The new Prince George’s County Council headquarters in Largo, MD will be equipped with BrightLine’s Flex-T Series multi-directional and ZELo desktop studio lights from its Lighting Systems line. Following their experience with Brightline Flex-T lights in the previous County building in Upper Marlboro, county officials wanted the same setup in their new offices in Largo, MD.
A team led by Colin Sandy, of Sandy Audio Visual LLC in Laurel, MD, designed and built the county’s new Hearing Room/Legislative Chambers, Press Room, and Committee Room at the new Largo building.The council members and their staff have their own ZELo desktop lights, totaling 50 ZELos in the new headquarters office. The two conference rooms each have 22 Flex-T broadcast quality lights, some of which serve as flood lights and others as spot beam directional lights.
At Prince George’s County Council, the most highly regarded aspects of the lights include their ease of installation, physical appearance, and performance. Sandy elaborates on the Flex-T lights: “Their performance is phenomenal. They create a nice, even wash that looks great on video. The lighting is nicely diffused, so there are not a lot of shadows or fall off from light to dark. It’s just a very even lighting pattern, even over as large an area as we have.”
Flex-T lights, as their name implies, can be mounted on any type of ceiling. “We put the Brightline lights into the existing ceiling grid. There’s no custom furniture fixture, attachments or mounts that you need,” said Sandy. “The fixtures integrate seamlessly with the ceiling grip. The 2”x2” speakers look like return vents, and because it’s all flush with the ceiling grid, it doesn’t look like a theatre.”
Prior to this, the County used a more traditional theatrical lighting approach. “They used Tungsten lighting, which in comparison to what the county has now, uneven lighting. The Council members really liked the lighting we did in the County Executive Press Room in 2020. We used nine Flex-T fixtures in that room. So, we did a very similar but much larger set up in the new building’s Committee Room, Press Room, and Hearing Room.”
The County offices in Prince George’s are properly prepared for local and national media, in addition to internal conversation. Along with the 66 Flex-Ts and 50 ZELos, there are also PTZ cameras in the Press Room equipped with switchers that feed live footage to a local news channel.
The lights are placed above a retractable green screen curtain. Flexible-T lights can be controlled individually or in groups with a Crestron control system and Brightline interface. Members of Council and guests are seated in a boardroom-style set-up in the Committee Room, where more informal meetings are held. The Crestron system also controls the lights in this room as well as four PTZ cameras.
The ZELo personal video light has been praised by Council members and staff who use it on a daily basis for videoconferencing. A soft and adjustable light can be tilted to give you the most flattering angle. In addition to the built-in manual controls, Brightline offers a free app for iOS and Android devices that lets users adjust brightness and color temperature. Additionally, ZELo supports voice control via Alexa and Google Assistant.