KLH provided lighting design services for Placebo, a cocktail bar located inside Medpace’s Madison Square development in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dark hues and finishes complimented by brass accents flow through the bar, taking visitors back through time to a roaring 1920s speakeasy.

Sourcing luminaires that not only matched the aesthetic, but were also controllable by the network lighting control system and met the owner’s budget, proved to be a difficult challenge. After a long and extensive search, KLH and Arcx Studio sourced a custom fabricator for the luminaires. The large chandelier in the dining space was custom made with polished brass fittings and a controllable dimming driver to set to the light level requirements. The Sheppard hook pendants over the bar were also custom made to meet the same requirements of the chandelier.

In addition to the aesthetic challenges, low light levels were required throughout all spaces of the bar. The requirements from the owner were to maintain an average of 10 FC in main gathering spaces. Along with this requirement was the need to mimic the dimming effect of incandescent dimming and eliminate glare. Dim to warm downlights were specified for the general ambient lighting layer.

The lighting control system is a distributed network system made up of zone controllers. These zone controllers communicate wirelessly back to a tablet for the manager to dim and maintain these zones based upon events while still meeting the local codes for egress lighting. This tablet reduced the need for local dimming controllers on the wall that would take away from the speakeasy theme.

Overall, the total project was energy compliant and performed 20 percent better than local code due to the lower wattage LED lamps and luminaires.

At a Glance

Cincinnati, OH
Project stats
+ Energy compliant
Lighting Design
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Matthew Debevec, PE, LEED AP
Principal | Retail Market Practice Leader | Senior Mechanical Engineer
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Jeremy Toy, PE, LEED AP
Principal | Retail Market Practice Leader | Senior Electrical Engineer
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