Light makes all the difference in how products are showcased and how a space feels. Funky or fancy, these ODs have added some fabulous lighting.
Nothing impacts a person’s impression of a place like lighting does. A space with too little lighting feels dreary. A space with harsh, cold light from overhead fluorescent tubes can feel institutional. So lighting sets the mood for the space and, in an optical dispensary, impacts the mood of the buyer.
An optical dispensary needs adequate ambient lighting to make patients feel comfortable, and a well-designed office needs task lighting. First of all, office staff members can do their work, but they can also pay attention to areas where patients are writing checks or completing paperwork near the front desk and where people enter and exit the office.
Accent lighting can highlight focus areas, starting with the frames themselves. Think of how jewelry stores display their offerings; well-lit frames allow people to see the detailed craftsmanship. And decorative lighting simply draws the eye and complements the atmosphere.
There are plenty of websites and contractors who can help you determine the adequate lighting requirements for a location and how to achieve that through some combination of fluorescent, incandescent, LED or halogen lighting options.
One great web resource, fitsmallbusiness.com/retail-store-lighting, provides tips including a detailed plan for lighting in a 1,000-square-foot jewelry store. A reader made the suggestion to take photographs of your space and bring those to a lighting store with you.
The Clear Light of Day
Natural light is fantastic—but it can be a little unpredictable. Huge windows have the benefit of flooding a room with great light on sunny days and providing an amazing view for offices lucky enough to have a vista. But even practices with lots of natural light need to be prepared for cloudy days, evenings and days where it’s so sunny or hot that some screening is needed.
Big windows are also an invitation to passersby who can see what you offer. Emily Bussey, OD, of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, recently moved out of a 1,600-square-foot practice that she had purchased in 2010. The spectacular dispensary she now has is a far cry from the 10’ x 11’ space she used to have.
Korrie Lalim, OD, selected her practice location because she loves the Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, area, so she wants to see out as much as others want to see in. Dr. Lalim also uses LED lighting in her display shelves, which makes them look turquoise to match the translucent chairs.
Susan Reimbold, OD, of Alpharetta, Georgia, got help from her father, Ed Reimbold, who helped design, patent and build the 22 frame boards that glow in her office. Her husband, Glen Carter, helped create the wiring for the display lighting. They spent about $1,000, compared to the $26,000 that was quoted to them by a builder.
Not Your Father’s Track Lighting
Track lighting is a great option to bring a lot of light into an area. These ODs have selected track lighting that reflects their overall style.
Kayla Gaddis, OD, of McKinney, Texas, uses an almost industrial-looking track lighting to emphasize the high ceilings and provide a great contrast to the soft, natural colors and stonework. She also added lighting to her display cases and, to prove that you can pair different types of lighting, she added a chandelier for an overall shabby chic look.
The track lighting in the office of Monika Marczak, OD, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, spotlights the frame boards and adds visual interest to the overall dispensary.
A Bright Spot
Beyond the fundamental purpose of illuminating a room or display, lighting can be downright fun. B.N. Le, OD, of Austin, Texas, for example, hung lights that have become their own attractions. She was intentional in her use of color and texture, and even her light fixtures reflect that.
Vanessa Michel, OD, of Redmond, Washington, stayed within her design budget—until she saw a chandelier. It’s become such an important element in the overall look of the practice that it was worth the extra bucks.