illumni Microscope: Mint Lighting Design
illumni is compiling a list of top lighting design companies from small to large, independent to multinational, across a range of lighting design disciplines. We’re calling it the illumni Microscope. Why? because that is what we would like you to put yourselves under to identify and showcase all the good stuff you do. If you’d like to be part of it Like us on Facebook and get in touch! Today, Adele Locke (top), Founder of Mint Lighting Design goes into detail about her business:
Mint Lighting Design was established to make professional lighting design accessible to all home owners looking for energy efficient lighting solutions that don’t sacrifice livability. We provide lighting designs and advice for new builds, renovations and extensions, outdoor room lighting and specialist services helping people navigate the often confusing landscape of retail lighting stores. Mint Lighting Design is completely independent of the supply chain and as such can provide solutions which meet the clients expectations and suit their individual personalities. We post regular tips and trends on the website to provide information that is useful and can help people make the right choices for themselves with or without the additional use of our services.
Our design packages consistently save client’s money when compared to retail designs and the ‘one for one’ replacement solutions available. Projects range from halogen downlight audits and upgrade designs to full architectural lighting designs incorporating concealed lighting solutions and spectacular feature fittings to bring out the WOW in any home. We focus on listening to our client’s needs and desires and then, using our many years of experience in lighting, we distill the right solution for each individual home, meeting budgets, regulatory requirements and the right aesthetic style for the family and home.
What is your company philosophy?
Professional Independent lighting advice, based on sound technical knowledge and years of experience should not cost more than the light fittings in your home. Energy efficiency is not the only requisite element of home lighting. It is one component in the triple axis of sustainable lighting – the other two being improved lighting quality and reasonable cost. Every home deserves lighting that reflects the family, the architecture and the joy that comes from having beautiful lighting showcase a home with texture, shadow, light and sparkle.
Most defining moment for your business?
Realising that Mint Lighting Design excites people because they know they’re getting professional, independent advice that is all about them, their home and their needs and desires. There’s no sales pitch and no doubt that the truth is being told. Its an opportunity to get not just the lighting they want, but also a greater understanding of why it works which allows them to embrace their lighting and love it from day one. The icing on the cake is the fact that our approach saves people thousands of dollars (and years of headaches) compared to free design services and direct replacement upgrades.
Three projects you have completed that best represent your ideals?
A home in Sydney where the client had a layout from a retailer and a firm idea of what lighting they wanted in their home. I significantly reduced the number of fittings by paying attention to where light would be needed and through clever placement I increased the feeling of brightness in the home and lighting control through intelligent switching. When I’d finished calculating the budget and the BCA J6 compliance, it turned out that not only did the design pass but we also saved the client $2,500 in light fittings alone compared to the “free” retailer solution.
Late last year, a couple in Richmond were looking to upgrade their lighting from halogen downlights throughout the entire home. Their initial plan was to simply swap out 55 downlights directly with LED. I went to their home and audited the lighting with them, discussing where they most needed light and where they had light but seldom required it. As we walked through the 3 storey home we explored opportunities where we could bring in feature lighting. We discussed styles, locations, effects and significantly reduced the reliance on downlighting for general ambient light. The final budget was half what a one for one replacement would have cost, and their lighting now reflects the way they live, and the personality of their home.
Bespoke Luminaire designed by Jan Flook
Recently, a new home owner in Melbourne contacted Mint Lighting Design looking for advice, and assistance navigating the world of feature lighting – there are so many options he’d almost lost faith that it was possible to find something that both he and his wife agreed upon. A pendant was to hang in their main stairwell bringing human scale and adding warmth and sparkle to the entrance. They had one image and a few ideas, but with a restricted budget and restricted time they were at a loss for a solution. We clarified the style they wanted by reviewing a range of pendants that met at least some of their criteria and then went to a very clever custom luminaire designer and manufacturer in Melbourne who took the information we had gathered, and along with a visit to the home to get the feel for the space, built their perfect feature pendant – on budget. The couple ended up with a unique result (which was what they really wanted all along) that met their aesthetic and more importantly, their budget.
What is it about the lighting industry that really excites you?
I love that lighting gives us the opportunity to create beautiful solutions through understanding the technical constraints of the medium. I love watching people’s faces light up with excitement when you take the time to explain how light changes their world. The lighting industry is growing and changing – both of which are always exciting in business. Regulations for energy efficiency have been around for a couple of years, but now we’re seeing a change – Light Quality is more and more a focus of both clients and regulators. Educated clients want designers to be smarter about their solutions. They want you to take the time to find the right answers for them, and not just fill their ceilings with downlights. So now we get to create beautiful lighting solutions that bring inspiration, functionality, and sustainability and best of all – engage with the people living with it. Honestly – I also just love playing with light, reading about light, talking about light – Every day, I get to wake up, go to my studio and flow through research, design, business and marketing – all talking about light; and work with home owners who each have individual tastes, expectations and budgets. I don’t think it gets much better than this`.
Where to from here?
2013 has already proved itself to be a year of growth, change and evolution for Mint Lighting Design. I’m working with home owners, architects, builders and electricians making custom home lighting designs affordable, and sharing lighting with everyone who comes through the door. People are finding honest answers through the website and coming to me with a clearer understanding of their own needs. Budgeting tips on the website have given clients the power to understand what their options are, and removed at least some of the veil of mystery that surrounds lighting. I’m looking forward to an energetic year, bringing quality lighting solutions, energy efficiency and intelligent budgeting to homes both old and new around the country.
Contact: Adele Locke
Company: Mint Lighting Design
Specialty: Home Lighting Design, Home Lighting Advice, Custom Home Lighting, Energy-efficient Home Lighting
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Phone: 0402 287 857
Address: 3 Corr St, Moorabbin, VIC, 3189