Macau, China—Rising 154 meters high on a prime waterfront property, the five-star MGM Macau is architecturally striking but it's the domed courtyard at its heart, the Grande Praca, that sets it drastically apart from other world-class luxury resorts. Lit by nearly 100 ILUMINARC® wash lights and covered by a dramatic glass dome, the 1,088-square-meter court has a distinctive Old World feel, inspired by Portugal's Central train station in Lisbon. MGM calls it the “soul” of the resort.
Matt Levesque, lighting designer and founder of First Circle Design, LLC, in Newport, Calif., was recently tasked to improve the power efficiency, practicality and aesthetics of the lighting system. “The ownership posed the challenge of a design using only the power already available, with enough remainder for an added theatrical lighting system during special events,” Levesque said. “All luminaire locations had to be within reach of the facility's boom lift and the quantity of lighting positions was limited.”
Levesque selected 95 color-changing Ilumipanel 180 IP wash lights to downlight and sidelight the plaza's manicured landscape, pathways and the building facades surrounding it. The lights are mounted on the existing skylight structure via a quick-release clamping system. The casings were painted to match the color of the architectural truss structure. This addressed “the stylistic challenge” of “providing a cohesive overall design with distinct visual identities,” Levesque said. The lights are discreet enough to allow for an uninterrupted skylight vista with minimum visual contrast during the day.
Another challenge was to secure “a lighting control system with the flexibility necessary for large live performances and festival events,” Levesque said. He used the Ilumicode Addresser from ILUMINARC® to set DMX addresses, calibrations levels for color corrections and fixture personalities. Levesque programmed the lights with Pharos Architectural Control software. Powerful and bright, the Ilumipanel lights are dimmed down to work at 25-30% intensity. Ilumipanel 180 IP is both an interior and exterior wash light solution, featuring full spectrum color mixing and integrated wireless DMX512 receivers. “These luminaires have incredible output,” Levesque said. “They give an outstanding color.” For safe exterior use, Ilumipanel 180 IP has an ingress protection of 67, a humidity-controlling GORE® valve and is built with 316 stainless steel screws to protect against corrosive environments.