Restaurant Development & Design

MAY-JUN 2017

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6 6 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • M A Y / J U N E 2 0 1 7 Form + Function for LEDs, is your restaurant going to be around long enough to reap the benefit?" he asks, noting that some new establishments may not last more than six months. Aesthetic Advantages Jamison is not anti-LED, as Coje's restaurants all use LEDs for specific purposes — mostly for accent lighting to highlight artwork or design features. "LEDs can go places that incandes- cents, including halogens, can't go," Jamison says. LEDs can be deployed in a long, thin form resembling Christmas lights or other smaller-fixture arrays that take up little space, give off little heat yet still provide appropriately bright light. "You can easily wire them under a shelf so that the fixtures are not visible," Jamison says. This has allowed for spe- cial effects such as lighting shelves of glasses so that they appear to be shim- mering jewels, highlighting the spines of old books in bookcases and accenting paintings — all features within Coje's downtown Boston hot spot Yvonne's. Within New York's trendy Vandal eatery in the Bowery, an 11-foot upside- down sculptured purple bunny is spot- lighted by LEDs at the end of a long, vaulted brick tunnel in the entryway. The Alice-in-Wonderland-themed vignette in- cludes black-and-white diagonal stripes on the floor and wall behind the sculp- ture. The installation stamps an unfor- gettable image on the minds of patrons. This piece and other artwork curated by a renowned street artist get bright and precise direct lighting from LED fixtures. Such applica- tions are where LEDs are especially well suited. Another trait, programmability for color and brightness, makes LEDs particularly desirable for certain pur- poses, Neal says. Some restaurants use LEDs for special effects, such as creating a green hue on a wall or in the back of a bar on St. Patrick's Day. Lighting control systems make it easy to prepro- gram the brightness of LED lighting so that brightness levels adjust automatically during dif- ferent dayparts. In an open kitchen, LEDs offer bright, focused task lighting, Neal adds. This lighting strategy provides chefs and staff with the amount of light they need within acceptable energy usage limitations and without overwhelming the dining area closest to the kitchen with ambi- ent light. By contrast, other options for kitchens, such as fluorescent troffer ceiling lights, would emit too much in- direct bright light and disrupt a muted, warmly lit dining atmosphere. Anderson says that fluorescent lighting works fine in the back of the house — as long as it isn't visible to customers — but if budget allows, his firm uses LEDs for those areas. The Future All in all, designers are thrilled to have LEDs in their arsenal. "It's a pretty exciting time because we're getting a lot of new tools from new technological developments," Neal says. "I can do things with LEDs today that weren't possible three to five years ago," Anderson adds. "LEDs are key in our ability to design lighting that is rich and full of many layers — making both architecture and people look great." His firm is constantly working to keep up with new LED products. "We're testing all the time," he says. "Sometimes new is better; sometimes it isn't." The explo- sion of options makes it more important than ever for lighting designers and in- terior designers to work closely together, he explains. After all, the true impact of lighting can only be appreciated after a space is fully finished and furnished. As LED technology continues to advance, the remaining holdouts are likely to drop any lingering resistance. Jamison, for example, is optimistic about the technology and believes manufacturers will solve any remaining aesthetic performance problems at a reasonable cost. "I'm sure they'll get there," he notes. + M C L MARIO CONTRACT LIGHTING w w w. m a r i o c o n t r a c t l i g h t i n g . c o m sales@mariocontractlighting.com 800.458.1244

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