Photo by Louise Stickland. L-R: Yass Guenancia, Alex Allen.
Halo, a central London-based lighting and AV rental and production company founded in 1989 by Yann Guenancia, has been thriving ever since, including throughout the UK’s three pandemic lockdowns, when it was one of a few very fortunate companies in a position to remain open and keep supplying equipment for a broad range of clients.
The company’s recent investment into Astera products, including Titan Tubes and AX3 LightDrops, resulted from business actually expanding during this time as new opportunities presented themselves.
The first Titan Tubes arrived in March 2021 and were for lighting in the company’s pop-up streaming studio which was built in part of the warehouse and busy throughout the lockdown period. “More and more clients booking the space for their streams, recordings and video shoots were asking for Asteras, so we decided to buy some!” declared Yann.
They soon needed more Asteras as they proved to be one of the most popular livestream eye-candy effects, and the current stock comprises seven 8-way sets of Titan Tubes, four sets of the 4-way 2 metre Hyperion Tubes and two 8-way cases of AX3 LightDrops.
As ‘post’ pandemic activity has started to gather momentum, Alex Allen has joined the Halo team as head of rental / hires, and he is another enthusiastic Astera fan.
“Initially, the Astera Tubes were being requested mainly for studio work and effects,” he commented, but as more & more businesses have been re-starting with live shows and events as the pandemic regulations eased, the demand has also risen for the Tubes in particular to be used by film and video shoots.
“They are such great all-round, versatile products that are usable in a number of different scenarios,” he observed.
Alex notes that the range of whites produced by the Titan and Hyperion Tubes and their high TLCI/CRI are perfect for front and key lighting, and as well as other areas of filming, they even quoted some for the hair-and-makeup stations at a Ted Baker commercial shoot, following a short notice enquiry!
Alex was additionally impressed with the Astera Academy during the lockdown. “It was one of the first brands offering great online training without a direct selling element, and a great way to introduce people to, and educate them about, the products and the Astera philosophy”.
Halo also looks after the technical needs / maintenance of several venues in the UK capital, where Titan Tubes are again proving to be an ideal product, with numerous – and often last minute – events and activities going ahead as people feel out the public appetite, which is huge, for interaction considered normal before Covid-19!
“Titans are also so easily and instantly deployable,” he states … the battery units need no complex power cables, they are very light and manoeuvrable, and they come with an “awesome” range of mounting and fixing gadgets and gizmos to cover almost every eventuality. “Astera has really done this properly and thought of everything, essentially an infinitely creative modular LED system.”
He also highlights the importance of the distributor – in this case Ambersphere Solutions – in the whole brand investment equation, and the “great service” that they provide for Astera.
Yann’s long-term goals include being the biggest and most comprehensive repository for Astera products in buzzing central London, a catchment area constantly busy with events.
In the last month, as shows and events ramp up, Halo again expanded its Astera inventory for the third time this year, with the purchase of an 8-way PixelBrick set complete with accessories, plus another three 8-way cases of Titan Tubes and another three of Hyperion Tubes.