‘Wheel of Fortune’ Solves Puzzle of Aging Lighting with New LED Fixtures

Ayrton Khamsin compact LEDs require less power than old Wheel of Fortune lighting fixtures and mean less maintenance for game show staff.

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‘Wheel of Fortune’ Solves Puzzle of Aging Lighting with New LED Fixtures

As “Wheel of Fortune” begins shooting its 37th season, the popular game show has been replacing its aging lights with LED fixtures requiring less power, generating less heat and needing little maintenance.

Joining the show’s upgraded rig are Ayrton Khamsin compact LED profiles provided by Sony Set Lighting.

“LEDs have finally caught up to where they’re able to replace a 1200 W arc source,” says lighting director and programmer William McLachlan.

Through McLachlan’s long-time relationship with ACT Lighting, the exclusive distributor of Ayrton fixtures in North America, he learned about the new Khamsins.

“We wanted to expand the show’s plot with moving key lights, and Khamsin had just come out,” said McLachlan. “They had all the features, the output and the quality of light that we needed.

“ACT lent us some Khamsins for a shootout—and we actually shot some shows with them,” he said.

On the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Set

The Khamsins “definitely stood out,” so McLachlan recommended them to lighting designer Jeff Engel, and Khamsins soon joined a group of 85 moving lights on the pipe grid over the 150 x 250-foot stage.

“That’s a big footprint to cover; we needed lights that would be usable from 90 feet away, and Khamsin’s output put them over the top,” says McLachlan. “They serve as moving key lights that save us lots of time as shots are set up, they fill the need for shutters required for a portion of the plot, and they paint the scenery with pattern, texture, softness, tone and color.”

The program’s puzzle board and wheel remain the same show to show but the rest of the set changes to offer viewers an array of different looks.

The Khamsins went live with the new season of “Wheel of Fortune” that began shooting in July.

“We’ve done our first two taping cycles, and the Khamsins are working great and looking fantastic,” said McLachlan.