Designing a DJ’s Dream Theater with Commercial Venue Grade Lighting and Sound
California integrator Movietime outfits this former DJ's home with commercial grade lighting, sound and automation as well as a luxury home theater and outdoor space.
Alice Gustafson · April 6, 2016
Eye-catching from the outside due to being surrounded by palm trees and tasteful landscaping, a sprawling 2.5-acre Spanish-style home in California is nothing short of breathtaking on the inside.
This is all thanks to the efforts of Southern California based integrator, Movietime, which specializes in ultra-high end integration, audio and lighting.
The impressive home is owned by a former radio DJ, who most definitely was not going for subtle when it came to the technology he wanted in his home. In fact, he was insistent that his property had to look cooler and rock harder than the best of them.
Enter owner of Movietime, Ilya Kandibur, who also happens to be a long time friend of the DJ. Kandibur soon found he had an enormous challenge ahead. How do you integrate large concert-style speakers and commercial lighting while maintaining the aesthetics, while making it all invisible?
“Anyone can hang giant subwoofers and spotlighting from ceiling tracks in a warehouse,” Kandibur states. “But how do you hide this kind of gear throughout a beautiful home? How do you turn a historic property into an audio and lighting tour-de-force while hiding everything that you’re doing? Commercial integrators would be a bull in a china shop on a project like this. You really need a mix of commercial engineering expertise and tech experts with many years of luxury home integration experience.”
“From the beginning, everyone knew this project was going to be world-class,” Kandibur asserts. “This is something never done at a residence before on this scale.”
With over a quarter of a mile of commercial LED tape and six figures in architectural LED lighting, various challenges lay ahead with regards to hiding the electronics – on top of that, the implementation had to be flawless.
Movietime enjoys a close working relationship with one of the top DMX lighting designers and programmers in the U.S., whose portfolio includes various lighting shows, as well as design work for Disney and Universal Studios. This company was drafted in to work its magic on the residence.
For architectural fixtures, Movietime turned to Anolis and DTS Lighting, specializing in commercial and outdoor LED fixtures.
“We needed something that could handle the rain, the heat of a sauna and installation underwater inside a pool or spa,” Kandibur reflects. “One of the coolest features of this lighting is the ease of wiring and connection, as these lights all work over daisy chained Cat5e cabling.”
Depending on fixture type, lights can be daisy chained over 1,000 feet on a single wire, while the power supply can sit safely inside a cabinet far away.
Unfortunately, things became more complicated when it came to the flexible LED tape, which generally has a limitation of 30 feet from the power supply. When dealing with a pool patio over 150 feet long, challenges of weatherproofing, installation and proper engineering and wiring of the area become critical.
Go Inside This Spectacular Home Installation
According to Kandibur, there is no room for “fudging” in complex LED tape designs, especially outdoors. “All of the drivers, all of the tape and all of the wire lengths have to match. If one wire or tape run is longer than another, rows of tape right next to each other won’t match in color due to voltage drops. How do you hide and weatherproof over 60 LED drivers and power supplies around an open pool, all while keeping each power run at approximately the same wire length? It’s incredibly challenging and requires a lot of planning, project box building and creativity.”
Two hollow concrete benches are located on the west side of the pool, while decorative concrete columns sit on the north and east sides. All power supplies used were outdoor rated and all LED drivers were wired and built into weatherproof project boxes on a soldering bench, then installed in the various areas.
LED drivers and power supplies were located in various columns or benches, based on proximity to the LED.
“Just the pool and patio itself was a massive undertaking” Kandibur admits. “It took a solid two weeks of soldering on a bench to build all of this hardware, and at least another full week to install. That doesn’t include weeks of carefully installing and soldering the actual LED tape into every nook and cranny of this pool patio, whether it be in and around the pool and spa, or around the entire concrete perimeter of the patio itself. The end result is invisible…and phenomenal. During the day, one would never guess there was any lighting on the entire patio. And at night, this outdoor space is a spectacle to behold.”
Not to be outdone in the complexity department, the interior of the pool house also boasts some impressive displays of custom installation. Onyx bars and counters hide rows of LED tape, while light strips built into custom acrylic columns add mood and ambiance. Meanwhile, speakers light up from behind their grills when the music starts, and when ‘moods’ are selected, colors don’t just change, but flow from one theme to another as colors wash across the room.
“But the crown jewel has to be the spa, which has more than just lighting inside the dome above,” Kandibur points out.
When the night scene is pressed and the LED lighting dims low, a projector becomes the star of the show. Built into the ground underneath the tile with a small glass opening sits a custom boxed and aligned star projector with piped cooling into a nearby cabinet.
Alice is an experienced CI/AV journalist. Gaining knowledge of the global install market at Pro Audio Asia, Pro Audio Middle East and Worship AVL Asia, Alice brings her considerable knowledge of the AV and install markets to CE Pro Europe and Commercial Integrator Europe. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Alice at firstname.lastname@example.org
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