Why use DMX control within an architectural lighting scheme?
DMX (Digital Multiplex) is a method for setting and controlling patterns of movement in architectural lighting schemes, including communicating dimming levels and changing colourways.
DMX connectors can be used to link controllers such as lighting consoles with everything from intelligent light fittings and dimmer systems, to special effects devices.
Adding drama to any scheme
The system was first adopted by theatrical productions, giving technicians enhanced control over stage lighting and effects. Since then, DMX control has been used by lighting engineers for a range of purposes, from Christmas lights and billboards, to night clubs and high-end interior lighting schemes.
The beauty of DMX-powered lighting is that it can elevate your design, taking it from being the backdrop to centre stage. Nowadays, designers understand that their schemes can go beyond simply lighting a static structure. Using technology like DMX control, they can bring structures to life.
Much like the appeal of a flickering flame, smooth, flowing light that ebbs with colour is both fascinating and soothing to watch. And when you’re looking to create a spectacle, adding movement is the perfect way to achieve this.
Breathing life into designs
Tapping into the power of DMX control, Cinimod Studio created a beautiful structure for sushi chain, Itsu, at their Heathrow branch. The challenge was to illuminate 80 soaring butterflies to give the effect of shimmering movement.
To achieve the effect, our Azuna LED product was supplied as the main light source, alongside a fitting that was DMX controlled using remote electronic drivers. The light cascades upwards, reflecting off the dichroic film covering the butterflies to give the impression of flight.
Transforming empty space
The eye-catching potential of moving light is extremely useful in designs where you need to create visual interest out of an empty space. For instance, within large, cavernous atriums or ceiling cavities.
Where interiors are plain, moving light installations are an effective way of making them appealing without requiring a huge amount of extra time and resource. The recent refurbishment of the Intu Shopping Centre, Derby, is a perfect example of this technique in action.
Intu is a large, indoor shopping complex containing over 200 retail units. To make it a more enticing place to shop and spend time, the refurbishment needed to include some original design features that brightened up the empty space.
Working from Hoare Lea’s designs, we created a series of hanging spheres and halos from aluminium. The structures were lit by Luxeon RGBW LEDs, all DMX controlled to create stunning displays of colour which can be tailored to the time of day.
Speaking about the growing popularity of DMX control in architectural lighting design, Kemps’ Managing Director, Mark Kemp, explained:
‘DMX is great for colour changing of LED lighting and we’re also now learning more about Pixel Control. This means that, instead of controlling the colour en-masse, we are now able to control each individual LED.
‘This creates endless colours that chase and blend into each other in a spectacular moving display of light. All of these can be controlled with stand-alone controllers, media servers, lighting desks and specialist control software solutions via ArtNet, SACN or DMX… so watch this space.’
We hope this blog has given you a brief insight into the world of movement in lighting and that you’ve been inspired by some of the examples we’ve shared. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask us.
If you have an architectural lighting project you’d like to share with us, please get in touch to discuss your requirements, or request a quote.
Take a look at the bespoke lighting fixtures we created for StudioFractal as a part of the Royal Opera House redevelopment, which opened its doors in September 2018.