Gantom Torch

Gantom Torch

Valencia, California, January 9 – Gantom Live! (the division of Gantom Lighting & Controls that specializes in live entertainment) will be unveiling its ZTag game designed for retail outlets and haunted attraction owners at the Halloween Party & Expo from January 14-17 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans as well as the Haunted Attraction National Tradeshow and Conference (HAuNTcon) from January 26-30 at the Sheraton Music City Hotel and Conference Center in Nashville.

In ZTag, players wear infrared (IR) badges that interact not only with the environment but with each other. Players experience a real-life zombie infection outbreak using smart badges. The smart badges are programmed to allow players to engage in different challenges—they can try to infect each other or work together in teams to find a cure. The investment cost for ZTag is low, and the system acts as a profit center for an attraction through souvenir sales or as a ticketed experience. This iteration of the Torch Technology was released at the 2016 IAAPA convention in Orlando, but Gantom Live! now has a retail kit available for direct sale to consumers.

The retail version of ZTag allows for a Live Zombie Simulation Game anywhere, in player groups from 2 to hundreds. Badges are sold in two-packs and allow players to play ‘Zombie’ Tag using the smart badges right out of the box. This retail model paves the way for the next stage of Gantom Live!’s ZTag product development—players who buy the smart badges at retail stores can take those badges to attractions and play larger, themed and sanctioned games. The retail packaging design is by C2C Studio in Pasadena, California (



ZTag is based on Gantom Torch Technology, an infrared (IR) based communication system for themed entertainment use. IR beacons are placed throughout a venue to transmit live show data to guest wearable lights that interact with the environment, providing an interactive and immersive experience for each guest. When Torch modules come into range of a transmitter, they synchronize to show data as guests travel from one space to the next. Gantom Torch Technology was a recipient of the 2016 Thea Award for outstanding achievement in technology designed for a limited budget.

“Every single day we work to ‘Illuminate and Inspire’ the future of themed entertainment,” says Quan Gan, Founder and President of Gantom Lighting & Controls. “ZTag is the next stage of Gantom Torch Technology,” he explains.

Gantom, formerly Darklight, was founded in the Spring of 2010 as a manufacturer of special-effects lighting equipment catering to the themed attraction industry. The company specializes in illumination of low-light and space-constrained environments where traditional theatrical luminaries aren’t suitable. Its award-winning products are the “secret weapons” of many lighting designers and industry experts and have been installed around the world in a wide range of applications including theme parks, museums, bars and clubs, and haunted attractions venues.

For more information, contact Philip Hernandez at 575-639-0511 or

Gantom Brings Next Stage of Thea Award Recipient Torch Technology to IAAPA Attractions Expo

(Valencia, California) – Gantom Lighting & Controls is partnering with several IAAPA vendors in an interactive scavenger hunt that demonstrates the new Torch Technology versatility.

Gantom Torch

Gantom Torch

Torch Technology
Gantom’s Torch Technology (2016 Thea Award Recipient for Outstanding Achievement — Technology, Limited Budget) provides designers with a palate for light based magic. IR beacons placed throughout a venue transmit live show data to a localized area. Torch modules coming into range of the transmitter synchronize to the local show data. As guests travel from one space to the next, the receivers they carry synchronize with the show data in each space the instant they walk in.

The Next Stage of Torch Technology
“Every single day we work to ‘Illuminate and Inspire’ the future of themed entertainment,” explains Quan Gan Founder and President of Gantom Lighting & Controls.

“ZTag is the Next Stage of Torch Technology,” Quan explains further, “ZTag removes the barriers to Torch Technology usage and provides an off-the-shelf turnkey solution to add new interactivity to any environment or attraction- all while acting as an additional profit center!”



How ZTag Works
Guests wear IR badges that interact not only with the environment but each other. In one off-the-shelf version of ZTag, guests experience a real life zombie infection outbreak by searching for the virus cure while avoiding getting infected; players can infect each other and work together in teams to find the cure. In another off-the-shelf version, guests embark on a scavenger hunt and unlock additional experiences or prizes once they find all the checkpoints. The ZTag investment cost is low, and the system acts as a profit center for the attraction through souvenir sales.

