Linear Lighting: A Checklist for Design-Build Firms

Design-build firms provide value to clients in the form of lower-priced building projects developed on a shorter timeline than traditional construction models. A design-build contractor will compress construction timelines by incorporating the design and construction teams together and beginning some construction during the design phase.

To deliver projects on-time and on-budget, the contractor needs cost-effective building materials that are readily available without long order fulfillment times.

When it comes to linear lighting, it used to be that the answer was expensive made-to-measure lighting or lower quality off-the-shelf products. Customers deserve the best products for their money and design-builders don’t have the time for made-to-measure.

Design and lighting manufacturer Amerlux has developed a solution to this problem for design-builders: The Grüv family of recessed linear lighting, which can be supplied in standard lengths for quick turnaround or supplied in made-to-measure custom lenths. A linear lighting solution sold in standard sizes off-the-shelf and in custom lengths, Grüv maintains clean lines, discreet styling and excellent performance, providing the end user with a complete package.

Here’s a checklist of factors design-build firms consider for the best linear lighting options:

  • Standard products: The Grüv family of LED lighting is available in standard lengths of 4-feet, 8-feet, and 12-feet as well as made-to-measure. The luminaires can be individual or continuous row-mounted, using a drawer-latching system that provides easy and precise joining of units for straight runs, parameter wall runs with J-brackets, and in T- or L-shaped patterns.
  • Rapid ROI: Grüv 1.5″ LED is extremely energy efficient and is compatible with any controls on the market today to help further reduce lighting and energy costs. Grüv can offer an ROI of up to 80 percent for buildings without compromising comfort. Additionally, when standard lengths of Grüv are paired with the Standard Plus wall-to-wall bracket, the light fixtures can deliver savings of up to 35 percent, compared to made-to-measure luminaires.
  • Excellent quality at lower price points: The off-the-shelf version of Grüv is the same high-quality engineered light fixture as the customized version. It merely comes in standard lengths and at standard costs.
  • Easy to install: The Grüv family of recessed slot fixtures is engineered to easily install. Standard lengths clip together with a drawer latching system for longer runs and the Standard Plus bracket makes wall-to-wall solutions extremely simple.
  • High-end aesthetics and materials: Grüv’s very narrow aperture provides market-leading illumination, clean understated aesthetics and design continuity from a discreet linear profile. It offers unobtrusive light sourcing, flexible mounting capabilities, high quality extruded materials and superior LED technology and drivers.
  • Flexible design options: Grüv 1.5″ LED can run up walls, cross ceilings and go everywhere your design requires. Grüv’s flexibility is not limited to the made-to-measure arena. The Standard Plus bracket provides a custom, wall-to-wall look without the headaches and time sink of made-to-measure. Standard Plus is a wall-to-wall innovation featuring a field-customizable bracket system that revolutionizes the way the industry approaches linear runs and contributes to the high-end aesthetics of a project.
  • Excellent light quality: The Grüv family offers the industry’s first LED fixture designed for use with a louver for optimal glare control and light diffusion. The result is a pleasing light with superior beam control. The LED light also has full dimming capabilities and is dim-to-warm compatible so the light can warm as it is dimmed, just as an incandescent light does.
  • Quick delivery: Standard lengths of Grüv can ship in 10 days or less from time they are ordered to quickly advance any new construction or retrofit project.

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Fewer Made-To-Measure Problems: Why Architects Choose Amerlux

Offices of the Engineering and Architecture Firm, Bergmann Associates at Midtown Tower, Rochester, NY

When it is done well, made-to-measure is the ideal for commercial building tenants—they get exactly what they want and it looks and feels perfect.

Making that perfect experience tends to come with a lot of headaches for architects though. When things are made to measure for a project, delays are inevitable and costs can quickly spiral out of control due to on-site issues of fit.

However, when it comes to lighting, architects do not need to downgrade to commodity-level lighting products to keep costs in line and construction timelines on track. There is a better option: The Grüv family of recessed LED lighting by Amerlux.

