CBC/Radio-Canada drives green innovation with rollout of LED lighting in television studios across the country

June 1, 2010, Ottawa

After having pioneered the first fully LED-lit (Light Emitting Diode) television news studio in the world in 2007, CBC/Radio-Canada is accelerating the replacement of incandescent TV production lighting with the more efficient and flexible LED variety in studios across the country. The initiative will cut energy consumption significantly, reducing the Corporation’s carbon footprint and saving money in the process.

“This is innovation at its best,” said Hubert T. Lacroix, President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada. “In addition to being fiscally and environmentally friendly, this initiative demonstrates the Corporation’s ability to embrace new ideas and new technologies. In the case of LED lighting, CBC/Radio-Canada finds itself ahead of the pack. We want this now to serve as inspiration for other broadcasters, in the hopes of greening up our industry here in Canada and around the world.”

LED lighting had been widely accepted by the entertainment industry for lighting effects and set lighting, mainly because of its flexibility. A single light source can generate a great variety of colours. But using LEDs to light people on a broadcast set had never been done before Senior Lighting Director Brad Dickson pushed to try the technology in designs for a new Radio-Canada news studio in Toronto.

The result? Minimal power consumption (the entire studio runs on less than what’s required for just two fixtures on a conventional rig), no extra air conditioning required (heat generated by an LED bulb is negligible, a conventional tungsten light source is transformed into 90 per cent heat and only 10 per cent light), and 50,000 hour bulb life (no more incandescent bulbs needing replacement and going to the landfill). People don’t have to suffer under hot lights, and technicians benefit from being able to generate multiple colours from one fixture. Radio-Canada studios commissioned in Sherbrooke, Rimouski and Sept-Îles followed Brad's lead in equipping their new studios with LEDs.

Continuing our tradition of innovation and leadership in the Canadian broadcast industry, CBC/Radio-Canada has demonstrated through pilot projects, a major feasibility study, and now this investment, that LED lighting is the smart solution and the right decision for Canada's public broadcaster, and for the environment.

The first phase of retrofitting is expected to start paying for itself in less than three years. The annual net savings generated by the initiative will then be reinvested to fund LED retrofits in additional studios across the country.

About CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, Internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages, plus seven languages for international audiences.

For additional information, please contact:
  • Angus McKinnon
    Director, Communications Services and Corporate Spokesperson
    tel. 613-288-6235
    cel. 613-296-1057

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