The Wharf reimagined with Elation
Tuesday, 30 June 2020
the-wharf6The Wharf offers outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment
USA - When The Wharf entertainment district in Orange Beach, Alabama, reopened in time for Memorial Day, visitors were treated to a spectacular, new lightshow by Cue 13 Design that uses Elation’s IP65 luminaires.
Located on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, just across the border from Pensacola, Orange Beach is a quaint but upscale southern beach town. The Wharf, which opened in 2006, offers outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment at special event venues including a Live Nation amphitheatre.
A nightly light show called Spectra has been drawing visitors to The Wharf’s Main Street since 2013. Ryan Stumpp, founder and Principal at Cue 13 Design, and a 15-year theme park design veteran, was subcontracted to work on the original design seven years ago and was called on to redesign the light show for 2020.
“Many people come to The Wharf in the evening for the lightshow itself,” Stumpp comments. “It increases traffic on the street and really excites the crowd, who then go to shop, eat, drink, or go to a show. Seven years ago, we launched the lightshow with Elation Platinum series lights in outdoor domes and although they were in enclosures, because this is an outdoor environment that is close to the ocean, it was time to upgrade so we revamped and reimagined the show.”
The lighting system redesign relies on Elation Proteus Rayzor 760 and Proteus Hybrid moving heads, a pair of IP65-rated luminaires that Stumpp has used extensively on theme park installations the past several years. “I’m a huge supporter of the Proteus line,” he says, “and was happy to get rid of the domes. They are gaudy, and they require filter cleanings 2-3 times a year, bubble cleanings, polishing, and wax treatments so they require a lot of maintenance.
“I’m thrilled that we now have alternatives to outdoor enclosures. For the price of a light plus the enclosure you can afford Proteus fixtures.” Because there is limited year-round support staff at The Wharf to maintain the extensive outdoor rig, he says fixtures that were low maintenance was an absolute requirement. “One of the key selling points was the limited cleaning you have to do with a sealed IP65 fixture.”
A variety of retailers on two levels lines both sides of Main Street, a shopping and dining area that can be accessed by land or water. Twelve Proteus Hybrid moving heads project colour and beam effects from the second level while, from the lower level, 38 Proteus Rayzor 760s provide mid-air beams, wide wash coverage, or, when needed, sparkle from its SparkLED background illumination system. Custom gobo work, which the Platinum fixtures handled in the old design, is now done with lasers.
Stumpp was an early advocate of the Proteus range and was one of the first to install Rayzor 760s in a large theme park in Orlando. “The Proteus fixtures, from delivery to installation, and here in the first several weeks, have worked just as amazingly as the Proteus lights I’ve extensively used in theme parks,” he comments, noting that they were already put to the test at The Wharf when tropical storm Cristobal passed through the area in early June. “They are easily some of my most trusted and solid fixtures.”
Elation Paladin series, an RGBW series of IP65 wash/blinder/strobe luminaires, are also featured in the new lighting system. Some 80 Paladin Cubes line the underside of the second floor for chases, strobing and sparkle effects and are also able to wash to the opposite side of the street. “It’s a great effect that the client is really pleased with. It’s much more architecturally pleasing than the RGB floodlights we used in the old design,” Stumpp says. Six of the larger Paladin Panels work from the second level as bright and punchy 3000W Xenon strobe replacements.
(Jim Evans)

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