Why Lighting Design?
Your project has a budget. Maybe it's a tight budget. (Let's face it, it is always a tight budget.) You can't afford a lighting designer, right? Not so fast...
There seems to be a perception that a lighting designer is a project luxury. Why?
Every project has a budget. Even though you may have to bite a bullet to pay a design fee up front, you should think of that fee as part of the overall lighting budget. Whatever total dollar amount you have in the bucket to pay for lighting - tell your lighting designer. They can design to that budget, including their fee! With this model, you have the added transparency of knowing exactly what part of your money went to design costs and what part went to product costs. Design costs aren't hidden in the cost of light fixtures sold to you.
Remember, no one is designing lighting for free. They may offer "free" design, but the cost of their service is wrapped up in the cost of the products they are selling.
A lighting designer will be there from start to finish of project, solving any problems that arise along the way, keeping costs in control by knowing product prices and preventing unnecessary overages, keeping change orders in check by being your advocate during construction. Lighting designers are worth their fees in gold. They know which products perform best and at what cost. They design more efficient solutions that save you money - initially or over the life cycle of the product. They inform you of rebates and tax deductions you can use to help pay for your project. Remember, no one is designing lighting for free. They may offer "free" design, but the cost of their service is wrapped up in the cost of the products they are selling. The only product an independent lighting designer is selling is the best solution for your project. Don't you want someone with your best interest in mind?
I recently had the fun opportunity to create a float for my church in a lighted Christmas parade. We didn't have much time, but I think we came up with a pretty elegant solution, and our float won first prize in the parade.
What do you think? We are already formulating our concept for next year's parade. Any suggestions?
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!
Conferences, speaking engagements, and projects - oh my!
Life has been busy at Envision Lighting Design. I'm going to try to get back into the habit of sharing it all with you here on the blog. There have been many recent inspirations, but I'm going to start with bringing you up to speed on one of my favorite bonus activities - the IES.
This year I am the chairperson of the IES EP Event. This is a day-long workshop designed for students and emerging professionals interested in the lighting field. During the event we provide tons of interaction between seasoned and emerging professionals in lighting. It is truly one of the most energizing and dynamic groups of people I know. This year's EP Event is being held in conjunction with the IES Annual Conference in Pittsburgh on November. 1 The Event will extend beyond our Saturday workshop with ongoing activities and interaction planned throughout the Conference, which will end on Tuesday November 4. If you have any questions about this event, contact me. I absolutely love to talk about it.
As chair of the EP Event, I'm also a part of the IES Annual Conference steering committee. We are busy selecting speakers and planning events for the conference to get just the right balance of education, networking, and entertainment. If you haven't been to an IES Conference in a few years, you should plan to get to this one. The talent we are bringing in this year will blow your mind! This is not your daddy's IES Conference.
Mark your calendars!
Next post: I'll fill you in on our latest St. Louis IES section meetings, and more!
Color Temperature Matters
co-lor tem-per-a-ture: noun The temperature at which a black body radiator emits radiation of the same color as a given object.
You may or may not be able to understand the definition of color temperature, but you know it when you see it. The two luminaires in this photo both have compact fluorescent lamps in them.
Saving energy = saving money = good.
Mismatched color temperatures = bad.
The one on the left is a cooler color temperature than the one on the right. A cooler color temperature has a higher number, measured in Kelvin, while a warmer color temperature has a lower number. These two are around 3000K and 2700K. When shopping for replacement lamps, make sure to get consistent color temperatures, and decide ahead of time whether you want a warm color like incandescent or a cooler, "whiter" light.
IES Annual Conference - 2013 Redux
It was another amazing IES Annual Conference! This year, I have to say the pre-conference Emerging Professional Workshop initiated the energy that propelled me through the rest of the conference! If you are not a part of the EP workshop, I feel sorry for you! If you want to be a part of it next year, contact me! We want to host 100 Emerging Professionals next year, which means we need even more experienced lighting professionals to participate and interact during the event
...the pre-conference Emerging Professional Workshop initiated the energy that propelled me through the rest of the conference!
The Sunday night Awards event was beautiful, with a record-setting 29 projects receiving Illumination Awards this year! For me, one of the highlights was seeing my old friend Kelly Jones who received an Award of Excellence for one of her projects. It was also fantastic to see Kristin Peck accept an Award of Distinction! Kristin was an intern when I worked at LDA (a lifetime ago) and her award-winning project was the first one designed by her new firm PrichardPeck Lighting. Congratulations Kelly and Kristin!
