Lighting throughout the aquarium was completely re-imagined to create depth, sparkle, color and animation.

The entry and ticketing areas build excitement, begin to reveal the show and set a precedent for the experience to come.

The industry standard for tank lighting was questioned and reconsidered. Very little general/ flat wash lighting was used, a mixture of 6 to 10 degree LED spots were positioned at sharp angles to the water when possible to replicate shimmering beams of sunlight.

Linear spread lenses were added to select luminaires for fill. Shafts of shimmering light are seen throughout the tanks; color LED spots highlight coral and tank features; underwater lighting is used to light blue infinity walls behind coral.

Ambient levels are kept low in the galleries to reduce reflections in the tanks but color accents safely light the path through galleries. RGBA spots and LED luminaires with gobos and shutters softly light paths and exhibits. Feature ceiling elements provide interest throughout.

The Owner desired an Aquarium lighting scheme unlike any other aquarium in operation to date.  Lighting challenges included:

  • Provision of color and depth in tanks: flat white light is the standard solution, which lacks the sparkle of sunlight;
  • Corrosion and maintenance issues: luminaries are hard to access over tanks and the environment is highly humid and corrosive;
  • Hot and cramped service areas above tanks; heat from lighting is a problem;
  • Lack of environmental control over lighting; lighting must be better integrated with the animal’s natural lighting cycles.

The lobby public art piece is lit with LED ellipsoidals, placed to light the sculptural mobile and cast shadows that play on the wall. The fish shaped metal plates rotate independently throughout the space; two high wattage wave lights also add some texture.   An LED ceiling cove and lower signage cove add additional bands of color that mimic the sculpture lighting.