The High Street is changing to be an Experience

The High Street is changing to be an Experience

…So experts say,

The big retailers on the high street are all seeking the “next” way to keep retail alive and words like “experience” and “destination” are key buzz words. The clever directors at AL Nasser Group (biggest independent retailer of Lighting across Saudi Arabia) asked us to help design stores with interactive displays and demo rooms, and staff who could add real value to their customers. We don’t quite have the same luxury of space as we did in Saudi Arabian flagship stores but our new Shrewsbury design offices, is about being a welcome host and giving the time and space to showing clients possibilities with light.

 

Lady Thatcher said she was “Not for turning”

Lady Thatcher said she was “Not for turning”

…I think I’m having a moment here!

When LEDs became the major light source in a lighting design, I tended to add a filter to the colour and make it more like the old GLS warm white we all grew up with…to the technical that is 2700Kelvin. In the past say 5 years I moved towards a little more blue and slightly cooler light, I felt this was more modern and I liked the light with the cooler and grey pallet of colours people were choosing, so my standard colour in a design would be 3000K. What I didn’t like too much was mixing temperature of a colour in the same room, let alone building.

In 2018, I find myself moving the designs back to 2700K a tone warmer again, and I am also playing with dynamic temperature changes in the same room

I think I am turning!

The biggest difference was that in 2012 to achieve extra warm light, we added a filter, this then tends to reduce some of the other spectrum of light and takes little edge from the performance. Now manufacturers of LEDs such as Bridgelux are making LED chips that are both warm in tone and with better colour rendering so we don’t need to add filters.

(Thank you here to Kichler Lighting for the image, picture says it perfectly).

Shades of Grey didn’t kill Magnolia….

Shades of Grey didn’t kill Magnolia….

It was the light what did it!

Back in the 90’s when TV shows on interior design were a big hit, every wall was painted some off white with a hint of warmth, the trend went on for all builders and developers to paint everything neutral in some format of “magnolia”.

In the UK we like warm interiors where we spend so much of the year tucked away.

Now this is only my theory, and I would relish the argument…but people have tended to want blinds rather than Pelmets with heavy curtains and large open plan kitchen living spaces with the dream of bi fold doors to replace whole walls to let in daylight.

The more we learnt to love natural light and as windows are more efficient at keeping heat in, we accepted daylight, north light and more blue into our homes.

Grey’s slowly revealed themselves as the huge range of versatile tones that suited our natural Northern Hemisphere with more blue as a percentage of the light than our South Mediterranean equivalents. When picking colours for a room, you need to know the orientation relative to the sun and the way the colour of daylight changes across the day and seasons. The Lighting Designer’s job is to work equally with daylight and electric light, thinking through the success of a room is a often a complex (but enjoyable) challenge.

We sit around all day…

We sit around all day…

We sit around all day, yes its true. Design in a day is all about sitting around the board room table with our clients, understanding their hopes , lives and what they like in design, then we design a bespoke look and feel for the home with light at the centre.
When the day is done we translate the design into drawings and specifications that your builder and electrician can follow. Ummm Wonder what will be on the design table tomorrow?
Danger “Blue Light”

Danger “Blue Light”

The BBC along with other news sources seem to love stories of a good night sleep by not watching screens from phones and tablets before bedtime, all because there is blue in the light and 15 years ago we discovered how we are more stimulated by blue in the natural spectrum. Thus, “ban the tablet” from the bedside table however small the amount of “blue” there is in the screen light…Now there is however a moon in our skies and “moonlight” has more blue in it, in fact I have been designing low level blue light in bathrooms at night for years because we can get up with a night adjusted eye, see very well in a small blue light and get back after the loo to a good night’s sleep. What are they going to say next..”ban the moon” ?