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Mercedes-Benz booth outfitted with more than 800 Martin Professional fixtures

Fri, 13 Nov 2015 09:50

Mercedes-Benz booth at IAA. Photo: Ralph Larmann

The IAA (The International Motor Show) in Frankfurt takes place every two years and is considered the most important automobile tradeshow in the world. Across more than 9,000 m2, Mercedes-Benz presented about 100 luxury cars. 1,800 fixtures were used – 804 of them were from Martin Professional.

470 MAC™ Quantum Wash, 54 MAC™ Viper Wash DX and 280 MAC™ 2000 Wash XB played an all-important role, highlighting the vehicles and illuminating the booth. For many years, Sound & Light Veranstaltungstechnik GmbH has been responsible for lighting and rigging on the Mercedes-Benz IAA booth. This year, according to Project Manager Andreas Locher, an impressive 2,000 man-days were spent on setup, maintenance and dismantling, delivery of 180 tonnes of equipment, 90 km of cabling – amounting to 3 MW which is the equivalent of a small town.

The team started the build-up process in mid-July and handed over the completed system to the customer September 1st. An exhibition booth of this scale is almost comparable to a permanent installation. The lighting system ran for a period of four weeks, without any downtime or cooling-off periods, all the while the stand appeared totally tidy to visitors – not a single cable nor safety wire in sight.

Cabling alone took 50 working days. All cables were installed in a ventilated tunnel construction in order to keep them separate and avoid overheating and fire hazard. Locher said: "Due to the long hours of operation, stacking cables on top of each other, as you would do in rock ‘n’ roll setups, simply wasn’t an option."

In the truss, 20 m above the stage, MAC Viper Wash DX fixtures fulfilled their purpose of illuminating people on stage. Every 40 minutes there was a live show featuring both people and vehicles driving across the stage. MAC 2000 Wash fixtures were used to illuminate the vehicles and the MAC Quantum Washes hung from trusses above for overall booth lighting.

The main set element was a 45 m wide, 8 m high LED wall consisting of revolving doors. During the show, the gates opened to reveal an immense steel construction on which classical vehicles, as well as novelties, were placed. 100 MAC Quantum Wash fixtures were installed side-by-side in the light frame in front of the wall, making a lighting show on the gates.

Despite continuously advancing LED technology, Locher still has a preference for conventional fixtures when it comes to illuminating vehicles and people. He explained: "A crucial aspect of illuminating a vehicle is the rendering of color. This worked excellently with both the MAC 2000 Wash XB and the MAC Viper Wash."

However, in the case of IAA, the combination of conventional and LED-based fixtures provided new opportunities for the Mercedes booth design. "The MAC Quantum truly is a quantum leap in the development of LED technology. When it comes to output, zoom range, colour rendering and colour temperature this light truly deserves its name. This is the first LED fixture I would even consider using to illuminate people."

More than 5,000 Martin Professional fixtures in total were deployed at IAA 2015.