—By: Samantha Schwirch – Article for Lighting Design and Application—
With headliners such as Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga, Summerfest—an annual music festival held in Milwaukee, WI—is one of the season’s hottest tickets. The main stage for the 11-day event is situated under an open-air pavilion that covers seating for 5,000-plus people, with standing room space for an additional 6,000, as well as a view of Lake Michigan. When Marty Peck, principal at Creative Lighting Design & Engineering, Milwaukee, was tasked with lighting the venue, he had to sell the idea of spending extra money on an LED system, especially “because the lighting is only used a few hours per year.” In the end, the benefits of using LEDs won out. “Difficult access to relamp, plus the excitement and appropriateness of color with the flowing roof structure, justified the added expense,” Peck says. The venue now utilizes LEDs for illumination of the ceiling, aisles, proscenium and standing room area. The new system is almost maintenance-free, and uses 83 percent less energy than anticipated.