Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


UC Irvine Chooses Zylight F8-B UV Fresnel for ‘Powerful’ On-Stage Special Effect

LOS ANGELES – It was only used for one scene in the play, but the Zylight F8-B UV Fresnel made a profound impact on University of California, Irvine audiences during These Shining Lives, which closed a three-weekend run at the Little Theatre at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts on Dec. 6. The black light was used to creatively illustrate a growing, incurable illness in four characters.

Written by Melanie Marnich, the play is based on the true story of four watch factory workers in the 1920s who became ill after years of painting watch faces with a radium compound. One of the workers, Catherine Donohue, serves as narrator for the story. Lighting designer Wesley Charles Chew and director Sarah Butts, both UCI graduate students, used different lighting looks throughout the production.

Scenes in the factory, for example, used steeper angles and less color, while scenes at the beach and in Catherine’s home are more warm and vibrant. More green light was added as the play progressed as the sickness of the workers worsened. “We wanted to play up the poetry, play up the hope, and incorporate the sickness as it took over their bodies,” Chew said.

The F8-B was used for a pivotal scene, when Catherine is in her home and realizes her hands are glowing as a result of her exposure to the radium. The other three women are in silhouette behind her, their hands also glowing. The actors’ hands were covered with black light paint and lit with the F8-B to create the effect.

“The women are realizing they are actually glowing from the radium,” Chew explained. “The Zylight was able to cover the entire stage without a problem. Without the Zylight, that effect would not have worked at all and the show would not be as powerful. It really made the piece what it is.”

One of the only dedicated LED UV instruments on the market with variable zoom control, the F8-B features a proprietary ultraviolet chip for true black light applications. It delivers four times the fluorescent brightness of a traditional 400-watt Fresnel black light at the same distance, but only draws about one quarter of the electrical power. It also shares many of the same features of Zylight’s popular F8-100 LED Fresnel, including a patented flat focusing system, continuously adjustable beam angle (16-70 degrees), and eight-inch SCHOTT glass lens. The compact F8-B collapses to four inches thick for easy transport and storage, and is water resistant (IP54) for use in challenging environments.

Founded in 2003, Zylight LLC is the leading manufacturer of intelligent LED lighting instruments for the film and video production industry. Every model in its easy-to-use lighting system produces fully calibrated bright white light, while some also provide a spectrum of adjustable colors without gels. Full wireless control and DMX integration are included, and AC or DC power options are available. The Zylight state-of-the-art LED system is truly the most unique and flexible lighting system on the market today. With more than 50 dealers worldwide, Zylight continues to develop innovative LED lighting solutions to help make your job easier. More Than Bright–Zylight. Find out more at

Featured Articles