As the end of the semester approaches, I realize that my time at Kentucky Lighting is quickly coming to an end. Over the past couple months I have learned so much more about lighting. One aspect of lighting that I have learned a lot about is under cabinet lighting. This is something that is extremely popular in residential homes, but also in other applications such as restaurants, offices, and many more. Since the lighting design firm I will be working for this summer does all types of design work, I feel that this will be a very important asset to have. I will be able to apply the knowledge that I have of under cabinet lighting to the new firm I will be working at. On Saturday, a couple came in that was wanting under cabinet lighting for their kitchen. In residential homes, there are two main types of color temperatures that are used. These are either 2700 Kelvin or 3000 Kelvin. We learned about color temperature in Joe’s lighting class, and these are how LED’s are classified. The color temperature has to do with how warm or cold the light is. 2700K is the typical color temperature for a residential setting, mostly because this color mimics an incandescent bulb. In the showroom, we have four different kinds of color temperatures on display. These are 2700K, 3000K, 3500K, and 4100K, which are the most common color temperatures used. Typically, we never sell anything that is 3500k and 4100k, but it is helpful to have range of color temperatures to show the clients. I was able to relay all of this information to my clients, when helping them choose under cabinet lighting. I felt that this helped them make an informed decision on which lights they were going to purchase.
Also on Saturday, I came into the showroom to a very lovely surprise. We had just received a huge order of tiffany style fixtures. Before then, there was not one single item in the showroom that was tiffany. I had not seen tiffany fixtures really around at all unless they were in my grandmothers home. To my surprise though, the tiffanies seem to be making a comeback. Just a few days before, I had a woman come into the showroom who really wanted to look for some tiffany pendants. I told her that we didn’t have any in the showroom, but to my shock one of my coworkers informed her that we would be getting in a large shipment soon. This was true, we not have an entire section of tiffany style fixtures. I was surprised because the fixtures display looked amazing, and seemed very popular. Everyone who came in the showroom was impressed, and one fixture had actually sold within the first five minutes of putting it out. This just goes to show that nothing really ever goes out of style, it all just kind of circulates. Even though tiffanies hadn’t been very popular, they ended up making a comeback.
Below are some pictures of the tiffany display at Kentucky Lighting.
Week 13 was a short week for me at Kentucky Lighting. Since it was Easter weekend, I spent Saturday with my family and was unable to work, but I did learn a lot while I was working on Tuesday and Thursday. On Tuesday, I spent some time re-working some one of the main areas in the showroom. A type of fixture that is very popular these days is a mini-pendant. These types of fixtures are most popular over islands or over other oblong tables. In the showroom, we have a section of pendants, but they are kind of all mixed together. Typically our fixtures are placed together by finish, and that’s how the rest of the vignettes are. However, the section of mini-pendants are just placed over the main desk area. Our general manager, Paula, decided that the pendants needed to be adjusted. The way that I approached this was too group the pendants by finish, similar to the way the rest of the showroom is. This was the most logical way to organized them, and I felt that this would make the most sense for the clients. There were three main groups of pendants; glass, restoration, and metal. The restoration pendants were placed to the right of the desk, which was near the restoration section. The glass pendants were placed in the middle of the desk, which coordinated nicely with another clear, glass, pendant vignette near it. To the left of the desk is where the metal pendants were placed. This was a great design opportunity and I really feel like the showroom benefited from the reorganization.
On Thursday, we had a lunch and learn. I always enjoy lunch and learns because its a great opportunity to get to know more about a company’s product. The company that came in was Intermatic. This is a company that makes lighting timers. This is always an element of lighting design that I forget about. There are so many technical parts of lighting that are very important to the overall design. This includes timers, dimmers, and drivers. These are all very complicated and technical, so it is a little difficult to understand right off the bat. Intermatic is one of the leading brands in lighting timers, and went though their latest catalogue with us. I learned that there are many different timers for different applications. There a 7 day timers, that will have the lights turn on and off the same time every day. There are 24 hour timers, where a customer can make the lights turn on and off different hours of different days. There are also timers that can be different all the time and constantly be adjusted. The timers don’t just do lights, they can also adjust the time for water heaters, which can save home owners a lot of money. Overall it was a great lunch and learn and I was able to obtain a lot of new knowledge about lighting timers.
Below is a photo of the Intermatic logo and timer.
