To brighten up a Miners’ Day celebration in Russia’s northern Murmansk region, design, installation and sales company MuzTrade was hired to develop and implement a lighting design and provide full technical support for the event. The day also marked the launch of Main Shaft No. 2 at the Kirovsk mine located there, and organizers wanted to commemorate it with an ore-breaking workshop far beneath the surface.

“It’s not the first time our company has overseen a production in an unusual place,” said Denis Bessonov, director of MuzTrade, an authorized Martin by HARMAN distributor. “We’ve produced lighting on ships and aircraft carriers. Each event is an interesting experience and an intellectual challenge, as they have specific difficulties. But with Martin, we always find a solution to the problem.”

Working at a depth of 1,000 feet, MuzTrade faced several challenges. The electrical power that was provided was insufficient for an audio system, LED display and lighting fixtures. To solve the problem, MuzTrade constructed a separate cable that was more than a mile long to bring adequate power into the shaft. Another difficulty was the mine’s limited transportation options. The descent into the mine is via a 1.3-by-2 meter elevator that was unsuitable for most equipment and cases. Additionally, low temperatures and extreme humidity in the mines were big concerns.

“When we considered the sensitivities of the location, we knew that the Martin LED fixtures would be the best fit,” said Bessonov. “From my many years of experience working with a host of different products, I was confident the fixtures could withstand the high humidity and cold temperatures we were expecting in the mines.”

Also, Martin LED fixtures consume much less power than traditional lamp fixtures. They are smaller and lighter, mitigating transportation issues. For Bessonov, though, the most important concern was the reliability of the fixtures. “As difficult and extreme as conditions are in the mine, we knew we could rely on the Martin fixtures,” said Bessonov. “We have tested them hundreds of times and they have yet to fail.”

Guests exiting the lift were welcomed with Martin LED moving head lighting that illuminated the mine and created a dynamic wash. The stone arches of the workshop were painted in different colors, working in concert with the bright rich beams of the fixtures to create an intimate mood.

“MAC 101s were ideally suited for this project,” said Bessonov. “They are compact, bright and their light output was more than enough to draw guests’ eyes to the scene and add intensity to the usually stark surroundings.”

The celebration took place on a specially constructed stage with an LED screen at the center. MuzTrade affixed Martin MAC Auras to the 50-foot-high ceilings above the workshop. The light output of the MAC Auras was enough to provide a comprehensive wash to the stands around the display and guests. In addition, they created a background for innovative gobo projections and decorated the stage with the MAC 101s.

To reinforce event branding, gobos with the customer’s logo were installed. The moving head fixtures were directed at the walls around the main stage. Bessonov said he was elated with the success of the event, despite its many challenging circumstances.

“Even with all the technical difficulties with the delivery, installation and maintenance of the equipment in such a harsh environment, all the design ideas were successfully implemented,” said Bessonov. “The client was very thankful for our efforts and pleased with the final production results.”

Many thanks to Denis Bessonov for his insights into lighting a subterranean environment. Are you a designer or integrator who has lit up unusual locales? Tell us about it in the comments.

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