The Scavenger Hunt
IAAPA Attractions Expo participants will test out the ZTag System through a scavenger hunt organized by Gantom and several other show vendors. Participants will begin at the Gantom’s booth (858) by checking out badges and then proceed to locate at least five checkpoints at other booths on the trade show floor. Once participants complete the scavenger hunt, their badges will turn white. White badges will automatically unlock prizes and experiences at the Gantom booth.

Participating Vendors
Techni-Lux – 2056, Oceaneering – 2286, Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) – 1366, Alcorn McBride Inc. – 869, Visual Terrain, Inc. – 1971, Rides 4 U – 5820, ETC – 571, InPark Magazine – 1764, Pale Night Productions – 1352, Veqtor – 1865

Business Relations Director
Philip Hernandez,

Philip Hernandez Joins Gantom Lighting & Controls as Business Relations Director

Dear Friends,

Gantom has experienced tremendous milestones over the past few years. As Gantom continues to grow, I am challenged everyday to adapt, to lead, and to foster a company culture reflective of my ideals. We’ve had great success in hiring talented individuals to meet our new challenges, and I’m proud of every Gantom employee; I’m proud of their resourcefulness, of their adaptability, and of their commitment to our culture. Today we are announcing the addition of a new team member: Philip Hernandez.

Philip joins Gantom as our Business Relations Director, and due to the myriad of opportunities our young company has, his role will be multi-faceted. Gantom’s Halloween and attractions endeavors will be shifted to Philip, allowing us to expand into other markets. Philip will also be spearheading the expansion of our Torch Technology, fostering new business partnerships, and maintaining the operation is his media outlet: The Haunted Attraction Network.

Philip’s role at Gantom will be instrumental in helping us form new partnerships with both our customers and vendors and help us become an integrated part of the themed entertainment community. His multi-faceted background will give us the creative edge we need in a rapidly changing market environment.

I created Gantom to help people and I believe we accomplish this for not only our customers but also for our employees. We support the passion of our staff and encourage them to develop their projects. Philip has grown The Haunted Attraction Network into one of the industry’s largest global media agencies (encompassing a print magazine, podcasts, and web properties) to help the industry achieve more. Gantom is honored to support and expand these efforts by bringing the Network in under the Gantom flag. Philip will continue to have full editorial control and to operate The Haunted Attraction Network and their many platforms utilizing his current staff. Our hearts and roots remain in the Haunted Attraction space and we will continue to contribute to it as an industry leader.

Thank you
Quan Gan
Gantom Lighting & Controls

Water World updates two classic raft rides with Gantom lighting fixtures

Lost River of the Pharaohs and Voyage to the Center of the Earth, both raft rides at Water World waterpark in Federal Heights, Colorado (near Denver) have thrilled guests year after year since the early 1990s. When the park decided to refresh these two popular attractions, a theatrical approach to lighting was part of the vision and Gantom products were part of the solution.

Water World

Lost River of the Pharaohs
Courtesy of Hyland Hills Water World

Located on 70 acres, Water World is one of the largest waterparks in the US. It’s been owned and operated by the Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District since 1979. Water World is considered the most successful municipal waterpark operation in the country and its guest experiences are characterized by a storytelling sensibility realized through theming and technology.

The idea for “Voyage” and “Pharoahs” began with Greg Mastriona, Water World’s Executive Director at that time. Inspired by classic storytelling rides at Disneyland and Universal Studios, and their level of detail, in 1990 Mastriona spearheaded construction of “Pharoahs,” followed by “Voyage” in 1993. These family-oriented raft rides use circular rafts that hold 3-4 people and float through a trough, sometimes rapidly and other times slowly. During the slower segments riders travel through highly themed environments.

