I've just put the phone down from one of those 'with regret' conversations; a client that's not sure ... has some doubts ... and is being hassled by the contractors for lighting layouts. The job's due for completion in July - I suspect there are already delays - so what time can there possibly be to develop a decent and meaningful lighting design for what is quite a complex space? The answer to that is - very little, verging on none at all, so the client falls back on the old tried-and-tested routine of going for a solution that - with luck - won't be an embarrassment, it might answer some of the issues - and will probably fall far short of what's truly wanted.
Does it really have to be this way? I've spent the past thirty years banging the same drum about bringing in the lighting designer as early as possible. There is nothing worse than trying to work through design concepts - which is just a posh way of working out with the client the best way of realising their needs and desires - while the electrical contractor stands tapping his foot in a corner of the room (literally, on occasion).
Actually, there is something worse than that. Its the call that you get when a project is just completed and the lighting doesn't work; and is there anything that we can do to improve things. Well, as the old rustic said to the city gent - I wouldn't start from 'yer.
So this is a plea to any potential clients who may be reading this; don't leave it so late. This may be the only time in your life when you engage on a building project - whether its a new house, or you're following your dream and opening a restaurant or shop, or you're ploughing your retirement funds into a hotel - don't sell yourself short. Know that you've got the people around you who can deliver the proper job as early in the process as possible. Then you won't be disapppointed.
There - I'm glad I got that off my chest.
A (very) basic guide to ethical specification
Lighting design: it's a client thing
Calculating obtrusive light: whose job is it?
When there's nothing in the catalogue
When is a chandelier not a pendant? When its a lantern!
When clients learn too much . . .
One of our details is missing
Where will light fittings come from?
The end of the light bulb?
Always something new . . . again
Always something new . . .
Combining old and new
On being in the dark . . .
Riffing The Internet of Things
John Bullock writes a regular column for lighting magazines. You can find all of the archived pieces here.
BLOGS - LIGHTING DESIGN
John Bullock writes about all things and anything concerning architectural lighting design; new technologies and old lamps; anything,really.
HOME LIGHTING CONSULTANT
John Bullock designs innovative lighting designs for people's homes. By working closely with clients he is able to deliver solutions that meet - and exceed - their expectations.
BLOGS - CPD RIBA CORE PROGRAMME 2015
John Bullock will be presenting a seminar on latest lighting design and technologies as part of the RIBA CPD Core programme 2015
BLOGS - SUSTAINABILITY
John Bullock believes that the UK lighting industry needs to embrace a sustainable way of delivering good quality product through good design, fabrication and end-of-life management.
BLOGS - LIGHTING HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Lighting has a vital role to play in our health and wellbeing.
CONDUIT (6) - Lighting for Winter Gardens
CONDUIT 5: Home Lighting - LED Lighting (2)
FX Magazine: Lighting Focus - Sustainability (Issue 258)
CONDUIT 4: Home Lighting - LED Lighting (1)
Can Smart Lighting Save The Planet?
CONDUIT 3: Home Lighting - The Bathroom
Can Lighting Save Us From Ourselves . . . NO!
CONDUIT 2: Home Lighting - The Dining Room