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Las Vegas Convention Center Looks to
Holophane to Enhance Lighting on Exhibit Floor

New DualBay system creates vivid environment and reduces energy consumption 40 percent

DualBays at Las Vegas Convention Center

Nearly 40 million visitors flock to Las Vegas each year for the glitz, glitter and gaming, with about 4.9 million of those individuals traveling to the resort city for industry trade shows and conventions. Las Vegas recently earned the title of North America’s number one trade show destination for the 17th consecutive year, offering companies and visitors the 3.2 million-square-foot Las Vegas Convention Center, considered one of the largest and most functional facilities in the world.

Operated by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, the convention center offers more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, playing host to shows for organizations such as the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and MAGIC, one of the fashion world’s most influential shows. The center is centrally located and within walking distance of more than 100,000 guest rooms.    

Even though the Las Vegas Convention Center is considered one of the most modern trade show facilities in the world, the facility was previously illuminated by 1,000-watt high bay metal halide luminaires manufactured in the 1950s. The fixtures had become outdated and failed to provide the quality of light needed. Illumination levels had dipped to 45 to 50 footcandles, with products and exhibits on the floor appearing dull and uninteresting.  

“Many of our customers are full facility users who debut exciting new products and demand the very best light to showcase those products,” said Joe Toro, electrical supervisor for the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. “Color rendering is especially important so the reds, blues and other colors are crisp and really pop.”

Energy costs had also skyrocketed with the previous lighting system and lamps used with the fixtures degraded quickly and typically required replacement every year.

DualBays at Las Vegas Convention CenterThe search for the right luminaires
Toro launched a search to identify a high bay lighting system that would meet the convention center’s lighting needs and could be mounted at heights up to 40 feet. Most of the fixtures he considered were proven for up to 20 foot but the manufacturers would not guarantee their performance at the higher levels needed with the convention center’s 50-foot ceilings.

Toro learned about Holophane DualBay high bay luminaires with Holophane ISD Superglass® and solid-state electronic ballasts and decided to test the facilities on the convention center floor. He removed six of the existing high bay fixtures in one of the exhibit halls and replaced them with six DualBay units. He then challenged employees to identify where the new fixtures were installed.  

“No one could determine the new luminaires’ locations when they looked at the ceiling because the DualBay fixtures blended in so well with the existing units,” Toro said. “The difference on the floor, however, was very apparent because the area was so much brighter.”

A narrow window for installation
The Las Vegas Convention Center installed approximately 2,000 DualBay luminaires with two 315-watt ceramic metal halide lamps in the Central exhibit halls, with an estimated 1,400 additional fixtures planned for the North and South Halls. The installation project had a short timeline because the center is almost constantly booked with only two or three days between shows.

Union workers employed by outside contractors typically move events in and out of the convention center and are under pressure to set up and tear down as quickly as possible. Banners and equipment often reach above the height of the light fixtures, increasing the likelihood the luminaires will get bumped.

With this possibility looming, the convention center’s electrical team decided to strengthen the 60-pound DualBay fixtures with special housing, hardware to support the ballast housing and optic supports. Holophane reviewed and approved the design and agreed to warranty the modified fixtures.  

Luminaires in halls C3 through C5 are spaced 20’ x 30’ or 20’ x 20’ feet on center depending on the ceiling grid. Mounting heights range from 22’ to 40’ and vary according to the height of the ceiling. Fixtures were suspended with an aircraft cable type design 10 feet below the dark blue carpeted air panel ceiling.

DualBays at Las Vegas Convention CenterIn exhibit halls C1 and C2, the original light fixtures were installed on a small box that supported only 20 pounds. Because the DualBay luminaires are heavier, crews had to lay 10’ and 20’ strips across the beams and cut an extra long flex chord to plug into the original outlet. Fixtures in these halls are remote ballasted on the catwalk. 

“Even with the alternations the DualBay fixtures proved easy to install. Crews were able to complete the installation in both areas several days ahead of schedule,” Toro said.

Clean, inviting exhibit halls
Light levels in all of the Central exhibit halls range from 60 to 85 footcandles, with greater intensity in areas with lower ceilings. The DualBay luminaires include a spun aluminum cover and provide 100 percent downlight. As with the previous system, the fixtures are positioned so the light from each fixture overlaps, eliminating the potential for dark areas.

“The DualBay system has reduced the convention center’s energy consumption by nearly 40 percent while creating a vivid, uniformly lit environment with less glare and strain on the eyes,” Toro said. “The new luminaries operate very quietly without the constant hum present with the previous HID luminaires' magnetic ballasts.”

DualBays at Las Vegas Convention Center“Our exhibitors have commented about how well their products look on display,” said Walter Laub, senior manager of facilities engineering for the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. “The new lighting complements the exhibit space, making it more attractive and easier to promote overall.”

A Lithonia automated computer system controls the lighting system and allows luminaires to be turned on or off individually. The DualBay fixtures are illuminated about 12 hours a day, 22 or 23 days a month.

 

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