Kindling a Sanguine Aura

Radeesh Shetty, Founder, The Purple Turtles,

Lighting is an essential component of design. It sets the tone for the user’s overall experience. While good lighting can evoke positive vibes, inappropriate lighting can greatly lower the usability of a space and adversely affect the user’s mood.

Radeesh Shetty, Founder, The Purple Turtles, in conversation with Nida Chikte, speaks about the importance of lighting in the hospitality sector and ways of adopting sustainable lighting measures

Lighting plays a major role in projecting a welcoming ambience at hotels and restaurants. How is lighting as a concept given utmost importance while designing these spaces?

One of the most important aspects of interiors in hotels and restaurants today is lighting. Hotels are a big business in India right now. With the idea of ‘Make in India’ taking off in a big way, hotel occupancies across the spectrum are on the rise, both for business and for pleasure guests, are witnessing high demand. Moreover, with restaurant-going being a popular pastime, businesses are gearing up not only with constantly evolving menus, but with an ambience that beckons a diner to return, repeatedly. Restaurant lighting has become an important part of the overall experience, right from when one enters the door and the mood is set, till the end of one’s meal. Lighting in F&B outlets today is about providing much more than just function and form. It contributes to enhancing all the senses and thereby makes a meal much more memorable. The hospitality industry is constantly evolving and is focused on being a space that has multiple facets. Lighting trends now need to be flexible enough to help change ambience to suit varying kinds of clientele.

How does the concept of sustainable lighting work? How can it be made a more commonly used alternative?

With the anticipation of a large rise in the number of hotels and restaurants across the country, the focus is also now squarely on sustainable measures to make more energy-efficient structures. Cooling and lighting systems are by far, responsible for the most amount of energy consumption in a hospitality establishment. The long hours of use to create the perfect ambience is integral to the success of a hotel. The move from incandescent and CFL’s to LED has long been in progress and it is projected that the demand for LED lighting is expected to triple with each year. Besides using LEDs, there is also an increasing high usage of sustainable and locally made light fixtures with LED housings which also provide the benefit of a low carbon footprint. Smart use of automation that allows human presence sensation to increase or decrease the lighting levels in a room. Also, the use of solar power to power one’s lighting requirement for indoor and outdoor spaces.

Here’s a look at three interesting trends that are sweeping over the hospitality industry:

LEDs All the Way:

LEDs have long since proved their mettle as being hardy lighting options that have a long life. They have a much better level of durability as compared to incandescent. These lights power up easily and evenly irrespective of the number of times they are switched on and off. Their consumption of energy is minimal while the output is always at the best capacity. Today, LED’s are available in various colours, temperatures and dim-able options, allowing one to create various mood settings

Harnessing Solar Power: One of the ways in which hotels are going the sustainable way is making use of their extensive rooftops to incorporate solar panels to harness their power. These are used to provide back-up power when needed and also serve as a means of powering outdoor lighting fixtures, without burdening the hotel’s dependency on the power grid.

Automation in Lighting: Technology is ruling the world right now and the lighting industry is no exception. Technology

is being used to create flexible lighting modes that go from day to night with as much as they go from one mood to another. Occupancy sensitive lighting measures are also a great way in which technology is being used to enhance the sustainability quotient of lighting fixtures.

What is the difference in your approach while designing lighting for hotels and for commercial spaces?

Basically, LED technology, occupancy sensors, daylight harvesting are all increasingly being brought into smart lighting management techniques. Each of these technologies lends themselves easily to be moulded into the specific needs of hospitality/commercial spaces. The right kind of lighting can create the perfect ambience for an experience, no matter what kind it is. Being eco-friendly only makes it all that much better.

What are the basic requisites for lighting design in the hospitality sector?

If there is one buzzword that continues to rule the roost it has to be the environment. Today, there is no business that can choose to ignore the environment and natural products, and services are turning green. Hence, designing good lighting for hotels is about more than creating stylish products that are on trend. It’s about top quality products that provide sustainable yet efficient lighting and enhance a guest experience.

As per current industry trends, how can lighting be innovated to cater to the Smart City agenda?

In a smart city concept, lighting will not only be green and sustainable but will be able to connect to various other devices and function intelligently. From controlling the traffic lights depending on the traffic to street lights depending on the natural light. Street lights that are powered by solar also working as car charging stations are one simple example of multi utility and smarter use of technology.

Tell us about a few projects that you have worked on, that have contributed to the enhancement of spaces, owing to the lighting design.

While most of our products are made from eco-friendly and sustainable materials, it is also equally important that we use the right kind of lighting to enhance the fixture. Our designers spend a lot of time, money and resources to design and develop LED housings and components that ideally suit our fixture. In our project portfolio, we have various clients such as Amazon, LinkedIn and Society General who are extremely conscious and particular about the lighting used and the designs.

About the firm
Establishing The Purple Turtles, an exclusive designer lights and antique furniture company in the city, Raadesh R Shetty, has brought in a unique approach to the art of lighting and interior designing. The store forms a platform for Raadesh to showcase his innovative work which has now not only entered homes, but also office spaces, resorts, restaurants and other theme based interiors. For Raadesh, The Purple Turtles is more than just a store; it’s an art gallery.

While Raadesh never had any formal training in carpentry or lighting, his ability to understand the intricacies of creation and customisation, to suit both contemporary and traditional tastes, is inherent.

While on his journey to find his true calling, Radeesh used to help his friends with home make-overs. During this time, Radeesh realized that the lighting market was very small, and the landscape was plagued with a challenge: lack of options to choose from. Months of research and meeting with architects and interior designers helped him plan the business which aimed at offering customised lighting for projects.

Post the completion of some successful projects, Raadesh decided to start his first store The Purple Turtles in Indiranagar, Bangalore in 2009.

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