A lot of things go into the making of a great lighting consultant, including breadth of experience, technical knowledge and the array of services on offer.
When it comes to putting these things into practice, though, it’s the people that make all the difference. After all, you know what they say: ‘You’re only as good as your team’. So, it’s a good thing everyone at DFL is an expert at what they do!
To give you an insight into the kind of service you get from working with us (and just how amazing our people are), we’re running you through how we do things at DFL — from our underlying approach to our plans for future development. And, most importantly, you’ll find out how some of our team members fit into it all…
Balancing aesthetics with practicality
At DFL, we know the importance of a well-balanced lighting scheme. Too much creative flair and it could be unsuitable for the site location; not enough and it could lack impact. That’s why we make sure you get the best of both worlds — ensuring every project complements, rather than overwhelms, its surroundings.
Ryan Carroll, the department lead for the Lighting Impact and Planning team, is our resident expert on this kind of thing. Ryan says, ‘The key to balancing aesthetics and practicality is being realistic at the start of the lighting design process, understanding the site opportunities and constraints’.
For example, we’d never put a neon masterpiece next to a residential site (people need to sleep!). But for one of our recent projects, the busy Ashford underpass that connects the local train station to international services, colour was an absolute must.
This dark walkway needed an inviting lighting scheme that didn’t cause any safety hazards for pedestrians or compromise the structural integrity of the tunnel. Tricky, but nothing DFL couldn’t handle! Our team produced a stunning multi-coloured, remote-controlled lighting scheme that ticked all the boxes — and balanced aesthetics with practicality.
Speaking of tricky installations, our lighting experts know a thing or two about them…
Combatting lighting challenges
When a new lighting project has multiple conflicting requirements (which happens more often than you’d think), it can be difficult to keep everyone happy.
Take ecologically sensitive sites as an example. When installing lights next to an area with endangered wildlife or protected landscapes, lights must be bright enough to do the job — but not so bright that they upset the nearby environment (and people in charge of project approval).
In the words of Scott Pengelly, the department lead for our Residential and Public Realm division, ‘Listening to what both the client wants to achieve, what a local authority or approving body requires and linking the two together can be like spinning plates’.
Luckily, plate spinning is our thing (it’s just a metaphor, but you get the gist).
Scott says, ‘We offer fair and unbiased information on lighting design approaches and options’, working with (not for) clients to reach the best decision for all parties. ‘Whether we discuss lighting column positions that must coordinate with landscaping or issues surrounding light spill into neighbouring locations’, he explains, we’ll get to the bottom of it.
Unfortunately, challenges don’t just exist out in the field. Like many other industries, not enough newcomers are joining the lighting industry — and we’re set on changing that.
Building a brighter future
For a while now, the ageing population of skilled engineers has dwindled without a new cohort to fill the gap. So, getting new people into our industry is crucial — and DFL needs new talent to support the growing project pipeline.
Thankfully, our lighting experts are eager to support newcomers and ensure the continued expansion of the company…
Members of the DFL team have accrued some valuable nuggets of wisdom over the years — and have some great tips to offer people looking to get their foot in the lighting industry.
Ian Hearsum, the department lead for Strategic Infrastructure at DFL, started his career in lighting as a traffic signal CAD technician, creating 2D general arrangement drawings for construction.
‘The skills I picked up working on lighting layouts at the start of my career follow very similar principles to those used throughout civil engineering, making them transferable between various positions’, he commented. ‘For example, many CAD technicians must learn to look at drawings and designs from a multitude of disciplines, which is a crucial part of general day-to-day lighting design — opening opportunities to take on all kinds of roles in this industry’.
Essentially, so long as you’ve built a good foundation in a related field, there’s nothing stopping you from securing a new lighting-related role.
And that’s not the only way to get into lighting…
We’ve just launched a dedicated recruitment scheme named the Learning and Mentoring Programme — or LAMP Academy (pun intended)!
This programme seeks to engage the next generation of lighting experts by offering newbies an exciting first career in the industry, where they can pick the brains of knowledgeable professionals just like Ian and benefit from plenty of valuable development opportunities that’ll set them up for success. What a bright idea!
Like the sound of our lighting experts? There’s plenty more where they came from! Find out more about the DFL team today.