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.
During week 8 at Kentucky Lighting, I have continued to learn and grow as an employee. Every week that I am there I feel as though I am learning more and more about the company, and also more and more about lighting. The lighting industry is changing so quickly, and the more knowledge that I learn, I know the more successful I will be in my career. On Thursday, there was another lunch and learn. The reps were speaking about a brand called Tech Lighting. I was some what familiar with the brand because my internship in Illinois had specified some of their products before. I was not able to sit in on the entire lunch and learn because I had to leave at 1pm, but I did get to see and hear about some new and exciting products. There was an interesting product that was an integrated track light. This meant that it was a recessed track lighting system that was illuminated. So there was light coming out of the track, and then also out of the fixture. It is a little bit hard to explain, but was a very interesting product. Tech lighting features a lot of very modern and contemporary fixtures. This was an exciting lunch and learn for me because I feel like I was able to learn about lights that I may be working with in the future. Also, the sales rep Laura Abbott, had worked with one of the professors at the college of design, Joe. She had helped him with Pence Hall, and was behind the sleek lighting located there.
Saturday was another exciting day at the Showroom. I always enjoy working on Saturdays because there are so many people that come in that keeps me very busy. This week there was a usual mix of customers, and it is a great feeling becoming more acquainted with the job so I can better help the customers. Also, on I was able to make sale tags, which was interesting to experience how they are made and learn a little bit more about the system. Many times, I will search on our website for different fixtures for customers, and print them off spec sheets. This is very helpful for customers because they are able to see much more products. The showroom only has a limited amount of items that can be shown, so the website is nice to show a larger selection. Also, it is helpful for me because I can get a better understanding of what kind of fixtures are out there. This is also beneficial because then the customers are able to take home the images and compare them in their space. Just being able to help people find what they are looking for is very rewarding. Below is an image of the fixtures that are placed in Pence Hall from the Tech Lighting website.
Week 7 was a very informative week at Kentucky Lighting. On Tuesday, we had a lunch and learn. Lunch and learns and when a rep from a fixture company come and educates us on the new products that they have coming out. The first lunch and learn that I had experienced was with a brand named Kitchler, and this one was a bit different. The difference with the Kitchler is that we had pre stocked their items in the showroom, so we were already selling the new stuff when the rep had came and visited. For this lunch and learn, we were learning about a brand named Murray Flos. This, of course, is a decorative fixture brand that sells primarily decorative fixtures. As a group, my co-workers and I gathered in the conference room, as the rep talked us through their new items. During this time, we are able to comment about any fixtures we like, don’t like, or think that we should have in stock. There were many fixtures that were interesting, since Flos is a brand that mixes modern with classic chic. Also, we had some of the fixtures on our floor already, and they had come out in different finishes. This is always a good learning experience because I am able to meet different reps, and get a much better idea of the brands, and the products that they are selling. Also, the reps bring lunch, which is a very nice perk.
On Thursday, there was a webinar that the employees were able to listen too. This webinar was based on the color temperature of LEDs and how it is increasing and changing. It is very helpful that I am currently taking Joe’s lighting course while having this internship, because I am able to use the knowledge I am learning in class and apply it to my job, and vice versa. The beginning of the webinar was mainly information that most people already know, such as what is the color temperature, ect. For the first bit of the webinar, I was able to understand, but as it continued, I began to realize that I did not know as much about LED’s as I thought that I did. I have attended IALD conferences before that discuss how complex the science of LED’s are, so I knew it could be very complicated, but I was not aware that the webinar was going to get so in depth. It was very precise about all of the millions of colors that LEDs can produce, and how we control those colors. Most of my co-workers were a little confused as well, even my boss, so I did not feel that behind. It is always great getting knowledge at my internship here in Lexington, that I know will help me with my future and obtaining a job in architectural lighting design. Below is the logo of Flos, the rep who delivered the lunch and learn.