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IColor Accents at Hush Night Club

Posted on Jan 5, 2011 by Paul White

When discussing the light and sound setup at Hush NightClub with Dan Deschamps, I was kind of shocked to hear the millions they spent on Lighting.  After some research its easy to see where a lot of this money went.  IColor Accents.  They had several hundred of these mounted on a truss.  To put this into perspective the retail on these is around $482 per 2 foot segiment.  Keep in mind Hush was built back in 2004, and these probably cost even more back then.

Not to disrespect the lighting designers as I understand lighting design is very much an art form, but when you give a designer a blank check and say give me the best, that can be a recipe for disaster.  Designers of anything ( Lighting, Fashion, websites ) are only limited by time and money.  What looks the coolest might have consequences.  If you were to give Christian Louboutin a blank check and say make my wife a pair of heels.  The chances are he is going to come back with some platinum and diamond encrusted pump, that requires constant cleaning and specialized care.  In this case having hundreds of Intelligent fixtures before the time of High Power LEDs, meant you will have pay a monkey to constantly switch out bulbs.  Plus if these fixtures were Martin, this means they all used HTI ( HID ) bulbs which can run around $80 each, and only last about 750 hours. 

When redoing the lights for the Ritz one of my focuses was on low cost of ownership.  As good as Martin Lights are, I have stayed away from them on purpose because of their expensive replacement bulbs.  I selected fixtures based on their ability to use an MR16 Halogen 24 Volt 250 Watt bulb.  These bulbs are relatively cheap ( $3 each for 500 Hour bulbs ).  As much as I would love to switch out all our halogen fixtures with LED based ones, the cheaper LED scanners still are not very bright.  The only fixtures with LED bulbs that are bright enough are moving heads and these bring their own challenges and financial burden.

In all honesty you could run a modest nightclub for under $6K.  The key is to find used fixtures and DMX controllers off ebay and craigslist.  The key is to select the right type of fixtures.  I am not saying you are wasting your money if you go off and buy brand new Martin lights and controllers.  I have heard mixed messages about their support department, not standing by their products.  But in my experience Martin is a good company with excellent support.  ( at least on an email support basis ).  When ever I emailed Martin because I needed to lighting profile for a fixture that I didn't find in the library on Light Jockey I had an answer within 24 hours. 

Of course Hush was not meant to be a Modest NightClub.  Maybe it was a little before its time, considering it was built during a recession.  But at least it raised the bar for other clubs in town.

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