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Santa Monica Pier's Breathtaking View Accentuated by Pulsar

Dramatic lighting always adds to the ambiance of public spaces at dusk as lovers take a romantic stroll, especially around a $42.3 million setting like Santa Monica’s Tongva Park.

Helping to create different, colorful moods for the park’s striking walkway, which opened last fall, Horton Lees Brogden (HLB) Lighting Design tapped lighting manufacturer Pulsar for key equipment.

According to HLB lighting designer Clifton Manahan, it was never a question which vendor would be selected for the project along two of Tongva Park’s scenic Ocean Avenue overlooks at the Santa Monica Palisades Garden Walk.

“At the time of design, Pulsar’s ChromaPoint IP66 was one of the only wet-rated miniature color-changing in-grade lights available on the market,” Manahan points out.

HLB ended up specifying 75 Pulsar ChromaPoints, which are weatherproof, as well as two Pulsar ChromaZone PSU/controllers, for the installation’s dramatically lit structures, which sit on the park’s western edge, just one block east of the famous Santa Monica Beach and Pier.

“The ChromaPoints were the right choice because their IP weatherproof rating is ideal for this salty outdoor setting. In addition to being durable, the ChromaPoint LEDs feature an exceptionally smooth color mix and excellent dimming curve,” comments Vicci Stewart, account executive with Entertainment Lighting Services (ELS), the dealer on the project.

Commenting about the environmental elements, HLB’s Manahan adds: “The light output and effect highlighted the architecture very well, and the color-changing ability allowed the owner to program special effects for events or holidays. The IP rating and marine grade stainless steel finish also will help with fixture longevity at this location right next to the ocean.”

Stewart notes that the setup, which was installed by Cupertino Electric, also called for a Nicolaudie computerized lighting controller programmed by ELS system engineer Rick Corley to scroll the static Pulsar LEDs through a variety of colors.

Adding flexibility and a creative flair, the color schemes may be reprogrammed as desired by the operator or client – in this case, the City of Santa Monica.

HLB has done a fair amount of public park or plaza-type projects, although to Manahan’s knowledge it was the first time in the past few years that HLB’s Los Angeles office has used Pulsar fixtures.

Manahan credits Omar Arnold from Quantum Sales and Technology and Vinny Finnegan from Group One Limited, which distributes Pulsar in the U.S., with being “quite helpful in procuring samples for us and answering our questions or connecting us with the factory for further information when required.”

The Pulsar ChromaPoint is an extremely compact LED fixture that features three RGB TriColor emitters, which produce stunning mixed color right from the source. It is supplied with an optional opal disc and retaining O-ring that can be fitted internally to give an evenly illuminated disc of light rather than viewing the LEDs directly.

This tiny fixture has a wide viewing angle of 100 degrees making it ideal as a decorative point light source in architecture, interior design or stage and set design and is IP67 rated for temporary immersion up to 1 meter for 30 minutes max. The external ChromaZone power supply and LED driver allows for full DMX control of RGB levels, plus its numerous internal sequences provide impressive operation without the need for a dedicated external control system.

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