Singapore’s National Day Parade (NDP) is a celebration to commemorate the country’s independence on the 9th of August each year. On this day, Singaporeans celebrate and showcase their unity, diversity, and patriotism. The 2023 celebration was held at the historic field, Padang, in the city centre.
The parade culminates in a grand nighttime celebration that captures the spirit and identity of Singapore, combining artistic brilliance and technological innovation. Stage performances, floor projections, and lighting design creativity set the mood, atmosphere, and emotional connection between the performers and the audience.
We recently had a chance to sit down with Javier Tan who designed the lighting for the 2023 Singapore National Day Parade to share his insight on selecting the right fixtures that could ensure his design could exceed the vision of parade organizers and create an incredibly moving experience for the thousands of parade attendees.
Javier, you were explaining that the Martin MAC Ultra Performance stood out as your go-to fixture in this year’s Parade design. Can you explain more?
For this year’s parade, it was clear from the beginning, when we initially looked at our needs, that MAC Ultra Performance was going to be our most utilized fixture – it just checked so many boxes. We ended up using 132 of them.
The majority of the fixtures, 120 units, were installed on the roof of the National Gallery Singapore, which proved to be an ideal vantage point for lighting the parade and performances. These units were used as key lighting fixtures to highlight specific elements onstage. The remaining 12 units were used as followspots and hung on the side towers to spotlight singers and performances throughout the event.
Lumen output was obviously a key consideration. Can you share why MAC Ultra Performance was specifically a fixture you chose for your design?
There are so many things I like about MAC Ultra Performance and I have used it in many other designs but one of the biggest reasons is output. An 1150-watt LED engine that can put out 46,500 lumens is just massive any way you look at it. That kind of output made it an ideal fixture to ensure every aspect of the parade was well-lit. It’s such a versatile light for illuminating large outdoor spaces, even in challenging lighting conditions. I also like the fact that it has a minimum LED lifetime of 50,000 hours and a five-year warranty on the light engine. When someone is investing in lights of this caliber, knowing they will have a long performance lifetime is obviously an important factor.
Did MAC Ultra Performance’s long-throw capabilities factor into its selection?
Absolutely. I needed a fixture that could literally go the distance. 80 to 100 meters was the throw I needed from the fixture location on the NGS roof to the parade and performance grounds. MAC Ultra Performance’s precision optics had no issue throwing the light that far. In many designs for outdoor venues, you need the lighting to reach far and wide. We needed to ensure optimal visibility and coverage across the Parade Square and MAC Ultra Performance got us there.
“The MAC Ultra has been a fantastic all-in-one workhorse for our event. The brightness and flat even field of its LED engine has surpassed what discharge lamp fixtures of the last generation can achieve. It’s a great all-rounder,” – Mr. Gabriel Chan, Associate Lighting Designer
What about optical effects? Can you share what effects you utilized most?
We definitely put MAC Ultra Performance’s optics to the test and they took centre stage during the parade to captivate the audience. What I like best is how razor-sharp we were able to get the beams that really allowed us to deliver some intricate projections. I also like how easy it is to transition between narrow-angle beams and wide-angle washes to deliver a really clean and immersive experience.
When it came to light quality, how did MAC Ultra Performance’s CRI support your ability to light a variety of subjects in the parade and onstage?
The Color Rendering Index or CRI measures a light source’s ability to accurately reproduce colors. The higher the CRI, the more faithfully a fixture’s light engine renders true colors, resulting in natural-looking and flattering skin tones. In my experience, MAC Ultra Performance’s high CRI combined with its adjustable color temperature feature works quite effectively to illuminate skin tones just as they should be lit. This flexibility allows the LD to tailor lighting that enhances the unique characteristics of different individuals – whether performing in a parade or any performance.
Singapore’s climate can possibly be challenging in ensuring fixtures run cool and efficiently. How did MAC Ultra Performance perform?
In using MAC Ultra Performance many times before, I was confident of how its advanced cooling system would perform so I felt that this was another box that could be checked to capably support this parade. When we actually put it to work again for this application, it was a great feeling knowing that no matter how hard we pushed them to perform, there were no signs that the fixture was even close to overworking or having issues running as needed.
“We recently upgraded our inventory to include more Martin MAC Ultra Performance fixtures, revitalizing our internal inventory from discharge lamp to LED, to cater to a diverse range and upcoming touring productions. The reliability of the Martin brand made it the clear choice to select the MAC Ultra Performance,” – Mr. Henry Ang, Owner of Showtec Group Pte Ltd.
What’s something that you like the most about MAC Ultra Performance?
You know, there are so many things you are looking for in a killer fixture but one of my personal favorites is ease of use. In my experience designing, if a fixture is too difficult to manage, the user is going to get frustrated fairly quickly. MAC Ultra Performance’s really intuitive UI proved invaluable during the parade – it’s simple, straightforward, and easy to use. We also used the Martin P3 System Controller to manage and monitor the fixtures throughout the celebration. P3 is nice because it offers remote setup and real-time monitoring.
Can you paint a picture for us of how the Singapore National Day Parade turned out?
As the sun set and darkness descended, the stage was set for an awe-inspiring display of lights and colors that lit up the night. The 12 MAC Ultra Performance’s used as followspots were mainly used to focus whenever a singer was performing on the moving stage and they lit those performers beautifully. The rest of the MAC Ultra Performance’s danced to the music rhythms to create a lively atmosphere for the national celebration. The night sky became a canvas for vibrant illuminations, transforming the cityscape into a breathtaking panorama of illumination.
* Note: Since designing lighting for the NDP, Javier Tan has joined the Martin team as Product Applications Manager assisting professionals with the right lighting solutions to support their unique needs, projects, and applications.
- Details and Specifications:
- More MAC Ultra Videos
- Connect with Us
READY TO TALK TO A SOLUTIONS EXPERT
Are you a lighting designer, technology manager or anyone needing professional lighting support? To locate a representative near you, please visit our WORLDWIDE LOCATOR.