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Life at SLS Latest Vegas Nightclub Install Featuring Elation Lighting Package

Life at SLS Latest Vegas Nightclub Install Featuring Elation Lighting Package
Life at SLS Latest Vegas Nightclub Install Featuring Elation Lighting Package

Life Nightclub at the SLS Hotel and Casino on the north end of the Strip is Las Vegas's newest chic night spot and the latest nightclub to feature an Elation lighting package following this year’s opening of Drai’s Beach Club & Nightclub and the lighting upgrade at Marquee Nightclub.

SLS opened in August as the Strip’s first major hotel-casino unveiling in four years. Located on the site of the legendary Rat-Pack era Sahara Hotel, Life is a multi-tiered club with a stadium style theatre design and 60-foot-high ceiling. There is a good reason for that as the club occupies what used to be the Sahara Theater and retains some of its original structure. Transformation from the legendary Sahara means the space includes special features like a catwalk system and theatrical rigging points for aerialists to perform.

Steve Lieberman and SJ Lighting have again delivered a first-class lighting design using Elation lighting that brings both excitement and something out of the ordinary to the multi-level venue. Highlighting the venue’s chic interior and host of DJ talent, in true SJ Lighting style, every aspect has been carefully thought out, which gives the large room the energy and intimacy of a smaller nightclub.

The room, which holds 1,800 people with 70 VIP tables positioned around the dance floor, features an open layout that allows guests to free flow through the space on three different levels without having to backtrack. Centric to the 20,000-square-foot nightclub is the all-important DJ booth. “In this room, design-wise we did something a little more aggressive,” Steve explains. “Because the DJ is such a focal point of the room and it’s such a wide perspective what we wanted to do is create a wide video image. In many clubs, because the main lighting comes from overhead you often miss that overwhelming lighting experience. I wanted to change that dynamic a bit and give people more of a frontal assault visual experience.”

Whereas the trend has been ‘the higher the resolution the better’ here Steve hit the brakes and put in a 20mm pixel pitch screen, which, he says, wasn’t a function of budget but a function of design. Behind the 40ft wide LED screen, which is positioned above the DJ booth, Steve has taken advantage of its mesh feature by putting in a “wall of destruction,” three 40ft trusses packed with wash lights, beams, LED blinders, and strobe lights including Elation Platinum Beam 5Rs, Rayzor Q12 Zoom wash lights, Event Bars, Cuepix Strip WW blinders and Protron LED Strobes. The video wall can fly out exposing the complete rig for full-on, impactful lighting looks. “The fixtures are straight in your face albeit with care,” Steve says. “It not only gives more levels of depth and perspective but the club-goer gets the effect of the lights so much more this way. It’s a bit like when manufacturers demo a fixture. They don’t put it high up in a rig; it’s right in front of you, right in your face. We took that same philosophy with the club.”

That energetic frontal assault comes from Platinum Beam 5R ACL-type beam effects with narrow 2.5 degree beam, colourful wash, beam and eye-candy effects from Rayzor Q12 Zoom fixtures, and warm white blinder effects from Cuepix Strip WW fixtures with an in-your-face punch from high-power Protron LED Strobes. From there the lighting system climbs out in perspective over the audience with more Elation fixtures working from trusses that get proportionally larger as they extend out over the space, sort of Hollywood Bowl style. Steve has also incorporated 60 Elation Event Bars, four-head LED white light pinspots that when all on can instantly fill the room with 240 stunning beams!

The Rat Pack history of the club is a story from another era and although Steve says it didn’t really have an influence on his design, the space still has an unmistakable aura. “When you’re offered the privilege of working in a hotel like the Sahara, which is a classic Las Vegas environment with so much history, it’s a privilege and honour and we were flattered to be a part of the project,” Steve concludes. “We tried to go above and beyond to deliver more for the client and really hit it out of the park. Some jobs just have something a bit more magical than others and this is one of those places.”


20th November 2014

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