Clubbing enlivened with creative LED lighting
The newly redesigned Fire is the latest hit of the London night scene. One section of the club, dubbed the 'Light Box,' truly re-invents the way London-area clubs are exploring uses of light, and Color Kinetics' LED lighting solutions play a starring role.
The Light Box is the fourth addition to the nightclub and features an all-encompassing low-resolution video display. Inspired by a Justin Timberlake video, lighting designers Yann Guenancia and Gordon Haslett of Halo Lighting completely lined the arched ceiling and walls with Color Kinetics' iColor® Flex SL — an LED-based strand of light that comprises 50 individually controllable RGB nodes. As a result, an expansive pixelated video screen wraps around the entire room, enveloping club goers with video and light shows that mimic the pulsating beats found in Timberlake's videos. iColor Flex SL met all the needs of the lighting designers. Its flexible form factor allows the strands to be installed virtually anywhere in the room; contouring around the archways and twisted around corners.
When Fire owner Craig Elder approached Halo Lighting for the job, he gave them a hard mission. He wanted the entire project — from planning through installation — to be completed in two short months, premiering on New Year’s Eve 2006. Although some projects are plagued with problems, this one was "blessed" said Guenancia, as all components and design solutions seem to appear at the right time as the project powered on. The first task at hand was to determine the spacing of the LED nodes. Halo Lighting wanted to be conscientious of the budget, but the nodes had to be spaced in increments small enough to produce decent resolution. The designers determined that they needed 48 prefabricated panels, each lined with iColor Flex SL strings that were sandwiched between two plywood sheets. The LED nodes are spaced 100 mm (4 inches) apart, which provided the pixel resolution that the design team envisioned.
Over 50,000 holes were drilled to accommodate the total of 12,672 LED nodes and corresponding wiring. When complete, the panels were lifted into place and each string was connected back to the drivers based in the control room, using an 18-way multi-core cable. Color Kinetics' Video System Manager converts video signals from a media server and streams the content to the LED nodes — essentially reproducing the video-based imagery against the grid of lights.
Beyond the Light Box, Color Kinetics fixtures are found throughout the club. Next door to the Light Box, the 'Light Corridor' features a similar but smaller version of its neighbor's lighting display, where nine iColor Flex SLX strands with translucent domes create a pulsing effect down the length of the passageway.