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Clearwing Productions Unveils 2012 Lagoon Finale For Phoenix ZooLights

A merging of original lighting and sound designs for an annual attraction

By PSW Staff December 12, 2012

The custom sphere surrounded by pylons covered in Color Kinetics iColor Flex MX LED strings at Phoenix ZooLights.

Clearwing Productions has just released details of the 2012 audio and lighting design for Phoenix ZooLights, an annual lighting spectacular that has been held at the Phoenix Zoo for the past 20 years. 

This year, Clearwing designed and executed a new event finale encompassing the lagoon, including a centerpiece that is a custom 25-foot-tall sphere surrounded by twelve 12-foot pylons covered in Color Kinetics iColor Flex MX LED strings.

Each of the 4,350 LEDs on the display is individually controlled, allowing for a wide variety of lighting looks, speedy transitions and mesmerizing reflections on the lake surface.

Surrounding the lagoon are trees wrapped in colored LED strings and custom armatures, immersing the guests with the effect of moving, chasing and dynamically dancing trees. 

A 30-universe ETC Mosaic Show Controller system provides control, for example, so that additional architectural lighting can be dimmed when the three-minute main show begins. The Mosaic system also controls a Pharos AudioVisual Controller (AVC) to sync the lighting and music programs.

Clearwing installed the components in an air-conditioned, outdoor-rated rack enclosure that encompassed a custom-built touchscreen allowing for different control features. 

Lighting designer Ryan Mueller notes, “The Phoenix Zoo challenged us to come up with a design for the next 20 years that encircled the lagoon, increased the amount of viewing locations, and modernized the show – all while retaining the traditions of the past.”

In addition to dramatically increasing the production value of the lighting show, the previous audio system was overhauled. 

Clearwing designed custom lakeside loudspeaker poles, fabricated by United Scenic Productions, each outfitted with two Technomad full-range loudspeakers, subwoofer and outdoor-rated amplifiers. Twelve poles are distributed to cover over nine hundred feet of viewing area around the lagoon. 

Audio system control is handled by a Harman BSS London processors to route, zone, and delay the signals according to their location around animal encounters and nearby displays.

Clearwing began designing the concept with the Phoenix Zoo staff more than nine months ago in order to engineer lighting and audio systems, control networks, submersible cabling, outdoor equipment enclosures, and float and weighting systems.

Clearwing Productions


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