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Let There Be Light... and Toast

We recently went through the biannual ritual of moving our clocks.

In a blink, my world changes from dark to light. I have more energy; I am more active, and more joyful. I revel in anticipation of the long summer evenings that are destined to come, made possible by the shift in time.

I love this time of year. Everything is brighter, and more luminescent. Details are crisper and more vibrant. I notice depth, color, contrast and nuance.

When light is paired with control the result is magic.

The power of light cannot be understated. Moods are changed in an instant. Light creates contrast, focus and depth. Light plays a critical part in creating an inspiring and beautiful room along with a safe and comfortable environment. The correct lighting coupled with control turns a house into a treasured sanctuary.

Picture this….

Return home after a long day to have your house offer you a warm welcome. From your car, a lighting path is activated that illuminates your way from the garage to the kitchen. Coupled with a keyless entry lock, your focus is directed reconnecting with your family and not fumbling for your keys, searching for a light switch, or stumbling up a stair. Hormonal teens are a bit less grumpy with a morning wakeup that is complete with music, and the gradual turn on of light and shade elevation.

With one touch, lights are dimmed, a fireplace ignites, music is played and romance is on.

When light goes to the “dark side.”

The key to rich, vibrant, lighting that brings out the flush of color in a cherished painting or the lux multiple hues in an antique carpet is lighting placement, and intelligent, thoughtful integration.

A few years back Larry and I took the kids on a winter vacation in Tahoe. We stayed in an amazing three-story home that was complete every amenity one could think of. The home had a lighting control system, however it was so complex it was impossible to determine which button controlled which light. Multiple conversations focused on problem solving which switch was in control of which light.

We made an observation. Not all buttons on a keypad need to be programed because they are present. To be useful, lighting control must have a purpose. It must work as an extension of the homeowner. It must be thoughtfully planned, and perfectly programed to anticipate needs. It must be intuitive.

Another observation -not everything should be illuminated. If something is to be highlighted, the correct wattage should be applied to showcase the radiance of the item.

The next big thing?

I recently read an article about toast. Yes, toast. Apparently, toast, like the cupcake and kale before it, has been elevated to the artisanal plane. Hip eateries across the Bay Area are now offering “Toast Bars” and daily toast menus. Offerings include thick slices of good bread, topped with things like almond butter, sea salt, chocolate and apricot marmalade.

Since I am gluten intolerant this is not a trend I will follow. However, this tend does emphasize a philosophy that Larry and I, as owners of Intuitive Environments, take to heart.

Like toast, the power of light coupled with control is not something new. What is novel is the intelligent and thoughtful approach to applying lighting control. Offering great products that are carefully and thoughtfully integrated into systems that provide safer, more convenient, meaningful, and richer lives is a commitment. And like toast, doing things well, the first time, never goes out of style.


Rachel Modena Barasch

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