Send in the Clouds

From cool-minimalistic to cumulus, electrifying cloud lighting is hovering over Las Vegas

The LED Cloud lights up your life at SLS’ Center Bar. | Photo by Ryan Forbes/Avablu

The LED Cloud lights up your life at SLS’ Center Bar. | Photo by Ryan Forbes/Avablu

At the intersection of form and function, the latest trend in mood lighting is taking Las Vegas clubs and bars by storm. Each of these original, technology-driven masterpieces is a star attraction, lighting up spaces and enhancing the vibe.

The LED Cloud

This large rectangular structure (pictured above) measures 18 feet wide by 32 feet long, and is suspended above the Center Bar near the main entrance of SLS. Displaying a loop of artistic motion and 3-D graphics on all exposed sides, a custom control system allows for complex styles of mood-enhancing content. At any given time, the system can cycle through such modes as “Joyful,” “Colorful” and “Playful.” Occasionally, the curiously entrancing 3-D face, which appears to move in and out of the stratus-style cloud, is a dramatic and amusing attention-getter. Built with 910 LED (light-emitting diodes) modules covering more than 990 square feet and more than 2.1 million pixels, offering high-quality, vibrant images, the Center Bar’s LED cloud gives new meaning to “cloud computing.” (Center Bar in SLS,

Vanity’s Cyclone | Photo by Erik Kabik

Vanity’s Cyclone. | Photo by Erik Kabik

The Cyclone

Open exclusively for special events, Vanity nightclub boasts a custom-designed Cyclone chandelier hovering above its sunken dance floor. The undulating ceiling element spans 1,200 square feet above guests’ heads, and is covered in shimmering crystal discs and more than 10,000 individually controllable iColor Flex SL full-color LED nodes. Brilliantly, it comes alive with an array of complex light shows, controlled by an e:cue lighting system, while large-scale video displays are easily controlled by the DJ. Originally, the trunk of the Cyclone emerged from the dance floor, but it was recently, well, truncated to accommodate space for a control booth. The Cyclone is estimated to have cost $700,000 at the time it was fabricated for the club’s opening in 2009. (Vanity Nightclub in Hard Rock Hotel,

The Baby Vortex

Despite its name, the creation of this illuminating mesocyclone at 3535 Bar in the Linq was a larger-than-life engineering feat. Coming in at an estimated $450,000, Baby Vortex is made from a special formulation of fire-rated translucent polyurethane resin. The manipulation of the materials to piece this vortex together was tricky as crews worked 24 hours straight for more than one month to lay down each layer of the resin in precise 1/64th of an inch thickness every hour. The surface’s gray tiled matrix pattern is composed of 55,000 one-inch black squares, which adds a modern, digital feel to this cloud. Mushrooming high and wide above patrons’ heads, its expanse and color-changing intensity definitely checks in at an F-5 on the tornado scale. (3535 Bar in the Linq,

3535's Baby Vortex

3535’s Baby Vortex

The Cloud

Hovering directly above BLVD Cocktail Co.’s swanky piano bar is the Cloud, a custom art installation by artist Gabriel Culp. It resembles a cumulus cloud, comprised of a massive cluster of white spheres, made primarily of Sylvania light bulbs. With 14,000 bulbs, of all sizes and opacities, the Cloud, which is estimated to have cost $30,000, is held together by a free-form chicken wire frame. However, it is deep within the low-looming formation where the light source is housed. Energy-saving LED lights periodically showcase eye-catching visual effects that simulate thunderstorm activity—without the rain. But after looking closely, the ceiling-mounted fire sprinkler around which the cloud is fabricated could create a real-life storm if activated. (BLVD Cocktail Company at the Linq,

The Cloud at BLVD Cocktail Co. | Photo by Anthony Mair

The Cloud at BLVD Cocktail Co. | Photo by Anthony Mair

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