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When to bring in a lighting designer on a project

By Jeremy Ames // Posted in

A new building project is on the horizon. Between designing, budgeting, and scheduling, getting the project off to the right start can be one of the biggest challenges.

Often, the more complex the project, the more likely it is that challenges will arise.

Lighting can be the most challenging part of a new construction project, but with the right lighting designer, it can become one of the easiest.

The best time to use a lighting designer on a construction project

If you're considering bringing a lighting designer on board, we recommend adding one from the start. A talented lighting designer can help keep a major part of your project – the lighting – on track.

When the project is complex and there is room in the budget, a lighting designer offers more accountability, a wider variety of product lines, and solid expertise.

Lighting designers are specialists who know the performance of a proposed lighting scheme before any product is ordered or installed. Not only do they keep up with the latest innovations in lighting technology, but they also understand building code and what kind of impact it will have on your project.

Our lighting design team uses 3D renderings, photometrics, and other design tools to model and compare the performance of different specification options, giving a realistic expectation of results.

When to consider using a manufacturer's rep to specify lighting on a construction project

We know a lighting designer is not always needed on a project. Using a manufacturer rep may be the best option if the project is simple and the budget is tight.

Most manufacturer reps represent multiple lines and can offer a wide array of products. They may also be local to a project, which is helpful if more time is needed on-site.

However, if a construction project is more complex, under a tight timeline, and there is room in the budget, using a lighting designer may save time and money.

Two ways to reduce headaches and get more out of your lighting design team

As an architectural lighting design studio, we specialize in simplifying the complexities of lighting. But we have another practical advantage that most lighting designers don't – distribution and staging experience.

Because our studio is part of Regency Lighting, our team is able to help with sourcing and managing your project, as well as understand lead times on products from the start of a project.

Get support with sourcing product and managing your project

The key advantage to bringing in a lighting designer early in a project is we are typically at the front of the supply chain in understanding what products or manufacturers are experiencing delays.

We purchase and manage materials on projects all the time, so we stay up to date and use this information in our designs.

We also work closely with our procurement team to make sure the quoted price is the billed price.

Understand product lead times from the beginning

Keeping a project on track can be challenging, especially with current supply chain challenges and long lead times.

Our lighting designers know how to avoid logistical challenges by specifying products that are more likely to be readily available. RL Studio works closely with the Regency Lighting procurement team to accurately forecast lead times and gauge stock levels.

If you wait to bring in a lighting designer, or have some else specify the lighting, you run the risk of finding out later that the product is not available within your construction timeline, and the last thing you want is another delay.

With our ability to provide equal alternates, we can limit late-in-the-game surprises. Our design team works to gather lead times and firm quotes, and if a surprise does arise, our design expertise and manufacturer relationships help us solve problems quickly.

Getting lighting design help

Our team knows how to create beautiful spaces that are both reliable and easy to maintain, reducing overall maintenance headaches.

We come alongside the architect on a project to truly understand the design intent, then makes sure that intent is carried through every aspect of the project. (You can check out some examples in our portfolio.)

When you work with RL Studio from the beginning, our we can help with every step from discovery to installation to make sure the plan is executed. We also pride ourselves on taking care of details, like ensuring controls work properly and the lighting is aimed correctly.

If you're ready to include a lighting designer on your next project, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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