After experiencing the performance of Brightline (opens in new tab) Flex-T lights within the Executive Committee Press Room at the previous Prince George’s County Council building in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, county officials wanted the same setup when they moved into their new digs in Largo.
The lighting installation grew in scope beyond the Flex-T lighting.
Let There Be MORE Light
Colin Sandy, of Sandy Audio Visual (opens in new tab)in Laurel, MD, led the design and build of the county’s new Hearing Room/Legislative Chambers, Press Room and Committee Room at the new building in Largo. Each room has 22 Flex-T broadcast-quality lights (opens in new tab), with some serving as flood lights and others providing spot beam directional lighting. In addition, each council member and their staff have ZELo desktop lights (opens in new tab), for a total of 50 ZELo’s at the new headquarters office.
Ease of install, physical appearance, and performance of the lights are what make them so well regarded at Prince George’s County Council. “Their [Flex-T lights] performance is phenomenal. They create a nice, even wash that looks great on video,” Sandy said. “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.”
The versatile Flex-T lights can be installed in any type of ceiling. The patented articulation feature makes them the only fixtures that can be rotated into a desired position during use and returned flush to the ceiling between sessions or for general task lighting. “We put the Brightline lights into the existing ceiling grid. There’s no custom furniture fixture, attachments or mounts that you need,” Sandy said. “The fixtures integrate seamlessly with the ceiling grip. The 2x2-inch speakers look like return vents, and because it’s all flush with the ceiling grid, it doesn’t look like a theatre.”
Previously, the County used a more traditional theatrical lighting approach. “They used Tungsten lighting, which in comparison to what the county has now, uneven lighting,” Sandy explained. “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 well equipped for local and national media, as well as internal communication. In addition to the 66 Flex-T and 50 ZELo lights, PTZ cameras in the Press Room are connected to a switcher and used for live streaming and a feed sent to a local news channel. Lights are positioned over a retractable green screen curtain. A Crestron control system with a Brightline interface controls the Flex-T lights individually or as a group. In the Committee Room where more informal meetings are held, Brightline fixtures illuminate Council members and guests seated in a board room-type set up. Four PTZ cameras in this room, along with the lights, are also controlled by a Crestron system.
The ZELo personal video light has gotten rave reviews from Council members and staff who use it for daily videoconferencing. It has soft and adjustable lighting that can be tilted for the most flattering angle. Built-in manual controls make it easy to change brightness and color temperature, but users can also make adjustments using Brightline’s free app for iOS and Android portable devices. ZELo also supports voice control through Alexa and Google Assistant devices.