September's Blog comes from Tony Morin - Project Manager for Anolis Lighting in North America.  With a background in Conceptual Design, he oversees all Anolis projects, creates 3D Architectural Designs and puts Bill of Materials together for budgeting and/or installation purposes. Tony discusses some important insights on how to work with the lighting manufacturer to ensure your connection diagrams and design layouts are accurate and ready to go.

At Anolis Lighting we work with a multitude of lighting designers, manufacturers reps and systems integration teams worldwide. Projects can range from the exterior illumination of a historic landmark to the interior illumination of a new retail location. There is pretty much no design we haven’t seen in architectural and commercial lighting and the specification process for each varies widely as well.

No matter what the intended end result of the design might be, they almost all will go through a specification process to get the job going. During this time, we work closely with our clients to ensure that the assistance we provide through manufacturer wiring diagrams and photometric specifications are as accurate as possible, but there are often some challenges.

One of the main challenges that we see during our project discussions is that the client may or may not always be familiar with the intricacies of the installation process. It is during the installation process that we must address the aspects of the design which involve power placements, cabling and luminaire connections. Power placements are essential and need to be identified precisely so that the cable runs, and connection diagrams, can be most accurate to alleviate any issues which might cause decreased system performance.

A secondary challenge is that there are often no physical drawings of the building or space to be illuminated in the project. For an exterior design, we might have to use a program such as Google Maps to identify the area of illumination, and with an interior design, we typically begin with only physical measurements. Once we have the physical layout of the area in the design, we can then build-out a 3D model complete with luminaire photometrics and connection diagrams. If these measurements are off, even by a small margin, we may face some unexpected delays during the installation process. Conversely, if the 3D drawing of the space is accurate, these renders will be a wonderful, reality-based overview of the lighting design which can be provided to installers for a most convenient installation.

A final challenge that we routinely face is that in architectural lighting design, projects can have a wide-ranging timeline from as short as a few weeks, to as long out as a few years. The project could be during the initial bidding stage, or the project could be about to install, and the client needs a bit of design clarification. With a technical team that is able to move quickly through the design programs to complete the project diagrams, we can typically turn the drawings in 1-2 days, but it is always helpful to know the true project timeline so that we can work with you to meet all deadlines.

Always striving to better facilitate the process behind architectural lighting design, we find most successful projects begin with the understanding of the technology components behind the solutions to be deployed. With such variables as optics, color-mixing systems, beam angles, mounting options, and IP and IK ratings, the lighting technology available today can often seem overwhelming. This is why at Anolis Lighting we utilize multiple software programs to create reality-based conceptual diagrams which provide an accurate, reality-based 3D model which can help you showcase your design concept to those who may not necessarily understand lighting and help you win your bid.

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