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Illuminating Homes: The Art and Science of Lighting Design



In the world of custom home building, lighting design often takes a backseat to other crucial aspects of the construction process. However, the value of incorporating a skilled lighting designer and integrator early on cannot be overstated. Recently, we hosted an event focused on lighting design and groundbreaking innovations in intelligent lighting. I wanted to share the experience, highlighting the significance of involving lighting experts from the outset and shedding light on the revolutionary strides being made in the realm of residential lighting.

Setting the Stage: The Importance of Lighting Design 

We initially met our guest speaker Glenn Johnson, lighting designer and owner at The Adaptive Method, while we were taking a class at Lightapalooza, which we discussed in a recent post. We've always been believers in proper lighting, but lighting design requires an understanding of the architectural nuances, the psychology of light, and an artistic touch to create an ambiance that is both functional and visually stunning. Also presenting was David Weinstein, VP of Sales for Lutron. Both emphasized that lighting design should be treated as an integral part of the home building process, rather than an afterthought.

In attendance, we had more than 20 of the top local architects, interior designers, and builders in attendance, and the mixture of the three was a great first step in getting everyone to understand the importance of having the various teams come together to collaborate and represent their portion of the build.

Glenn mentioned afterwards that "One of the Architects at the event told me he is fully on board with everything he heard. He said the logic of The Modern Design Team and our Adaptive Method was captivating and understood that bringing the team together early with the owners is the pathway to success." I don't think I could sum up the goal of the evening more succinctly than that. 

The Rise of Intelligent Lighting

As the event progressed, the spotlight shifted to the remarkable innovation in intelligent lighting systems. David spoke about the cutting-edge technologies revolutionizing the way we interact with light, elevating both comfort and energy efficiency in residential spaces. For instance, these systems can automatically adjust the brightness and color temperature of lights to mimic natural daylight, promoting well-being and enhancing the mood of the occupants. The possibilities seemed limitless, with attendees envisioning a future where lighting becomes an extension of architecture and design, rather than a requirement like electrical and plumbing.

Of course, seeing is believing, so after David's presentation, we had a dessert break where we highlighted the benefits of Ketra's vibrancy mode, with a live demonstration at our dessert station. The pictures don't do it justice, it is truly something you must experience to fully understand. Along with the dessert presentation, Lilly from Lutron provided demos to the group, and those lighting demos became a pivotal point for those in attendance who hadn't had an opportunity to see Ketra in action before. I heard a few people commenting that the pricing really isn't bad when you consider the overall pricing of the home. Lighting is used daily, and designed properly, can highlight the architecture, materials, and artwork throughout a home; not to mention the daily tasks and wellness benefits a product like Ketra offers the homeowner. 

The Role of Lighting Designers and Integrators 

One of the key takeaways from the event was the importance of involving lighting designers and integrators early in the home building process. Traditionally, lighting decisions have been made by architects or homeowners without considering the specialized knowledge and expertise of lighting professionals. This often leads to suboptimal lighting outcomes, hampering the overall aesthetic appeal and functionality of the space.

By involving lighting designers and integrators from the outset, architects and homeowners can benefit from their deep understanding of lighting principles, technology advancements, and design trends. These professionals collaborate closely with the project team, seamlessly integrating lighting fixtures, controls, and automation systems into the architectural plans. This collaborative approach ensures that lighting design harmonizes with the overall vision, enhances the architectural features, and caters to the specific needs and preferences of the homeowners. Glenn captured this succinctly with his Adaptive Method, and helped the attendees to better understand the value of bringing in both the Lighting Designer and Integrator at the beginning of the project where costs and timing are much lower than if you wait until further into the project, which often results in additional time, change orders, and redos of completed work. Håkan even made a chart that helped demonstrate this for all the visual learners.

He further drove the point home when he introduced two of our clients, John Goodsill, who encouraged Håkan to get into the business, and Jeff Northcutt who is a big fan of the project Beemer Smart Home completed for him. We designated them both as our first "Signature Level" clients, a new program we are implementing for clients utilizing us for their lighting/shades, audio/video, and control system needs. 


David summed it up well in an email he sent following the event: "I believe we were able to convey the value and benefits of our innovative and amazing Ketra full spectrum lighting solutions as well as communicate the increasing importance of working collaboratively across the system design and installation communities to deliver exceptional illumination experiences for luxury residential clients." The event was an eye-opening experience that reinforced the importance of involving lighting designers and integrators from the early stages of home building. It shed light on the artistry and science behind lighting design, emphasizing its transformative impact on the overall ambiance and functionality of residential spaces.

Furthermore, the event showcased the remarkable strides being made in intelligent lighting, promising a future where lighting becomes an intelligent and intuitive element of our homes. As technology continues to evolve, it is essential for architects, homeowners, and lighting professionals to stay abreast, and Beemer Smart Home commits to continuing to provide educational opportunities like this event to our partners and clients. 

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