Don’t Mock Me

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Light is a tricky substance.  You cannot hear it, taste it, feel it, or smell it.  You can only see light when it comes directly into your eyes or bounces off of something.  It is predictable, so long as you can memorize the trillions of possibilities and recall the correct answer.

I can’t.

Lighting design is a tricky profession.  Design means creating unique solutions for unique people.  Every home, every style, every client is different.  One size never fits all.  It is easy, so long as you have already imagined and tested the trillions of possibilities and recall the correct solution.

I can’t.

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So I mock up possible solutions.  I grab lumber scraps from my shop, my tools, lighting samples and transformers and wiring and cords.  I use tape and scissors and cardboard and aluminum foil.  I measure, I cut, I connect, and I evaluate.

Then I just look.  Do I like the way light illuminates the window trim?  Is there glare from below?  Will it be buildable, or ridiculously expensive?

Hmm.

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I take it apart, I rearrange the pieces, I cut new ones, I grab different lights and I do it again. And again.  When it looks right, when it feels right, I draft it up and another custom detail is born.  It may sound old fashioned, but light is a tricky substance.

Don’t mock it until you try it.

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