Pro Shop LED Strips incorporated into historic Macquarie Hotel

Posted on Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Sydney’s Macquarie Hotel, an older style heritage listed hotel, is located on the corner of Goulburn Street and Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills. It’s main bar is a retro-heritage space that some of Australia’s most contemporary artists call home. By night, it’s a relaxed live music environment is like no other in Sydney, with a friendly casual atmosphere and great music. During the day its keeps its’ laid back atmosphere catering for the locals and surrounding businesses.

For several years bands have set up in a corner of the main bar with no stage or defined area. Wall mounted speakers and a few par cans were the only clue as to the action that took place in this corner five nights a week. Luke Everingham of Everingham Audio suggested the addition of some rich, velvet curtains to help with the sound proofing and general acoustics and the project grew from there.

“The hotel had a few par can which wasn’t much of a light show but then again it’s not the sort of pub where they want a flashy light show,” he said. “They just want a bit of a mood. I had done a few jobs recently where I’d used some of the Pro Shop LED lighting which has become very affordable and very effective. In fact over the past two years the quality has improved out of sight, it’s amazing. I suggested to the pub that they upgrade the lighting system so that it’s commensurate with the reputation of the pub; it has a great reputation for good quality live music.”

Luke reports that initially the hotel owners were a bit reluctant to use LEDs, in fact Luke believes there is still some consumer-resistance to using LEDs.

“I can understand that because when they’re used badly they look too glitzy and the light may be a bit cold compared to the warmth of a conventional fixture,” added Luke. “However, if they’re used well they look as good – or better – than conventional lights. The client wanted something simple and cost was a big issue as well.”

Once the curtains were installed, Luke demonstrated how the LED Strips would work and the client was sold. Consequently five LED Strips have been installed behind pelmets from where they can supply colour wash.

“The musicians and audience have all commented on the new lighting,” said Luke. “The curtains and lighting have really helped establish a sense of theatre and have created a focal point rather than just a band on the floor in the corner.”

Luke loves the fact that the Pro Shop LED Strips are so easy to rig due to their lightness and that they emit so little heat.

“The Macquarie has high ceilings but most inner city venues have low ceilings where you can’t physically put Par 64’s,” he explained. “Plus the heat loading would be too much anyway for the musicians. That in turn affects the heat loading on the air conditioning. Add to that the fact that Par 64’s don’t change colour and you can see why the LED Strips are a far better alternative. The Pro Shop LED Strip is definitely a product that is of great use in small to medium size live venues and nightclubs.”

Luke notes that the LED Strips are also very low maintenance stating that Par 64 globes are supposed to last 1000 hours (although Luke has never got that much out of them!) whilst the LEDs have a 50,000 hour rating and use about 1% of the power.

“If you care about being green then that’s a very good reason to switch to LEDs,” he remarked.