Counting Down at W Hotel-Times Square
Animated use of Plexineon evokes New Year’s Eve in The Big Apple
The W Hotel New York-Times Square recently unveiled a $10 million renovation of its lobby — known at all W hotels as “the Living Room.”
Evoking eras gone by, from gilded theaters to disco, the space celebrates Times Square in all its grit and glory — including as an iconic New Year’s Eve destination.
That pivotal passage of time is immediately apparent as guests check in. Behind the welcome desk, a countdown to the new year is among several animations made possible by a creative use of iLight Plexineon White LED light fixtures. Also, in the nearby bar/lounge area, Plexineon provides a stunning geometric backdrop for a DJ booth and dance floor.
“It’s a great product – solid, reliable and especially great when you need a direct view LED.”
– Jeff Shepherd, Senior Lighting Designer, Brian Orter Lighting Design
The Design Challenge
On all those feature walls, the vision included recreating the look of a vintage digital clock, says Jeff Shepherd, Senior Lighting Designer at BOLD – Brian Orter Lighting Design. He and the rest of BOLD’s design team on the project — Brian Orter, Charlie Dumais, Timothy Hart, Francesca Bucci Vernizzi-Miron, and Eleanor Macdonald — had used Plexineon in hospitality settings before.
It took careful planning to determine how all of the numbers needed for a countdown could be formed with 13-segment Plexineon segments — but Shepherd says Plexineon was “an absolute must” to execute the vision.
“It’s a great product – solid, reliable and especially great when you need a direct view LED,” he adds. “Anything else would have needed additional diffusion, but with Plexineon, it’s built right in.”
Another challenge was programming the countdown and other animations. “It’s an unconventional use, for sure,” he adds. “I played with some samples, and after a while, I knew it would work.”
The Plexineon Advantage
All along, quality was a given for Shepherd, but even he was amazed that after receiving 1,625 segments for the project, no extras had to be ordered. “Reliability is a major selling point — the fact the fixtures are burned in beforehand, the quality that goes into the manufacturing and testing, and the high degree of product support that iLight provides.”
Installation also presented no obstacles. “Plexineon is no-muss, no-fuss for the contractor,” Shepherd says.
Today, the result is just as he hoped. The dynamic countdown and other animations create theatrical effects all their own. “I’m tickled,” he says. “It turned out beautifully. People see it and love it. It looks amazing.”
New York, NY
Brian Orter Lighting Design
Josh Held Design
Plexineon 2X White 2800K
48 LF (14.63 m)
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