Best Practices: Let there be light – and no Hidden Cost
Mis à jour : 12 déc 2018
Lighting is one of the most difficult and underestimated packages in FF&E purchasing – a long list of potential pitfalls may jeopardize your hotel project’s interior design or the successful opening on time. However, careful consideration of given key aspects as well as thorough planning from the beginning, will not only ensure a smooth installation in the critical phase prior to the completion of the construction site, it will also save you thousands of additional costs and lengthy hours of painful problem solving.
Owners and operators likewise have the interest of keeping the costs low when placing the order. More importantly however, a well-prepared tender helps in avoiding unexpected extra costs later on and best of all: it reduces cost of maintenance significantly during operation. Whether the lamps are custom productions for your project or already fully developed off-shelf products, a number of points need to be regarded.
Housekeeping & Maintenance
In many countries, staff cost is the highest operating cost of a hotel. Naturally, you will want staff to work efficiently, which means your furniture and lighting should be easy to clean and maintain: The material must be scratch free, easily washable and ideally shouldn’t attract and show too much dust.
In order to avoid an arsenal of various different lightbulbs, request standardized fittings already in the architectural brief or at the moment of specification and tendering. All external, electrical drivers for large chandeliers should be placed in a way, that maintenance can easily reach them without the need of an external company, a cost position that has a direct impact on your bottom line. When ordering lamps, a number of spares of the most common lamps in a hotel should be always be ordered. If it breaks, it can be exchanged immediately by the technical team without compromising the guests experience.
One of the most common problems concern ceiling features, chandeliers or simple pendant lamps. Due to the technical complexity of a hotel project nowadays, the ceilings are normally filled with pipes and cables that force the gypsum ceiling to be built much lower than originally planned by the architect. As a consequence, the lamps may hang lower than in the original design. In the worst case, they hang so low, they interfere with the guest’s space.
You easily anticipate this problem by specifying adjustable lenghts of cables, rods and instructing the producer to wait with the final assembly until the actual ceiling height is definite.
For custom productions, you have the opportunity to optimize your lamps. Make use of it!
First of all, plugs are still anything but internationally standardized, so do not forget to double-check that you have specified the right plug for the respective country. It will save unforeseen costs of adapters, an unnecessary extra cost that incurs much more often than you would think.
While you know very well where to switch on your light at home, a hotel guest always has to first find the switch in his guest room. Any switch should therefore be prominently placed close to the lamp base, no further away than 10-15cm. Cables should always have a neutral colour, unless they are part of the design. Specify the length of cables generously, as plugs might not always end up where they are drawn on the initial plans. Cables can easily be shortened later if necessary, but not extended.
All visible screws should have the same finish as the material it is screwed into. All lamps should have a layer of felt at the bottom to prevent scratches on nightstands or other casegoods they are placed upon. Also, a light diffusor makes sure no one is blinded by the light directly.