The casino upgrade to the Sun City Hotel has modernised the casino facility and created an airier, lighter and more welcoming environment. The revamp was designed and overseen by Gabriël Hugo and Clive Jeary of LYT Architecture, with CKR Consulting Engineers as the electrical consultants.
The domed roof structure above the casino floor – 14 m above finished floor level (AFFL) at its peak – meant that there were a number of lighting challenges, i.e., the lighting levels over the gaming tables; hanging luminaires at heights that would humanise the volume above, but not obstruct views from the central bar level or hotel passages; and lastly, the challenge of precisely positioning 80 pendants by means of a cherry picker, 8 m AFFL, while the access floor was being installed at the same time.
The lighting design involved creating a sea of floating lights beneath the blacked-out, domed ceiling. However, the Perspex luminaires dispersed light in all directions, including onto the ceiling, so the lighting levels had to be carefully adjusted to find the balance between correct task lighting below, overall lux levels and general visual impact, and limiting light spill. The colouring, yellow, red and orange, was chosen to add warmth and ambience, and also for the quality of light emission of the specific Perspex.
The pendants give 300 lux onto the casino floor and provide light for the gaming floor in the form of downlighters at the base of the pendant. The fittings are mounted 8 m up, weigh about 80 kg each and measure 2.8 m x 1.5 m.
Dimming was a challenge as the installation involved dimming multiple sources and different types of products within each light fitting. Solving this took a lot of behind the scenes work. The solution comprises pulse-width modulation (PWM) dimming as well as leading and trailing edge dimming that operates simultaneously from the same control board.
The refurbishment project features a high-quality Intellibus lighting control system that allows for the creation of a dramatic visual environment in a large space that is flexible enough to handle the rigorous LED dimming requirements.
The casino floor is a strong design element in its own right with slots, flashing lights and loads of colour. The luminaires add a playful element to this: the curved shapes and strong colours work in conjunction with the busy casino floor; not competing with it, but instead complementing the visual experience.