Posted in news
on September 28, 2016 3:08 pm EDT
LED Lighting Updates an Iconic Gathering Space
Times and tastes may change, but the famed Beverly Hilton has embodied California chic since it opened in 1955. Now, a new lighting system is giving the hotel's iconic pool deck an updated, vibrant look and feel.
Images courtesy of Chauvet Professional.
Famous faces and anyone else fortunate enough to enjoy the space have congregated for decades at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. The hotel's most-used gathering place is its AquaStar Pool. Now, the famous pool deck has been transformed with a collection of Chauvet Professional and Iluminarc fixtures installed by Amp’d Entertainment of Los Angeles.
"Color was a major factor in this modernization. However, our main goal was to make the pool deck more organic and flexible without bringing in additional equipment.”
—Arteen Kharrat, Owner, Amp’d Entertainment, Los Angeles, CA
“There are many color schemes that we are running on an annual day-clock control system, as well as schemes that will be accessible via local manual overrides or via a custom web interface accessible via any web-enabled device,” reports Arteen Kharrat, owner of Amp’d Entertainment, who served as the designer and lead installer on the project. “Color was a major factor in this modernization. However, our main goal was to make the pool deck more organic and flexible without bringing in additional equipment.”Focus on events, organic options
Kharrat explains why flexibility was an important factor in this design. “The pool deck is a major part of the hotel, with literally hundreds of events on it each year,” he says. “The pool is the only hotel-owned Olympic-sized pool in Los Angeles. There is a restaurant adjacent to the pool deck that serves three meals a day, and a very lively bar and evening scene down there, as well. Also, there is a breezeway that overlooks the pool area that is utilized nightly as a pre-function and post-function space for the hotel’s world-renowned International Ballroom (IBR).... So overall this was all about creating a wide range of options and being organic so we could light the space nightly per the requirements of the occasion.”
Iluminarc Colorist Pod 7 Qa RGBA fixture
Kharrat and his team achieved this goal by drawing on the versatility and color rendering capabilities of the Ovation E-910FC color mixing ERS-style fixture and Colorist Pod 7Qa RGBA fixture. A collection of 22 Ovation E-910FC units and 24 Colorist fixtures were installed around the pool deck under an overhang for protection from the elements, but above eight existing 17-foot hedge walls.Strategic lighting placement & control
“We set the Ovation and Colorist fixtures in place with custom offset mounts to an aluminum framing that the hedges grow against,” Kharrat explains. “These positions were chosen because there were existing incandescent ellipsoidals already in place there; the Ovation and Colorist units were mostly updated replacements of them. The previous fixtures were used to lay nothing but texture on the pool deck. Now, with the new fixtures, we’re able to have soft washes in conjunction with gobo textures so we can create more versatile and stylish looks.”
In addition to the fixtures installed around the pool deck, 16 Colorist Pod 7Qa RGBA units were mounted in a large tropical planter that is used to provide privacy for the poolside restaurant. Another nine Colorist fixtures were mounted near the tops of three tall palm trees to lend added pop to the space's design.
The system is controlled via an Interactive Technologies Cue Server Pro CS-900. “This allows day-by-day time-clock control and many universes of control via ACN, utilized extensively across the property,” notes Kharrat. “Our client has an iPad App controller for custom color schemes for events. For larger more involved events, we can come in with moving lights and other supplemental equipment and patch-in via DMX or CAN into the system.”Problems meet solutions
Seamlessly designed, the new Beverly Hilton pool lighting system seems to blend naturally with its stylish surroundings. However, as is invariably the case with smooth, free-flowing designs, the project was not without its challenges.
“Our biggest challenge was to find an articulating boom lift that could fit between a 3-foot 9-inch corridor to install the palm tree fixtures,” reports Kharrat. “There are only three entryway points to the [space], two of which were cost-prohibitive, leaving the 3-foot 9-inch corridor as our only option. After weeks of searching and dozens of phone calls, my assistant, Nicole Marcario, was able to find where we could get such an aerial work platform. It turns out there are only two such lift models in existence -- and only two units are available for rent west of the Mississippi -- but we found it. I am blessed to have an excellent crew that rolls with it and has the great attitudes of just making it happen.”
In the end, the effort paid off, with a poolside lighting system that is not only reported to be stunningly beautiful, but will also save the hotel money. It is estimated that the Beverly Hilton will be saving approximately $7,500 in lamp changes and maintenance annually by switching from incandescent to LED fixtures.
“We did a side-by-side shootout with the Ovation E-910FC and its big-name competitor, and found they metered almost identically, but the Ovation was half the cost and designed with a significantly more intuitive menu structure,” says Kharrat. “We have actually replaced all of our existing rental stock with these new E910-FCs, and the crew/clients have been very happy with the change.”