On the eve of South Carolina–based Urban Electric Co.’s recent release of the new Pop light, company founder Dave Dawson sat down with EAL to discuss the latest advances in LED lighting. The new light, seen below, ships with a fully dimmable 40-watt-equivalent LED bulb.
Pop, in hewn brass with custom wallpaper inset and LED filament clear bulb
What are some of the ways you are incorporating LED into your work?
We have explored LED technology for a number of years, but are now truly inspired by the evolution of the technology and the improvement of the light output/color quality. Because of that, and with the increasing interest from clients to use LED in their projects for LEED or Title 24, we are really starting to design into LED. In addition to providing a more even light distribution, the ability to utilize LED has actually been a lot of fun for our team because it provides design opportunities we previously could not explore with traditional lamping options.
I’m even more excited about the new LED products we [introduced] in the fall—both in terms of the technology and the designs themselves.
What are the challenges of designing with LED?
The primary challenge is just that things continue to change so much and there can sometimes be inconsistency of lumen output and conversions. For us, that means that we have to carefully vet our suppliers and typically do more testing and research than we might otherwise, to ensure we’ve tested all possibilities and offer the best combination of light output, dimming ability and diffusion.
What are the ideal applications for LED?
Pretty soon the question will be, “Why would you not use LED?” We have found that LED has multiple UL-approved interior and exterior applications and that usage is not a limitation at all. Now that the color has improved, there are significant benefits from a cost and energy perspective that make LED very attractive for residential and commercial environments.
What other innovations and challenges are facing the lighting industry today?
The lighting industry isn’t too different from others. At Urban Electric, we challenge ourselves with how to continuously improve our delivery and assortment, how to elevate the experience that our clients have with us, all while being committed to sophisticated design and bespoke-quality construction.