Cole Real Estate Investments HQ: Fluorescent & Fabulous

Creative Designs in Lighting

It might seem as if every lighting project lately is LED, but that’s not always the best solution for the job as this award-winning installation proves.

 2013 Cooper Source Awards

For leading net-lease  (REIT) Cole Capital – the private capital business of Cole Real Estate Investments focused on the acquisition, active management, leasing, and financing of high-quality retail, office, and industrial properties – having a headquarters with aesthetics that dovetailed with the firm’s reputation for up-to-the-minute and contemporary properties was paramount.

Who would have thought fluorescent lighting could be so much fun? Working closely with a talented architectural team, Phoenix-based Creative Designs in Lighting helped create a clean, sophisticated corporate headquarters for Cole Capital with some interesting features carefully highlighted by the lighting.

For example, the reception area establishes this cool vibe right upfront with a playful “pick-up sticks” pattern on the ceiling using NeoRay’s straight and narrow flangeless dimmable T5 fixtures that provide general illumination while meeting the requirements for egress lighting. Flangeless RSA Quiet Ceiling square HIR halogen fixtures allow for flexibility in accenting artwork on the walls.

Cooper Lighting Source Awards

One of the more unusual spaces in this headquarters was the installation of an auditorium used for presentations. The architect went to great lengths to create a unique louvered ceiling without any downlights. Corelite’s Cove Solo Dimmable T5HO fixtures with Plus 5 aiming were employed to create a uniform soft glow to the louvered ceiling and provide 30 footcandles below.

Sometimes maintaining a clean, trimless aesthetic called for ingenuity. For the Executive Gallery, where artwork lines the wood wall, Cooper collaborated with the design team to modify the RSA two-lamp Combolight fixture so that it remained trimless, even in a 2.25”-thick wood ceiling. Retractable yokes allow for concise artwork illumination without any light spill on the soffit.

Since the open office area is primarily for computer use, the Neo-Ray Straight and Narrow pendant-mount fixtures were selected with T5 lamps and spacing to provide 20 foot-candles on the desks. The slim pendants also create an interesting transition between the drywall and acoustic ceiling.

Neo-Ray and RSA standard fixtures were modified for the thick ceilings and trimless details, while IRiS square compact fluorescent downlights performed well with a minimal four-inch ceiling opening and flangeless trim. Corelite and Fail-Safe fixtures were used in concealed indirect and task applications — all completed on a quick construction schedule.

The construction team was able to pull everything together, allowing the lighting to integrate seamlessly with the interiors. To that end, small apertures and clean lines aligned with the architect’s vision. Since the client is sensitive to bright light, the chosen fixtures needed to have quality glare control while still providing adequate task light. Since the budget would not allow for daylight harvesting, the light levels that the Creative Designs in Lighting team selected was based upon the specific tasks occurring in each area.

The overall power density is 0.88 watts per square foot, and controls are simple with zone controls via contactors in open offices and simple scene control dimming systems in meeting rooms and executive offices.

The Cole Capital project won the Commercial category in the 36th annual SOURCE Awards from Cooper Lighting; winners are announced during a special ceremony during Lightfair in May.


Project: Cole Capital office

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Lighting Design: Creative Designs in Lighting with Mark Mueller LC; Nikki Holt LC; and Walter Spitz

Size of Project:  120,000 square feet

Power Density:  0.88 watts per square foot

Lighting Products Used: Corelite, Neo-Ray, Fail-Safe, IRiS, Metalux, Halo, RSA, and Sure-Lites (all from Cooper Lighting)

Photographer Credit:  © Nick Merrick / Hedrich Blessing (Gensler)

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