One of the newer venues in Las Vegas, the Palms Hotel and Casino has established itself as a hip hangout for the younger crowd. (Lighting Dimensions covered the Palms' clubs, Skin and Rain in the Desert, in the November 2002 issue). But because you can never rest easy in Las Vegas, the owners decided to give the Palms a spiffy new look this spring: the solution was a colorful approach to exterior lighting using equipment from Martin Professional.

Before the redo, “they had Sterner floodlights on the exterior, but wanted to do something more interesting,” says Joe Zamore, who with Carl Wake, provided technical sales support on the project. Zamore adds that he helped arrange a shootout, featuring exterior lighting units from Martin and two other companies, for everyone involved in the project. At the end of the competition, he says, Martin was selected “as the fixture that provided the best, brightest, and most even color illumination to the property.” Martin Exterior 600 and Exterior 600 Compact units were chosen for the task. The units were deployed in different versions: “We used four different lenses for the jobs,” says Wake. “We have some Exterior 600s with PC lenses to give us an 11Þ beam angle, plus standard Exterior 600s with our narrow lens that's configured at 20Þ, and compacts with 38Þ and 65Þ lenses,” Zamore continues. “We had to place the fixtures based on where the stanchions and power wiring for the Sterner fixtures had been. So we had to use a variety of lenses to get overlaps from the top to bottom of the building, and to maintain a uniform brightness.” In fact, Wake adds, “We were surprised at the performance of the fixtures, that we could use these lensing options and reach the height that we could — we're talking 350' in the air — using a 575W source, and getting the coverage and intensity that we got.”

Like virtually everything in Vegas, the project moved on a very fast track. “We got the purchase order at the end of December,” says Wake, adding, “from the time we received the order, to getting it up and running, was about 20 days.” The fixtures were assembled at Martin's new Happy Factory in Fredrikshavn, Denmark (see Lighting Dimensions' Global Edition, May 2003) and were shipped directly to Vegas. “That's one of the benefits of the new factory's setup,” notes Wake. “If all the components are there, they can turn the units out in a week.”

In addition to facilitating the sale, the Martin team, working with its dealer, Kelley Communications, laid out plans for a data distribution network; Kelley supervised the electrical contractor onsite as Martin staff worked around the clock to ensure the ontime delivery of the units. Interestingly, both Zamore and Wake note that the desert environment is relatively kind to exterior lighting. Wake says that most such problems “are related to climates in the upper Northeast or Northwest, with extremes of heat and cold and condensation on a daily basis. The only thing we've seen in Vegas is the accumulation of dust and dirt on the unit's lenses, because they're focused upwards. But that's a matter of somebody washing them off.”

The units are controlled by a Martin Lightjockey system, which allows for regular changes to the color scheme. For Valentine's Day, the building was bathed in pinks and reds, for example; the accompanying photo shows a red, white, and blue look, which went up as the war in Iraq began. Adam Wuertz, the hotel's onsite programmer, is in charge of making changes to the exterior wash. Also involved in the project were Tim Brennan and Doug Brown from the Martin Las Vegas office.

The result is, says Zamore, “the first full color-changing building in Vegas.” Knowing the competitive nature of the city's hoteliers, it won't be the last.