A theme park is a place of fun and amusement meant to be enjoyed by all. With a focus on achieving certain lighting goals, this is an especially tricky area of lighting to take on. Here are a few fun facts worth knowing about theme park lighting.
Lighting requires a great deal of professional planning. When a guest goes to a theme park, the experience should transport them to another world seamlessly. Part of this is achieved because the guests sees the effects of the lights on rides, but not the actual lights. It takes an entire team of engineers to plan the lighting on rides to ensure the proper illumination scope, color, and effects. For the areas of the park not related to the rides, the matter of lighting is still a part of a well-oiled plan to achieve the best results for both appearance and function.
Lights and audio must be synched for the best effect. When it comes to the rides, the matter of lighting has to be perfectly timed to coincide with any other elements. Many times, a ride creates a simulated experience and uses several elements to awaken the senses such as visuals, audio, and sensory devices. Even on rides that appear to be dark and without a lot of lighting, there is still a lot of behind the scenes lighting present. For example, there are certain rides that will use a light projector and bounce the image of illumination off a wall to achieve a softer focus to accommodate the darkness of the ride. The matter of contrasting light levels is always closely monitored on theme park rides.
Many systems are custom engineered. For theme parks, the lighting is very different from what is found in most business types. Whereas most businesses operate the lighting with an on/off switch similar to what is found in residential areas, a theme park has an entire panel of custom designed controls to operate all of the lighting elements. While some elements are on automatic timers, especially those with the rides, there are several aspects which require full time operators to monitor and control the lighting panel.
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