When Swedish retail giant H&M opened its newest US flagship store in Times Square, lighting designer Ira Levy selected Clay Paky Sharpy and A.leda Wash K10 LED-based lights to enhance the store's futuristic, high-tech look. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of Clay Paky fixtures in North America.
The H&M Times Square branch encompasses 42,000 square feet and has a number of tech-savvy features, including a mezzanine with Social Media Lounge, 7,000 square feet of LED screens, a 53-foot glitter wall, interactive mannequins and a virtual runway for shoppers. Lady Gaga cut the ribbon to open the new store and spent time with 20 lucky shoppers who had waited overnight in line for the privilege of being the first through the doors.
"The idea was for the store to appear as if shoppers were coming to a New Year's Eve party 24 hours a day," says Ira Levy who heads New York City-based Levy Lighting | NYC. "The flagship store is located across from where the ball drops on New Year's Eve, and it has a club environment with lots of glitter and reflective surfaces. We use moving lights to add energy to the retail experience and shoot the lights against all the reflective surfaces, almost like a stylized mirror ball."
Levy has employed Sharpys and A.ledas in the space. "The ceiling height is about 60 feet, so we wanted to have a light that is able to punch through the ambient light in a highly-illuminated space. But we also needed to hit all the way to the ground floor. Sharpy gives me that," he says.
Levy was also looking for a fixture "with a very long lamp life. We have scheduled maintenance four times a year based on calculating Sharpy's lamp life," he explains.
The A.leda Washes give Levy the option of color washes in that same area. "The zoom gives me a lot of range," says Levy. "I'm able to have tight beams for long throws and wider beams to illuminate shorter distances. I wanted color out of an automated light and something that had a long maintenance life, and I get both from the A.ledas."
The lighting designer reports that he's been "very happy" with both fixtures, which are "working great" in the high-profile store. "I used to work with Clay Paky and know the quality and reliability of the units. A lot of companies make [moving light] fixtures, but I wanted top quality motors and have been happy with Clay Paky's in the past. I'm very happy with their performance."
Levy was also impressed with A.C.T Lighting's customer service. "They've been great, really supportive with very good back up," he reports. "A.C.T staff members have been very responsive to everything and always available to me. I've never had to wait for anything."
Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, commented, "The A.ledas and Sharpys work very well together in the H&M store and we're honored to have been chosen to help illuminate this retail institution."