Back door lighting supplies
Singapore, 10th March 2010
One of our toughest assignments as lighting designers is to make sure the light fittings that are installed are actually what we originally had planned and specified. I am saying this because while we are talking with the client about our specifications, the site contractor is meanwhile negotiating through the back door with his “friends” to buy what he feels is an acceptable “equivalent”. Needles to say his assessment is mostly tainted by his drive to make money, so for him if it roughly looks the same (and at half the price) from “as specified” he will go for it. It will not be the first time I am shown an as specified sample but on checking the installed fitting find it is a local copy. Of course there are projects where we are well in control but I am generalizing what happens often in the Asian (and probably other) markets, as the problem is real.
It all starts with the light fitting specifications. As it is impossible for us to be aware of all light fittings and lighting solutions that exists (new products are continuously developed) we do need to be open minded about alternative proposals as long as it complies or improves on our specifications. At least that is my approach. The tighter the spec however, the less there is room for different and/or alternative interpretations. There are so many quality details and performance parameters that can and should be specified (but which are often taken for granted)… 🙂
It is particularly important to engage the client and procurement manager. Often they have no awareness of what makes the quality of a product and once they understand and adopt the “quality” thinking it becomes much easier to have our design installed as per specification!