UVFX’s Leslie Pringle recently completed the design and installation of the Downtown LA showroom and lounge for Hard 8, a T-shirt design and printing company closely tied to the international DJ circuit. Housed in an old four-story building that was once a Cadillac showroom and located just 300 yards from Staples Arena, the space is 2,500 square feet. Arranged in an L-shape with a 20-foot high ceiling supported by 10 peripheral columns and bordered with Roman/Greco relief moldings, the venue is intended to serve as both a daytime retail showroom and to double as an event space for DJ CD releases, event after-parties, fashion shows, etc., during evenings.

Lighting both upwards for an illuminated sky and downwards for the showroom displays called for a dual lighting system. The overall venue design also included a VIP mezzanine floor, a giant DJ stage with dressings rooms below for the T-shirt customers, and a divider system and lighting rig to separate the printing process from the showroom, but would still be visible to retail customers.

The sky, a fantasy mural of the Milky Way with two nebula explosions and a moon is called “Spirits of the Night.” To the careful observer, two energy forms—one decidedly feminine and the other masculine—can be reaching across the sky to come together in an explosion of light beams. The overall look suggests an elongated spaceship hovering beneath an intense star field.

Spattered stars and airbrushed fluorescent star-clouds, hand painted column leaf moldings, a red-line sky-window frame, and relief frieze moldings on several walls were all illuminated with 32 40W BLB (Black Light Blue Tubes) and built onto a steel-encased light beam connected via the Saturn-like rings around the paper balloon lamps suspended down the center of the L shape.

A track light system was fitted below this to light the T-shirt displays on the floor. Electrical current is transferred through the same beam/rings configuration from a single power input point providing for four switches to control the four light systems, but only the track-lights are dimmable.