Written Designs – The Power of Words

Imagine this:  “It is a warm summer evening; a backyard environment has been prepared to welcome guests. The soft glow of the pathways and flower beds guide friends to an outdoor dining area. Relaxing music can be heard in the background. All perimeter walls are grazed with warm light providing the illusion of depth into the property. Specimen trees are filled with soft illumination allowing the branch structure’s natural character to be enhanced. The table is set with candles and crystal glasses that shimmer. A soft breeze rustles through the tall trees. Cool moonlight filters through the mature trees. Romantic shadows of the branches are painted on the freshly cut turf. A perfectly illuminated fountain splashes, causing the droplets of water to look like jewels falling into the basin. It sounds like a great evening for all is about to commence.” 

As evidenced above, in a little over one hundred words, a wonderful evening has been portrayed. This was done without mentioning the placement of a single lighting fixture. The entire description leads one from an entry portal to an “evening destination”, albeit is someone’s backyard. Proper articulation of an outdoor environment is imperative to win the job. This is similar to a waiter at an elegant bistro describing the chef’s special. It sounds so delicious you must have it!

An experienced lighting contractor has the knowledge to paint this picture of an outdoor environment, enhanced with outdoor illumination. While walking a job during the day, a contractor can already begin to visualize the flow of effects he can create during the evening hours. Combining the knowledge with the creative ideas and then communicating it effectively to your customer is a gift. And it takes practice! 

Contractors producing a written design along with a drawing will set themselves apart from their competition.  Just to reiterate … a written design is the story of the effects of a lighting system to be installed. It can be done with marked pictures of vignettes or with words alone.  An example might read like this: “We begin our design in the backyard facing the pool from the east. The back wall will be completely illuminated with romantic backlighting using 2200k LED light sources. The signature trees will be enhanced with dramatic beams of 2700k LED lighting coming from the base of the tree. Dual purpose fire and LED down lighting in amber will allow for safe navigation around the pool deck. Utilizing these effects will provide mirror lighting in the swimming pool.” Choose your words wisely; choose words that express emotion and depict imagery. Let your words conjure up images and feelings for your customer. It is amazing the power of words! 

But keep in mind, a written design does not negate the practice of providing a night demo. In fact the more night demos a contractor does, helps to recall effects previous jobs. It also makes it much easier for contractors to write a design in their own words. Give it a try!

Kevin SmithComment