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Create an ultra-hip retail space that reflected Diesel’s corporate culture and was also energy efficient.
Its flagship store in San Francisco is set between the financial district and Union Square. The building at 101 Post Street is 1,200 square meters with four floors of selling space. The interior features Diesel’s trademark “denim column,” escalators with the gears visible from the sides, exposed metal piping on the ceiling, and a constant diet of house music.
Collins Henderson Design, Inc., architects and lighting designers on the project, suggested the Lutron GRAFIK Eye 4000 Series, a light control system that could create the illusion of movement. “Certain areas have lights that follow a preset lighting sequence, simulating motion,” said Henderson. “The idea was to have energetic music and lighting to motivate a youthful clientele to buy.”
“Changeable light levels help us divert the customer’s eye to any given display,” said Jason Schyler, store merchandiser. “At the same time, we don’t have to change all those light bulbs as often.” Another benefit of dimming is the extension of lamp life. Extended lamp life not only saves on the number of bulbs used but also on the time and trouble dedicated to changing them.
The hundreds of lights linked throughout the system include metal halide, low voltage MR16 and incandescent quartz PAR lamps. Almost 95% of the fixtures are track lighting. The metal halides cannot be dimmed but provide an extremely intense, energy efficient white light to span large spaces. They were used to feature the metal staircases and escalators in the atrium. The MR16s were set to wash from the center to the sides and back and forth over the denim columns to simulate motion.
Incandescent lamps, the most energy efficient when dimmed, were used throughout the space. Timeclock software that can be programmed up to a year in advance was included with the system, making lighting sequences automatic.
“Lutron’s GRAFIK Eye 4000 was the best choice for the job,” said Henderson. “There aren’t any other lighting controls for commercial installations, to my knowledge, that can handle the requirements of that space and remain both energy and cost efficient.” The light control system accomplished all the store’s goals so well that a Lutron system was installed in the New York City flagship store as well.