Extremely flexible in application, Grüv can climb walls and cross ceilings, but the real magic is in its ability to offer made-to-measure aesthetics with off-the-shelf convenience. Starting with a 1.5 inch aperture and going up in size to 2.5 inches, 4 inches and 6 inches, the Grüv family of recessed LED lighting comes in standard lengths of 4 feet, 8 feet, and 12 feet. These can be joined together for longer runs. Additionally, when paired with the Standard Plus bracket, Grüv makes made-to-measure ridiculously easy.

Amerlux Innovation Remedies Made-to-Measure Headaches

Custom lighting products take a lot of time—time for the architect to measure and spec out and time for the lighting manufacturer to prepare. Long lead times are the enemy of carefully developed construction timelines.

While it is common for fulfillment of made-to-measure product orders to take four to six weeks (that is, from the final order and not counting time to draw up the specifications), standard products can be manufactured very quickly. Amerlux guarantees deliveries of Grüv standard lengths in 10 days or less.

Besides being significantly faster to ship, standard length Grüv LED lights help architects avoid construction delays and the made-to-measure inconveniences.

For example, using standard lengths joined together with brackets is a simpler solution than ordering custom lengths. It is also less expensive for both the customer and the manufacturer.

If the standard-length runs do not perfectly reach the walls, a lower price point alternative to custom lighting is using brackets that extend from the end of the light fixture to wall. These brackets expertly mask the fact that the lights are too short and solve the problem easily. It is a made-to-measure appearance without the headache.

Grüv’s flexibility extends beyond standard sizes. It has a full range of dimming capabilities and it is compatible with any controls on the market, allowing the users great freedom in how they use their LEDs. Furthermore, Grüv’s aperture sizes are identical to the Linea pendent LED lighting family, so they can be seamlessly paired together.

It is so easy for a construction site to not match a drawing perfectly—the walls may be out of square or plumb, or some unknown condition on site can easily knock apart the fine details of a blueprint. Unknown conditions can be especially pronounced in remodeling situations where it is anyone’s guess what kind of surprises are hiding behind the drywall awaiting discovery during demolition. These surprises make made-to-measure lighting a huge headache for architects and keep them on projects longer.

With Amerlux’s Grüv family of recessed LED lighting, now architects can have spec-grade materials and aesthetics at lower price points and without the hassle of made-to-measure.

For more information about hassle-free Grüv, call 973.850.4342 today.

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Top Linear Lighting: A Checklist for Architects

Customized lighting solutions make for beautifully lit commercial spaces, but they also tend to bring a host of inconveniences to projects, like construction delays and increased costs.

Made-to-measure lighting takes longer to manufacture than standard products. There is no economy of scale for the manufacturer as each component must be made to the exact specifications of a given project—which also necessarily raises prices. It is easy for a custom lighting solution to take several weeks or more to be delivered, not to mention the design and revision time required for the perfect fit, making construction delays nearly inevitable.

Delays keep architects on projects longer and away from new business. The solution for architects is to use high-quality standard products with top-tier materials and elegant styling.

Design and lighting manufacturer Amerlux has developed a solution to this problem for design-builders: The Grüv family of LED lighting. A recessed linear lighting solution sold in standard sizes off-the-shelf and in custom lengths, Grüv maintains clean lines, discreet styling and excellent performance, providing the end user with a complete package.

Architects Consider Several Factors

Here are the benefits architects consider when choosing the right linear lighting option:

