Aug 3, 2022

Advertisement articles published in the LD+A eReport do not necessarily reflect the views of the IES nor do they represent an endorsement by the IES.

Sponsored by: PureEdge Lighting

Location: CoralVue
Lighting System: Flex Neon UDF7
Lighting Designer: Sam Slobusky, Owner, Wet Work, Inc.

Wet Work, Inc., a company that specializes in aquarium system design, construction and installation, had quite the challenge. Their client, CoralVue in Louisiana, needed a large indoor aquarium built…and inside that space they needed a control room. This control room would also be the ‘showroom’ for various aquarium products and would feature actual running aquariums filled with sea life. Sam Slobusky, President and founder of Wet Work, Inc., and the design mastermind behind the project, wanted to make this space spectacular. This unique lighting project had to meet multiple requirements. The lighting was a crucial design element that had to function within humid temperatures, and be tunable to support a marine environment. The health and wellness of the aquarium sea life was a priority and relies heavily on correct lighting. The lighting also had to support product video filming as this was a perfect space to film the products on display. 

Sam designed a space that was highly functional for the required tasks within the control room and also incorporated the beauty of architectural lighting. That lighting had to sustain a healthy aquarium environment while also providing adequate task lighting. Flex Neon, an indoor/outdoor lighting system, was chosen to create the architectural lines of light. Because the lighting had to be outdoor rated and corrosive resistant due to humid environment, Flex Neon was the perfect choice to fill this room with ample lumens. It provides more than enough light for task lighting and provided a unique aesthetic without having to install utilitarian lighting systems. Flex Neon was recessed and plastered into the drywall for a clean finish. If any of the LED strips need to be replaced, they are simply removed from the channel which keeps maintenance costs low and offers flexibility for change later. 

“I didn’t want standard high-bay or can lighting in the room...too ordinary, too simple, too industrial.”
—Sam Slobusky

The inspiration for the lighting came from the desire to replicate the lighting you might find on a coral reef. For this installation, color was imperative. “Color temperature is often over-looked in design, but in my world it’s critical” said Sam. For this project especially, tunable white was necessary and Flex Neon delivered. Aquarium lights are very blue, 10K to 25,000K. If he had used RGB+W, the light would have looked orange. There was also reflected light coming off of the aquarium tanks, which needed to be considered. Tunable white technology ensured that the lights didn’t look orange. They can ramp up to 6500k if they want, but have lighting versatility with a range of 2700K to 6500K to choose from. The client wanted pleasant lights when the aquarium lights were off, then tuned to a brighter white when the aquarium lights were on.