Entering week 12 of my internship, I am feeling very confident. I have always been confident when handling customers, but since I was new to residential lighting, I was kind of learning on the go. My co-workers have been amazing in helping me through this transition, and helping me learn the tips and tricks to being a successful sales associate. I now feel that I am at the point to where I can successfully help the clients. There is still so much that I have yet to learn though. There are often times when customers come in and I am still unable to help them, and will hand it off to a more experienced sales associate. There is just so much to learn with lighting, and it is almost impossible to keep up unless you are immersed in it every day. I really do feel as though this internship is really preparing me for my internship this summer. I will be working at an architectural lighting firm that handles all types of design work such as healthcare, retail, international, and commercial work. The firm also does a little bit of residential work, and I feel after my time at Kentucky Lighting I will be prepared for that. Another very important aspect that I am learning a lot about is LEDs. When I was first interested in lighting, I was not familiar with any of the specifics of how LEDs worked, but after my time at Kentucky Lighting I have gained a lot more knowledge that I think will prove to be very useful.
Another way that my internship at Kentucky Lighting has really benefited me was in my lighting class this semester. In Joe’s lighting class, one of our assignments was to do design the lighting for a residential home. My experience at my internship was able to help me do very well on this project. One of the most exciting part of lighting design is realizing the fact that I have gained more knowledge, and hoping that I am ready for whatever comes next. This week, my professor Lindsey Fay came into review me at Kentucky Lighting. This was very laid back, and I was glad that she was able to see what I do on a daily basis while I am at work. My boss, Diane Rayfield, spoke to Lindsey about my performance, and was extremely supportive. She said that I was very confident when I talked to customers, and had picked up very quickly. Hearing all of these compliments really made me realize that I am very appreciated at Kentucky Lighting. Not only have they taught me so much, but I am truly being a great help to them as well. After I had gotten such positive feedback, it really made me appreciate my workplace, and enjoy my job even more than I already do.
Below is a photo of the architectural firm I will be working for this summer, Fisher Marantz Stone.
Week 11 at Kentucky Lighting proved to be very interesting. I am still finding myself learning more and more about design every day while I am there. During the week, it is always a little bit slower than it is during the weekend. This however gives me time to really learn a lot more about the showroom, and get a little bit of design experience. One of the main tasks that I do is re-designing vignettes. In the past, I have been able to re-design full vignettes, but since that does not always need to be done, a lot of times I just will touch them up. By this I mean that when new fixtures come out, it is my job to work them into a design scheme. This cannot always be easy due to the fact that it is hard to squeeze a fixture into a vignette that is already full. When this happens, we often re-evalute and see if there are any fixtures that need to be moved back into the sale area. A lot of times, there are, which frees up room for the newer fixtures to be displayed. One of the key elements to retail is that there must always be new products being displayed, and old ones must be put on sale. This help keeps the showroom new and fresh looking, so every time clients come in there is something new. What’s great about Kentucky Lighting is that there are so many returning customers. Many of them have shopped with us before, and continue to come back.
On Saturday, I worked with a very unique client that I quiet enjoyed. Most of the clients that come into Kentucky Lighting are looking for either traditional or transitional pieces. There are very few people that come in looking for modern or contemporary, but we do have few. My client on Saturday was looking for craftsman fixtures. I have never had anyone come in looking for craftsman, so this was very exciting for me. Since we didn’t have a lot to show her in the showroom, I went to our website. The Kentucky Lighting website is very easy to use, and this helped me a lot to find that specific craftsman look that she was going for. She was looking for a semi-flush, a dining room light, and some other flush mount lights. It is always very enjoyable when someone comes in for an entire house, because then you are really able to immerse yourself into their design. It would have been very difficult to help this client, if it wasn’t for the website. After I printed off her spec sheets, she seemed to be very pleased with my selections. I have learned that it is always good to give the customers many options, so they don’t feel like they are forced to choose just one. I felt very accomplished in helping the client, and hope that she comes back to purchase some of my selections.
Below is an example of a craftsman fixture.
Getting back into the swing of things at Kentucky Lighting was not hard. When I returned, I was greeted by my co-workers, and quickly re-adjusted to my work schedule. Since I had been gone, there were few things that were moved around in the showroom. I first decided to walk around the showroom and familiarize myself with any new fixtures. I always feel like that is important, so I am constantly keeping up to date on the new product that is in the store. This helps me better with the customers, and can show them some of our newest product that they might be interested in. On Thursday, I was able to work on a purchase order. This means that I will go through, and record into the computer some new products that my manager has purchased. This is essential to the company because this is how they keep their prices right in the computer system. Also, it is always interesting for me to see how the pricing works. After something is purchased from a company, we mark it up almost 50%. This allows us to make a profit off of the fixture that is purchased. This gives me great retail experience and teaches me how much products really can get marked up from the distributor.
