Brightline Lights White House Crisis CenterJanuary 12, 2007
T-Series Chosen for Situation Room–World’s Most Critical Videoconferencing
BRIDGEVILLE, PA–In a testimony to the superior performance, reliability, and technical sophistication of its products, Brightline has been selected to provide the videoconference lighting for what the BBC News has called “the most important information hub in the United States.” Over the last several months, the first complete overhaul in more than 40 years has been carried out in the Situation Room–the storied “nerve center” beneath the main floor of the White House that has been the setting for many of the most momentous and tension-filled events in recent American history.
President Bush speaks at the inauguration of the renovated White House Situation Room, which underwent its first major overhaul since it was created during the Kennedy administration. Lighting in the revamped room features Brightline directional T-Series fixtures.
Operated by the National Security Council for use by the President and his advisors–including Homeland Security officials and the White House chief of staff–the Situation Room is actually a suite of rooms employed for crisis and intelligence management, secure communication with outside parties, and the maintenance of command and control of U.S. forces around the world.
In this photo taken January 4, 2007, President Bush and Vice President Cheney are shown in the newly renovated Situation Room participating in a secure videoconference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Brightline motorized T-Series fixtures provide the VC lighting in the room.
Frequently depicted in popular culture (“The West Wing,” “24,” etc.) as the ultimate nexus of futuristic covert-communications technology, the Situation Room was in fact desperately in need of an ultimate makeover. Despite piecemeal renovations through the years, the 5000-sq-ft center, created in 1962 in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis, still featured picture-tube-based monitors, pedestrian fax machines, and antiquated computer and phone systems. In the videoconference realm, sessions were all-too-often interrupted by blackouts and other intermittent failures. This state of affairs was, it seems, particularly galling to President Bush, who is known to place a premium on direct, face-to-face communication with government officials and foreign leaders. When the inadequacies of the existing rooms became painfully evident following 9/11 and the Katrina disaster, the president mandated a total gutting and rebuilding of the entire Situation Room complex.
The Situation Room is in the process of undergoing its first major overhaul since it was created during the Kennedy administration. Lighting in the new room features Brightline directional T-Series fixtures.
To deliver a lighting system that would provide the required performance for what is arguably the world’s most critical VC application, White House personnel in charge of the remodeling selected a mix of Brightline’s motorized T-Series and Mini T-Series videoconference fixtures. Developed to offer energy-efficient, broadcast-quality lighting in a format designed for installation in any type of ceiling, the T-Series’ patented articulation capability makes them the only fixtures that can be precisely rotated into a desired directional position during conferencing and then returned flush to the ceiling between sessions for general room lighting. In conjunction with various Brightline control accessories, this enables users to fine tune a look by placing light exactly where needed and nowhere else, which helps to maximize the readability of the Situation Room’s array of new plasma flat-screen televisions (including a direct video feed to Air Force One). The fixtures are also equipped with digital dimming operated via a DALI push-button control station, allowing for modulation of intensity levels in response to the requirements of individual conference participants. Specialized advanced-phosphor lamps, optimized for high-definition video imaging, ensure consistent light quality and color balance in the round-the-clock facility for up to 10,000 hours.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair joins President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Rice, and other officials for a secure videoconference in the newly remodeled Situation Room. Brightline motorized T-Series fixtures provide the VC lighting in the room.
The initial portion of the new complex, which includes the main conference room and a “surge room” for quick meetings of senior security officials, opened for use on December 27, with further renovations to continue into the spring of 2007. According to Joe Hagin, deputy White House chief of staff, the overhaul has transformed a dangerously outmoded security resource into what will be “a real gem for the future.” As part of the effort to render the country, and the world, safer through clarity of communication, Brightline is proud to supply some of the sparkle to this refurbished national jewel.
To watch a video tour of the new Situation Room narrated by Joe Hagin, please go to
http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/life/video/index.html and then select “Situation Room Renovation”
from the video menu on the right.
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