Landscape Forms recently introduced LEO a new LED pedestrian and area light designed by John Rizzi in collaboration with Clanton & Associates. The project to design the light started about two years ago and culminated in a clean lined, fresh design that could pair with a traditional setting just as well as with a modern contemporary environment. It was also a huge step forward in how we designed lighting from a functional aspect.
As a product designer I have had the great experience of working on a multitude of lighting designs in the past but they’ve all been for residential indoor use (i.e. table lamps, tasks lights etc.). Until I joined Landscape Forms I had never worked on an outdoor light meant for illuminating large areas in public spaces. It was a great learning experience. I discovered that to design a great outdoor light you have to take into consideration a number of factors including backlight, up light and facial recognition just to name a few. While controlling these factors helps make an exceptional light, as a designer it’s also an opportunity to effect how the light coming from the luminary compliments the overall design of the product. It’s easy to pack a lamp with a bunch of LEDs and light up a space but how does it look? Does it light the ground evenly? Is there glare hitting you in the eyes as you walk towards it? Is the light warm and inviting or is it cold and caustic?
Making sure the light being emitted is the best it possibly can be from an aesthetic standpoint can be tricky. You can’t reach out and mold light like a piece of clay. You can’t really draw it either and a computer simulation can only tell you where it’s going to go, not how it’s going to look getting there. You have to actually see the luminary on a pole in its intended environment.
We spent lot of evenings standing in our parking lot starring upward and tweaking the design.
In Michigan it also means in the winter you dress really, really warm and in the summer you become a prime target for mosquitoes. Being a transplant to Michigan a little more than a year ago I can solidly attest to the fact that mosquitoes here are bigger and hungrier than their counterparts on the East coast.
In the end there is no doubt that all of the swatting and itching paid off. The whole process produced an incredible cutting edge area light that’s leagues ahead of the pack.