On Friday, there was a lunch and learn. I always enjoy lunch and learns because I am able to increase my lighting knowledge, and find out more information about each brand that we carry. The brand that came in on Friday was Satco. This is a brand who provides light bulbs, and primarily vintage bulbs. I typically don’t work on Fridays, but I was told that if I came in for the lunch and learn, that I would be provided with lunch and get paid. This seemed like a great deal, so I decided to go in. Satco showed a lot of new product in their lecture that was very interesting. For example, LED vintage bulbs. Many people would assume that LED’s could not look vintage, but with the technology of color temperature, they are able to. Vintage bulbs are something that is very important here in Kentucky Lighting. A huge lighting trend is restoration, and these fixtures would not look complete if it were not for vintage light bulbs. Also, many people assume that vintage light bulbs are more expensive, but they are really only around $5 per bulb. There are tons of sizes and shapes of these vintage bulbs, as well as various wattages. It was great to be able to learn more about a company that we so frequently use at Kentucky Lighting.
Below is a photo of Satco’s logo.
My week spent in Houston, TX with STG Design was the best shadowing experience I’ve had yet! It was the first place I had been that I didn’t feel like an outsider for shadowing, more like a team member with tasks, meetings, and deadlines.
On my first day at the office, I arrived at 9 am and had a jam-packed day! We had a meeting with the entire office, which is where they chat as an office to see what should be done that week, and to make sure one person’s workload isn’t more than another’s so others can assist. Later through the day, we reviewed Redlines for an amenity center project which I would continue to work through the entire week as well as begin test fits for a medical office in Houston for one of the buildings that STG Design represents. Later, there was a lunch n’ learn which was a conference call with the Austin office about a project both branches are working on with LEED v.4. At the end of the day, we had a product presentation with Cambria.
On my second day, we talked as an interiors team about library scheduling and presentations and how to schedule for the design office. Then around 10 am, we visited the Houstonian which is a country club resort for an OAC meeting which the designers are on phase 3 of remodeling the restrooms of the resort. After lunch, we returned to the office and began working on redlines for the amenity center again which included: drawing/editing millwork details, designing millwork cabinets, and drawing the millwork in elevations. After the work day, some of the team met Carly and me at the Kirby Ice House for happy hour.
On Wednesday, I talked with the newest designer to the interiors team about STG’s processes for Quality Assurance and then spoke with an architect who had been drifting between architecture and interiors in their office. For the rest of the day, I worked on more redlines for the amenity center then assisted with organizing their materials library.
Thursday, I worked on creating a Pinterest board for the new Rec center for the University of Arizona. For lunch, the interiors team visited the CRG showroom for a product introduction and for a lunch to mingle with the reps in the showroom.
On my last day at STG Design, I talked with the principle about what I had learned that week, as well talked with another interior designer about their programming protocols, then continued working on boards for the University of Arizona. Right before I left for the day, Jessica, the interior designer UK alum I was shadowing, reviewed and red-lined my resume and portfolio and gave me tips on how to improve them.
I feel that this was the best, most well-rounded experience I had in Spring Break shadowing by getting to interact with Interiors and Architecture, as well as work on projects and interact with not only the Houston office but their Austin office as well. Below are images from the week!
On Friday morning I met with Team Borges and went on a punch field visit. At the punch list we went through and checked for any issues that needed to be fixed before the space was handed back over to the tenant. When I was on the punch I learned that even though the overall space might look complete you still have to be aware of the minute details and make sure that everything is up to the level of perfection that you need it to be at.
After the field visit I met with the Graphics Team. Dirk explained their process when a designer needs a rendering. We then discussed some of my own work and how I could go back and enhance some of the renderings I have already completed.
In the afternoon I met with Team Mastropasqua where Jessica Funke showed me things that she had learned at VCave to make her more efficient when using AutoCAD. We also worked on a RCP that she needed to complete.
I then had my final meeting with Heather where we discussed my time at VCave and my overall thoughts on this experience.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at VCave. I found it incredible that everyone who worked their was so excited about what they do. As I went around from team to team I learned that each team works in their own way but the overall culture of VCave is seen throughout each one.