Innovative Show Design ( designs and installs all LED lighting system for popular technology talk show’s new contemporary studio

Known as America’s Digital Goddess, Kim Komando helps people across the U.S. and Canada understand all things digital on The Kim Komando Show, broadcast live each weekend on nearly 500 stations by the WestStar TalkRadio Network and streamed to a growing online audience. The popular technology talk show is now airing from a new modern facility in Phoenix outfitted with over 100 LED lighting fixtures from Elation Professional and Acclaim Lighting.

Innovative Show Design

Scenic and lighting production design firm Innovative Show Design (ISD) was contacted about the need for a new lighting scheme by a Kim Komando team that had clearly put some thought into lighting concept ideas, even coming to the table with its own lighting renderings. ISD subsequently designed, installed and programmed a new all-LED lighting system, working closely with lighting vendor CYM Lighting Services.  ISD also designed, built and installed a new set, which meant they came onboard early enough to consult on important lighting related matters like the electrical design of the studio as well as designed the on-air graphic package and all scenic graphics.

studio 1&2

Network caliber

Whether it’s smartphones, tablets, computers, the Internet, or anything else digital, The Kim Komando Show covers it. On the air since 1992 and previously streaming from a smaller WestStar MultiMedia Entertainment complex in Phoenix, the show has aired from the new studio since October 9th. “With the design of the new complex and new studio, everything was thought through in order to bring the show to a network caliber,” stated Innovative Show Design lighting designer Justin Garrone. “Because her show is about all things technical, gadgets and gizmos, from the very beginning it was very important to incorporate a high level of tech into the lighting design. This is the reason the choice was made to light the entire studio with LED lighting. The energy cost savings with LED, including the cost benefit of being able to run the air conditioning at a lower level, as well as the reduced maintenance, was an added perk.”

Elation LED lighting package

The Elation LED lighting is located throughout the complex with the majority of fixtures used in the main studio set, which is made up of three areas – Kim’s broadcast desk, a screen caller area, and an area designed for future use, perhaps social media interaction. The lighting consists of Elation SixBar 1000™ LED battens, SixPar 200™ LED PAR color changers, Colour Chorus 12™ LED battens, Colour 5 Profile™ ellipsoidal spots, DW Fresnel™ dynamic white light fixtures, Elar Q1™ compact PAR lights, and TVL2000™ and TVL3000™ white light LED Fresnels. High-output Quad Eye™ LED downlights from Acclaim Lighting were also incorporated into the design.

Justin worked closely with set designer Chris Runnells of Innovative Show Design to incorporate the lighting elements into the set itself. “He and I designed the set and the lights at the same time,” Justin explains. “This allowed for the set to practically light itself. There are a lot of light boxes, internal glowing elements and architectural lighting features.”

High CRI

Studio 3With eight HD cameras in the studio, lighting fixtures with color rendering levels sufficient for broadcast were required. “CRI was very important to me,” says Justin, who was impressed with the high CRI levels of the Elation fixtures, which are all above 85. “I really didn’t want to have to start color correcting LED’s to pull certain color wavelengths out of them. The fixtures from Elation met and exceeded my expectations.”

Needing a fixture he could shutter, Justin turned to the Colour 5 Profile™ to fill the role. The ellipsoidal spot’s added lime green LED enhances the production of variable white color temperatures from 3,200 to 6,500K while increasing the CRI. “The Colour 5 Profile has a nice white light and the lime green LED helps get white in your chosen color temperature,” he says of the fixture, which is used to light the show’s intro and all of the stand-up locations.

Illuminating graphics behind Kim Komondo’s desk in even washes of colored light are Colour Chorus 12™ LED battens while TVL 3000™ fixtures with dynamic white LEDs are used for backlight and front fill in all areas. The white light TVL luminaires blend 3W warm white and cool white LEDs for a uniform projection of flat white light and also fulfill the high CRI requirement. Justin comments, “They are a nice and compact fixture with no fan so are very quiet. The lens kit gives us the flexibility to project a narrow beam angle or we can flood it out.”

Other areas

Not only is the main studio lit with Elation and Acclaim lighting but a radio control room, also used for broadcast, as well as two insert studios within the complex, are lit with all Elation and Acclaim fixtures. The Acclaim Quad Eyes are used to color ceiling tiles in the radio control room and are also used to color walls in the insert studios. “I feel that both the cost and the quality of the Elation fixtures allow a designer to get what they need to get the job done,” Justin says. “Elation has an extensive product line that allowed me to spec fixtures for specific purposes – fixtures that do exactly what I wanted them to do.”

CYM Lighting

Although Justin made the fixture choice for the studio, he collaborated with CYM Lighting Services, a full service lighting production company that ISD has had a relationship with for over 10 years. “I don’t consider it working with CYM, I consider it partnering,” Justin comments. “They are our chosen lighting vendor no matter where the show is located. There are not too many people out there that answer their phone 24/7, and trust me there are times I take full advantage of that. Their support, input and overall customer service is, in my opinion, the best in the business.”

CYM Lighting is very familiar with both Elation products and personnel, having stocked Elation gear for over 10 years. “Elation was perfect for this project,” states CYM Lighting’s Kevin Swank. “And being able to arrange product demos for ISD at the Elation headquarters in LA helped Justin get comfortable with the new fixtures. Elation often used to be chosen because of the lower cost but now the quality is also excellent and the pricing is still spot on. Their products stand up to any others and we didn’t have one problem out of the box on this project. But given all that, what makes Elation unique is the staff, which is the reason why we look closer at their products. From small to big projects, you get the same excellent level of service. On this project, we had a huge benefit from Elation personnel pointing us in the right direction and their recommendations really paid off.”

Justin reports that Kim Komando show personnel have been impressed with the new lighting system and are planning to add more Elation gear. “We are not 100% complete with the project as they want to add more lighting elements to pop the set even further,” he says. “This has really been an exciting project for us. This was our first time working with The Kim Komando Show and it has been an absolute pleasure working with Kim and her team.”

With the public’s growing fascination with digital technology and a beautiful new studio to broadcast from, it seems only a matter of time before a top network picks up the program.

  • Justin Garrone – Lighting Designer, Innovative Show Design
  • Chris Runnells – Artistic Director / Scenic Designer, Innovative Show Design
  • Nate Mitchell – Graphic Designer / Assistant Scenic Designer, Innovative Show Design
  • Mark Dowling – Project Manager, Innovative Show Design
  • Kevin Swank – Lighting Manager
  • John Lotz – Lighting Director / Programmer
  • Chris Wagner – Master Electrician
  • Ignacio Sanchez – Electrician
  • Greg Hays – Electrician
  • Eduardo Barraza – Electrician

Lighting equipment:

  • 10 x Elation Colour Chorus 12™
  • 14 x Elation Colour 5 Profile™
  • 2 x Elation SixBar 1000™
  • 7 x Elation SixPar 200™
  • 12 x Elation DW Fresnel™
  • 11 x Elation Elar Q1™
  • 12 x Elation TVL2000 II™
  • 32 x Elation TVL3000 II™
  • 48 x Acclaim Quad Eye™