28th July 2009
ETC's high intensity discharge Source Four PARs are among the lighting rig being used by Firefly Solar, the company behind the UK's first fully mobile, fully reliable solar power solution for the events industry. The luminaires are being used by Firefly at festivals across Britain throughout the summer, with their first outing at the Glastonbury Festival at the end of June, where they were used to power the Sensation Seekers and Snakepit areas. The solar power system was also used for a backstage area operated by Greenpeace located behind the pyramid stage.
Having managed with LEDs in the past in order to get the most light from the power available, they decided they really needed to get tungsten-quality lighting. Andy Mead, Firefly's managing director (as well as production manager and project manager), explains: "This year, we've already done the UK's first ever solar powered film premiere, when we lit the green carpet for the Age of Stupid in London's Leicester Square. But we realised that in order to get the quality of light we needed, we were going to have to get some non-LED fixtures.
"After doing some research, we decided that for the best build quality and intensity of light, the ETC Source Four HID was the perfect choice. We contacted ETC, who were kind enough to loan us eight luminaires for the whole summer to prove their green credentials."
"We were really excited when we were asked to power the Greenpeace Earth Dome at Glastonbury as it was a key feature of VIP backstage area, with live music, impromptu performances and film screenings throughout the weekend."
Firefly tour the UK with their generators and fixtures in a truck fuelled by locally produced bio fuels from recycled cooking oil, attending commercial and community events. "This year," says Andy, "events that we'll be taking the rig to include the Big Chill in Herefordshire, the London Mela and the City of London Festival."
Mark White, ETC's regional manager for the UK and Ireland says: "LEDs have their place in low energy use environments, but we must remember that there is still no alternative to traditional lamps for good colour rendition giving pleasant skin tones at longer distances. We're very keen to show how efficient the ETC Source Four HID luminaires are, and this is a perfect opportunity to do so. Our HID and lowest wattage tungsten filament lamps have already been used by the Arcola Theatre, where they are connected to a limited hydrogen fuel cell power supply, so we have proven exactly how well they perform. By using these Source Fours, we will be able to demonstrate their use in a range of live environments, and prove they have a place in a low energy future for the lighting industry."
As a registered community interest company, Firefly is a non profit making organisation, with any surplus funds directly subsidising its services at community and free-to-attend events. Any money left over is then used to develop new renewable energy products.