SGM’s versatile and compact LD-5 light domes are increasingly finding favour in some of the UK’s key late night entertainment venues.
Having been plunged into paper lanterns for Wonderland in Maidstone, and featured in a giant immersive display at Sanctuary in Glasgow, they are now being put to equally innovative use by two installation specialists, Andy Pound, Operations Director of Technical Arts Ltd, as part of Luminar Leisure’s Oceana nightclub conversions into Pryzm, and by Sound Power Director David Ridout as a standard fit in the large Australian outback themed Walkabout Inns.
These LED domes, with an outer diameter of just 80mm, can be used in any orientation, with a maximum number of 35 domes in a single chain. They can also be custom designed to fit any housing, and are controlled via three-channel DMX.
The Pryzm installation
An example of their adaptability was shown by Pound in Bristol where Oceana has metamorphosed into Pryzm. He helped transform the old R&B room into the stylised Velocity — as part of an interior concept realised by Glyn Dyer Design.
“The room has its own distinct feel — gold, black, blingy and luxurious,” says Pound. “The club wanted to enhance that effect and the low level LD-5 crystal ceiling does just that; the pixels are individually addressable with scrolls and patterns to give a sophisticated lighting effect — it’s both subtle and classy and is highly effective.”
Earmarking around 100 LD-5s, Andy Pound explained, “We removed the dome itself to create a point source and placed it inside a box, with the ‘crystal’ in another. In actual fact we have used a diamond shaped glass paperweight bonded onto a square of glass, with very close tolerances. You not only get the twinkle off the crystal but when smoke is added you almost get a pinspot type beam on the floor such is the strength. It’s an easy install and as plug and play as it gets.”
The effects are programmed to deliver random patterns via the existing lighting controller.
The LD-5’s have now been earmarked for future Pryzms in Leeds and Brighton, where they will flex their muscles even further — pixel-mapped to handle scrolls under the command of a ShowCAD Artist, which will also be retrofitted into Pryzm Kingston.
The Walkabout installation
Operated by Intertain since 2009, Walkabout Inns are also using LD-5s — this time as a chameleon fixture.
David Ridout has now specified large quantities of the LD-5s in a number of venues over the past six months — beginning at the refurbished Walkabout in Carlisle, used by day as a soft pink and white wipe and 3D pixel mapped during night time trading to create an entirely different ambience.
Sound Power has also provided similar solutions at Walkabout Birmingham — followed by a larger deployment in the refurbished Blackpool site. They then carried out further installations in Lincoln, Temple and Nottingham.
The Sound Power director explains, “[Walkabout] wanted to replace the old halogen downlighter because of the prohibitive running and maintenance costs. They wanted a fitting that could act as ambient light during the day, transforming into a night time vibe via a series of light rafts. These we populate with the LD-5s.”
He adds that the LD-5’s have the additional benefit of introducing an aesthetic dimension. “The original Walkabout concept was for a themed rustic outback environment under a corrugated iron roof painted red, with a lot of tray work overhead. But this became dated over time and the client wanted to soften the environment right down. It’s about moving the concept along.”
The lightshows themselves are driven from a ShowCAD Artist, with ELO touch screen and DMX expanders, programmed by Greg McLenahan. These are then driven by Madrix, programmed by Dan Kirby, to create pixel mapping, scripting, sound to light and text effects. There are three separate settings on the master ShowCAD controller for different trading times. Once the DJ has left, the ShowCAD clock will reset the system for the following day and recall the Madrix states which run on a separate PC.
“It’s a highly dynamic and versatile solution and Intertain are very happy with it,” summarises David Ridout.