue RH1 Hybrid, we’ve been able to transform the original idea of the Nelson’s Civic Trust into a reality.”