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2018 Awards for Excellence Winner – Tents Marquees and Air Inflated Structures

Canvasland                                                                                                              

Project name:  Inflatable Lightbulb                

Fabric used: Gen Clear 0.7Mm

Fabric Supplied by: W Wiggins Ltd 

What did the client request?

Tents, Marquees and Air Inflated Structures – Canvasland

Our client requested an inflatable lightbulb to be the main attraction at an annual light festival. The lightbulb would measure 4m in diameter, be clear and have acrobat artists inside it throughout the event.

What is unique or complex about the project?

The lightbulb was to be suspended in mid-air, inflated and have an acrobat artist dancing inside it, so there was a lot to take into consideration. There were numerous artist’s that would be dancing in the bulb throughout the evening, the transition between each one needed to be seamless so the crowd wouldn’t notice the changeover.

A zipped entry/exit point was inserted at the bottom and offset to one side so it was out of the crowds view. The ‘base’ of the bulb which was at the top needed to be constructed in such a manner to house a blower, this also needed to be constructed so that performers would use to dance around.

The weight of the bulb was a big factor, as the clear PVC on its own weighed approx. 50kg. There needed to be as little visual deterrence from the artist as possible so all seams were welded. The weight of the clear was a challenge during manufacture, as each petal was added additional people were needed to help manoeuvre the bulb around and take the weight of it to ensure it wouldn’t stretch under its own weight offsetting indication marks and deforming the shape.

We incorporated a 16mm solid stainless steel rod to distribute the weight evenly when it was suspended from the lighting rig.

 What were the results of the project?

Our client was extremely happy with the lightbulb, the dancers entered and exited through the zip opening without a hitch. There was minimal air pressure loss throughout changeover making the bulb a contributing piece in the seamless event.

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