Lobby Design--lighting(2)

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Elliot Markowitz

Illuminating Insights

Q. What is the biggest challenge in lighting hotel public spaces?

A. Maintenance is a major concern from the hotelier's perspective because he or she needs easy, accessible maintenance. If you use a long-life lamp, the maintenance crew can spend more time on guestrooms rather than lighting.

—Megan Carroll,
business development manager, Leucos

Illuminating Insights

Q. What are the current trends in lighting hotel public spaces?

A. Luxury is more intimate now. Rooms have gotten smaller because hotel properties are more expensive. Common areas need to be living spaces. Rooms are functional but small, and common spaces—lobbies, conference rooms and business center—are all part of the living experience.

—Buck Buchanan,
director of hospitality sales, Wiedenbach-Brown

Illuminating Insights

Q. What is the biggest challenge in lighting hotel public spaces?

A. When we work in [public spaces], we ask what amount of light is needed (decorative, accent or primary). Then we work with the customer to meld the look with the light. Our UL listing allows us to put almost any light source in our products, based on UL requirements.

—Robert Fleischner,
president, AmeriTec Lighting

Elemental emphasis: Designer follows the light for installation inspiration

The ability to overcome obstacles is a big part of what leads to great design. Cheryl Townsend, founder of Cheryl Townsend based in El Segundo, Calif., which specializes in designing, manufacturing and sourcing lighting for the hospitality industry, says bridging the gap between residential and commercial was the main hurdle in a recent lighting-design task.

Q. What was your biggest hotel-related lighting design challenge?

A. "We were presented with the challenge of making a table lamp that would create a residential feeling for hotel guests at the St. Regis in Costa Rica. The lamp was to be distinctively unique to the hotel and clearly of high craftsmanship. The design solution was a clear, hand-blown glass fixture that was elegant and personalized for each room."

Q. How did you overcome the challenge?

A. "After several renditions, we ensured each piece was unique by poking the glass while it was hot. This created a seeded look that was different on every fixture. The top of the fixture was given a thick glass knob and the bottom was weighted with extra glass to create a ripple effect. All of these details created an unexpected texture and ensured each lamp was handcrafted. In addition, a silk sleeve was hand-sewn to wrap around the cord. By bringing this design element into the specifications, a residential feeling began to emerge. The added touch of a soft back shade with a French lining was the final touch to create a stunning fixture for this project."

—Paul Rusnak

Illuminating Insights

Q. What is the biggest challenge in lighting hotel public spaces?

A. The biggest problem with lighting hotel lobbies is finding fixtures to match the scale of the lobby. ... Whether you go for a custom fixture or arrange multiple wall fixtures, it is important to remember that decorative wall fixtures, and to a certain extent decorative ceiling fixtures, are just that, decorative. ... Mixing the decorative fixtures with the proper layout of recessed and other supplemental commercial lighting is always the way to go when lighting a lobby.

—Stephen Blackman,
Blackman Design Associates, Kichler Lighting

Illuminating Insights

Q. What are the current trends in lighting hotel public spaces?

A. The trend is to make common areas, like lobbies, restaurants and even hallways more intimate. Toward that end, everything from furniture to window treatments is designed to give a home-like feel. Lights are no different. It's been our experience that because of their design, sconces tend to feel more personal over ceiling-mounted track lights, domes or even pendants. In lighting public bathrooms within a hotel, the trend also is to make it more like home. Where the industry at one time relied on industrial-like ceiling fluorescent lights, the push is now more in the direction of the sconce.

—Haley Dunbar,
communications specialist, Motiv

ClubHouse Hotel lighting complements décor

Lighting is one of the most critical components in creating the atmosphere and ambiance of a hotel. In addition to being cost-effective and energy-efficient, it is essential that it complements a property's décor and accents its color patterns.

One specific property where Doug Roby, chief executive and president, Commercial Interior Décor, believes that balance has been struck is with the 100-room ClubHouse Hotel and Suites in Sioux Falls, S.D. Roby's firm worked on the lighting aspect of that property two years ago and is still proud of it today. The hotel, especially in recent years, is enjoying a striking revival and has become a favorite stopping point for business travelers, according to Roby.

"The rich materials and warm colors used throughout the lobby, the meeting rooms, and into the guestrooms and suites contribute to this harmony," Roby says. "The combination of many types of lighting and sources enhances this attention to small details, which makes this hotel truly shine."

He said the property's level of comfort and sophisticated basics bring the atmosphere of an intimate apartment to its guests.

"This ambience becomes its chief attraction for business travelers, as well as for social functions," he says, adding that the right lighting scheme brings it all together.

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