Hollywood Bowl 2005 to Present

Hollywood, CA
Project Details:
  • Categories:
  • Color Changing LED
  • Outdoor Lighting
  • Entertainment Lighting

With its unmistakable signature shell, the Hollywood Bowl is one of world’s largest natural amphitheaters, and a famed American landmark. It is home to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the host venue for hundreds of musical events each year.

In the summer of 2005, the Hollywood Bowl unveiled an illumination makeover, including the installation of a Color Kinetics LED lighting solution. The goal was to seamlessly illuminate the entire arch of the shell with concealed, color-changing fixtures. Previously, color-changing effects were achieved using conventional light sources with scrolling color changers or dichroic color-mixing fixtures.

In January 2022, to prepare for its 100th season, the lighting system was upgraded with Color Kinetics Graze Compact Powercore, RGBA luminaires. These outdoor-rated fixtures were selected for their ability to create a brighter, bolder, and more vibrant look with a four-color solution that offers more color choices and improved white light. Over 1,200 305 mm (1 ft) Graze Compact fixtures were installed and focused by the LA Philharmonic Lighting staff in a one-for-one replacement of the previous lights. Custom mounting brackets allow the new fixtures to mount in the location of the original fixtures, in special 1.2 m (4 ft) long sheet metal channels. The metal channels provide the proper cut-off to control the luminaires’ wide beam dispersion, ensuring the effective illumination of each surface of the shell’s concentric baffles without light spilling onto the other surfaces of the stage. The luminaires are compatible with the Hollywood Bowl’s existing theatrical DMX console, which made switching to the new system seamless.

The updated lighting system provides the Hollywood Bowl with the ability to generate new and different effects to enhance their nightly shows. Each season, the lighting crew creates new lighting effects and applications – for instance, coordinating the LED shell lighting with a movie’s visuals using the media server functions of the control console.

An expanding repertoire of musical presentations keeps the lighting crew busy during the venue’s high season, which runs from June through September. The show lighting is operated in very specific ways based upon the type of music being performed. Classical orchestra concerts use basic lighting and a very limited color palette, while pops orchestra shows are colorful and programmed cue to cue like a theatrical show, while the lighting for jazz and world music concerts is often done on the fly.

Project credits – 2022 update

Los Angeles Philharmonic Lighting Staff:

Andy Kassan, Hollywood Bowl Master Electrician

Mike McLeod, Hollywood Bowl Assistant Master Electrician

James Doede, Hollywood Bowl Electrician

Andre Webberley, Hollywood Bowl Electrician

Photo Credits: © Adam Latham

Lighting Design: Shutter Cut Lighting Design

Technical Liaison: Jim Riendeau, Volt Lites

 Signify Certified System Integrator: Forman & Associates