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Marquee Nightclub’s Immersive Experience Created with Elation Pixel Bar 40
USA - Marquee Nightclub is consistently one of the highest grossing nightclubs in Las Vegas and one of the hottest and most luxurious nightclubs around. Located in the heart of the Strip, Marquee underwent a major LED lighting system upgrade recently with LD Steve Lieberman, owner of SJ Lighting, using over 1,100 new Elation Pixel Bar 40 LED strip lights to create an amazing 360-degree immersive experience.
Marquee, located at The Cosmopolitan, is one of the most exclusive clubs you’ll find anywhere with high-end service, discreet VIP areas and exclusive lounges. Besides securing the best DJs from around the world, as well as other top name live entertainment, the club also hosts private events and parties. More than 60,000 square feet of space gives 3,500 guests plenty of space to mingle.
SJ Lighting received praise as theatrical lighting design consultants for the original design at Marquee when the club debuted in 2010 and were called on again to give the club a fresh makeover. “Any venue in an A market needs to update technologies to stay competitive because they play such a strong supporting role in creating the atmosphere,” Steve Lieberman states. “At Marquee, we wanted to create a new design that would carry them through the next several years, something that was low profile but has a couture element that wouldn’t get old.”
The focal point of the club is the main room with dance floor and DJ stage and it is here that the club’s all-night energy originates. Steve found an opportunity to do something special by replacing a series of large white fabric sails that were getting tattered and discolored after four years of collecting dirt and dust. “They covered large parts of the ceiling and we opted to pull those down and put in something more digital, something that would accentuate the architectural space,” he said.
The decision was made to install a ceiling of Pixel Bar 40s, one-meter-long pixel-controllable RGB LED strip lights that add a special layer of visual excitement to the space. The slim color-changing bars are laid out specifically in the space to highlight the soffits, recessed coffers, and beam lines and travel vertically up the wall inside the dance floor all the way to the outer walls of the room. Surrounding guests in a shower of colorful pixel-mapped effects, the fixture’s 850 Nits of brightness is plenty bright enough for Marquee. They also provide a dynamic backdrop for the room’s distinctive moving head pods. The Pixel Bar system is, according to Steve, “about as dynamic as it gets.”
Marquee is a good example of Lieberman's attention to detail and penchant for working with the architectural elements he is presented with, dressing and accentuating them to make them part of the environment and create the right atmosphere. Design-wise, laying out the system in a room that has a radial floor plan, trapezoidal-shaped dance floor, various levels, varying ceiling heights, multiple soffits and multi-sized coffers was, to say the least, a challenge.
“This was a very forensic, precise layout for 14 different zones,” he comments. “Fixtures had to be spaced out properly at the right angle and there were design details in the club that had to be taken into consideration. It was definitely advanced geometry. We spent a lot of time making sure that placement of the Pixel Bars was 100% accurate.”
Before the Pixel Bar install there was nothing energizing the outermost VIP areas of the club but now lighting effects extend to the far reaches of the room. “Before, there was nothing overhead that was animated and nothing that extended out to the furthest areas of the room,” Steve explains. “If you were sitting near the outer walls you might feel more like a spectator, just watching the dance floor. Now, because the new system penetrates the outer most levels, there is action going on there and guests there are more a part of the club. Everybody’s in. It adds more value to the VIP areas and more value to the club because it is more of an immersive experience for everyone.”
Despite the large number of fixtures used, the Pixel Bar system was easy to setup using RJ45 CAT5e ports and also easy to link together. Because the power supply and driver are enclosed in one it gave Steve the latitude to plug one box in and then daisy chain via Powercon, a simple wire schematic that made it easy for the electricians. It also allowed him to daisy chain Ethernet. Power and data control to the 1,100 Pixel Bar 40 units is regulated via 100 Pixel Net 4 drivers with Artnet protocol support. The Artnet input allows up to 4 DMX universes to be used as output to the bars and is Artnet data linkable via CAT5. The pixel mapping ceiling is controlled via a Madrix controller running 252 universes.
Steve is not the first to do a pixel mapping ceiling but certainly the Pixel Bar ceiling at Marquee is one of the most exceptional and unique. “It’s about how to take a concept, apply it and execute it,” Steve says. “There were so many levels involved in creating this successful system - a great electrical contractor, a low profile product with easy wiring and easily configurable software, combined with a clean and appropriate design. All these elements together made for a unique environment and a successful install.”
photos: ASK Media
13th November 2014
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