The lighting supplier
Perth, 21st May 2010
Meeting lighting suppliers is always an interesting experience for many reasons. It is fair to say lighting suppliers are an integral part of our lighting design life as we continuously need information about the light fittings that we specify and therefore require them to be on the ball and knowledgeable. But like it takes time to become a good lighting designer, it takes time to become a good lighting supplier as well. We need people we can talk to, who understand our problem and can think along with us when we discuss a lighting problem that needs a solution. A good project lighting supplier is very similar to a lighting designer, he is just standing on the other side of the fence but with excellent knowledge about the products and its many application options.
Unfortunately some of the suppliers that visit us lack the experience and understanding we need. It wouldn’t be the first time I have a lighting supplier in my office that does not know the difference between a lux and a lumen, mixes up colour rendering and colour temperature or does not know the difference between a metal halide lamp and a halogen bulb. Should I really teach them?…I generally do…and create some goodwill and respect for the future in the process…
I remember one of my suppliers in Singapore many years ago who had a very interesting sales philosophy. He felt that it was not about what his sales staff knew, but how they looked. His sales staff consisted of a team of gorgeous ex airline stewardesses (very pleasing to the eye), with excellent communication skills, but little knowledge about lighting. But they were very popular and in high demand 🙂
But by far the worst ones are those who want to tell you what you need to do and think they have the answer to everything. The show off types….Whatever you say they know better or whatever you want to do they have done it before.
A good supplier is a listener not a talker, an action man intending to help you, not himself…