The Black Light operate from their premises on the outskirts of Edinburgh, supplying high quality lighting, audio, AV and stage products for sale or hire to a wide range of clients. From educational establishments and amateur dramatics through to architectural installations and live events – a sector that resonates loudly in Edinburgh. Last year the company’s founder and owner, Gavin Stewart took the radical step of selling 80% of the business to his staff creating an Employee Ownership Trust. “The business began in 1983 and I wanted to create a way for me to step away from the business without jeopardising the staff’s or the company’s future.”
This innovative approach reflects the company’s attitude to its investment strategy. Head of Hire and Events, Calder Sibbald elaborates on one of their purchases, the Spheriscan from Claypaky. “We were looking for an IP rated moving light fixture so it could be used in or out-doors. There was a good deal of press about the retro nature of the Spheriscan when it was first released but in fact it is the cutting-edge features that made it stand out amongst its rivals; both for us and for our customers. The Edinburgh International Festival were the first client to take them out; they were used both inside and around the iconic Hub venue at the end of the Royal Mile in the city.”
One very happy customer is LD Grant Anderson, “I like this product for its versatility, it has all the common features of a modern day moving spot but with the speed of a scanner and in a housing that’s unique. Being able to just have the dome of the fixture visible is a key feature as modern day lighting design is often as much about the look of the units themselves as the light they produce. The fact the dome can change colour is also a bit of good fun. They made a great impact at the EIF and I’m looking forward to using them on another couple projects planned for the year and undoubtedly more to come.”
As Anderson says the Spheriscan ticks all the boxes in the moving light features area: endless rotation; high speed zoom; an array of gobo options and colour wheel. An RGB system in the top head turns the dome into a glowing orb. If that wasn’t enough, without the mirror the Spheriscan can be used to project light directly and when recessed into the floor becomes an unobtrusive yet elegant source while still creating dramatic and dynamic looks.
“Our purchase of the Claypaky Spheriscans was through Matt Cowles at Ambersphere Solutions and they have been very supportive and flexible throughout. Matt dealt with any queries promptly and efficiently,” concludes Sibbald, “The Spheriscans have been in our inventory for some time now, they are in constant demand and we are happy to be customer led. We are still discovering new ways of deploying them, even now.”