WXII, the NBC affiliate owned by Hearst Television serving North Carolina’s Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point market (DMA #49), used almost 40 Brightline L1.2 and L1.4 LED SeriesONE studio light fixtures to light its new set, which debuted in early August.
Daniel McKenrick, Television Lighting Designer / Director, Washington, District Of Columbia said: “Beyond the warmer tone of the set, understanding shot-blocking and the impact of social distancing on talent locations were crucial to providing an ideal visual result. I had to light for two separate blocking scenarios, one designed around COVID-19 restrictions and another for “normal” newscasts in the future. The WXII anchor desk can easily accommodate four people, but the station’s current newscasts separate the on-camera talent due to social distancing.
He added: “I look at the set overall and decide how to add dimension and balance. I’m very much looking at the mechanics of the room. The particular set, the shape of the room, and the grid height and camera type determine how it’s going to work.”
For WXII’s daylight balanced (5600K) set, McKenrick used Brightline L1.4 lights and L1.2 lights to create the base lighting. The L1.2s were used mostly as side fills, while the L1.4s were positioned at the front. He also added Lupo DayLED fresnels to create crisp lighting for eight specific talent positions around the set, which created a balance of soft and hard sources. One of the advantages of using LED lighting fixtures on a news set is a more extensive dimming range without colour temperature change, which provides better control for diverse skin tones.
One challenge for the WXII set was avoiding reflection on a wide array of nine LED monitors positioned vertically behind the anchor desk. The monitors featured a slightly diffused front glass and were mounted with a slight forward tilt to help control reflections. McKenrick positioned the lights on the grid at a specific angle to light the talent without reflecting on the monitor. He said: “Getting that angle is always part of the adventure of working on the logistics of the lighting layout.”