Christmas back on track with LEDJ

Steam Illuminations with LEDJ - Alton Digital Image

What happens when you combine a heritage railway volunteer who professionally is a concert and events lighting designer that has specialised in custom digital LED sets? A project fuelled fully on passion and love… including coal and water… and tea!

Simon Horn from Purple Lighting Ltd has been a volunteer working on steam locomotives on The Watercress Line for 5 years now; so when the railway thought about running a train of lights service, as seen on other railway journeys, he was over joyed when they invited him to put his ideas forward.

Steam Illuminations with LEDJ
Steam Illuminations with LEDJ

Those that know Simon know he will go above and beyond to try and deliver the best. Driven by two passions here, he was up for really pushing the boundaries.

For the last 6 years Simon has been working heavily with pixel mappable LED tape and alike; it’s not easy stuff to work with unlike simple analogue tape and takes quite a lot of infrastructure to support it over long runs on a set, so applying it to something that is 170m long, moves at 25mph, gets very hot in places and consists of 100 year old components was full of challenges!

Steam Illuminations with LEDJ
Steam Illuminations with LEDJ
Steam Illuminations with LEDJ

Custom LED products including custom control and power supply modules had to be designed and built along with finding solutions to fix the lighting to the heritage equipment without causing damage.

We supplied 20 LEDJ Spectra QX40 Pixel IP65 Fixtures, which were mounted under the carriages of the train, adding to the thousands of other LEDs along the trains exterior and interior. The 15 x 60 degree fast fit lenses increased the beam angle on the fixtures to provide vibrant, saturated colours across the landscape the train travelled through. We also supplied over 1km of power and DMX cabling to control the fixtures.

Steam Illuminations with LEDJ
Steam Illuminations with LEDJ
Steam Illuminations with LEDJ

Simon Horn, Purple Lighting Ltd Managing Director and ‘Watercress Line’ lighting designer said: “This was a massive project for myself having worked on this for the past 8 months. The time and dedication has created my dream of a steam train completely flanked in over 13,000 pixel mappable LEDs across 78 universes. The LEDJ Spectra QX40 has proved a great fixture for this job while sporting fantastic value for money, they are punchy and have great colour mixing including a pretty good lavender/purple which is where many LED fixtures fail for me. The main reason I chose this fixture over some of the more costly equivalents for this job was the lens options and fixing system, the 15 x 60 degree lens was exactly what I was looking for but more importantly the solid and easy way the lens is fitted to the fixture. Many other manufacturers opt for a magnetic option, which, when hanging under a heritage train coach running at 25mph is a no go without adding extra support. The QX40 gives the user a fantastic, fast and solid latching system that holds firm and can be left on the fixture when in a flight case again saving time on site.”

Steam Illuminations with LEDJ
Steam Illuminations with LEDJ

Spectra QX40 Pixel Exterior Fixture
With 40 x 10W quad-colour LEDs (RGBW) and multiple beam options from the optional fast fit lenses the LEDJ Spectra QX40s are perfect for illuminating large spaces with wide washes of colour, from rich primary colours through to subtle pastel hues. Designed for rental and events, the QX40 features quick release omega brackets, powerCON TRUE1 connectors for power input/output and also features both wired and wireless DMX by W-DMX Sweden.

This winter ‘The Watercress Line’ will send out not one but two of these “Digital Light Trains” at once during their winter steam illuminations service, with each service entertaining the passengers through music and lights working together.