Illumination Physics develops Super Dot RGBA LED luminaire for outdoor architectural lighting projects

Sept. 9, 2016
The illumination Physics Research and Development Team was responsible for designing the light fixtures for Studio City, the latest mega resort and casino to open on the Cotai Strip in Macau. One feature of the building was troublesome. Known architecturally as ‘the upper starburst’ – ten narrow fingers of steel pointing towards the sky like outstretched fingers of two hands, this feature formed the highest points on the building and required innovative illumination.

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Many lighting designers would have suggested using indirect lighting from below. We at illumination Physics knew from the outset that this lighting approach would make it difficult to achieve a crisp focus and the resultant sky glow and spill would be unacceptable.

illumination Physics has designed and manufactured over 100 different direct view LED dots over the last ten years and believe that we were the first movers of this innovative product. Given our specialty is large-scale customised façade lighting, we immediately recognised that the light fixture needed to produce a 360 degree visibility without allowing the light to travel upwards. Furthermore, it would also need to produce a much brighter output than any of its predecessors.

Hence, the concept for the Super Dot was formed. The prototype was immediately manufactured and tested on the construction site so as to assess its performance over a similar height and distance. Using a special disk-like lens with an internal reflector we were able to produce a 360 degree emission that did not allow light to escape above the horizontal azimuth. This enabled all of the available light to be utilized effectively.

The Studio City Super Dot is a 130 watt RGBA luminaire. The use of amber colour mixing was a deliberate strategy we adopted in order to produce a range of ‘golden hues’ that cannot be achieved with RGB or RGBW.

The Super Dot has become an LED beacon that will be adapted for other projects as required. The Studio City upper starburst lighting quandary was solved using this innovative new luminaire but it will have future applications wherever a ‘mast top’ architectural feature is required.

The Super Dot is a low volume product but is emblematic of the illumination Physics philosophy – ‘Why get it half right, when with a little effort, it can be perfect’.


Peter Kemp, Managing Director - illumination Physics