LD Profile: Walter Aleman

Posted on March 5, 2012

Six questions with Walter Aleman, lighting designer for Off the Hookah chain of Mediterranean-style restaurant/lounges in South Florida.

1. How did you get into this field?
I was introduced to lighting by visiting one of my best friends Mike Littlefield (DJ SWERVE r.i.p.) that was DJing the grand opening of the new Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., about eight years ago. Since I was always good with computers in college, he suggested that I play with the lighting computer and see if I could control them. Mike Corby, who currently works with CHAUVET, helped me learn all the functions and all the technical aspects of how lighting works and how to run the programming. From there I went on and did my own research and found that lighting was my new niche. I learned more and more from some of the top lighting engineers in South Florida, and I am very thankful for having Mr. Corby, Jorge Lobo, Rolando Aspuro, JP Sanchez and Luis Goenaga by my side when it comes to lighting.

2. What do you think is the next big thing in the lighting industry?
LEDs have come so far – there will always be a need for lighting no matter where you are on this planet. There’s going to be a time real soon that we will no longer need light bulbs – from large casinos, hotels and high-rises to nightclubs and special events. Sorry Mr. Edison, there is always going to be a need for beautiful lighting!

3. Do you have a favorite fixture (and why)?
My favorite fixture is definitely Q-Spot 260-LED. This fixture has a 60-watt white LED, which is the equivalent of a 250-watt light bulb that will last about 50,000 hours. That’s pretty much saying I can leave it on and running for five years without it going out on me. It moves quickly, smoothly and is very silent. Q-Spot 260-LED has what you need for endless color and great texture combinations, as well.

4. What has been your favorite design/project?
So far Off the Hookah in Bayside Miami has been my favorite project. Because of its design and interior lighting, the whole location was a great experience for me. [Click here for Off the Hookah story]

5. What was the biggest unforeseen obstacle that you’ve faced in one of your designs, and how did you overcome it?
One of the biggest unforeseen problems I had was when we had a big show to do, and it started to rain and the water began leaking through the roof of this venue and unfortunately damaged one of my CHAUVET COLORstrip linear wash light and the DMX signal throughout all my lights. Luckily I went one-by-one until I found out where the problem was; took out both DMX cables from the broken fixture and made a new line by soldering them. I regained my signal and show – thank God.

6. Complete this thought: A show without light is like…
…the Earth without the Sun. Dark, dull and boring! Plus no vitamin D.