29 March 2019

The Importance of Specialist Lighting Design

Specialist lighting design can be, in our opinion, the difference between a good project and a truly memorable project. At DBQ we place a huge amount of importance on lighting design and we feel our best work is done in collaboration with a specialist in this area. It is surprising how many of our clients are yet to consider specialist lighting design or are unsure of how it works in terms of design collaboration. We always say that design is a team challenge and we will go that extra mile to ensure our clients have a consortium of the best specialist designers across multiple disciplines working with us to deliver a property which is not only functional but also visually and emotionally spectacular.

We had a chat with Bernie Tan-Hayes, Managing Director of Point of View Lighting Consultants in Melbourne who shed some insight on Lighting Design in the Hotel space.

1. What is it that fascinates you about light?

What fascinates me most about light is its ability to affect people. Their behaviour, emotions and alertness. It’s something, as a lighting designer of theatrical training I have always been a student of.

2. What has been your experience in terms of lighting design? Have you always worked within Architectural design and hotels?

I started as a theatre lighting designer where I practiced for 13 years before moving to architecture. I’m always grateful for this time in theatre as it taught me that the effect the light has on people and space is always primary to what the fixture looks like.

3. When I enter a hotel guestroom, one of the first things I judge the quality of design by, is whether the bathroom mirror has front face lighting, or a whopping great downlight shadowing my entire face…… What would you say is the most important element within a hotel in terms of lighting?

For me it’s being able to turn all the lights in the room off from the bedside and not having the desk light or bathroom stay on.

4. What do you consider innovation within lighting?

I consider true innovation in lighting design to be in the clever detailing of a space. Lighting should enhance the emotion of a space without being to physically apparent.

5. What are you most excited about in terms of how lighting technology has evolved?

I’m excited about developments that will see the costs of room controls drop. I’m also excited about the adaption of the LED technology into smaller packages that will allow us to more easily integrate lighting into space.

6. How do you view your role as a lighting designer on the project team?

We integrate and layer lighting into a space in a way which allows the space itself to become the light. We also often act as an intermediary between engineers and designers. We like to be able to have meaningful input into the design and need to be able to communicate this in technical terms to the project group including operators, owners and other consultant.

7. What is an ongoing challenge in the practice of lighting design?

Primarily, like any design practice in the current environment I suggest it is balancing budgets and design timelines. As a very close second I would say it’s the want of ‘Design & Construct’ contractors to drive the cost of everything on a project down to their own gain and often the client’s detriment.

8. What advice would you give someone developing a hotel for the first time?

Don’t save on lighting control. This where the magic happens and if you get it right it’s infrastructure that will survive through multiple refurbishments.


You can learn more about the works of Bernie and his team at www.f-pov.com

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