The Courthouse

  • Client The Courthouse
  • Location Isle of Man, UK
  • People Involved ELS, Rehab²


Opening in the heart of the financial district in Douglas in 2009, The Courthouse quickly became one of the Isle of Man’s premier entertainment venues, but after 10 years space desperately needed to be updated. The client wanted a bar and nightclub that would also be attractive to corporate clients to use as a conference and meeting venue during the day.

Essentially, they wanted a hero feature to make them stand out from the crowd, so with Rehab² on interior design and ELS on integration, GDS came on board to take care of project management, lighting design and commissioning the lighting fixtures and drivers.


GDS used continuous, recessed LED profiles in the walls and ceiling of the entrance lobby to achieve a tunnel effect – creating a border that represented crossing from the familiar into somewhere new, exciting and fresh. In the main club space, over 100m of bespoke RGBW strip and LED fixtures were used for the bar, dance floor and the new feature of nine distinctive, coloured booths.

A unique suspended, continuous profile was installed above the bar, and to follow its curves and sharp edges, ground recessed continuous profiles were placed in front of it. Triangle RGBW profiles were also fitted above the dance floor area as the main feature, mirroring the shape of the black wall tiles, and enhancing the geometric feel of the space to stunning effect.

All the fittings were set up to be controlled over DMX (utilising our Prodigy Control System, which is integrated in addition to the already existing lighting desk) on separate dimming channels, allowing for various colour temperatures and special effects. The Prodigy Controller controlled the profiles by imputing signal to the RDM compatible drivers within the luminaires. By using the Prodigy control system, the installers could fit all luminaires before their configuration (as this is all programmed from Prodigy controllers). This meant there was no need to configure the lighting until it was in situ, making it easier to visualise its effect and set up scenes.

Four Prodigy control outstations were installed around The Courthouse, among them a 3-fader module with the capability to take control of the entire lighting system in the case of emergency. This was installed in the main office and the turning of the fader to full power enables the manager to override all other input (setting the fader to 0 input will relinquish control).


Stewart Dillon, general manager of The Courthouse was delighted with the results, especially when it came to the standout feature of the booths. He said,

‘The beauty of the booths is that they tie in with the design of the bar and lighting, bringing it all together. We had to have something really special and I think we absolutely nailed that. James from GDS was fantastic with great suggestions on what we could achieve. He was totally welcoming, and nothing was a problem at all.’

"The lighting was one of the main points, and we had to have something really special and I think we absolutely nailed that."

Stewart Dillon
General Manager, The Courthouse