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Showcase of light
The New Orleans skyline was transformed last October, as Martin Professional and Soloman Group put on an unforgettable light show at the Mercedez-Benz Superdrome
In October last year, officials at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome ‘flipped the switch’ to illuminate the Louisiana landmark with a state-of-the art Martin Professional lighting show designed by Solomon Group – a multimedia production firm based in New Orleans. The lights wash the building’s exterior in a spectrum of animated colours, patterns and images. The inaugural lighting event attracted more than 4,000 spectators and featured a special programme that showcased the broad array of the system’s dynamic illumination capabilities set to a soundtrack scripted especially for the event.
The design required the installation of 288 Martin Professional Exterior 410 lighting fixtures that are capable of reproducing every colour of the rainbow on all 96 concave aluminum panels that ring the building’s exterior. The project is the largest installation of an Exterior 400 Range fixture in the world. The Exterior 410 is a bright yet compact luminaire that uses pre-mixed LEDs and RGBW colour mixing, part of an award-winning Exterior 400 Range of outdoor LED wash lights that includes colour calibration for more uniform colour projection.
The four quadrants of the Superdome’s exterior also feature Martin Professional Exterior 1200 Image Projectors, powerful 1200 watt luminaires designed to project animated images and effects. The entire lighting system is controlled by a Martin Professional MaxModule Cerebrum, a powerful touch-screen control unit, working through four Martin Ether2DMX8routers, one located in each quadrant of the dome. The lighting control system can also be operated remotely so that the color scheme can be managed and manipulated off site. The lighting was programmed on a Martin M1 lighting console.
The new lighting system will showcase the facility as part of the city’s vibrant Sports District and will also include co-ordinated illumination with Champions Square, which also uses a Martin Professional lighting system.
Solomon Group, which also served as the media technology designer for Champions Square, developed the lighting concept to create a multimedia environment that would enhance the New Orleans skyline.
The Mercedes Benz Superdome has been illuminated temporarily twice for special events in the past, including the first post-9/11 Super Bowl in 2002 and September 25, 2006, when the facility was reopened after Hurricane Katrina. Both of those installations were temporary and were only able to light the upper half of the facility’s exterior. The new LED lighting system is much more advanced and dynamic. It contains more fixtures and can be programmed with a vast array of color options.
Working with local architects Eskew+Dumez+Ripple/Ellerbe Becket, A Joint Venture and electrical contractor Frischertz Electric, Solomon Group installed the system, which is remarkably energy efficient. The entire system, when operating in one color, draws only 10 kilowatts of electricity – the equivalent amount of energy used by a small home. In fact, the current system draws only 25% of the power drawn by the system it replaced. In addition, when operated six hours per day every day of the year, the lighting fixtures should last for decades.
The lighting system will be operated nightly and will feature many different colours and lighting patterns. The design of the lighting system includes the capability to customise effects, images and color in order to celebrate specific events or commemorate occasions.
The installation of the lighting system completes an US$85 million renovation that has completely modernised the facility.
Martin Professional will be exhibiting at Stadia Design & Technology Expo 2012, 8-10 May 2012. Visit the company at Booth 6032.