Surf's up


When Ron Jon Surf Shop of Cocoa Beach, FL, needed a unique lighting design, it hired independent contractor Carl Cooke (teamed with audio designer Phil Renghia) to install a system that could create a visual high tide inside its store. "Ron Jon is not just a company," Cooke says. "If it has to do with surf, sand, or sea, it's got it. Since it's in central Florida, surrounded by large entertainment centers, they wanted the store to become a destination instead of a department store."

Cooke chose Techni-Lux of Orlando for a lighting rig that could illuminate two levels and 10,000 sq. ft. (900 sq. m) of hip specialty merchandise. Techni-Lux provided 10 Techniscan SX Pros, which balance longevity and power while emphasizing the store's large atrium and stunning waterfalls. Cooke had to accommodate a 30' (9m) throw with economical fixtures that maintain a long, durable burn. "I had quite a few factors, the biggest being the quality. The Techni-Lux units offered rotating gobos, and the company customized the units. Ron Jon didn't need an intense shine; despite the entertainment factor, they are running a store and not a rock concert."

The engineers at Techni-Lux worked their product into an acceptable form, modifying the standard MSD 200W unit to an arc stream 150W discharge lamp. Victor Menendez, director of marketing and sales, says, "We wanted to make them more conducive to their architectural focus. The arc stream is basically an architectural lamp used to illuminate trees and sidewalks. It lasts 6,000 hours. The MSD 200 lasts 2,000 hours, but it's more of an expensive photo specialty lamp compared to an arc source, which requires little maintenance and is inexpensive to replace."

The lights have been running for six months without being shut off, performing diverse functions from standard atmosphere to entertainment purposes. "We decided to just let it burn," Cooke says. "Techni-Lux said we wouldn't have any problems, but we had to test it. They've worked without a flaw. We use ShowCAD to control them, and we're pleased with the total effect."

The units have five replaceable gobos. Ron Jon, with a 20-gobo variety, can choose to project a medley of images over its beach-themed environment. Silhouettes of waves, coral, fish, and athletics rotate about the huge store, bathing customers in a virtual ocean of colors. Ron Jon plans to use themed lighting applications in a proposed second location.