Martin FlexDOT Used for Floating Nightclub in Swedish Port

by PLSN Staff • in
  • International News
• Created: August 12, 2009

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SKEPPSBRON, Sweden — The M/S Prins Bernhard, a 230-foot-long ship docked in Malmö harbor on the Baltic Sea, has been transformed with restaurants, bars and a nightclub called Under, which features an installation of Martin FlexDOT LED stringlights that form a video wall. Informationsteknik, the main contractor for lighting and sound who handled design and installation for the entire ship, was contacted last May by Prins Bernhard’s owner who sought to do something ”really special” in order to put Malmö on the map as far as nightclub installations.

“We came up with the idea to design a nightclub concept with an LED wall as the main visual element,” said Håkan Hansson, who project-managed the installation for Informationsteknik. “We said ‘no moving heads, no smoke machines — forget about all those solutions that have been done in nightclubs in the past.’ We wanted the visual look to come from a media server so that the DJ could easily change themes and scenes. It is a new way of thinking and a totally new experience for the audience.”

After lighting tests were conducted by Informationsteknik, the client gave the go ahead. Informationsteknik chose FlexDOT, a lightweight string of intelligent, full color pixels, for the LED display. Each pixel consists of a bright RGB LED driven by its own processor and individually addressable for independent control of color, special effects, and animation.

Surrounding the Under dance floor on two sides is a FlexDOT LED wall approximately two meters high and 10 meters long. Custom-fitted into a wooden wall are 100 FlexDOT strings, each string approximately two meters in length. The wall contains a total of 2,100 individually controllable FlexDOT pixels spaced at a distance of 10 cm.


“With regards to the total design, including the construction of the wall, and in order to make an economical and practical solution, it made sense to use FlexDOT,” Hansson said. “It gives a lot of advantages for a lot of applications, wherever there are space issues for example. The size of the pixel is very small but the light output is fantastic which means you can use it in small areas. The ability to custom-make an LED wall gives lots of possibilities. It is also a system that is simple to set up. You don’t need a lot of boxes; it’s ready to run.”

At 2.5 candela per pixel, the combined light output from the FlexDOT wall is considerable, and capable of filling the room with color. Illumination even reflects off the wood-paneled ceiling and wooden floor to make the entire room glow.

“The quality of the light from FlexDOT is quite amazing. The color balance is very nice and it looks nice even if you are very close to it,” Hansson said. “It performs very well showing moving images. When we put in the content, the quality of the movement was very good, for the client as well.

“All nightclubs in Malmö have visited Prins Bernhard and are talking about the LED wall. This is exactly what the owner wanted.”

Graphical content for the FlexDOT LED wall — some of it custom produced — comes from a Martin Maxedia Compact media server, a user-friendly tool for media composing and playback that houses a vast library of media content, such as video clips, still images and integrated animations.

Because Prins Bernhard caters to a variety of events including corporate presentations, the Maxedia Compact, which is located in a technical room in the basement of the ship, allows the atmosphere to be customized.

Control is handled via a PC-based Martin LightJockey which is connected to a touch-screen in the DJ booth. The lighting atmosphere in the various zones of the club can be changed from there. A sub touch-panel in the bar area can also be used to control the ambiance. Hansson calls it “not only a flexible control solution but safe and easy as well.”

The FlexDOT LED wall is not the only source of dynamic lighting in Under. Mounted in the nightclub’s ceiling are Martin Alien LED Downlights that work in conjunction with the FlexDOT wall to create a unified, complementary lighting design. The Alien LED Downlight is a plug-and-play recessed LED downlight with RGB+White color mixing designed for accent lighting in colored or variable white light.

Recessed in the wood paneling of the 2.5 meter high ceiling, the Aliens, spaced about 1-1 ½ meters apart, add to the dance floor illumination and wash floor-to-ceiling white leather booths. They provide ambient lighting to walls and tables, and even wash liquor bottles in a variety of hues in the club’s central U-shaped bar. More Alien LED Downlights are used in an adjacent ”launch” area (entrance foyer) to give the entire space an integrated total-design concept. The launch area has a separate touch panel for control.

 “The client wanted a high end, unique solution with a lot of impact and power, yet it had to be easy to use. The technology we have incorporated is advanced but it is a design that is both functional and easy to manage. It adds value to the solution and is one that the client is happy with,” Hansson said.

Lighting Equipment:
100 x Martin FlexDOT
82 x Martin Alien LED Downlight
2 x Martin LightJockey
1 x Martin Maxedia Compact

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