ETC & GDS Sign Americas Partnership (Electronic Theatre Controls) has signed a licensing and manufacturing agreement with U.K.-based company GDS (Global Design Solutions). Under the agreement, ETC will manufacture the GDS ArcSystem and BluesSystem product lines for distribution in North and South America. GDS will continue to manufacture and distribute ArcSystem and BluesSystem for other worldwide markets from the company’s Bristol, U.K., headquarters.

“We are so happy to have ETC handling these products in the American markets,” says GDS Managing Director Matt Lloyd. “Their ability to manufacture and stock the products locally and provide the level of service needed is a perfect match for GDS.”

ArcSystem is a range of overhead dimmable LED products designed specifically for auditoriums, commercial and retail spaces. Most recently, the GDS ArcLamp won 2014 PLASA Awards for Innovation and Sustainability at this year’s show, marking the second time that a single product has won both awards; the first time was in 2011 when the ArcSystem was awarded both simultaneously. ArcLamp is a series of screw-based LED lamps designed to be a direct replacement for their incandescent predecessors.

System installations are fully retrofittable and offer customers a 70-90% reduction in energy consumption while typically paying for themselves within two to five years. ArcSystem products can use either a wired-DMX connection or the groundbreaking wireless ArcMesh network developed exclusively by GDS. “Since auditorium lighting is often used all day long, customers will see a fast payback on their LED renovation. Our ability to wirelessly control many fixtures can also vastly reduce installation costs,” says Lloyd.

BluesSystem is a system of dimmable LED blue running lights that were designed for placement in catwalks, stairways, backstage hallways and tight spaces that require discrete illumination during live productions. The BluesSystem allows designers to plan for and seamlessly integrate blue running lights into the overall design of theatrical and studio spaces.

Additionally, ETC has announced that Chris Patton has joined the ETC team as a Product Specialist. Chris has over 15 years of experience in the entertainment technology industry, including 12 years working for a UK-based ETC dealer. For the last three years, Chris has been working with GDS both at the UK factory and throughout North America.

“We are thrilled to be working with GDS,” explains ETC Vice President of Marketing David Lincecum. “Due to ETC’s excellence in manufacturing, combined with an extensive sales and service network, we will be able to deliver these unique products to more customers and support them for years to come.”

For any technical or product-related questions regarding GDS, contact Chris Patton at (212) 397-8080 or via email at

For more information, go to

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Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician, Canadian Music Trade, Professional Sound, and Professional Lighting & Production magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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