Monday morning's keynote address by Ekaterina Walter was on the topic of social media. This is an area where our industry as a whole lags, but I was personally inspired by her talk. There is no B2B; because of social media, business is all P2P. People to people. Number one takeaway: remember to "delight" your audience.
I was mostly attracted to papers and sessions that focused on lighting and health. Asha Hedge spoke about Sensory Processing Disorders and how lighting design - especially for schools - can accommodate students who fall under the umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder or have other types of Sensory Processing struggles. The research in this field is minimal. What is available is sometimes contradictory and often based on anecdotal evidence. I believe this is a field which deserves more study, and the more we learn, the better environments we can create for everyone, not just those who have special needs. Lighting is for people. We need to create appropriate environments for all people.
The next general session was a fairly technical discussion about lamp lumen depreciation with LEDs. So many of our old metrics don't apply to LED technology, and we are playing catch-up as the researchers attempt to define new metrics. For example, what LLD factor do we apply to products that increase drive current over the life of an LED to avoid any lumen depreciation? Products with higher drive current could look identical to a lower drive current product at the beginning of life but will depreciate faster. What about driver failure? This isn't a part of a lumen depreciation calculation, but should it be a part of lamp life calculations? This general session was a great illustration of how the conference is turning back toward its "technical conference" roots. That's a great direction for the conference to take, given the speed of change in our industry today!
Lighting is more than meets the eye. The paper session by M. Wei about color preference under LEDs with Diminished Yellow Emission was fascinating. This study took a look at the preferences of people with side-by-side comparisons of two rooms. When energy in the yellow (570-580 nm) part of the spectrum was removed, preference increased - despite a lower CRI. There are currently 22 existing metrics for color quality, but which one or combination is the right one? His summary sentence, "Brightness perception can not be predicted by luminous efficacy." has huge implications. Efficacy is not the end-all be-all? What can we learn about human perception that might allow us to provide better quality of light with fewer lumens? How do our current metrics need to change to reflect this?
The Circadian, Neuroendocrine, and Neurobehavioral Effects of Lighting seminar on Tuesday afternoon, presented by Steven Lockley prompted a great conversation between my eye doctor and me. The crossover between disciplines is becoming more important than ever. Lockley discussed the connection between the newfound photoreceptors in the eye and 440 nanometer light. So, not just any light, but this particular wavelength of light is what helps us set Circadian rhythms. This light impacts our alertness (whether or not we actually feel more alert.) Even blind or rod/cone impaired people can sense light and dark when these photoreceptors are activated. The argument that comes next is, if 440 nm is the ideal wavelength do we need to be sitting around under blue light all day long? Or can warm light sources be enhanced in the 440 nm range?
It's an exciting time to be in lighting design! The more we research, the more we discover how important lighting is. There were plenty more concepts and ideas covered at this conference. There just isn't enough room here to discuss them all. Because of the informative papers and presentations plus the friendships and energy from the Emerging Professionals in our industry, the IES Annual Conference has become a definite "must attend" for me. Hope to see you there next year - in Pittsburgh!
I am looking forward to two upcoming speaking engagements! I will be presenting technical luncheons for two IES sections this month - in Montreal and Toronto. I love visiting Canada and speaking about lighting. Two of my favorite things! It should be a great trip.
At last night's Illumination Awards event in St. Louis I found myself smiling until my cheeks hurt. Thank you, St. Louis lighting community for being energetic, creative, and fun!
I am so grateful for each of you. There are bunches of unique and special individuals in this group, and as a whole we are spectacular!
In the upcoming days we will be posting pictures from the photo booth and quotes from the time capsule on the IES Facebook page and Twitter to stretch out the fun just a little longer...
In the meantime, I'll be working outside on the deck surrounded by my favorite things and enjoying the sparkles of the disco ball!
As Courtney heads back to school for her senior year, we asked her to write a summary about her summer at ENvisionLD. Good luck at school this year, Courtney! We miss you already!
I would like to take the time to thank Envision Lighting Design for my internship experience this past summer. I have developed valuable leadership skills, the value of teamwork, and real world experience. It has been such a welcoming and positive environment to work in.
Working for Envision Lighting Design has allowed me to apply my knowledge from my previous internship as well as my schooling so far. I have made connections with people that I never would have had the opportunity to meet if it wasn’t for Lisa. With this experience I feel one step closer to being confident in starting my career after just one short year left of college.
Lisa J. Reed, lighting designer and Principal at Envision Lighting Design, LLC