Q & A With Local Lighting Expert

TEAMWORK MAKES YOUR DREAM WORK. WE’VE LEARNED THAT GETTING THE BEST PLAYERS ON YOUR TEAM IS WHAT CONTRIBUTES TO THE GREATEST SUCCESS – NOT JUST FOR US, BUT FOR YOU.

So, we’re taking some time to sit down with some of our most trusted partners to learn more about them. Previously, we chatted with Todd Ward of Tile Superstore. Today, meet Greg Gill of Northern Lights and Furnishings, one of our go-to lighting experts in Rochester. 

NORTH HOUSE: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE LIGHTING BUSINESS AND WHAT IS YOUR ROLE WHEN WORKING WITH CLIENTS OR CUSTOMERS?

Greg Gill: Northern Lights has been open 43 years. My role is to help directly with the clients to prepare a lighting plan and select the lights/ceiling fans.

NH: WHAT ARE SOME CURRENT LIGHTING TRENDS FOR 2020/2021 AND ARE THERE ANY MAKING A COME BACK?

GG: The two biggest trends would be the Modern FarmHouse look and contemporary. LED lights are a great fit for contemporary styles. We have also seen a resurgence of brass – in a new finish. 

NH: WHAT IF I AM REFURBISHING A LIGHT? WHAT ARE SOME TIPS OR QUICK TRICKS TO DOING THIS ON MY OWN SO I CAN MAKE IT LOOK NEW AGAIN?

GG: The most important parts of refurbishing a light is making sure the sockets and wiring are safe. New paint is the best way to make it look good again.

NH: HOW WILL LIGHTING DESIGN IMPROVE THE VALUE OF MY HOME BOTH INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR?

GG: We are all impacted by what we see. Lighting impacts how colors and furnishings look, so it’s important to select quality fixtures. A good lighting design along with quality pieces will make a statement from the outside or in. Lighting can change the entire dynamic of a home and in return increase its value. 

NH: IS THERE A SPECIFIC TOOL OR METHOD YOU USE TO DETERMINE HOW MUCH LIGHT IS ACTUALLY NEEDED IN A SPACE TO HELP A CUSTOMER SAVE MONEY ON LIGHTING? 

GG: Determining how much light is needed for a space is based on conversations with the client and what their needs might be. Perhaps someone prefers a very bright room, or maybe they would rather have something darker and moodier for a study or bedroom – it all depends on the client and their space. That is also the case for helping them find the light to fit their budget.

NH: WHAT IF I HAVE A DAMAGED LAMP, LIGHT FIXTURE, OR PENDANT? HOW WOULD ONE DISPOSE OF IT? WHERE WOULD I TAKE IT?

GG: Damaged lamps and lights can be disposed of in normal trash. The 4 foot or longer fluorescent light bulbs need to be recycled.

NH: WHAT KIND OF BULBS (HALOGEN, LED LIGHTS, FLUORESCENT BULBS) DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR AN ENERGY EFFICIENT HOME?

GG: LED lights and lights bulbs would be the most energy efficient. You can save a lot of money on your electricity bill by converting your lighting to LED.

NH: ADVICE ON CHOOSING THE RIGHT TYPE OF LIGHT? HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT ROOMS OR SPACES NEED A LIGHT FIXTURE VS. NATURAL LIGHT?

GG: All rooms will need some type of lighting fixture. It’s always wise to utilize natural light, but that needs to be complemented with fixtures as we lose our daylight around 5 p.m. for several months in this part of the country. The room and client dictate how we select the right fixture. Perhaps it will be a statement piece or something that is subtle – that’s what makes finding the right piece fun.

NH: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF ALL OF THE ADVANCEMENTS ON LIGHTING, VOICE ACTIVATED LIGHTING WITH ALEXA, SMART OUTLETS, DIMMING? ARE THESE FEATURES SOMETHING TO CONSIDER WHEN BUILDING A HOME?

GG: Recent advancements with lighting controls can be convenient and should be considered in new homes. Anything that helps us easily modify our living environment and possibly save money in the long run (e.g. being able to easily shut off lights) is worth checking out. 

NH: WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON MISTAKES YOU SEE FOR INDIVIDUALS? (HANGING HEIGHT, WRONG PLACEMENT FOR A LIGHT, DANGEROUS LOCATION ETC?)

GG: The most common issue we see is people who have ordered their lighting online and are unhappy with the size and quality. It’s easy to be fooled by “good deals” on the internet, but it’s true that you usually get what you pay for. Many online fixtures are hard to assemble, don’t have quality parts and are challenging to install. 

You can learn more about Northern Lights and Furnishings by visiting their website.

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