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.
During week 6 of my internship at Kentucky Lighting I have been able to learn more and more about lighting. For Joe’s lighting class, we went on a field trip to Switch in Cincinnati, which is was extremely interesting. The reason that I bring this up is because it was very interesting to compare a lighting showroom in Cincinnati vs a lighting showroom in Lexington. Switch had many contemporary fixtures such that were LED integrated, and at Kentucky lighting there is contemporary fixtures, but the majority of the showroom is a traditional or restoration style of fixtures. The reasoning for this is because the market in downtown Cincinnati is so much different than here in Lexington. In Lexington, the client base is mainly residential that are looking for fixtures for a traditional style home. We do have clients who want modern, but the majority is traditional. In downtown Cincinnati however, the majority of people coming in were wanting to have that modern type of lighting. Joe explained how even different neighborhoods in Chicago have completely different styles of fixtures in their showrooms. It is very interesting to see the culture of the location of the showroom come out in the fixtures that they display.
This week, there were again many clients that I helped assist while I was at work. There were a few clients who wanted to purchase exterior wall mounted lights that were motion censored. Kentucky Lighting does not actually carry products that have motion censors integrated within. However, we do carry a product that is a motion censor that can be placed on the wall, and then the fixture would be placed on top of that. The lighting fixture will be wired to this censor, making the lighting fixture motion censored. This is a creative solution so the clients can have a high quality lighting fixture that is also motion censored. A huge trend in residential lighting is under cabinet lighting. I have not had too much exposure to this technology, but this Saturday I got a crash course. We had a client come in where she wanted under cabinet lighting that was LED and could all be wired to the same switch. When I first showed her our products she though that they were fluorescent, but all of our under cabinets are in fact LED. Then one of my co-workers, Lee, explained to her that she could choose from two different color temperatures (2700k-3000k), and that all of them could be wired to the same switch. Learning about under cabinets and in depth about how they work was very important to my base of lighting knowledge. Below are photos of some of the LED under cabinet lighting the Kentucky Lighting offers.
This week at Kentucky Lighting was another week full of learning experiences. The previous week I had re-designed the sale lame section inside of the store. Logistically, this is not as easy as it seems, just because lighting does require electrical outlets. The way that it is set up in the showroom is that there are many outlets in the ceilings. This is how fixtures are attached to the ceiling and are able to be turned on. This is the same with lamps that are in the middle of the showroom. When the lamps are backed up against a wall, it is easy just to plug them into an outlet, but if they are in the middle of the floor for a vignette, then there has to be a cord dropped from the ceiling to be able to illuminate the lamps. Also, this has to be a discrete cord, not a typical bring orange extension cord. Unfortunately, there is not an abundance of these discrete looking extensions cords, so some of the sale lamps were unable to be illuminated. The good news is that we never turn on all of the lights, because that would take up way too much energy and produce too much heat. So the solution ended up being that only a few of the lamps were turned on while other balanced the space out and remained off.
On Thursday, it was a little bit of a slow day, primarily my job was to re-configure the contemporary room. The contemporary rooms is a space in the showroom that is somewhat separated from the rest of the showroom that features more contemporary lighting fixtures. This includes LED lights, modern designed fixtures, and mostly a chrome finish. The showroom is meant to feel more homey and welcoming, where as the contemporary room is meant to feel more sleek and modern. Kentucky Lighting receives new product all the time, and we had received some new paintings. These were placed in the contemporary room, so there were some adjustments that needed to be made. There were some new mirrors to be hung and some new paintings, along with some new flush mounts. Making small adjustments and re-configuring the room to make it more aesthetically pleasing really makes me feel accomplished because I am contributing to the showroom. On Saturday, it was pretty busy per usual. The week days are more slow and there are just designers and contractors who come in, but Saturdays are the days where mostly people come in to shop and look around. One particular couple stood out that I helped on Saturday, and they were looking for kitchen lights. They wanted track lights above their island, and a semi-flush light over the kitchen table. This was a little bit more difficult just due to the fact that we do not have a huge selection in the showroom of track lighting, and many of the fixtures don’t correlate with the track lights that we do have on display. The couple did not end up making a purchase, but they had a much better idea of what they were looking for when they were done.
Below are examples of fixtures in the contemporary room.
During my fourth week at Kentucky Lighting, I have continued learning new things about the company. On Tuesday and Thursday I had a new task. It was to look over an order that was purchased, and to record that into a computer system. At first this was somewhat difficult, because I was using the computer system for the firs time, which was rather confusing. But after I got the hang of it, the task became much easier. Even though this just seems like busy work, it is very crucial to the company. It is important to keep track of all of the fixtures that are being purchased, and which ones and how many. This also proved to be a useful task because I got to see how the ordering worked. I got to see how much the prices changed, the quantities of everything ordered, and which product was ordered. This gave me a much better understanding of how ordering is done, and what the new product is that will be coming into the showroom.
Saturday at the showroom is always busy. This Saturday was not as bad as usual though. We still had a fair amount of customers, but not too many. Since I still don’t know how to work the system properly, I cannot fully carry out a sale, but I still do my best to help customers to the best of my ability. This includes doing things such as directing them to the correct area, giving suggestions, and finding other products that they might be interested in. Also, on Saturday I was able to rearrange the sale lamps. This does not seem like an exciting task, but I enjoyed it. I took all of the lamps, which were just randomly placed on a large table, and divided them up into three groups. The groups were based on the style, so there was a colored glass group, a neutral group, and a silver group. Dividing the lamps up into smaller clusters really helped highlight the product and make it look for desirable for clients. I really enjoyed this task because it made me feel very useful, and that I was contributing to the showroom. Below are photos of the clusters of lamps in the sale area.