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Supporting Players

How lighting sets the stage for experiential drama in three wildly different environments.

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GET IN THE GAME

“It’s like being inside a game,” says Andy Turnbull, Executive Creative Director at Green Room Design (Birmingham, U.K.) and lighting designer for Belong Gaming (New York). That’s an apt description for the dark, intimate space, humming with more than 80 computer and video gaming screens.

These 3 Retail Designs Use Lighting to Captivate Customers

this page Intentionally dark and dramatic, Belong Gaming’s latest concept is set to be rolled out to 500 “arenas” as part of the brand’s global expansion.

This page: Intentionally dark and dramatic, Belong Gaming’s latest concept is set to be rolled out to 500 “arenas” as part of the brand’s global expansion.

While a haven for gamers, the challenge for the design team was to elevate the brand and bring some life and energy with just LEDs. “This location is dark and dramatic, which was a deliberate ploy – within retail restrictions,” says Turnbull. “Landlords don’t like retail environments to look like caves.”

So Green Room embarked on a lighting scheme that was sympathetic to gamers while lending theatricality to a monochrome space. “The key ingredient was the neon effect. We had a limited color palette – just black and white – which is enhanced with the bespoke colors of the squad emblem at each location. We simply used one style of lighting in as many ways as possible, as low energy as possible.”

To incredible effect. The chevron feature at the entrance guides gamers into the room, while boxes of light halo each gaming station. It creates a mood, a bubble – setting the scene for the drama of competitive gaming.

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LEFT Star-like, color-changing disks form a centerpiece, connected by spotlights that mimic a planetary belt.

LEFT Star-like, color-changing disks form a centerpiece, connected by spotlights that mimic a planetary belt.

INTO THE UNKNOWN

A journey into outer space is what awaits diners at Halation Bistro & Lounge (Shanghai).

“The concept is an astronomical environment,” the directors at RooMoo Studio explain. “The space uses different lighting installations with Bluetooth, which controls the effects of the whole site.”

These 3 Retail Designs Use Lighting to Captivate Customers

The sunken center point in the ceiling is reminiscent of a black hole, while the star-like, color-changing disks on all four sides are connected with spotlights to create a planetary belt.

Lighting throughout the space creates differing atmospheres, explain the designers, who note the wine bar adjacent to the main entrance. Acting like a stage for the bartender, the illuminated half-curved, three-level, vertical wine bottle installation toward the back of the bar is intended to be representative of time; two suspended wine racks nearby echo this, like arms on a clock.

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There’s a spacecraft at the center of the venue – a versatile structural feature used as a focal point for performances and special activities.

And the space-themed detail extends all the way to the bathrooms, where contrasting mirror surfaces reflect the layering effect of bottomless black holes, lending excitement to waiting in line. It’s an incredible example of how lighting elevates a restaurant environment to a theater of breathtaking sights.

this page VRAI’s minimalist interior provides the backdrop to its jewelry collections which are highlighted in illuminated displays.

This page: VRAI’s minimalist interior provides the backdrop to its jewelry collections which are highlighted in illuminated displays.

DAZZLING DECADENCE

For VRAI (Los Angeles), lighting is the warm, elegant backdrop to a showcase of fine jewelry. Similar to an art gallery, its Melrose Place store is minimalist yet approachable, crowned with a delicate geometric light fixture at the center.

“Since it’s a daytime store, we wanted the ambient light to be similar to daylight, so it was balanced with the exterior to minimize glare,” says Cass Smith, Design Principal at Cass Calder Smith Architecture + Interiors (San Francisco). “For the interior, we used LED lamps with a Kelvin temperature of 5000K. For the wall cases, we used the same, with a minimum 95 CRI to render the diamonds, silver and gold accurately.”

These 3 Retail Designs Use Lighting to Captivate Customers

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It’s impossible to miss the glowing wall cases, lined with linear LEDs and speckled with diamonds.

For authenticity, “The light represents how the diamonds look when you wear them outside,” Calder says.

This warm and enveloping light is the perfect choice for such a sumptuous store, allowing the jewelry to take center stage.

PHOTO GALLERY (77 IMAGES)
📷 Courtesy: Belong Gaming, New York | Wen Studio | Ryan Forbes, LA

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