South Plainfield High School in South Plainfield, New Jersey was looking to renovate their theater space into a modern performing arts center.  Instead of a traditional cookie-cutter appearance, they desired to make a unique statement that would serve as a hub of pride for the district and community.

Working in tight concert with South Plainfield administration and USA Architects, PureTek Group outfitted the new space with immersive house lighting including RGBW wall strips, a dazzling house lighting layout, colorful aisle lighting, cove effects, and multi-access controls to ensure simplified usage for guests and nuanced design for staff, students, and other lighting operators.

South Plainfield, NJ

Autumn ’22


Sal Electric
USA Architects


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  1. Form and function needed to be kept optimal to achieve a design that was not only unique and spectacular, but also provided even proper illumination to use the space for a variety of uses.
  2. A system is only as good as its ability to be used. Therefore South Plainfield High School required controls to provide the nuanced design across walls and ceilings while allowing for simple one-touch controls easy enough for guests to use.
  3. Safety requirements including emergency egress needed to be met to guarantee code compliance.

The Solution:

The centerpiece of the auditorium is the suspended linear light fixture geometric arrangement which delivers a contemporary, unique, and extraordinary experience for occupants.  This experience is supported by dynamic RGBW color-changing lighting delivered via recessed downlights over the orchestra, flexible strip lighting in the cove, and, most notably, strip lighting delivered in a crisscrossing pattern across the auditorium walls.  To provide standard white illumination, the suspended linear fixture arrangement is supported by recessed linear lights in the back of house and tunable white light from the RGBW fixtures in the orchestra and walls.

A new Strand dimming system was implemented provide the infrastructure to power and control the new house lighting.  The system includes an A21 dimmer/relay cabinet to provide proper power distribution, a control interface to provide DMX and 0-10V dimming controls, and a UPS to ensure consistent power to the brains of the system.

Multiple-points of system control are delivered.  (5) 5-button entry stations provide occupants to easily cycle between 5 programmable preset scenes including classroom mode (overhead white light on), school spirit (green and orange across the house), and all off.  (2) touchscreens provide access to a greater variety of programmable presets as well as basic controls that can be used to create new presets or for basic live adjustments.  Nuanced live control is delivered via a Chamsys MagicQ MQ50 console.  On-site training was provided by PureTek for South Plainfield High School staff.

During performances, visibility in walkways is accentuated by aisle lighting running long along walkways and horizontally to illuminate stairs.  To ensure code-compliance and maximize occupant safety, the system is outfitted with (2) 350W inverters with 90-minute battery backup that provide automatic illumination of house lighting during power outages.  This provides ample time for occupants to exit the theater safely and calmly with clearly visible sight-lines and means of egress.

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