Choosing your light fittings
Germany, 20th April 2011
One of the key decisions a lighting designer has to make is what light fitting to select to achieve the desired lighting effect. There are so many lighting manufacturers to choose from that specifying the “right” fitting can be quite a challenge. So why choose brand X over brand Y. This is basically an everyday question we pose our selves in the design process. What are the factors that make us choose for a special brand.
This question has come forward from my visit to BEGA today. A brand that I have used on and off over the years but that has never really been one of my first choice brands when it comes to specifying. Why? It is not an easy question to answer but let me try as it applies for other brands as well.
It has much to do with the level of comfort that we develop with the product brand. When we specify we want to feel comfortable that the product will deliver. This means that we have to see the product “in action”, we need to have played with it, touched it, tested it. What a visit to the factory does is to give you the confidence about the quality control behind the product, the people and the development team behind the product, the production and testing facilities and the company’s commitment to deliver an outstanding product…it’s amazing how much a company visit will reveal!
However the factory is generally not located next to your office so we deal with the product brands representative agents. And there is where often the crucial link goes missing. As lighting designers we need a constant dialogue with the product manufacturer to get the best out of our design intent. The product is as important as the people supporting it and till today I will shun a brand if its agent is incompetent. No disrespect meant but the quality of the people supporting the brand to me is as important as the product itself. On lighting installation sites we continuously face issues that need resolve. The product brand’s people are part and parcel of the final success of a project.
Last but not least as a designer you like the product to have “design” appeal, but that is a very subjective matter maybe for another blog…
In Light Watch today I have to share some more pictures of the fantastic spring weather (day light) we are experiencing in Europe 🙂