Las Vegas, Are You Ready? The Marquee Club, Part 2: The Lighting Technology

Show Motion built the six light pods that move up and down on a large automated truss over the dance floor at Marquee in Las Vegas. “These lower on a spider web of cables, all uplighted so you can see them,” notes Bill Mensching, president of Show Motion. Each pod contains two Elation Professional Design Spot 300 Pro fixtures, Philips Color Kinetics 6" iColor Coves, and Birket Specialty Lighting 7W LED Strobe-Briks. One of the Elation fixtures on the bottom of the pod shoots down into the audience, and the other shoots up to a mirrored half dome on the ceiling (revealed when the pods are lowered). The pods are rigged back to the performance tower where the motors are lodged, and they are automated via a Show Motion AC2 control system. A 4' disco mirror ball with a custom metal housing, or cage, lowers from the ceiling, sparkling with flicker lamps and additional Birket LED Strobe-Briks.

Micah Rahn of Fisher Dachs Associates was responsible for the lighting infrastructure, with Lieberman serving as lighting designer for dance floor and other areas with entertainment lighting. “FDA took all the information from Lieberman and FMS to design one integrated system, combing theatrical and architectural lighting control,” says Hemmenway. The overall lighting control system comprises 336 ETC Sensor+ dimmers, 120 ETC SmartSwitch relays, eight ETC Paradigm architectural control processors, ETC Net3 DMX gateways, and Doug Fleenor Design DMX splitters. An MA Lighting grandMA2 light console in the main room is connected to the system via ACN.

“The lighting all communicates via Streaming ACN, which is controlling 12 universes of DMX throughout the club,” says Rahn, pointing out that the size of the system was one of the biggest challenges and the other was the fast track of nine months to complete the project—“a faster pace than most of us were used to,” he adds. “Construction was going on while we were designing, and that kept us on our toes.”

“When designing a lighting system for a club,” notes Lieberman, “typically, the concept for the system is versatility; because the music and the general operation of what is happening is not scripted, the user has to be able to make changes in an instant. Design-wise, we need as much flexibility as possible. In Marquee, there are so many different layers that the operator has to choose from. There are effects at every coordinate in all the planes—x, y, z. Any station can control the entire club or just a portion of it. It is all broken into zones, so that the individual users can operate lights per area. Adding in the motion control, the system is limitless.”

Steve Lieberman’s SJ Lighting provided the automated lighting package, while 4Wall Entertainment supplied the architectural and ETC/Selador fixtures, and was responsible for lighting system integration as well as power and data distribution.

Stay tuned for Part 3 for more on the video and content at Marquee.