ARGYLE: ROLL THE TAPE
The Argyle: theargylerocks.com
Show Technology: (02) 9748 1122 or showtech.com.au
The Argyle in Sydney’s Rocks district remains an inner city bastion of sophisticated partying. It continues to thrive where others have failed. Part of its success lies in its willingness to reinvest in the venue.
This year The Argyle treated itself to a complete lighting upgrade — inside and out. The design came from Show Technology, while lighting install specialists, Slave, provided the on-the-ground expertise, and the result is a fully-integrated lighting system that provides warmth and mood, and all the firepower an LD needs when the club is full swing.
“The Argyle approached Show Technology to assist with updating its interior and exterior lighting,” commented Show Technology’s Business Development Manager, Stephen Dallimore. “We developed a design that would work with the unique heritage architecture as well as provide maximum impact without breaking the bank.”
Some of the big-ticket items include a new MA Lighting dot2 lighting console and a complement of Martin Rush moving head lights. But the unsung hero of the upgrade is the LED Tape from Show Technology.
Originally the brief was to light the glorious sandstone and timbers of The Argyle, and LED tape was the only means of achieving the desired result in a cost effective manner.
Phil Hudson The Argyle’s Entertainment Manager gave venue a quick comparison of the more traditional LED RoxStrip fixture behind the bar areas which was around ‘$950 a metre’ as compared to the far thriftier LED tape. Yes, the LED bar has more throw, but the tape isn’t far behind.
UNROLL THE TAPE
The LED tape skirts much of the venue’s perimeter, lighting and theming the walls and timber. It’s been meticulously installed by Slave — recessed and then neatly covered with a diffusion strip.
When not in club mode, the colour of the tape is easily adjusted using a pushbutton wallplate controller behind the bar. It couldn’t be easier.
In club mode the MA dot2 lighting controller takes over, allowing the house lighting tech to seamlessly incorporate the LED tape into the show. It might sound like a small thing, but this type of integration is not as common as you might expect around the traps: “In other venues we’ll often see that an electrician has put something in or someone else has walked into the venue with a cheap alternative,” commented Slave’s Head Tech, Shan Soley. “At The Argyle, it’s all integrated, with one DMX stream — it’s a beautiful thing and rarely done. It’s great to walk in as a lighting designer and dim all the lighting down — including the LED tape — or control the walls independently. You’d be surprised how many people put up with multiple JB Hifi-style individual infrared remote controllers.”
WORKING WITH LED TAPE
Working with Show Technology’s LED Tape is easy but needs planning to get the best results. The tape is manufactured on a single, flexible circuit board. The brightness comes from the densely populated, high-quality Cree LED components.
The tape ships in 3m or 5m rolls. The tape uses a top-quality 3M adhesive backing — clean the surface, peel the backing and place it on. To shorten a length to size, it’s as easy as carefully cutting the tape. Lengthening and joining tape is trickier. The manufacturer will supply a clip to make the join, but Slave (being perfectionists!) have gone to the trouble of doing some fine soldering work to ensure the joins are seamless and longer lasting.
“The 3M adhesive is as good as you can buy,” commented Shan. “Saying that, with a job like this where everything structural has a heritage overlay, the great thing about the tape is it’s not permanent, which meets the guidelines.”
The latest generation Show Technology LED Tape is high in brightness but also easy on the power. A 3m roll is only rated at 5A, allowing one transformer to power multiple rolls of tape. The reason for the low current is in the efficiency of the high quality LEDs — the power is efficiently turned in to visible light and not heat unlike cheaper alternatives.
Martin dot2 console
13 x Martin Rush MH2
4 x Martin Rush MH4
4 x GLP Impression X1
9 x Hex 36 exterior lights
5 x Impression X1
LED Tape RGB
LED Hex16 Strip
2 x Martin Rush Strobe CWL