LOS ANGELES — When Nissan unveiled its all-new 370Z sports car at the LA Auto Show, the company wanted to create a roar, since this marked the first major overhaul of the “Z” since 2003. The revamped roadster was given center stage in the company’s booth, featured on a turntable under a circular canopy of color-changing lights.

Lightswitch, which designed the lighting in the Nissan booth, used Elation Professional’s Impression RGB LED compact moving head fixture to spotlight the 370Z. Additionally, Lightswitch chose another Elation light to illuminate the rest of the booth, the Design Par 575D, a DMX-compatible discharge moving head fixture with a par reflector.

According to Lightswitch principal Chris Medvitz, auto shows present unique lighting challenges. The Elation products, he said, helped his company meet the design and technical requirements of its client George P. Johnson, the experience marketing agency for Nissan North America, while satisfying the specifications posed by the Los Angeles Convention Center.

One of the biggest concerns with auto show light fixtures is weight, said Medvitz, since convention centers typically have strict hanging load requirements. “Weight is a huge issue, especially at this show, because the LA Convention Center is very limiting on how much weight they’ll allow you to hang,” said Medvitz. “So we needed fixtures that were as lightweight as possible.”

Another requirement for auto show lighting is remote focusability. Exhibits tend to get changed around from day to day, so the ease of being able to adjust the beams remotely is essential. What’s more, said Lightswitch’s production manager for Nissan Chris Wasilauskas, many auto shows have a VIP event the evening before they open to the public, then the cars arrive in the middle of the night and the booth lighting has to be totally re-focused. “You have to have all your lifts and power equipment off the floor by 7 a.m.,” said Wasilauskas. “If you have 150 lights, you’re not going to make it, unless you can focus them remotely.”

Lightswitch found a solution to both the low weight and remote focusability issues in the Elation Design Par 575D. Featuring 630° pan and 265° tilt, this par-style discharge fixture has the range and movement of a moving head unit, without unnecessary features, so it’s lighter weight (42 lbs.) and less expensive. Plus, it is remotely focusable via DMX. To light the vehicles and exhibit architecture in the Nissan booth at daylight color temperature, 160 Design Par 575Ds were used.

“The Design Par 575D gave us the ability to remotely focus and be cost-effective compared to a typical full-featured moving light, which has a lot of things we really didn’t need, such as gobos and color-changing,” said Medvitz. “And because it doesn’t have all those features, it weighs substantially less.”

Weight was also one of the reasons Lightswitch chose the Impression to highlight the star of the booth – the Nissan 370Z. At 16 lbs., and with dimensions compact enough to be mounted on a 14-inch center, the Impression delivers output comparable to a 575Wdischarge lamp with 90 high-output Luxeon K2 LEDs, while consuming half the energy. It provides smooth, fast color changes via RGB mixing, and stepper motors help it reach 660° pan in less than two seconds.

Lightswitch installed 24 Impressions in the circular truss above the 370Z, which were used as a special effect, “constantly changing colors and moving around,” said Medvitz. “The Z has a circular badge design, so they wanted to do a circular canopy with a similar design and then have a ring of automated color-changing lights on the outside,” he said. “The Impression was key in being able to execute this because of its light weight, along with its multi-color capability, fast speed and low wattage.”

“Given the size and weight of the Impression, I was shocked at how bright they were,” added Wasilauskas. “Being so bright and being able to do so much, its very low weight was a huge bonus for us.”

At Christie Lites, which supplied the Impressions and Design Par 575Ds, Robert Roth reported that his company has been extremely pleased with both fixtures. “Auto shows are a demanding environment. The lights are on for long periods of time. The Design Pars worked flawlessly -- they’re extremely reliable and the quality of the light is incredibly clean.

“I was stunned at the performance of the Impression,” added Roth. “It was the first fixture I’ve seen like that that actually had enough LED output to produce a par-like beam. It’s exciting to see that we’ve got affordable reliable LED product coming out that combines great theatrical color, stunning effects, quick color changes and smooth repeatable movement with a very low fixture weight.”