  • High-end aesthetics and materials: Grüv’s very narrow aperture provides market-leading illumination, clean understated styling and design continuity from a discreet linear profile. It offers unobtrusive light sourcing, flexible mounting capabilities, high-quality extruded materials, superior LED technology and drivers.
  • Excellent light quality: Grüv 1.5″ LED offers the industry’s first LED fixture designed for use with a louver for optimal glare control and light diffusion. The result is a pleasing light with superior beam control. The LED light also has full-dimming capabilities and is dim-to-warm compatible so the light will warm up as it is dimmed, just as an incandescent light does.
  • Wall-to-wall designs made effortless: For a made-to-measure look that avoids the headaches and time sink for the architect of designing custom lighting, the Standard Plus bracket is the answer. Including a field-customizable bracket that fills the extra space between the ends of a fixture and the walls, the innovative frame is a revolutionary approach for the industry to smooth out the potholes inherent to custom design. No longer does a little measuring error or an out-of-square wall have to muddle up the lighting design. Instead, the ingenious bracket solves the problem and contributes to the upscale aesthetics of a project.
  • Flexible design options: Grüv 1.5″ LED climbs walls, crosses ceilings and goes everywhere your design requires, providing a clean and modern look to a space.
  • Compatible with other products: The aperture sizes of the whole Grüv family perfectly match those of the Linea family of linear pendant lighting, allowing the two products to be seamlessly married for greater design flexibility and freedom.
  • Custom and standard lengths: Grüv 1.5″ LED lighting is available in standard lengths of 4-feet, 8-feet, and 12-feet as well as made-to-measure. The luminaires can be individual or continuous row-mounted, using a drawer-latching system that provides easy and precise joining of units for straight runs, wall runs for longer runs with J channels, and in T- or L-shaped patterns.
  • Rapid ROI: Grüv 1.5″ LED is extremely energy efficient and is compatible with any controls on the market today to help further reduce lighting and energy costs. Additionally, when standard lengths of Grüv are paired with the Standard Plus wall-to-wall bracket, the light fixtures can deliver savings of up to 35 percent compared to made-to-measure luminaires.
  • Simple to install: The Grüv family of recessed slot fixtures is engineered to easily install. Standard lengths clip together with a drawer latching system for longer runs and the Standard Plus bracket makes wall-to-wall solutions extremely simple.
  • Quick delivery: Made-to-measure Grüv products are available in four to six weeks and standard lengths of Grüv can ship in 10 days or less from time they are ordered to quickly advance any new construction or retrofit project.

 

 

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How Design-Build Firms Find More Value for Clients

The design-build construction model offers customers a faster and lower-cost means of building, compared to the traditional design-bid-build model. Design-build firms accomplish this feat by merging the design and construction teams together, centralizing accountability and facilitating more efficient information-sharing.

Commercial building projects are focused on ROI and design-build firms help owners capitalize on their buildings’ financial return faster with shorter construction timelines.

Often chosen by customers with time and price constraints, design-build firms have specific needs revolving around cost and speed. Material and construction techniques are evaluated for projects based on these two factors so the firm can deliver their projects on-budget and within customers’ tight construction schedules.

To achieve these results, high-caliber design-build firms reduce costs by using standard products that can be delivered quickly and installed easily rather than waiting or paying for a premium grade product. These firms also don’t want products that appear cheap or have poor performance as that is not helpful to anyone.

Using mid-grade standard products avoids the headaches of made-to-measure items, namely, the need for specialized designers, high costs for materials and installation, long lead times and the frustrating times when a building’s physical reality diverges from its blueprints.

Custom-Designed Products Eliminate Need for Lighting Designer

With lighting, custom-designed solutions require a lighting designer. To save time and money, design-build firms will typically use standard lighting products, which also dispenses with the need for a specialty designer.

Using standard products also eliminates the problems of long delivery times and high costs. Made-to-measure products take longer (by several weeks or months) to manufacture than standard products. There is no economy of scale for the manufacturer as each component must be made to the exact specifications of a given project—which also necessarily raises prices.

Besides the extra time requirements for custom lighting products, there is the common issue of the physical space in a building not matching the plans. Walls are out of square, out of plumb, or any number of other surprises that can happen on a job site, requiring a redo on the custom-measured lighting.

These delays can knock apart carefully estimated construction timelines and have a butterfly effect on building completion down the line.

Special Lighting Brackets Solve Made-To-Measure Headaches

To avoid these problems, design-build firms need standard products. Designing within the limitations of standard product sizes eliminates the made-to-measure inconveniences.

For example, using lighting that comes in standard lengths and with brackets to join these lengths together makes linear runs far simpler and less expensive for both customers and manufacturers.

