Innovative LED Experience Center Unveiled at Light Bulbs Etc. in California
Last week was the official ribbon-cutting for Light Bulbs Etc.’s LED Experience Center inside its Costa Mesa showroom and featuring displays specifically engineered to stimulate creativity regarding the limitless possibilities of LED lighting.
Since it was established in 1986 as a partnership between Melvyn Kahn, Colin Becker, and Irwin Watkin, the mission of Light Bulbs Etc. has been to serve its Californian residential and architectural community by presenting the latest in lighting fashion and capabilities.
“While our goal remains the same, the lighting industry has changed and evolved in leaps and bounds. LED as a light source has opened up many opportunities. That is what inspired us to design and build this LED Experience Center,” noted Melvyn Kahn at a special evening party for the architectural community.
The process of creating the LED Experience Center within the store – an approximately 600-sq.-ft. space along one side of the showroom – took nine months to accomplish physically (“much like having a baby,” Kahn quipped), but the idea for it started much earlier and was in part sparked by the transformation that the father-and-son duo of Larry and Jon Sayah of Lights Fantastic in Texas underwent (constructing an entire LED-focused showroom from scratch in the Dallas area in an art gallery-like format). Just as the Sayahs enthusiastically share their concept with the industry at large, so does the team behind Light Bulbs Etc.
As Kahn pointed out to the roughly 150 interior designers, architects, and specifiers who attended the grand opening, the “magic” of the LED Experience Center happens when they are shown the possibilities by the staff. “When you enter the room [by yourself], it might just look like a lot of stuff,” he said. For that reason, the crowd was divided into small tour groups. “LED has opened so many opportunities to us as designers. It’s all about educating the public. People don’t know the scope of what can be done unless they are shown.”
For example, what looks like an illuminated sculptural contemporary wall clock is actually made from the innovative use of strategically placed step lights. “We must have had about 30 people wanting to buy the clock,” Kahn chuckled. “When you see a product marked ‘step lights,’ who says that’s all it has to be?” he added, emphasizing that a trained lighting specialist sees endless possibilities.
Flying in from Dallas to celebrate the grand opening of the LED Experience Center was Eric Jacobson, President of the American Lighting Association (ALA). “Lighting is being transformed and is revolutionizing the industry,” Jacobson said. “It’s exciting to see the growth of these products. Gone are the days when energy-efficient products don’t meet the decorative needs of the end user.”
Jacobson thanked Kahn “for being a leader and for sharing what he’s done here with other dealers as well as the rest of the community. Melvyn has created an environment where customers will come back again and again. I want to promote what you’re doing [to our membership]. It’s something that other dealers can get ahold of and benefit from.”