Water World

Voyage to the Center of the Earth
Courtesy of Hyland Hills Water World

Waterparks traditionally have not put much emphasis on entertainment lighting, but are beginning to adopt ever more sophisticated tools and media as they reinvest to keep their properties fresh and competitive. “Water World has been a leader in bringing technology into the waterpark environment,” says Gantom president, Quan Gan. “It was a pleasure to work with an operator demonstrating so much creativity and passion for developing unique attractions and interested in trying new things.”

Lighting Efficiency Drives Refurbishment
The desire to upgrade the lighting was in fact the key impetus behind the upgrades, according to Hyland Hills Park District planner Terry Barnhart. “We were spending thousands of dollars every year maintaining stage lighting that wasn’t designed to be used in warm and extremely humid environments,” said Barnhart. “Additionally, we were seeking ways to take advantage of incentives from the local power company and reduce our energy consumption.”

Hyland District Engineer Harlan Bryant learned about Gantom at the IAAPA Attractions Expo and was drawn to the company’s signature small, compact LED fixtures. “We knew we wanted to switch to LED fixtures, and Gantom’s Precision Z Spotlight series fit the size and cost profile we had established,” Bryant said.

Precision Z

Precision Z Spotlight

The Precision Z series features a 1-watt LED lamp, and provides a 95% energy savings compared to a 20W halogen lamp. The fixture’s sealed aluminum chassis also serves as a rugged shell to protect the LED and core electronics in outdoor and underwater applications.

Water World wasn’t planning to submerge lights, but the underwater rating provided the assurance that the lamps would function in the water ride’s high humidity environment. “Additionally, the small fixture size allowed us to hide the lights behind scenery, rather than hang them from ceiling racks 16 feet above the ride,” said Bryant. This provided staff electricians much easier access to the lights and has reduced maintenance costs.

Simplicity in Control
For Water World’s needs, a sophisticated control system wasn’t necessary. “The electrical system for each ride is on a timer and each showpiece has its own small controller we sourced from the haunted attraction industry,” Bryant continued. “The system is reliable and easier to program than a home lawn sprinkler.”

Water World

Lost River of the Pharaohs
Courtesy of Hyland Hills Water World

For one important scene in “Pharoahs,” the park did opt to use a separate controller for the Gantom lights. Guests travel into a throne room guarded by an Egyptian Anubis. The original attraction had faux candles with yellow bulbs placed around the room. Mastriona had wanted to simulate the flicker of candlelight, but at that time, the precise effect was not within reach due to limits of budget and technology.

When it came time to refurbish the attraction, Gantom had a solution. Their Precision Z series lights, connected to Gantom’s DarkBox Flicker controller, use variable voltage to dim the fixtures to create a realistic candlelight glow and flicker.

“The DarkBox Flicker replaces the need for a DMX system,” explains Gan. “The control box is plugged in between the light fixtures and the power supply, saving money, and eliminating the need for extensive wiring.”

According to Water World’s Communications Director Joann Cortéz, many guests think the candles are real and try to extinguish them by splashing water on them. The robust lights, all rated for outdoor use, have stood up to the daily dousing.

A Continuing Partnership
Water World started refurbishing the two raft rides in 2011 and considers it a continuing “work in progress.”

The team started their collaboration with Gantom by replacing lighting on a lava tube effect in “Voyage.” They also installed a series of Gantom UV Precision Z Spotlights to illuminate the glowing ribcage of a dinosaur skeleton and mysterious eyeballs lurking in the back of caves.

“For ultraviolet (UV or ‘black light’) applications, our fixtures are extremely effective for spotlighting fluorescent and phosphorescent objects,” explains Gan. “Traditional UV tubes tend to flood a large area with light, illuminating objects that don’t need to be lit. Because our UV spotlights are small, they can pinpoint and make individual objects pop, giving greater contrast and a more dramatic effect.”

