Commercial Applications

Case study: Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino

The challenge was to implement a lighting designer’s dramatic lighting plan for the budget-conscious owners of a 1.4 million square foot Native American-themed casino. The system needed to create the best plan for lighting and lighting control that was both attractive and affordable, and installation must occur within a 12-month construction time frame.

Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut features a high-quality lighting control system that creates numerous dramatic visual environments in a large space and is flexible enough to handle the various functions that occur there. Control is provided by the Lutron GRAFIK 6000 preset lighting control system for total building coverage.

Project requirements included:

  • Ability to handle large space
  • Controls must be easy to operate, quick to change
  • Quick shipment and installation necessary for fast pace of project
  • Dimming panels must be able to handle multiple sources, be shipped pre-wired, and offer flexibility to alter lighting system later
  • Ability to install complementary lighting control independent of main system 1,500 lighting circuits

“A job like this would normally take two-and-a-half to three years,” said Marcus McPhee, vice president of McPhee Electric, of the 12-month construction of Mohegan Sun Casino on the Mohegan tribe’s reservation. “We had to have the system designed and released in 10 months. We worked around the clock with three shifts, six days a week.”

Mohegan Sun Casino


As for lighting the large space, the owners wanted dramatic lighting effects to highlight the various themes in the casino. Every detail of the Mohegan Sun was designed for optimum effect, to create a mood or enhance a gaming or entertainment activity. The main casino was divided into four sections and designed to look like an old Indian village. Each area of approximately 500,000 square feet depicts the village as it would appear in each of the four seasons. Although all were part of a large space, there needed to be adjustable lighting in areas within those sections, such as five restaurants, entrances, and pedestrian mall, as well as areas on the perimeter of the casino such as a bingo hall and large sports bar. They also wanted the ability to dim and brighten the lights quickly and easily for creating moods or highlighting specific functions.

Mohegan Sun Lobby

The owners liked the lighting designer’s ideas, but were afraid they would be too costly to implement. “We needed a high-quality lighting control system that could produce the right visual environment throughout this big facility with the flexibility to handle a multitude of different situations at a cost the owners could live with,” said McPhee.

McPhee Electric chose the Lutron GRAFIK 6000 light control system, which controls lighting for the four sections through a single central control panel in which scenes are preset by a personal computer. The restaurants each were given their own individual GRAFIK Eye 3000 system since they had individual needs separate from the main system.

McPhee chose GRAFIK 6000 for its quick installation (GP dimming panels are pre-wired and delivered quickly) and for its Windows-based software, which allowed easy zoning and scene setting. This simplified design and engineering made the installation easy to complete within the appropriate deadline.

Mohegan Sun Custom Lighting

“The casino is beautiful with a lot of attention to detail,” said Peter Manning, who served as McPhee’s on-site project engineer. “There are trees, stones, water scenes, you name it. We had to create feature lighting for each area. We illuminated everything from animal skins to Native American artwork.”

Overall, the GRAFIK 6000 system provides the design flexibility the casino owners wanted within budget and on schedule. At the same time, the system will save energy costs for them down the road. And as the casino fine-tunes its gaming operation, GRAFIK 6000 can also accommodate changing lighting requirements for different activities without adding expensive new equipment and time-consuming alterations.

GRAFIK 6000 Manage the lighting of multiple spaces from a single control. Fully scalable, GRAFIK 6000 can handle the most complex projects.
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Products used in this project GRAFIK Eye® 3000

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