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?
You'll be hearing a lot about the super moon today, because the moon is closer to Earth than it has been in almost 69 years. At 14%, it won't look a whole lot bigger, though. "Super-sized" is not what comes to mind...more like "oh yeah, I can see how that kind of looks bigger." The most noticeable thing when we checked it out last night was that it seemed WAY brighter. The shadows caused by the moon last night were super crisp and sharp. My kids initially thought the shadows were being caused by some electric light and they were awestruck to learn they were created by the moon. (Then again, this could just be because we don't spend enough time outside at night.)
Illuminance at a point can be simply calculated as a function of luminous intensity divided by distance squared. So the illuminance on the surface of the earth will vary inversely with the square of the distance from the moon. The equation is E=I/d^2. What exactly does this mean? The amount of light that reaches us is not a straight relationship with our distance from the moon. The light is doubly-impacted by the distance. Do you think you can tell the difference? Check it out tonight and let us know!
Lighting has always been a load of fun for me. This week we had fun attending a nighttime product demo. It was a great time getting together with others in the industry to eat, drink, talk, and learn. The evening was capped off with a short walk to a church where some powerful color-changing LED fixtures were on display - illuminating the church's tower and steeple.
That's when the evening went from just fun to totally amazing.
A woman who lived in the neighborhood came outside to talk to us. She began to share - through tears - that seeing the light on the church had given her hope when she had none. (This has been a really rough week for many people.)
Light. Brought. Hope.
Let that sink in for a minute...
As lighting designers, we are working in a medium that is so powerful. When we are designing, we have an awesome responsibility and opportunity at our fingertips. Light is a tool that can build bridges and bring people together. It can make us smile. It can give us hope.
We are not just here to make sure there are plenty of footcandles on the desk. That part of our job is just dandy, and we can do it really, really well.
But what drives the Envision Lighting Design team is our knowledge and understanding of how important light really is!
Sunrise - we love sunrise because it signals a fresh start; a clean slate; newness; a brand new chance to begin again.
Like a new year
and new life
and a fresh new notebook
and the first day of summer vacation.
We love beginnings.
Envision Lighting Design welcomes Philip Atkinson to the team!
Watch for an "official" announcement soon!
I just came across this New York Times article about the 24/7 work culture in service industries. Lighting design most definitely falls into this category of professions beholden to the whims of the client.
At Envision Lighting Design, we strive to build a culture that will work both for our team and our clients.
Enlighten: Learn. Forget your preconceived notions. Ban assumptions.
Enhance: Improve. Make it better. Be solutions-oriented.
Enjoy: Have fun. Love the process. Love the final product.
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 it out, I made the Edison Report!
This year's IES Annual Conference was notable for the high-powered keynote speakers. The Pittsburgh Section of the IES also did a great job hosting the conference and highlighting some of the best aspects of their beautiful city.
For me, the best part of the conference was again the pre-conference IES EP Workshop. The energy that starts here in a room peppered with first-time conference attendees is always amazing. The networking is fast and furious, and forever-bonds are formed between young and experienced professionals alike. Seriously, if you are not attending the Saturday workshop before the conference, contact me and tell me that you want to participate next year. It is the best!
On October 18, I had the opportunity to speak at the IALD Enlighten Americas conference. The topic, "Illuminating A Glass Ceiling: Women in Lighting" was a very popular one, and the conversation is just beginning. In fact, it was even included in Megan Carroll's Six Takeaways blog. It was a hoot to speak alongside Barbara Horton and Vasiliki Malakasi. We all had different experiences and different views, but the point was not lost: There are gender differences, and it is a good idea to acknowledge those, and for all of us to help women achieve their best potential. By increasing diversity in our industry and in our own individual organizations, we will increase innovation.
The conversation is far from over, and many of the people who attended this session have asked for a part two. I hope we can make that happen. Ultimately, I would like to see this discussion lead to mentorship, support groups, and awareness that will cause changes in behavior and affirming shifts in the culture of our industry. The lighting profession has a STEM side, and we need to do our part to increase the inclusion of women and girls.
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!
Lisa J. Reed, lighting designer and Principal at Envision Lighting Design, LLC