Commercial Applications

Case study: The Phoenician

One of the premier resorts in the United States, the Phoenician is well known throughout the world, not only for catering to its guests, but also for its ever-evolving technology that makes it a thoroughly modern destination. The Lutron state-of-the-art light control upgrade at the Phoenician provides architectural lighting through its GRAFIK 6000 system while accommodating theatrical lighting though its 2Link technology — all in 1 system.

The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona is an oasis of relaxation and luxury in the heart of the American Southwest. The 250-acre resort complex lies at the base of Camelback Mountain, offering breathtaking vistas of the Valley of the Sun as the backdrop for non-stop activities or for just plain taking it easy. To the guest, it appears as if every detail is managed with great ease. However, it takes a staff of 1,800 people working around the clock to make sure the Phoenician and its many systems run efficiently.

A Mobil 5-Star resort, the Phoenician is constantly updating and improving its infrastructure with the latest technology. Light control, in particular, is crucial to keeping this resort running like clockwork. Lighting helps to set the mood and atmosphere in every area of the Phoenician. No matter where a guest is in the resort, lighting plays an important role in creating the feeling of luxury and serenity that is the hallmark of this desert oasis.

When the Phoenician first decided to update part of its existing lighting control system, the transition and planning proved to be an interesting challenge. The project's original plan included an update for only the main ballroom. However, this was not an easy task since the new installation could not be accomplished without shutting down the room. An upgrade to the system meant working on an extremely tight timeline and anticipating any problems that might occur beforehand to minimize installation time and time with the room out of service.

Another consideration was the history of the lighting control products already in place at the Phoenician. According to Wayne Cooper, director of technical resources at the resort, the goal of the upgrade project was "maximum flexibility and control," while maintaining some of the original hardware.

Phoenician Dining Hall

In the first phase, they wanted to upgrade the ballroom's existing lighting control system, a 15-year-old Orion lighting control system by Lutron with the GRAFIK 6000 system.

This required more than taking one system out and putting in a new one. Lutron engineers had to create a hybrid specific to the Phoenician that would link the old system with the new. While designing the specialized system, Lutron engineers and field service personnel worked side by side with Cooper to incorporate the particular lighting control requirements he requested and to ensure that the system would work perfectly for the Phoenician. "The new controls are very straightforward," said Cooper. "Our staff learned how to use them in a very short time."

Phoenician Pool Lighting
Happy with the first upgrade, the hotel management decided to replace the analog dimmers with new digital dimmers. They also wanted true DMX512 control of all dimmers in the ballroom. Plus, the original sheet metal panels containing the controls needed to be maintained so that the integrity of the room's design would not be jeopardized.

Once again, Lutron engineers and field service personnel developed a solution that would retrofit the existing panels.

The Phoenician ballroom is a multi-functional room with the ability to be divided into seven separate sections; Cooper wanted to be able to have different lighting scenes in each of the separate areas of the ballroom. Plus, the separate sections each needed to have the capability to be controlled by architectural and theatrical lighting controls. The architectural lighting would be provided by the GRAFIK 6000 system, while theatrical lighting, including stageboards and motorized fixtures, would be brought in by entertainers and theatrical companies for special events. Patented Lutron 2Link technology was crucial in accommodating the Phoenician's DMX512 needs for the ballroom. The 2Link option enables Lutron dimming panels to understand commands from architectural lighting controls and theatrical lighting controls. Each system is unique, but the dimming panel is designed to auto-detect which one is present and operate accordingly.

The flexibility that the 2Link option provides is invaluable for the Phoenician as more than 180,000 meeting guests flock to the resort each year, and every meeting or special event in the ballroom has specific requirements. The ballroom now caters to meetings requiring architectural control by day and concerts requiring theatrical control by night, all from one light control system.

Phoenician Lobby

The Phoenician staff was extremely pleased with the final result in the ballroom; the possibilities and configurations for the ballroom setup are almost endless.

Section one of the ballroom can be controlled by the GRAFIK 6000 system, while sections two and three are hosting theatrical events and are being controlled by two separate stageboards. Whether an event requires all 22,000 square feet of the ballroom or only one small section, Lutron light controls or theatrical equipment can operate the lighting for any application. With the 2Link option, changing to a theatrical control is as easy as plugging in a stageboard.

After the success of the ballroom installation, the Phoenician management decided they wanted to update the second Orion system that controlled lighting in the other resort facilities, including the pool area, tennis courts, and other public spaces. "Making this modification required Lutron to cut over the new control system carefully to ensure a transparent change for our staff and patrons," said Cooper. "Throughout the installation and after its completion, Lutron has provided us with innovative ideas, customized solutions, and qualified field service personnel." The installation went smoothly because, according to Cooper, "Lutron field service was cooperative, flexible, and adaptable to meeting our needs in resolving challenges – no matter what they were."

"Our partnership with Lutron," added Cooper, "allows the Phoenician Resort the flexibility of control that our guests and their technical directors demand."

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 6000

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