Congratulations to Oscar Dominguez’ Emmy-Winning Design for The Voice!

Congratulations are in order to lighting designer Oscar Dominguez of Darkfire Lighting Design and his lighting team for Season 3 of NBC’s The Voice for winning the 2013 Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Series.  Oscar’s team for The Voice is comprised of lighting director Daniel K Boland, lighting director Samuel Barker, and media server operator Craig Housenick.  Major congratulations are in order for your beautiful work!

Oscar Dominguez has been using Chauvet Professional fixtures to create his stunning designs for The Voice since Season 1 of the show’s history, starting with the COLORdash Batten Tri and the COLORado 1 Tri Tour.  Oscar and his team from Darkfire Lighting Design used COLORado and COLORdash to bring pure eclectic color and intensity to the performances given on The Voice while giving the audience a stellar experience both live in studio and at home in broadcast.


Oscar’s work in Season 2 of The Voice brought over 500 Chauvet Professional fixtures into the lighting rig:  over 350 COLORdash Batten Tri units, 60 COLORado 1 Quad Tour fixtures, 48 COLORado 1 Tri Tour units, and 44 pixel mapping Epix Bar fixtures helped Oscar and his team to create the vibrant designs that audiences across the world have come to expect from The Voice.


Season 3 of The Voice was another milestone for Chauvet Professional and The Voice, as Oscar’s lighting rig incorporated the first 86 Nexus 4X4 pixel display units.  Oscar and his Darkfire Lighting Design team designed some of the most spectacular broadcast lighting in recent history, gaining him the Creative Arts Emmy that his work, his team, and The Voice deserve.  Bravo from Chauvet Professional to you and your team, Oscar!


About Oscar Dominguez, from his About page at Darkfire Lighting Design:

Oscar Dominguez, the founder and head designer of DARKFIRE INC, is the man behind the exciting visuals of NBC’s THE VOICE, THE BACHELOR and SHARK TANK. With over 20 years of experience lighting live and episodic television, he is one of an elite group capable of producing the large scale lighting spectacle that top-rated TV shows demand. Oscar was recently nominated for an Emmy for his work on THE VOICE LIVES Season 2 and with his team has created an impressive body of work.

DARKFIRE works closely with producers, art directors and videographers to create a lighting plot, budget and equipment recommendations. New technology appears on the marketplace every week and DARKFIRE’s technicians check out its viability and compatibility with modern cameras. The expectations of the TV viewing public have never been higher and the range of traditional and LED based fixtures has never been wider. A generation raised on  excellence in concert lighting wants the same look and texture in their favorite weekly TV show. Fortunately modern camera technology has allowed designers like Oscar to re-create the looks that were previously only possible in live concerts.

Lighting for television is a collaborative process; with the convergence of set, lighting and special effects, the business of design is becoming more specialized. DARKFIRE continues to take a leading role and with every show renews its mission to bring visual excitement to millions of television viewers. 



LD Profile: Oscar Dominguez

Six questions with Oscar Dominguez, venerable lighting designer with more than 20 years of experience and visionary behind Darkfire Lighting Design. Dominguez’ projects include many of TV’s top rated shows such as “The Voice,” “Lopez Tonight,” “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette,” “Wipeout,” “Shark Tank,” “America’s Next Top Model,” “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader,” “Fear Factor” and more.

1. How did you get started?
My father was a manager for a restaurant across the street from this little sound stage in Van Nuys, California, and he pleaded with them to take me in for a day, which they did. So, I started working and doing little things, like cleaning the stage and mopping the floors — I was 17. A day came when one of the electrics didn’t show up for the call at the studio.  I was told, “here’s a wrench, now go up the ladder and see what you can do.” I started working my way out, became the house gaffer and learned from the other lighting designers working there. I started very low.

2. What do you think is the next big thing in the industry?
We need to figure out how to come up with one mega diode, a magical diode that works more like a traditional light. For output, people mention the number of LEDs, but this means sacrificing the purity of the light. I think we should witness a different approach in the way LEDs are utilized in fixtures. A lot of lights are designed by engineers, but we should see engineers and LDs working together and create an LED that would perform flawlessly. The LED is useful for its velocity in color change, but needs to stop being a two-dimensional light and morph into a 3D LED, to emit a light the same way a conventional light does.

3. Do you have a favorite fixture (and why)?
My favorite light is probably the source four Leko. It is an incredibly flexible and versatile instrument. If I had to I could light an entire set with just that fixture. If we are talking about the CHAUVET® lights I use, the COLORdash™ Batten Tri lights proved to be an incredibly reliable fixture and a useful tool. I hate to love it, but I do.

4. What has been your favorite design/project?
“The Voice” — one hundred percent. It is my favorite and most intense project, at the same time. I love lighting for music and this has allowed me to really experiment. NBC has been extremely supportive and let us go deep. There are high expectations, there is a lot of stress and zero room for failure. Creativity is very important – every week you have to come up with new stuff.

5. What was the biggest unforeseen obstacle that you’ve faced in one of your designs, and how did you overcome it?
I remember I worked on this award show, and I forgot to draw the audience lighting. Somehow it happened, but I learned from it and from then on I knew I had to double check on every step.

6. Complete this thought: A show without light is like…
… radio.


LightQuest in the City of Angels

Written by Adina Arhire, communication specialist for CHAUVET®.

