The art of layering light in a room and lighting controls isn’t as easy concept for many homeowners to understand – unless they get a chance to view it in action.
To help lighting designers introduce the concept to their clients, Lutron Electronics is planning to open its fourth Experience Center in New York City in April 2009.
Located on the ground floor of the Decoration & Design Building at 979 Third Ave., the 1,800 square foot Experience Center is set up to look like a residential, New York City condo. There’s a bedroom, a kitchen, a media room – all set up to make a visitor feel as if they’re actually walking through someone’s home.
As visitors walk through the home, they can see how a lighting control system can do everything from changing the lighting in the kitchen from food preparation to a cocktail party atmosphere to raising and lowering the window shades.
And it doesn’t take long for visitors to be wowed by what they see.
“Usually the first question is, ‘Wow, can I move in?’” says Kathie Leslie, Director of Employee Relations and Education for Lutron and the person in charge of the Experience Centers.
This is the fourth Experience Center that Lutron has built to help showcase what their lighting control systems can do. The first center was built in Planation, FL, in 2001, followed by one in Irvine, CA and the third was built at the company’s headquarters in Coopersburg, PA.
Leslie says the centers are a worthwhile investment for Lutron because once someone sees what a lighting control system is capable of, they are often likely to invest in one.
“Once they make that trip, almost 100 percent of them decide to put these systems into their homes,” Leslie says.
In addition to showcasing the control centers, The Experience Center in New York will let clients have the opportunity to see a wide variety of product colors, finishes, sustainable lighting control options and shade fabrics.
Lutron Experience Centers offer system designers, architects, interior designers and their clients the opportunity to experience the energy savings and elegance of Lutron products in a home-like setting.
The Manhattan location marks the company’s fourth Experience Center. Other locations include Irvine, California (in the heart of Orange County); and Coopersburg, Pennsylvania (at the company’s world headquarters). The company’s first Experience Center, which opened in 2001, is located in Plantation, Florida.
Although interior designers are the target audience for the experience center, lighting retailers and light showroom owners are welcome to come to the center as well to fully understand how the technology works as a way of differentiating themselves from a Big Box retailer.
“There’s a real art to lighting and choosing the right light for the space… and being able to communicate that and saying how was can enhance that through controls is something that [customers are] not getting at the big box stores,” Leslie says.
Once it is open, retailers who are interested in touring the Experience Center are encouraged to make an appointment ahead of time by contracting Lutron directly.