Water World

Lost River of the Pharaohs
Courtesy of Hyland Hills Water World

In addition to replacing existing light sources, Gantom supplied fixtures for new effects in the attractions, including mummies reaching out for guests lit with eerie blue-green lights, illuminating refurbished dinosaurs, and making treasure glitter.

“We like to make a few changes each year so our guests notice,” explained Cortéz. The refurbishment process has continued since 2011 and has included the work of other notable industry creative companies such as R & R Creative Amusement Design and Distortions Unlimited.

Recent honors for Water World include:
• Colorado Community Media honored Hyland Hills with its 2015 “Best of the Best” award and singled out Water World for its swimming pool, annual belly flop contest, funnel cakes and gift shop.
• The 2014 Turnstile Award, part of the annual Golden Ticket Awards from Amusement Today magazine. Voyage to the Center of the Earth and Lost River of the Pharoahs were recognized for the quality of the improvements as well as the modest price tag of $150,000, noting that “a huge capital investment isn’t always needed to move the turnstiles in record numbers.”

“We are honored to play a role in the refreshment of these classic waterpark attractions,” says Gan. “It’s the operators and designers who teach us the true possibilities of our product. We love seeing creative minds go to work using the Gantom product line to improve guest experience while streamlining performance and design.”

For more picture showing Gantom products at Water World click here

Lighting Designer Benjamin Cisterne turns to Gantom Lighting & Controls for refresh of Australian War Memorial exhibition

The renewed First World War Galleries of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra opened to the public in December 2014, with a new lighting design by Benjamin Cisterne that makes extensive use of customized LED lighting fixtures from Gantom Lighting & Controls (formerly Darklight: Precision Lighting System) to illuminate both the historic dioramas and the display cases.


Australian War Memorial
Design: Cunningham Martyn Design
Showcases: Designcraft
Lighting: Benjamin Cisterne Design
Photography: John Gollings

“Over the past years, demand for Gantom products, among museums and unique exhibits around the world, has steadily increased. This is due to the modularity and versatility of the lighting products we make,” said Gantom president Quan Gan. “It’s thrilling to see a gifted lighting designer such as Benjamin Cisterne apply his vision with our lighting products in this outstanding exhibition venue.”

“The Australian War Memorial (AWM) is one of the most visited places in the country,” said Cisterne, whose company Benjamin Cisterne Design was subcontracted to exhibition designer Cunningham Martyn Design (CMD). “The First World War Galleries had not had much done to them since the 1970s and were in need of a revamp.” Australia in the Great War, in the Galleries, is said to be one of the most significant First World War exhibitions in the world, drawing on the Memorial’s unique collection of First World War artifacts, technology, uniforms, medals, photographs, film, and personal items such as letters and diaries.

For the display cases, Cisterne sought an alternative to traditional tungsten lighting. He approached Barbizon Lighting to help him identify LED options that were compact, state-of-the-art, powerful, and could be mounted in a variety of ways. “After reviewing several manufacturers we elected to go with Gantom as they had a more complete and finished offering of products that were plug-and-play and had excellent optical properties,” said Paul Lewis, system sales, Barbizon Australia Pty Ltd.


Australian War Memorial
Design: Cunningham Martyn Design
Showcases: Designcraft
Lighting: Benjamin Cisterne Design
Photography: John Gollings

Lighting the dioramas called for fixtures that combined theatricality with durability. “My background is in theatre design and one of the things that people come to me for is to bring something of that to museums – not just to illuminate the objects but to employ a level of interpretation in the design,” said Cisterne. “I had used Gantom fixtures previously on some smaller projects and been impressed. They are well-built, which gives confidence to put them into a project that needs to exist for 20 years or more and at the same time the fixture is as flexible as that found in a theatre. The color-ability of the Gantom DMX range and the direct-ability of the Precision range just outdoes anything else on the market at that size and price mark.”

The new diorama lighting uses 120 Gantom DMX Dynamic White Flood and 120 Gantom DMX RGBW Flood fixtures. The display cases use over 1000 Gantom Precision Z Spot and Flood fixtures ranging from 3000K to 4000K with custom glass-top mounts designed to conceal the fixtures.

