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Nightclub Lighting Design for Club Rio
Club Rio Lighting


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 Light Jockey

 
Designing the Premeire Nightclub Lighting System in Greensboro NC
 

Inverted Truss Power: The Ultimate Weapon
Designing the Lighting System for Club Rio
Visual Dialogue by Jack Kelly | Photography by Jack Kelly
July 2010 | Club Rio | Greensboro NC

Nightclub Lighting Design for Club RioNightclub Lighting Design for Club RioNightclub Lighting Design for Club Rio

Truss & Lighting Equipment
4 Elation Design Spot 250 Pro
4 Elation Design Spot 575 Basic
8 Chauvet COLORdash Par
3 Chauvet COLORdash Accent
3 Elation Proton Star (B Stock)
4 Chauvet Double Derby X
12 Ilumipod 18 IP Optic RGB

Truss & Lighting Equipment
11 OptiKinetics 12" Box Truss
11 OptiKinetics 14" Base Plate
Antari HZ-400
72 Color Kinetics iColorcove
4 Color Kinetics PDS-150e
1 Martin Light Jockey
1 Dell Computer with Dual Monitor

Nightclub Lighting Design for Club RioNightclub Lighting Design for Club Rio

I have been waiting for a tall ceiling for a long time. The raw material of a space dictates the possibilities and getting into a new type of space opens many doors. For our second project, Andre Martinez wanted a multipurpose nightclub & live music venue with a Latin lean. Design wise he wanted to use the gear from the club, we had previously designed together. The room is twenty feet tall, fifty feet wide, 240 feet long. Divided by center bar, the rock stage on one end of the room faces a full working kitchen at the other. I had the gear list, now I needed to make it work in the existing space without any lighting additions.

When attaching fixtures to the ceiling, the fixtures can only cover half of a sphere. If the lights can only point down to be effective; scanners are faster, cheaper, and easy. However, the look has been over used and it is boring. When I use movers I like split the difference between the average height of the crowd and the ceiling. This allows the programmer to use the full potential of the fixture. It also allows for longer beam throws with more movement possibilities. Young designers sometimes forget to consider the audience. Young programmers spend a lot of time programming the floor. Unfortunately the programming is worthless once the space is packed. No one can see the beautiful geometric patterns tracing and bouncing underneath their feet. The shortest possible beam effect is usually from the light to the tops of the guest heads, assuring the least impactful light show. Lighting the crowd is pointless unless a balcony is present. Seldom can the crowd see more than three people deep. The most effective light show may fall into the crowd but spends the majority of the time above the audiences head shooting across the room.

Nightclub Lighting Design for Club RioNightclub Lighting Design for Club RioNightclub Lighting Design for Club Rio
For many reasons, clubs use horizontal trussing. The primary reason is it is easier to install. Giant circles, truss squares, or even long truss lines typically cross many load rated iBeams and structurally sound rigging points. As long as the distance between two points doesn’t exceed the weight load on the truss, nothing else needs to happen. We didn’t want to mask the ceiling height so we decided to explore vertical options. Instead of creating a second level with long horizontal lines cutting the room in half, we wanted to push the light fixtures into the room and emphasize the ceiling height. We installed 11 vertical trusses on the ceiling attaching lighting to the bottom of each truss. We fastened the truss directly to the iBeams which just happen to break the distance between the stage and the bar with 4 iBeams 20’ apart. We had to use creative rigging to get around a couple pipes but nothing unistrut couldn’t solve. The video screens pushed the first two truss towers uncomfortably close together so we decided to have the truss distances widen as they approached the stage. To further emphasize the effect, Color changing LEDs are placed on top of the movers to light up the truss. By lighting the truss from the side of the viewer, we are putting the majority of the light in view. If we placed the LEDs on the ceiling the majority of the light would be on top of the truss which is not visible by the guest on the floor. Plus the brightness of the direct light from the fixture would distract from the indirect light reflecting off the truss. The dynamic visual experience of the truss lighting and the expanding truss positions create a natural flow to the space, bringing the guest eyes naturally to the stage/entertainment area as well as back to the bar.

If Movers and LED washes are the meat and potatoes of the entertainment industry, Gak lights and strobes are the candy. A gak light is fixture that projects multiple beams of light that rotate in a twisting style or create geometric patterns. The new family of LED gak lights has added another dimension to the modern club market. LED gak lights have hundreds of beam effects in multicolor, DMX controllable, and very little power draw. The Vue III is an on/off fixture with a maximum output of 469 beams per fixture. The Double Derby’s are a classic motion effects that swing beams around the room. Between the two types of fixtures, unique looks can be created complementing the existing system. Filling the room with over a thousand little beams creates a power packed vision. Although a regular diet of candy will kill you, a well planned desert can bring great satisfaction. Soloing gak lighting during strategic black outs can create a mouth dropping visual experience. They can also help continue a dramatic music build, creating greater visual dynamics.
Nightclub Lighting Design for Club RioNightclub Lighting Design for Club Rio

The bar is massive forty feet long and twenty feet wide. The lights from the previous bar had lighting on every tier of the shelf creating a detailed bottle light show. However the bar was 9’ x 3’, significantly smaller. To get the effect we needed we painted everything inside the bottle display white. White is the greatest reflector of color maximizing the lumen output of our LEDs. White Plexiglas lined the vertical walls for a vibrant dance of light. Clear Plexiglas was used for the horizontal shelves to pass the maximum amount of light through to the bottles. We left the inside of the bottle display open to minimize shadowing. Placing a fixture directly under the back of the top shelf focused 45 degrees up and 12” behind the top shelf 45 degrees down, the wash brushed every tier with an even coverage. Seventy-two fixtures gave us the impact we needed.

Utilizing new technology, the venue realizes technological relevance. By creating light reflecting bottle displays, the design demonstrates integration awareness. Using vertical truss lines, the great size of the space overwhelms the guest perception. Keeping the fixtures in the middle of the open space, the light jockey acquires greater programming potential. Club Rio effectively uses its resources for the highest possible lighting impact.

Nightclub Lighting Design for Club RioNightclub Lighting Design for Club Rio
Nightclub Lighting Design for Club RioNightclub Lighting Design for Club Rio
Nightclub Lighting Design for Club RioNightclub Lighting Design for Club Rio
Nightclub Lighting Design for Club RioNightclub Lighting Design for Club Rio
Nightclub Lighting Design for Club RioNightclub Lighting Design for Club RioNightclub Lighting Design for Club Rio
Nightclub Lighting Design for Club RioNightclub Lighting Design for Club Rio