Yes, I am a woman. And I do love shoes — it’s embedded in our DNA. What do shoes have to do with lighting? A lot actually; in my case, at least. To give you a brief background, I started working for CHAUVET® as communications specialist about a year ago and knew nothing of lighting, but a lot about shoes. Since joining I have experienced trade shows, lots of training sessions—learning from the best in the industry who work here at CHAUVET®—and hours of researching the industry on my own. I have been a rather geeky person all my life, so learning has been a pleasant experience. I do know what pixel mapping is, how to address a video panel, the definition of a lumen and more.

Now this is what I call a successful combination: LEDs & shoes ...

Does all of the above give me the right to fancily talk about lighting? Definitely not. Does that give me the right to admire and hunt for them? Yes it does. Because I simply love lighting—in my own primitive way. (And so do you, if you are reading this.) Novices or experts, we all have the virus. In my case, I realized I was irreversibly  ‘infected’ when about six months ago I started looking for CHAUVET® lights in venues and at concerts more than I was screening for cute guys. Now I am fully contaminated and I love it. Those Manolo Blahniks might shine a couple of times on my feet, but lighting is forever, in my heart. [Awww, cheesy I know, remember I am still a woman?]

Disneyland Hotel lit by CHAUVET® lights ...

Now that I have hopefully convinced you of my good faith and valid reasons for writing this, you should read about my trip to Los Angeles. Which wasn’t just a trip. As I discovered, it was a true “LightQuest.” I have to confess I was lucky enough to be guided by someone with far more experience than I have in the industry. Just like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in their quest to revive chivalry in the 17th century, I had the guidance of our U.S. Business Development Manager for CHAUVET® Professional and ILUMINARC® John Dunn (Don Quixote), who walked me (Sancho Panza) through this “LightQuest.”

On my way to Stage 12 at Universal Studios ...

Our first stop blew me away. I had the opportunity to visit Stage 12 at Universal Studios, which houses the set of a major televised singing competition with franchises in more than 40 countries worldwide. Also, I had the honor to meet and to interview the lighting designer for this amazing show: Oscar Dominguez. I had read about Oscar’s involvement with this show in a very interesting interview done by PLSN magazine, but talking face-to-face was a totally different thing. The rig was overwhelming. I was surprised by its scale, not to mention the hundreds of CHAUVET® lights that are part of it. I found out after, movies like “Dracula” and “Frankenstein” were filmed in the same Stage 12 at Universal Studios.

Hard to miss this poster of "American Ninja Warrior" ...

While walking at Universal Studios a big poster promoting “American Ninja Warrior” sports entertainment competition immediately caught my attention. Why? Because 225 CHAUVET® lights were on that show, specified by Lighting Designer Ed Motts. The cherry on the cake was actually meeting Ed and having the opportunity to ask him details in person. Listening to him passionately talking about lights and latest industry news, I realized he is one of the many lighting designers who make lighting their lives, and not just a job.

DJ Roonie G performs one of his creative blends of audio and video ...

I had another pleasant surprise while checking out City Walk, also at Universal Studios. Known for his mixing of music and video, DJ Roonie G was performing on a stage equipped with 60-plus CHAUVET® lights, of which I spotted COLORado™ 3p IP and COLORado™ 1 IP lights.

I spotted more CHAUVET® fixtures lighting a store entrance at Disney BoardWalk, and washing the walls of the Disneyland Hotel. Lights from the CHAUVET® ILUMINARC® brand color the trees in front of the hotel, and more create colorful effects underwater, in a pool at the resort.

Lots of lights at N-Effect Productions ...

What really added to my timid knowledge of lighting and gave me a better perspective on the industry, were the various dealer visits. I was lucky to meet some of the wonderful people we work with who literally keep the lights on.

Impressed by the size of the warehouse at Kinetic Lighting, I touched color gels for the first time (after only reading about them). It was interesting to see how these are still in use, when LEDs give an array of color choices without the need of gels. Owner of Kinetic Lighting David Rosen had just organized an open house, and I could still spot CHAUVET® lights on the floor.

Color gels box at Kinetic Lighting ...

In San Diego, Brad Donaldson with Pro Systems Event Solutions told me about some great projects he had just worked on, using CHAUVET® fixtures: Sun God Festival 2012, Dayglow show, Steve Aoki performing at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, and more. At N-Effects Productions, Kris Plourde passionately showed me some of his spectacular designs for prom events. I remember the “Orangetopia” project at a high school night that we actually wrote about a little while ago. Kris put together a full production complete with DJ, video walls and a three-minute confetti drop.

Last but certainly not least, I had the pleasure of meeting the creative team at Blue Haze Entertainment. They were recently involved in a massive project at Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, where they specified hundreds of our lights. No books and online research can give the insight one would get just listening to these professionals discussing lighting.

I was under the impression I accumulated so much information during my year at CHAUVET®, but it took this trip to teach me that I had only touched on the tip of the iceberg. While I am not a big fan of cold weather or water, I am ready to dive in and go deeper. Who knows if this iceberg has a limit?

To seal the LightQuest, on my way to the airport John pointed out a Toyota dealership displaying a car lit by CHAUVET® lights. Perhaps not as glamorous as the television studio, but the message was clear: our lights are everywhere …