Cineo Lights the Way for the Stars of America’s Got Talent
America’s Got Talent, the acclaimed nationwide talent show that has become a mainstay on NBC, is set to premier its twelfth season this year. Cineo Lighting has been with us since the beginning, helping ensure judges, hosts and performers always look their best for the camera. To achieve this, we feature 25 Cineo HS™ and several HSX™ fixtures, supplemented by 10 Maverick™ fixtures with battery attachments, and Cineo Matchstix™ kits and Matchboxes™, which light all the ancillary action that’s not on the stage, including the holding room, interview positions and the Judges Gold Room. 

America’s Got Talent showcases unique performers from across the country. The series is a true celebration of creativity and talent, featuring a colorful array of singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists, impressionists, jugglers, magicians, ventriloquists and hopeful stars. These acts rely not only on their abilities, but also on the aesthetics of their acts. For this, I need a lighting solution that I know will give me the color temperature I want right out of the box. I can’t have any degradation of field or uneven color output, otherwise I’ll lose precious time adjusting each light during setup. Also, if the lighting isn’t properly adjusted, the post-production team will have to spend time touching up the brightness and evenness of the shot for the viewers at home. 

Luckily, we’ve used the Cineo HS since it debuted back in 2012, during what I refer to as the “wild west” of LED lights. The 3200k-5600K HS gives me the even field I expect from Cineo. What I consider the industry standard, Cineo’s Remote Phosphor Technology (RPT), eliminates the color-accuracy limitations that can be an issue in LED fixtures over time. From the holding room, to the talent on stage, to the judges, the HS lights have a hand in lighting several aspects of America’s Got Talent. 

I use the Matchstix as a low fill fixture to help enhance the lighting effect of the judge’s interviews. The Mavericks with Matchboxes are used for smaller areas like interview suites in tight spaces due to the small dimensions of each product.

Compared to other lighting options, I would choose Cineo every time. The products are designed with the understanding of what we are trying to accomplish with our lighting. Not only are Cineo lights durable enough to handle the rigors of our intense travel schedule for almost a decade, but the offered features make my job that much easier when time is of the essence. For example, the HSX features an output control that automatically increases lighting output one full stop (from 20 percent, to 40 percent, to 60 percent, etc.), with a user-friendly interface that allows our team to read the exact light measurement. This helps keep the camera and light totally coordinated and saves us a lot of time not only on the set, but in post-production as well. 

Overall the amount of time we have saved in both setup and post-production due to the color-accuracy and dependability of Cineo products is second-to-none. They are an integral part of how America’s Got Talent is lit and filmed. 

Darran Webb is an internationally acclaimed realty television lighting designer who has worked for shows such as American Idol, The X Factor and Last Comic Standing. He has been working with America’s Got Talent since its inception in 2006. He can be contacted at 

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