When Southern Californian audio visual company Props AV was approached to help salvage the lightshow at the Totally 80’s Bar & Grille in Fullerton, CA, lighting designer Michael Betancourt turned to ADJ to provide the equipment. Totally transformed thanks to a host of modern LED-powered fixtures, the bar now has a colorful lightshow capable of producing retro effects that give an authentic 80’s feel to the venue.
In September of 2014 the owners of the Totally 80’s Bar & Grille invested in over 70 non-branded, lighting fixtures to provide color, energy and movement at their venue. Although saving a little money in the short term, they soon realized their lighting investment wasn’t working because after just six months roughly 30 of the units were broken. The lightshow was no longer doing its job of creating a party atmosphere for the themed late night venue and, with no technical support available, getting the faulty lighting fixed proved impossible.
Realizing that more investment would be needed, the owners approached reputable California-based installation company Props AV to renovate the lighting system. Installer, and Lighting Programmer Michael Betancourt, recommended a new lightshow comprising exclusively ADJ fixtures, knowing that they would offer the required reliability and – in the unlikely event of anything going wrong – US-based warranty-repair and technical support.
Having already spent a significant amount of money on lighting, the owners’ budget was understandably tight. However, thanks to a combination of the affordability and powerful output of ADJ fixtures, Michael was able to suggest a system that uses fewer units to greater effect in order to hit a price point that was manageable. In total Props AV supplied and installed 35 ADJ fixtures to completely transform the venue’s lighting. The flexible new system is able to provide atmospheric lighting while dinner is served early evening, energetic retro-themed effects for dancing later on, as well as stage lighting for the regular live musical performances.
When it came to choosing the fixtures for the install Michael’s decision was an easy one, “it was a no-brainer to use ADJ products, as the venue has a low ceiling – roughly about 9 feet – there’s really not a lot of products out there that could fit in that space.” It was ADJ’s hugely popular Inno Series that Michael knew would be perfect for this job, fitting discreetly in the ceiling so that the modern technology could blend into the background allowing the bright vibrant light beams to take center stage.
Six Inno Spot LEDs were installed above the dancefloor to project brightly colored GOBOs onto the black and white checkered dancefloor and across the whole room. Expertly programmed by Michael, the Inno Spot LEDs sweep around the venue each blasting out a different color to create a classic 80s look. The energy on the dancefloor is then heightened further by the use of the rotating GOBO function that allows additional high-impact movement to be added to the sweeping motion of the heads.
Michael also made use of fixtures from ADJ’s incredibly compact and affordable Inno Pocket range to add even more movement and color into the space. “It was nice to use some of the Inno Pocket Series products as this project really showcased just how powerful these little lights are. For this type of venue, their coverage area is really impressive, they pack a real punch”.
In addition to six Inno Pocket Spots installed over the small VIP area, Michael choose to enhance the dancefloor lighting with an additional six Inno Pocket Wash fixtures. These small but mighty moving heads are very flexible as is demonstrated by their use in this venue. Two are positioned close to a mirrorball in the center of the dancefloor and are used to light it with a variety of changing colors. Thanks to their relatively tight beam angle of 28-degrees, the Inno Pocket Washes are also used to provide mid-air beam effects as well as to wash the dancefloor with vibrant primary colors. Finally, a further pair of fixtures in front of the stage are used to illuminate performers when required.
Decorated with a line of ghosts being chased by Ms. Pac-Man, the bar itself is a real focal point within the venue, which Michael chose to further enhance using ADJ Ultra Hex Bar 12s. Making full use of each fixture’s twelve bright 10W HEX LEDs, the bartenders are now atmospherically lit in swathes of continuously changing color. This adds to the overall 80s atmosphere of the venue and ensures that no customer will ever be in any doubt as to where to go for a drink!
The impressively themed venue is also decorated with a series of wall murals depicting musical icons of the 80’s, which have been highlighted with thick outlines in UV-active paint. When Michael first visited the venue these were lit half-heartedly with a handful of dim UV bars but he could see that they weren’t being shown off to their full potential. “By adding in ADJ ECO UV Bar Plus IR fixtures we were able to truly make the murals and glow-in-the-dark paint come to life, really showing what the 80’s was all about, with electric UV and bright neon colors.”
Finally, to enhance the atmosphere even further, Michael chose to install two ADJ Fog Fury Jetts. Blasting out fog across a distance of up to 25 feet, these powerful machines mean that the venue can be filled with smoke to enhance the lighting effects within a matter of seconds. What’s more, thanks to their built-in RGBA LEDs, the Fog Fury Jetts can also be used to add even more bright colored light into the room.
What has been achieved at the Totally 80’s Bar & Grille with the compact ADJ Inno Series fixtures is truly impressive. While neatly tucking away in the ceiling, the lights fill the room with vibrant color and energetic movement, providing a perfect backdrop for the nostalgic music policy. What’s more, thanks to the reliability of ADJ’s products, the owners can rest-assured that the lightshow will keep on working night after night, month after month, year after year - unlike their previous low-budget option!
The owners must have been impressed be the equipment from ADJ and the service from Props AV, as they have already commissioned Michael to install an ADJ lightshow at another venue they own in the California area. But that’s a story for another NewsWave…
Totally 80’s Bar & Grille (Fullerton, CA)
ADJ Dealer / Installer / Lighting Design:
Props AV (Cherry Valley, CA)
ADJ Gear List:
6x ADJ Inno Spot LED
6x ADJ Inno Pocket Spot
6x ADJ Inno Pocket Wash
6x ADJ Ultra Hex Bar 12
8x ADJ Eco UV Bar Plus IR
1x ADJ UV Bar 16
2x ADJ Fog Fury Jett
1x Antari Z-350 Fazer
Check out ADJ lighting at the Totally 80’s Bar: