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Practical advice on commercial lighting from LED retrofts to lighting design


How a SoCal real estate developer met code, design intent, budget, and deadline through expert lighting design

Posted by Jules Tompkins on


Multi-family lighting design meets strict Title 24 code and comes in on budget

When you're in the business of opening beautiful places – be they retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, or apartment complexes – life can feel like a game of compromises. 

Typically, you have four main objectives: meet building code, maintain design intent, stay within budget, and open up on time. And oftentimes, achieving all four of those things feels like a pipe dream. Just choose two or three. Something almost always has to give.

It doesn't have to be that way.

Meeting code is a non-negotiable, but in places like California, where Title 24 regulations are so demanding, it might feel like you've got to throw your budget out the window just to meet all of the requirements. And if you want to keep your budget intact, design intent might feel muddled as you begin to introduce state-of-the-art technology to your lighting package.

We feel your pain, but we have good news: you don't have to strike out. You can go 4-for-4 on your lighting package, with code and design intent and budget and timeline, hitting all home runs.

We recently helped a developer in San Diego do just that, saving it money and headaches by introducing expert lighting design to a tricky pool deck area. Read the case study here.

Here's how expert lighting design can help you win

Code compliance

Lighting designers are specialists. Not only do they keep up with the latest innovations in lighting technology, but they also understand building code and that kind of impact it will have on your project.

In San Diego, the pool area had some egress lighting code requirements that could have been easily overlooked or missed without a full understanding of the code. And that kind of failure could result in material loss, delays, and an ocean of headaches.

By using design renderings and photometrics, we were able to give the developer confidence that its lighting package would meet code and the above problems would be avoided.

Design intent

Our lighting design team comes alongside the architect on a project to best understand the intent of the design behind a project. Then, we pull that intent all the way through the project – from discovery to installation, ensuring that the details are right. Oftentimes, our designers are on-site ahead of a store or building opening as a final check-and-balance, to ensure controls are working properly and the lighting is aimed correctly.

In the San Diego project, the developer was looking to have its pool deck resemble that of a high-end resort pool. Our team was able to deliver that, making sure every nook and cranny of the expansive pool deck was properly illuminated, working around palm trees and cabanas and other design features of the deck.

Budget and timeline

If you've ever been involved in a building project, you probably know that meeting budget can be extremely challenging. Maybe you've worked with an architect who specified one lighting package early on but, after digging in for pricing, discovered that some items were out of stock, discontinued, or simply more expensive than originally anticipated.

How Regency helps Alice & Olivia open stores on-time and on-budget

That can be extremely frustrating.

Because our lighting design team works closely with our procurement team, the price, availability, and lead time of every single product for every single application is known up-front, allowing us to forecast orders to manufacturers and ensure that the quoted price is the billed price, and that the specified product doesn't need to undergo multiple change orders due to inaccurate stock levels.

And even when something goes awry – because, let's face it, Newton's Law is real – our ability to provide equal alternates is second to none, thanks to our design expertise and broad-reaching manufacturer relationships.

FREE Download: Expert Tips for Retail Lighting Design