If the design calls for recessed linear lighting to run from wall to wall measurements MUST be confirmed before any manufacturing can be started which causes major delays in installation.  Using standard run length linear you simply run your lengths to get as close as you can to the walls (within a few inches) and use a standard plus bracket which is field cuttable to complete the run.  This is a lower cost solution in both material and installation.

These brackets expertly mask the fact that the lights are too short and solve the problem easily. It is a made-to-measure appearance without the headache.

Finally, standard products can be delivered very quickly, sometimes in just a few days instead of several weeks or months. This time savings can have a significant impact on the project’s timeline and help keep things on time and on budget for everyone.

Just because a product is off-the-shelf, it does not mean it is a lesser quality than a made-to-measure product. The products can be the exact same in every way except one is made with standard lengths, while the other is customized.

Good design-build firms understand they do not need to sacrifice materials to provide value to the customer. With savings of up to 35 percent on standard products compared to made-to-measure lighting, off-the-shelf lighting is an easy way for design-build firms to stay on-budget and on-time.

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How Made-to-Measure Problems Slow Down Architects

Death, taxes and construction projects falling behind schedule—inevitable constants in life. While the first two things are unavoidable, the third is escapable.

An excellent way to stave off construction delays is by reducing the amount of made-to measure products and custom-designed items in a given project. The more off-the-shelf products and standardized materials an architect can use in a project, the better chance the project has of being finished on time and on budget.

Everyone thinks of themselves as individuals and desire individualized consideration, but when it comes to construction, customization can really throw a wrench into the works.

A few common problems architects face with made-to-measure items and how to avoid them:

The first problem is that by their nature, made-to-measure products take longer to manufacture than standard products. There is no economy of scale for the manufacturer as each component must be made to the exact specifications of a given project—which also necessarily raises prices for all parties involved.

Crafting components to exact specifications takes a lot of time to complete. Order times of four to six weeks (and longer for some manufacturers) are common and that assumes the manufacturer does not run into any delays on their end (e.g. late purchase orders, changes to room dimensions or delays in final signoff on run lengths from the field). These delays can knock apart carefully estimated construction timelines and have a butterfly effect on building completion down the line.

The project also assumes that the specifications are correct. Errors happen even to the best and if an error makes it into the spec sheet for a batch of custom products, the whole order may be unsalvageable.

If the specifications are correct, then a very common problem is that the space does not actually match the plans. The drawings are the ideal, but the reality often does not match the drawing perfectly. Walls are often out of square or plumb, the carpenter installed the rafters in the exact place where the lighting was supposed to go—the list goes on.

All manner of situations can cause the building site to diverge from the plans, including contractor errors and unknown factors in the site. Unknown conditions can be especially pronounced in remodeling situations where it is anyone’s guess what kind of surprises are hiding behind the drywall awaiting discovery during demolition.

Whatever the cause, a difference in the site from the plans can cause a major problem for lighting installation, when suddenly, the perfectly made-to-measure lights do not fit where they are supposed to go. Then it is more delays as the architect or lighting designer has to go back to the lighting manufacturer with modified specifications. Then it is a few more weeks for the manufacturer to return the revised lighting components.

The solution to made-to-measure problems

Made-to-measure problems like these delay construction projects and slow down architects, keeping them on projects longer and preventing them from getting to new projects. The solution to made-to-measure problems is standard products. Designing within the limitations of standard product sizes eliminates the made-to-measure inconveniences.

For example, using lighting that comes in standard lengths and with brackets to join these lengths together makes linear runs far simpler and less expensive for both customers and manufacturers.

If the recessed standard-length runs do not perfectly reach the walls, a lower price point alternative to custom lighting is using brackets that extend from the end of the light fixture to wall. These brackets expertly mask the fact that the lights are too short and solve the problem easily. It is a made-to-measure appearance without the headache.

Finally, standard products can be manufactured very quickly, sometimes in just a few days instead of several weeks or months. This time savings can have a significant impact on the project’s timeline and help keep things on time and on budget for everyone.

 

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