Justin Stancil uses ONYX platform to control massive pixel display light show at University Town Center Mall


This past holiday season, the Mall at University Town Center in Sarasota, debuted a spectacular new holiday light show as incentive for customers to forego stay-at-home shopping and visit the mall instead. Justin Stancil of Stancil Entertainment was contacted to design the lighting spectacular and turned to the ONYX platform from Obsidian Control Systems to control the massive system. The lighting canvass, spread across a huge area a quarter of a mile square, included 200 palm trees covered in 1000 pixels each, a 50-ft Christmas tree with 800 pixels, and a 34-ft tree also covered in pixels. Four Elation Proteus Hybrid™ luminaires washed the main Christmas tree in color, along with other wash fixtures, and fireworks were added on some finale shows for extra excitement. Lighting was controlled via a setup that included an ONYX PC and NX4™ lighting console embedded with Obsidian’s DyLOS™ pixel composer.

Twelve NETRON EN4 and two NETRON EN12 nodes, also from Obsidian, were used for data distribution. Stancil ran a custom version of ONYX with 255 unlocked Universes. The show, which used a total of 215 Universes, included a combination of effects from the ONYX console’s built-in DyLOS pixel composer, as well as its regular effects engine. The Mall purchased about 250,000 pixels in total for the installation, all in 50 or 100 node configurations. Using a star network configuration, IDF boxes on every major rooftop contained a Ubiquiti* UniFi Layer 3 switch for the pixels and pixel controllers, a mini battery backup and a NETRON EN4 node, meaning they had 4 Universes to add more lighting from each box location. All IDF’s on rooftops adjacent to show control were wired with TAC fiber, but all other locations that were too far and did not have underground conduit were fed via wireless network antennas. Audio and sACN data was sent to the pixel controllers and sACN data to the NETRON EN4 and EN12 nodes with no latency whatsoever.

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