The appearance of the ballroom is a major selling feature of a hotel. The lighting control system should present the room in the best possible light. A ballroom generally accommodates a variety of operating modes and hotel staff need to be able to quickly and easily reconfigure the room between functions, to meet the differing needs of each client. To achieve this aim, the lighting designer would set up the preset scenes for all likely applications and room combinations in advance.
Occasionally, stage sets, catwalks and other temporary equipment will be erected in the space, often positioned in front of lighting control points, which makes it imperative to provide duplicate control points in several locations and ‘smart’ sockets for portable control stations. The control system must be flexible enough to allow third-party access for DMX512 theatrical control signals. For this to be practical, the system must support ‘locking out’ of DMX control of emergency exits and other critical areas.
As well as the requirement for flexibility and repeatability of lighting settings, the room must be as energy-efficient as possible when not in use. To effectively render the colours in the room, decorative light fittings and chandeliers typically utilise energy-hungry incandescent lamps. These have a short life span and are often difficult to access, but are necessary to create the atmosphere that guests expect. The control system should restrict use of expensive-to-operate lamps during times when only hotel staff is present and use of expensive ‘public’ lighting should only be permitted by authorised persons.
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