The California-based Architectural Firm Makes the Wise Lighting Choice
by David Wyatt, vice president of sales west, MaxLite
From Architectural West Mar/Apr ’12
When Sage Architecture was building out the loft space in its 1400’ office in Sacramento, Calif., the principals wanted a sleek modern look that offered high-quality, energy-efficient general and task lighting. The architectural firm, which recently renovated its space from the raw shell of a racquetball court, specializes in highly refined residential and commercial projects with a strong focus on sustainable architecture. The renovation began in December 2010, and Sage occupied the space in March 2011. “We were going for a modern minimalist, high-tech look,” said Pam Whitehead, AIA principal of Sage Architecture. “We needed high-quality lighting fixtures that would give good overall general and task lighting with energy efficient LEDs. The LED flat panels project a warm light, not a cold blue light like fluorescents.”
Working with Sacramento Lighting Systems, MaxLite, a global manufacturer and marketer of energy-efficient luminaires and lamps, supplied six 1’x4’ LED Edge Lit Flat Panels that were installed and suspended from the office’s 20’ ceiling on the mezzanine level. The panels are suspended by aircraft cables, and from the ground, appear to be silhouettes floating in mid-air below the finished ceiling, which has gray rigid insulation panels attached directly to the beam joists on the roof deck. “Clients and colleagues are very impressed and intrigued with our unique lighting design,” continued Whitehead. “This follows our mission to offer architectural ideas that are both thoughtful and thought-provoking. People are amazed at how thin the panels are and at the amount of light the flat panels generate. If you look at our space at night from outside, the entire office glows.”
All six panels are lined strategically in a row, allowing for even illumination from the front of the office to the rear wall. The luminaires are suspended over the plotter, copy machine, workstation, and library and can be controlled as a group or as individual units. The flat panels are highly compatible with a multitude of building control systems and programmable, so they can be switched on/off and dimmed to meet user preferences. The Flat Panels recently received the 2011 Lighting for Tomorrow “Honorable Mention,” and is part of the coveted group of the best of the new energy-efficient residential lighting products.
“When I walk in in the morning, I have the power and control to switch on each fixture individually for the space in which we are working,” said Whitehead. “The luminaires are silent and cool. They don’t emit heat over the office surfaces and desktops and they don’t make that annoying buzzing sound like other fixtures. The panels provide comfortable lighting and outstanding color rendition that is ideal for choosing color finishes for a project or reading contracts and architectural drawings. They create a nice, bright working environment that we all enjoy.”
MaxLite’s LED Edge Lit Flat Panels, which have a thin profile of just 1.6” including the control box, offer even, shadow-free light distribution and an excellent 85 CRI (Color Rendering Index). In compliance with California’s stringent energy-efficiency standards, the LED flat panels deliver high performance and a potential life of 50,000 hours, at L70 standards, for more than 13 years of long life, based on 10 hours of use per day. The flat panels are RoHS-compliant and constructed without carbon emission, heat, UV, or IR radiation or hazardous materials, and provide a significant reduction in energy consumption, costs, and maintenance.
“Our workspace is a great place to meet clients and colleagues,” said Whitehead. “They are fascinated with the amazing thinness of the fixtures and the floating effect. We looked at a wide range of lighting products, and nobody was remotely close to the look, performance, and efficiency of MaxLite’s LED Flat Panels.”