Roughly half the lighting fixtures on the project were manufactured by Gantom, and all of the Gantom units were installed by Cisterne’s team. ODG and BUILT were the main contractors for the electrical install. “Using DMX native fixtures made this a complete and versatile system, and made integration a breeze,” said Cisterne.

Compactness and versatility
Gantom’s Precision Z fixtures afforded Cisterne the flexibility he sought for the display cases. “They made it possible to give each displayed item an individual focus that best defines its shape, colors and place in the story,” he said. “The cases range in size as do the objects on display, and the types of material range from metal to paper to fabric prints and wooden artifact.” The compactness of the fixtures provided an additional benefit of saving space.

“The units reduced the overall size of cavities required above cases,” said Cisterne, “and the variance in beam angle was very useful for getting light into the right places inside the cases. The very narrow units are great for shooting a spot far down onto a small object or text at the base of a case and the wide floods are brilliant for washing a background. The units dim really well and the color temperature remains at low brightness. This is especially useful when lighting a paper object next to a metal one.”

For the beloved dioramas the selected Gantom fixtures supplied the range Cisterne required to meet the design challenge – to “give them a new vibrancy” and fulfill guest expectations. “The dioramas are well known and treasured by visitors internationally,” he said. “It was essential for me to get these right. The Gantom fixtures enabled us to focus and color a theatrical scene for each that has reference to place and time of day, and conveys the mood of the imagery. Two of the dioramas have digital backdrops that cycle through a timed sequence. The Gantom fixtures allowed us to create dynamic lighting effects for those scenes.”

Collaboration and innovation
To realize the lighting design vision required extensive collaboration between Cisterne and CMD, the Museum, Barbizon and the display case manufacturer, Designcraft. “Working with CMD for more than 10 years, we have developed a distinctive design style,” said Cisterne. “I was directed by their designers and asked to add additional ideas.” Part of Cisterne’s process is to fully learn the needs of the end user. “The team of technicians who will inherit the system – in this case, at the Australian War Memorial – will have an influence on my choices, as I find this to best aid the design for its long future.”

Said Cisterne, “I needed to mount the Precision Z fixtures above glass in a way that I used to do with older MR16 fixtures. I drew up a new mount for the Precision range, and Barbizon and Gantom had it prototyped and eventually built for the project. This is the kind of interaction we desire, as designers collaborating with suppliers and manufacturers.” The new custom glass top display case mount is now part of Gantom’s standard product line.


Australian War Memorial
Design: Cunningham Martyn Design
Showcases: Designcraft
Lighting: Benjamin Cisterne Design
Photography: John Gollings

Barbizon developed and manufactured locally a cowling for the new mount, as well as a rail clip for mounting the fixtures to a rail system. These collaborations resulted in specifications and prototypes for custom plug-and-play cabling and mounting accessories that were then manufactured by Gantom. “We turned the Gantom range of fixtures into a full-fledged museum and gallery lighting system,” said Lewis.

“It was an honor to be a part of this amazing project and to work with designers and system integrators who understand the technology and were able to give us a well-defined set of requirements,” said Gan. “What drives us at Gantom is seeing our products and efforts enabling the creative genius of designers and being a part of the magic they create.”

About Gantom
Gantom Lighting & Controls, formerly Darklight Precision Lighting System, is a California-based manufacturer of compact lighting fixtures and control equipment. Specializing in low-light and space constrained environments, Gantom’s products are used where traditional lighting equipment are not suitable.
The new company name, Gantom, combines the last name of president and co-founder Quan Gan with the word “phantom,” retaining the essence of the company’s origins in the haunted attractions business. “Seeing that we are now being pulled towards multiple industries, we thought it was best to rebrand the company to encompass a wider scope that will allow us to grow,” said Gan. Gantom is a member of PLASA, USITT, TEA, IAAPA and HAA. Visit

For more picture showing Gantom products at AWM click here