Check out this late-night action shot! This was a few weeks ago at a late Sunday night meeting at 801 Chophouse in Clayton, MO. Lisa was photographed measuring light levels for this beautiful new restaurant. Make a reservation there soon to enjoy the warm ambiance that was created by Core10 Architecture. This spot is sure to become a St. Louis favorite. Be one of the first to visit.
Thank you to Michael Byrd of Core10 for the photo!
My response? I think the lights were lovely, but I will admit that I had initially hoped to see them from the south. Then I learned that the lights were only installed on the north side of the bridge. Even art gets value engineered, I suppose. Next, I stopped halfway across the bridge hoping to view the show from Treasure Island, but again I was disappointed to discover that the LED lights were aimed toward the city of San Francisco and since LED lights are directional, they weren't visible from the east at all. I had driven enough miles at this point that the additional couple of miles to cross the bridge and see the show from the intended vantage point of the Embarcadero was no big deal.
I hate the critic's suggestion that the art was aimed this direction just to provide it for the affluent residents and the tourists. I would love to know Leo Villareal's response to this criticism. What were the design constraints? What went into his decisions about where to locate and direct the LEDs?
Do you think this installation of LED lights is positive, negative, or neutral for the lighting industry? Is it a good way to get the general public talking about and discovering lighting as an important element in the built environment?
While reading my latest issue of Natural Health Magazine, this quote from the back page caught my eye:
For many of us, Monday through Friday means slogging through traffic to sit for hours under soul-sucking fluorescents in back-breaking office chairs. But you can make your workdays healthier - mentally and physically - by making over your space with these tips.
"Oh boy!" I thought, "my magazine is going to address lighting quality. Yay!" But I went on to read suggestions that ranged from getting a fish tank or a potted plant to making ergonomic adjustments to the furniture and meditation to manage stress. No mention whatsoever of how to address the lighting quality problem. Even a paragraph about getting up and walking around only addressed the aspect of stretching. How about taking that walk outside to get exposure to sunlight? Or at least walking to a window for the emotional boost of the view?
If you find your fluorescent lighting to truly be soul-sucking, might I make a suggestion or two?
How about you? What have you done to take the "soul-sucking" out of your fluorescent office lighting?
Office Lighting Upgrade
Last week I installed a new light fixture in my office at Envision Lighting Design, LLC! I removed a two-lamp 4' T12 daylight fluorescent wraparound fixture with wooden endcaps, very 1985 top-of-the-line builder's grade. The new one is a Focal Point surface mounted 3' diameter Skydome with six 2' 3000K T5 fluorescent lamps. I have always loved the way these fixtures look like skylights when they are illuminated. It adds style to the space and offers a better quality of light. The other lights pictured are MusicLites from Sylvania. (They are LED replacements with an integral speaker. Using their universal adapter and wireless remote, I can stream Pandora from my computer through my lights while I work. Oh yeah. Novelty. Fun. Perhaps they flicker when dimmed, but I pretend not to notice because they are so much fun.)
The most difficult part of the Skydome installation was prying the fixture open before it was installed so that I could actually do the installation. It is an intentionally tight fit, and before the fixture is installed getting leverage is impossible. Finally after two days - and help from Nate, Todd, Darin, Tony, Paul, and Ivy - I was able to get my fingers far enough in between the lens housing and the gasket to pry the front from the back plate. Crazy! (I was going to include a picture of the crease in my finger after this success, but I will spare you.) How has an electrician ever done this on a job site? To their credit, Focal Point tells me they are now looking into ways of shipping the two pieces disengaged. Three cheers for a manufacturer who is always trying to improve their customers' experiences!!! All-in-all this was a challenge for me to install, but the rest of my challenges were almost certainly due to my lack of experience. I learned a little from the process and now I have better lighting in the office. That's a win! Here are some photos of the journey:
Lisa J. Reed, lighting designer and Principal at Envision Lighting Design, LLC