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Important Facts about Lighting in Your Home: An Interview with Bonnie Forbes of Wolfers Lighting

By Bonnie Forbes

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Wolfers Lighting is Greater Boston's best lighting resource for homeowners, architects, builders, interior designers and other trade professionals. At Wolfers, we understand lighting, its intricacies and its potential. Established in 1931, we apply our longstanding experience and in-depth knowledge of lighting products and latest technologies to create the best lighting solution for our clients.

We have 2 showroom locations in Waltham, overlooking Route 128 and in Allston on North Beacon Street. Both Wolfers Lighting showrooms have recently undergone major renovations and feature a unique way of presenting product to our clients along with state of the art light labs that demonstrate today's LED technology and lighting techniques.

What are some of the services your company provides?

Our consultants provide expertise on lighting at every level. Every purchase is an important purchase. Whether we are designing an entire lighting project or assisting a client select a floor or table lamp, our commitment is to provide the best service possible. Our client base includes the homeowner, interior designers, architects, electrical contractors, builders and general contractors. We focus on team-building to ensure the best results for the project. Our services include presentation of product with an overview of application and, for our project clients, design development, specification, fixture placement, dimming recommendations and site visits, as required.

Why is it important to get the right lighting features and elements in your home?

LED bulbs and fixtures dominate the discussion of "how to light". It is important that the palette of the home or space be defined.. are there warmer tones being used or cooler shades? We want light sources that are flattering to skin tones and compliment the built- environment as well. Are there specific features that need attention? Accenting art, grazing stone, washing walls, highlighting features are all part of the lighting design process. Are there visual acuity issues? Does the client like a lot of light? As we begin the design process, we get to know our clients and the needs of the project so that the lighting being used is relevant and enhances all the features of the space.

What different options do homeowners have in terms of lighting fixtures and elements?

The lighting industry is changing. Incandescent bulbs are decreasing in wattage due to government mandated restrictions and LEDS are becoming more commonplace. The state of Massachusetts offers incentives and rebates to encourage the use of LEDS. Standard fixtures can be "re-lamped" with LED light bulbs and fixtures are now available as LED only. This is demonstrated in our light labs.. we take a standard recessed can and use a standard halogen bulb. In the same fixture, we show LED replacement bulbs with different kelvin temperatures (indicates the warmth or coolness of the bulb). As an even more efficient alternative, we demonstrate LED fixtures with integral engines.. only LED. Seeing is believing.

What is your basic lighting design process?

Our lighting design process is driven by the client's needs - what do they need us to do? There are occasions when the reflective plan is drawn by the architect and the client asks as to "tweak" and help them select the light sources. Our complete design process consists of initial consultation, programming (discussing the client's needs to insure correctness of specification) discussion of time and budget, presenting design options, drawing reflective plan or CAD services, switching and dimming, quote/format order and site visits.

Often, the client's project only requires our recommendations and not an actual "design". It makes sense for the client to discuss the project with the showroom manager to mutually decide the best way to proceed. We then encourage the client to review the scope of Wolfers involvement with their team (builder, electrical contractor). There may be a consultation fee taken that would apply in full to the order, or a separate fee for additional design services rendered.

What for you are the major advantages of hiring a professional to do the job?

It always makes sense to work with a lighting expert and to see in person the new led technologies and lighting techniques. Our light labs, art lab, kitchen lab, closet labs are there for that purpose, to help you and your team make the decisions that are right for your project.

What's the best way to contact you and your company?

To make an appointment for a consultation or for a tour of our showroom's resources, please contact Wolfers showroom managers. In Allston, Bonnie Forbes: 617 254-0700 and in Waltham, Joyce Gravel: 781 890-5995. We look forward to meeting you and working with you on your next lighting project.

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About The Author

With over 30 years of experience in the lighting business, Bonnie Forbes is the...

Phone: 617-254-0700

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