The Lighting Control Innovation Award was created in 2011 as part of the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Illumination Awards program, which recognizes professionalism, ingenuity and originality in lighting design. LCA is proud to sponsor the Lighting Control Innovation Award, which recognizes projects that exemplify the effective use of lighting controls in nonresidential applications.
This month, we explore a dynamic and flexible lighting controls installation at a series of ballrooms at the Q Center in St. Charles, IL. Lighting control design by Morlights. Photography by Casey Diers and Chris Prezas.
The Q Center, a special events and conferences campus, sought new production technology to enhance guest experiences in its 6- ballroom space. Needed was a user- friendly networked interface enabling non- production staff to adjust lighting, control the color changing lighting for client themed events, and manipulate the room combine system, while enabling large productions to come in and take over the system with traditional networked lighting consoles when production needs demand it.
The challenge was enabling event creators all access needed to create forward thinking productions in their rented spaces, without allowing access to the other ballrooms where equally complex client productions are happening.
No such technology existed, so the design team created an innovative network solution giving the client control of individual or multiple ballrooms at once, utilizing a custom specified, unified networking system that can automatically segment itself based on room partition status. The resulting system works intuitively for each client between multiple events happening concurrently, and reconfiguring often, while providing elevated client control without a cluttered user interface requiring trained staff to operate.
The team complemented the newly renovated architectural spaces by specifying LED color changing cove lighting lining the ballroom ceilings, entertainment lighting positions and luminaires in the negative space between the ceiling (new) elements, rigging points to hold truss and scenic elements for large scale events, and high output downlights to provide owner- requested 65 footcandles.
A power consumption reduction of 77% was achieved, with a lighting power density 25% below energy code requirements. The lighting controls further reduce energy consumption by determining if spaces are in use and, with inputs from occupancy sensors, automatically turning off lights when spaces aren’t occupied – all while intelligently not turning off lights when the spaces are in event mode, even if they’re unoccupied for some time.
The renovated Q Center ballrooms required complex controls to support high tech and innovative productions across multiple room configurations, changing multiple times per day.
In addition to specialized events, the space also had to meet IACC requirements for 65 footcandles at the table top for meetings.
Challenges included the need for complex controls and fast protocol to support a flexible room combine, rigid footcandle and dimming requirements, and an all-LED solution.
Because no existing product addressed the client’s needs, the team created an innovative network solution for client control of individual or multiple ballrooms at once.
The unified network system can automatically segment itself based on room partition status, for control of the lighting and all other networked production equipment.
This system works intuitively for each client between multiple events happening concurrently and reconfiguring often, while providing elevated client control without a cluttered user interface.
The solution enables event creators to access the controls required to light and power their productions in their ballroom, without allowing access to other ballrooms.
In seven weeks, the team achieved 20,000 sq ft of new ceiling, lighting, plumbing, fire protection, electrical, structural, and architectural elements in all six spaces.
The result: a 77% power consumption reduction from the original lighting; the final design provided a lighting power density 25% below energy code requirements.