There's more to than light than the opposite of dark

Ric Ocasek

Making the Guinness World Records’ Largest Outdoor Chandelier

Making the Guinness World Records’ Largest Outdoor Chandelier
C1421– GE Chandelier, PlayhouseSquare, Cleveland Design: Barnycz Group Lighting Design: JK Design Group & Lumid Engineering & Fabrication by Lumid Chandelier Support Armatures Detailed Design, Engineering & Fabrication: DCL Joining the august company of Marawa the Amazing, world-record holder for “Most hula hoops spun simultaneously” and Hank Chien, who is the “World’s Highest scorer on Donkey Kong”, Cleveland’s PlayhouseSquare  is the proud recipient of the  world record for the “Largest Outdoor Chandelier”.   And we are quite proud as well, as Lumid engineered and fabricated this marvel.  The GE Chandelier was unveiled in May in an enormous celebration in PlayhouseSquare, once one of the premier U.S. theater districts.   Relevant stats for the heavy-weight chandelier: 20’ tall 17’seventeen feet in diameter 6000 lbs +4200 crystals You can find details on the chandelier itself and on the transformation of the city’s theater district on You-Tube and on numerous Cleveland publications.  For a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the chandelier and the inspiration for it, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTrCWr7MDLA. What you can’t find elsewhere on the web is the back-story about what went on here at Lumid during the project.  I thought I would share some of it with you here. Dominique and I met lighting designer Jay Winters on our first trip to LA in many years, and hit it off with Jay and his partner Ed Kaye immediately.  After a very long lunch looking over an active runway at an airport museum, Jay started talking about the project.  6 months later, we received a PO and started working on the project. The chandelier was to be installed by April 30 for a May 2, 2014 unveiling. We initially designed the crystals out of glass, each one the size of a man’s fist.  As this chandelier would be hanging over a major intersection with lots of street and pedestrian traffic, it was critical that we design and test extensively for safety.  Especially since the glass chandelier was to weigh 8,000 lbs.  Before ice coated it during the long Cleveland winters. So we suggested a mock-up.  We ended up building our own 25-foot tall freezer to hold a full-size mock-up of ¼ of the chandelier, as 25-foot freezers are hard to find.  We invited the designers and the Playhouse executives up to Montreal to witness a freeze-test, and they came in force with a camera crew from Think Media Studios, filming a “The Making Of…” video for Fox TV. Trying to emulate the worst possible conditions imaginable, we drew inspiration from the movie 2012, dropped the temperature in the freezer 80 degrees F in about 10 seconds while spraying down the entire chandelier with water.  The crystals froze solid but hung in there, all in one piece, looking beautiful and dripping with icicles.  Everyone at Lumid, the Playhouse crew and the videographers all cheered.  It was an amazing moment.
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Full-size Mock-up of ¼ chandeliers  Glass crystals covered in freezing “rain”
  Until Dominique jumped on the chandelier and started swinging from it to emulate gale-force winds following up the ice storm.  No chandelier could withstand that kind of attack, and some of the crystals cracked and fell to the floor.  Silence all-round, captured for eternity on video. Our shocked clients were understandably upset, and we eventually convinced them that this was a GOOD THING.  This is why we insist on Mock-ups.  Better crashing to the floor at Lumid than over Euclid Avenue. Time was ticking down, the deadline was approaching quickly, but we were confident that we could redesign and place an order to be delivered from overseas by our deadline. The crystals were designed and specified to be manufactured out of a special UV-resistant, impact-resistant acrylic.  With less than 2 weeks to go, we received the order in good time and installed the frame and strung the first crystals.  On May 2nd the city of Cleveland celebrated the new PlayhouseSquare, with a very relieved and relaxed Dominique Alary.  The unveiling was exhilarating, with fireworks and entertainment for the thousands that attended.  The GE Chandelier is beautiful, and the renovated theater district is one that the city of Cleveland can be proud of.  We are very proud to have been part of this award-winning project.