The International Motor Show (IAA) takes place in Frankfurt every two years and is considered the world’s most important automobile tradeshow. Across a booth that spanned more than 9,000 m², Mercedes-Benz presented approximately 100 luxury cars. Of the 1,800 fixtures used to light the display, 804 were from HARMAN’s Martin Professional. Sound & Light Veranstaltungstechnik GmbH, which has been responsible for lighting and rigging of the Mercedes-Benz IAA booth for many years, spent more than a month and a half preparing for the event, handing over the completed system to the customer September 1st.
This year, according to Project Manager Andreas Locher, an impressive 48,000 man-hours were spent on setup, maintenance and dismantling, delivery of 180 tons of equipment, 90 km of cabling – amounting to 3 MW, the equivalent of a small town. The installation that illuminated the vehicles and the booth featured an extensive array of Martin fixtures, including 470 MAC™ Quantum Wash, 54 MAC™ Viper Wash DX and 280 MAC™ 2000 Wash XB fixtures.
According to Locher, an exhibition booth of this scale is almost comparable to a permanent installation. The lighting system ran for four weeks without any downtime or cooling-off periods and without a single cable or safety wire in sight. The booth appeared tidy to visitors at all times.
Installing cabling in a ventilated tunnel construction in order to keep them separate and reduce the risk of fire from overheating took 50 working days. "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,” said Locher.
In the truss, 20 m above the stage, MAC Viper Wash DX fixtures illuminated people on stage. MAC 2000 Wash fixtures were used to illuminate the vehicles driven across the stage during live shows that happened every 40 minutes. MAC Quantum Washes hung from trusses above for overall booth lighting.
The main set element, however, was an LED wall that measured 45 m across and 8 m high and consisted 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. One hundred MAC Quantum Wash fixtures were installed side-by-side in the light frame in front of the wall, projecting 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. “A crucial aspect of illuminating a vehicle is the rendering of color,” said Locher. “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,” said Locher. “When it comes to output, zoom range, color rendering and color temperature, this light 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 across all booths at IAA 2015.
Martin Equipment List (Mercedes-Benz Booth Only)
- • MAC Quantum Wash, 470 pcs.
- • MAC Viper Wash DX, 54 pcs.
- • MAC 2000 Wash XB, 280 pcs.
For more information on Sound & Light Veranstaltungstechnik GmbH, please visit: http://www.sound-light.de/
HARMAN (harman.com) designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions and connected services. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. The Company's software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 28,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $6.4 billion during the 12 months ended September 30, 2015. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.