It’s all in the details…
Bangkok – Singapore 2nd September 2010
What I like about those in depth one on one design meetings is the time we can spend on resolving actual lighting design details. Getting the overall concept right is one thing but it is really the execution of the details that will finally make or break the end result. There is of course the follow up in getting it right on site by coordinating with the contractors and suppliers, but getting these details right at an early stage (or as early as possible) saves a lot of headache later on. If we work them out too late it becomes a hard call to have them integrated as most of the other consultants would already have finalized their drawings and understandably nobody is really happy if they have to modify or revise their work again. Lighting is not an stand-alone discipline, it has to harmonise with interiors, architecture, electrical, etc, etc.
So what sort of details am I talking about? For instance any light that has to be recessed or buried into a floor can be very tricky. Cabling has to be provided to the installation points, there has to be enough depth to recess the light (some of those in-grounds are damned big!) and if not possible because of structural slab issues we may need to agree on a plinth or raised base to accommodate the lights. Let’s not forget the water proofing issues.
Many details are also related to lights integrated in millwork, cabinets, etc. The lead designers may have provided the main conceptual idea but do we have enough space to incorporate the correct light for the desired lighting effect? Coordination is critical. Incorrect dimensions may result in lights or electrical gear not properly concealed or lights even not fitting the allocated space. It wouldn’t be the first time that happens…
“Classics” are maintenance issues. Lights being build-in behind translucent panels but no-one really thought of providing any access doors for lamp replacements and maintenance. The onus is on us as lighting designers to point this out to the lead consultants. Sometimes it is just the location itself. The hotel where I stayed in Bangkok for instance had lights mounted into coves in a 4 storey high ceiling. All lights were off… I wonder why?
It’s all in the details….