Sunset Tower Hotel, West Hollywood CA

One of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in Los Angeles, the Sunset Tower Hotel has been a symbol of Hollywood glamour for nearly 85 years.

Working with Woodroff Bassett Design, lighting designers LightRaze were engaged to create a new lighting scheme that would accentuate the tower’s iconic features, and give it a modern nighttime look.

“The hotel wanted a very subtle controlled beam of warm light to enhance the unique Art Deco architecture, and really bring the building back to life at night,” said Mark Raissen, president at Lightraze.

To accomplish this, Lightraze used focused beams of light and a 3000K color temperature to set the tower apart from the busy Sunset Strip.

“All of the signage on the strip is so powerful, so there was nothing we could do to lessen its impact; but by choosing warm white light, with medium and narrow beams, we were able to draw a contrast,” Raissen said.

To emphasize the height of the building, Lightraze used Lumenbeam Large luminaires to light the vertical spaces between its windows, drawing the eye towards the top.  Set close to the surface and using a narrow beam, the luminaires graze the reinforced concrete, bringing out its texture and character.

The firm opted for Lumenbeam Medium and Small luminaires for the tower’s upper levels. Again set close to the surface, the luminaires this time use wider beam angles to create scallop shapes of light, highlighting the tower’s ornate decorative friezes.

“We aimed the luminaires at the same tilt so that the scallops were exactly symmetrical all around the crown,” Raissen said.

The result puts a Hollywood landmark back where it belongs: in the spotlight.

“The tower’s unique features are on show at night,” Raissen said. “It’s subtle, but still a dominant element on the crowded Sunset Strip.”