The 5 stages of an exceptional bespoke lighting project
We’ve been designing and manufacturing architectural lighting products for over 25 years, which means we’ve seen our fair share of bespoke lighting projects.
We’re used to clients approaching us with the beginnings of an idea and asking us how it can be achieved. And to be honest – it’s what we thrive on!
Bespoke lighting projects enable us to tap into all of our resources and manufacturing know-how to deliver something truly unique. Not only is this an incredibly rewarding process, but it helps to keep us at the very forefront of the industry because we use the very latest techniques to get the brief spot on.
But producing a bespoke fitting requires more than creative problem-solving. In order to fit within our clients’ budget and timescales, we need to apply structured planning and rigorous procedures. Here’s a quick overview of how the process works here at Kemps:
1. We listen to the idea
The first step involves talking to you about your ideas in order to build up a really clear picture of what you need. We find that some clients come to us with a very specific plan, whereas others require more practical input.
Lighting designers will often have a clear picture of how they want the finished fitting to work and we support them by advising how it can be realistically achieved. Our in-house designers and production team are involved at this stage and help decide on the best course of action.
2. We formulate a design
Working from the sketches and notes provided by the lighting designers, we set about drawing up more detailed plans. For any architectural lighting project, technical performance is considered alongside details like material, colour tone, dimensions, fixtures and weight.
At this point it’s important to consider the price of raw materials and the end order size as this will determine costs. We agree these details with our clients early on as, practically speaking, there’s no point designing something that won’t fit within budget!
Here's a little sneak peek at a bespoke design we're working on for our friends at @studio_fractal! It’s an RGBW luminaire with an #LED downlight - all DMX controlled to create the colours of the Northern Lights.— Kemps Lighting (@kempslightingUK) February 9, 2018
It's going to look amazing! ✨ pic.twitter.com/oFg2Cmk8Jy
3. We agree the design and build a prototype
Once the design has been approved, we set to work creating a working prototype. We do this in our manufacturing facility where it is then thoroughly tested. This includes checking the lighting and the surround. For instance, if the fitting needs to be suspended, then we need to make sure it hangs safely.
This process enables us to prevent glitches from occurring and make any refinements we spot along the way. At this point, our clients are welcome to see the prototype in person or we can send over images and videos.
4. The fitting is produced
Following successful prototyping, we finalise costs and set about manufacturing the bespoke fitting to the required volume. At Kemps, we also manufacture a huge range of off-the-shelf architectural lighting products, so we’re used to producing fittings in large quantities.
Production is planned to fit our clients’ timescales and we keep them updated with progress as we go. It’s an exciting time and some of the larger designs can look pretty impressive – even when set against the backdrop of our facility floor!
5. Learn from the project
Once the bespoke fittings have been delivered and installed, we eagerly await the photographs. Not only does seeing a Kemps creation in-situ give us immense satisfaction, but it’s also a hugely valuable learning experience.
Each bespoke project provides us with fresh inspiration for future architectural lighting products. Sometimes, we can improve upon the original concept and develop a fitting that becomes a product in its own right. In this way, we get the opportunity to share the learnings from a particular project with the rest of our client base.
We regularly take on bespoke architectural lighting projects and some of our most recent fittings have been created for Heathrow T5’s First Class Wing and the award-winning Victoria Gate Shopping Centre in Leeds City Centre.
Do you have an architectural lighting challenge you’d like to share with us? Get in touch to discuss your requirements or get a quote.
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