Lightwave International made a big splash during the 2016 and 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs for the Pittsburgh Penguins helping to guide the team to a fourth and fifth Stanley Cup Championship.
Lasers are a familiar game opening effect for the Penguins, and the 2016 and 2017 seasons were no exception. Each home game at PPG PAINTS Arena during the playoffs began with a spectacular laser and light show, rallying the crowd. Lightwave was challenged to enhance the laser show to a level of primary entertainment, not just a special effect. Full sized laser graphics, projected from Lightwave’s Prism Series projectors above the arena, covered the ice. Images were mapped to elements on the arena floor, tracing the team logo, goal lines and other markers. In addition, Lightwave’s Lixel DMX controlled fixtures were placed around the arena, creating intense beam webs and patterns. At half time, another spectacular laser filled the arena.
As the team progressed from playoffs to the finals, the show was continuously upgraded with each win, adding more and more lasers and more complex programming. Each round of playoffs called for more laser firepower, with the final Championship round requiring laser power measured not in hundreds of watts, but thousands of watts. The laser graphics were created and controlled using Pangolin’s Beyond software. “The new tools in Beyond were essential in creating what we wanted to achieve. We needed tight integration with show timecode, full ice projection, and thousands of beams. The flexibility with zones in Beyond, especially zone blending, allowed for incredibly bright projections with no perceptible on-camera flicker.” commented Lightwave’s CEO, George Dodworth. “Programmer Mike Dunn has been using Pangolin software for decades, but the newest tools in Beyond really help him show off his talents in this series. Moving to Pangolin’s FB4 has also been a huge improvement to our show infrastructure. It is great that we can reliably control hundreds of lasers with a single computer and produce these types of results.”
Outside the arena, fans were treated to inspiring and celebratory laser messages with each victory. The images were projected on buildings in downtown Pittsburgh near the arena, guaranteeing they could be seen for miles. When the team finally clinched the win in the final game, “Pens Win!” was projected announcing the victory, eliciting car horn honks and cheers from onlookers as they celebrated.
“It was a lot of long nights and hard work from our dedicated crew. We’re elated we were able to be a part of such a momentous event in our own hometown. Congratulations from everyone at Lightwave to the Pens on their Stanly Cup wins!”