The Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace

    Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

    Photo credit: Nick Mays

    From dawn to twilight at an indoor mall

    Since its inauguration in 1965, Caesar's Palace luxury hotel and casino has enjoyed a reputation as one of the leading destination resorts in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The site is an architectural marvel, with nearly 4,000 opulent guest rooms and 15,442 m2 (166,000 sq ft) of gaming space featuring lavish Roman interior architecture designed in part by entrepreneur Jay Sarno.

    One of the most popular on-site attractions at Caesar's Palace is the Forum Shops, a luxury shopping mall offering roughly 160 stores showcasing some of the world's most renowned fashion designers. Dubbed "The Shopping Wonder of the World," this tourist destination features striking architectural details designed to evoke the magnificence and grandeur of a marketplace at the height of the Roman Empire. Visitors entering through the hall's grand archway are greeted by rows of marble columns, elegant fountains, and storefronts crowned with statues of Roman philosophers and military heroes.

    The mall's centerpiece, however, is a soaring, barrel-vaulted ceiling of sheetrock and plaster painted with a faux sky finish, tying together the facility's "street market" atmosphere. Per the mall's original design, the ceiling's painted clouds and blue sky brighten throughout the day and dim to a soft glow in the evenings, simulating the time of day. This popular effect was originally made possible by high-wattage incandescent fixtures controlled by hundreds of dimmers. Building management later replaced these fixtures with blue, amber, and white fluorescent lamps, which increased energy efficiency and allowed for simple color transitions, but lacked light intensity and quality.

    In 2012, Jon Harms, technical director for the Forum Shops, launched an initiative to upgrade the ceiling lighting to a system that could surpass the original quality of light, increase light intensity and energy efficiency, and expand the range of lighting effects available. Senior project manager Jim Holladay at Production Resource Group (PRG) specified ColorReach Powercore floodlights (now specified with ReachElite) and ColorBlast Powercore high-performance wash lights for this application. With their superior light output and quality, dynamic display capabilities, and energy efficiency, these intelligent full-color LED luminaires easily met the project's ambitious design specifications.

    The mall's floor plan consists of a central plaza and three halls of stores extending from it like spokes. Each area features the mall's signature barrel-vaulted sky ceiling. To light the hall ceilings, an installation team mounted Reach Powercore fixtures on strut stands spaced approximately 3.7 m (12 ft) apart on top of the store façades, angling them to uplight the sky finish with an even wash of color. ColorBlast Powercore luminaires mounted at the corners of each hall provide additional wash lighting.

    The central plaza's domed ceiling is lit by Reach Powercore luminaires installed both on store façades and on the Fountain of the Gods in the plaza's center. In total, 215 Reach Powercore luminaires and 46 ColorBlast Powercore luminaires were installed.

    The installation is controlled by a Pharos LPC lighting controller which supports individual fixture control and time-based displays. Thanks to the broad color palette offered by the Color Kinetics luminaires, the mall's sky transitions from dark blue to pink to amber in the morning, while evening shoppers are treated to a fiery red sunset.

    Harms commented on the retrofit's success. "As a person who has been involved with the property for over 15 years, a major focus has always been to present to the audience a themed environment that not only entertains but adds to the destination factor of The Forum Shops. The Color Kinetics fixtures have proven to be the answer to that goal, providing energy conservation in addition to bringing the wow factor back to the lighting element."
    Project credits

    System/Lighting Design:

    Jim Holladay, Senior Project Manager, Production Resource Group (PRG)

    Lighting Design:

    Barbara Brennan, Western Regional Sales Manager, PRG, and John Cumiskey

    Concept and Lighting Design

    Jon Harms, Technical Director, The Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace


    Assistant Lighting Design:

    Kyle Rees, Site Manager, PRG

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