Lighting design in India 2

Delhi 1st February 2012

As usual in the big Indian cities I spent a lot of time in the back of a car today going from A to B in sometimes agonising slow traffic. It’s not for me, I find it hard to work as the roads are mostly in bad conditions and hence bumpy, making it hard to read or work on your laptop. But for all that my concept presentation to the client this morning went very well courtesy of a well prepared storyboard. Later in in the afternoon I went for a pre-tender meeting with a client in anticipation of an up coming tender interview as well as visit the site for better understanding. We are bidding for a prestigious government project as part of a consortium that will have to deliver the design, supply and installation as well as maintenance of the lighting installation for the next 5 years. We developed the concept as part of the submission.

As always it will come down to finding the right balance between the cost and the quality of the lighting fittings. For both projects we have developed nice original concepts but it will ultimately boil down to what the client will want to pay and the quality we are willing to accept. India has a fast growing local lighting manufacturing capability which like China is bound to reach quality levels acceptable to our standards. Already some local products seem to have reached these levels. The thing is that you need to build up experience with these products through actual installations and that unfortunately takes time. And with many new (LED) players the market definitely goes through a learning curve and many developers and architects start to appreciate the distinct difference between a supplier/manufacturer advising on lighting and a professional lighting designer.

I share this little anecdote to prove my point: I recently caught out a client in India who had asked a supplier to “advise” him whether my specification was any good…what?… you are asking a supplier with a conflict of interest to comment on our design because he is offering a much cheaper alternative? You got to be kidding. The client proudly invited me during a site visit to subsequently appreciate and approve his substitute product. I immediately saw it would not do the job and asked him to set up a visual mock up to assess and compare the lighting effect. He had been told that his LED floodlight substitute was as good if not better than my conventional metal halide selection. Needless to say there was nothing to compare as the conventional Metal Halide outperformed his substitute visibly by miles. Embarrassed he admitted his substitute was “not as good” as he had been told and proceeded to confirm the original specification for procurement. Lesson learned (I hope)…

Light Watch 3-13: Light and shadow…

02. February 2012 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting and the economy, lighting design | Leave a comment

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