architectural lighting

Luxury Home with Star Gazing Observatory

As a brand that specializes in unusual custom hardware we have over the years created unique door handles for hotels and luxury homes, but this year marks our first venture into designing door handles for a private observatory.

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When contacted by LM Design Group, an international Los Angeles based design group we did not appreciate that the sketch they provided of moon handles was for an observatory for an overseas villa.

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The commission came at an opportune time as we had obtained UL approval for our new line of illuminated handles and were able to take this technical know how and configure the LED lights to work inside a concave moon fixture.In a previous post we shared a short video showing how Martin carved and hollowed out the concave basswood pattern that was the base for the door handle. The pattern was coated with a ¼” of gesso which formed a surface that could be carved to create moon craters and stylized moon texture.

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The image below shows the pattern after carving the gesso was sprayed with a grey color before being carved as the natural white gesso is to reflective making it difficult to carve as depth is more easily judged on a colored surface. The image to the right shows the same approximate area as rendered in bronze and finished with a dark antique M20 patina.



While the original design was to be open with light shining through to the bronze back panel the client preferred a softer light, so we added a custom plexiglass diffuser.

Wood carving made easy- part 2

We are currently making a custom door handle that will be hollow and will be lit by an LED strip which will be positioned inside the cavity of the handle. As the decorative details that form the theme of this will be cut out of the pattern we decided to make the hollow sphere by hand. If the pattern had been a simple and uniform geometric shape then we would have turned to 3D printing and created an SLA resin print from a CAD file. We will be working with 3D printing later to develop a light diffuser but will cover that topic in a subsequent post.

For those who are new to wood carving or are physically tired of laboriously removing large areas of wood from a block of wood then I would recommend using a mechanically assisted wood carving tool. There are several on the market but we use the automach wood carver available from Woodcraft. When we were more focused on furniture we used several of these to help speed up the carving process and they were invaluable in adding textural chip details to our Hedgerow dining chairs.

While the mechanized chisel is useful we revert to hand chisels when adding very fine detail and when we need a larger wider angled blade. We have shown both methods in the video featured here.

If you play the video you will also get a glimpse of the raven sculpture’s feet in the background which is an ongoing video project that we will be adding to soon.

Color Changing Door Handles

We have just changed our profile photo to a collage image of colored door handles taken from our Morphic and Coral styles of door hardware. Our illuminated handles began with the introduction of low voltage LED lights into our Morphic cylindrical handles. To do so we had to solve the problem of how to incorporate a hard wired LED spot into a cylindrical handle the smallest of which has a mere 1.25” internal diameter.  As the cylindrical handle is vertical and as the design is open we could not use a strip of LED lights but needed to work within the confines of a small downward projecting light with a narrow 10 lens that would center rather than diffuse the colored beam.

The cylindrical handles range from 16” to 32” in length and are available either with a single color constant voltage LED spot with built-in driver or a color changing constant current spot.

The profile collage also shows the illuminated Coral handle which is one of 3 panel style door handles These are also color changing handles but are lit using multiple diodes encapsulated in a weather proof flexible strip that fits into the inner perimeter of the handle.

Both types of door pull are made using the lost wax method of  casting and  are available in bronze or stainless steel and are UL listed.

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LED Entry Door Handles - Door considerations

Our new illuminated door pulls are hard wired and not battery dependent and I was recently asked how this impacts the type of door chosen.

For some time door lock manufacturers have been making electric mortise and deadbolt locks that can be powered by low voltage wires that release either the bolt or the strike and often this is done by a remote controller.

Our illuminated door handles have the same needs and require;

Power to be supplied to the door

One of the easiest methods of supplying power to the door is through an electric door hinge.  Power coming from a low voltage class 2 power supply is delivered to the door jamb into the fixed section of the hinge. The wires then pass through the knuckle or center section of the hinge and on to the operative part of the hinge which is attached to the door itself and which pivots the door open.  Electric hinges have the advantage of concealing the wires used to power door handles and locks and most can be ordered for these low voltage applications.

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A concealed door loop like the one by Command Access is a low profile alternative to the electric hinge and one that can be freely positioned anywhere on the jamb. While its unobtrusive design and size make it attractive you will still need a hinge to open and close the door. If you are looking for an equally discreet electric hinge you may want to consider the hinge options from Simonswerk.com who offer some very sleek concealed hinges that function in the same way as the surface mounted version but are recessed and flush with both the door jamb and door edge. These hinges will require a reasonably solid outer door edge that can be routed out for the hinge plate.

Off course the power can always be supplied  through a surface mounted conduit or metal arm which may be an option for commercial projects or areas where the reverse side of an entry door is less visible.

Hollow area for power channel

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 To power the LED handle the wires from the handle will have to be routed through the door and connected to the power that is being delivered to the door jamb.  Provided the door has a hollow frame this should be relatively easy as the cables are small 22 gauge wires and can be fed through a channel in the door frame.  The top and bottom door rails for hollow metal doors will often have a separate cover that can be attached after the wire conduit has been fed through.

Impact on Door Design

In summary your door will need to have a hollow outer frame or pre-made channel designed into the construction so that cables can be fed through to the illuminated handle.  The channel can easily be incorporated into the construction design of the door and major door manufactures are already doing this so that the consumer can remotely open and lock the entry door using a remote controller to activate an electrically powered lock.

Why our LED Door Handles are Suitable for Restaurants and Hotels

I was recently asked a seemingly simple question but on closer inspection realized that the answer deserved a better account of why our recently launched  illuminated door handles are appropriate for outdoor areas in hotels and restaurants.

Metal of the LED fixture
Not all metals are created equal but the premium metals of 304 and 316 stainless steel as well as silicone bronze all have good corrosion resistance and are not prone to rust when exposed to wet weather. The silicon bronze is typically oil finished so while it will not rust it will develop its own unique patina over time as it is a living finish.

Type of LED’s
Not all LED’s are suited to outdoor use. In our cylindrical pull we use a completely encased LED spot but for our Coral and Fish handles we use an LED strip that is wrapped in a silicone sheath to make it weatherproof.

LED DOOR HANDLE

Diffuser that doubles as a weather protector
Our fixtures all have an open area in the design through which the light passes but to diffuse the light and to eliminate any shadow created by the LED we add an acrylic diffuser that sits behind the face of the luminaire thereby creating a weather and insect barrier.

Weep hole
All of our luminaires come with a "weep" hole to allow the escape of water if it manages to get into the fixture.

Wiring
The wires that power our fixture pass through a concealed channel inside the door frame and then through an enclosed mounting bracket into the fixture and at the other end they pass through an electric hinge that is connected to the door jam and door channel ensuring thereby that the wires are not exposed to weather.

 

 

 

Shedding Light On Cabinet Pulls

As we have noted before the advent of LED lights and the small gauge of wires needed to support their low voltage requirements is widening the number and types of locations where we can make use of the light and  the colors they create. As a designer and maker  of door handles our focus is squarely on the artistry of the design and the functional nature of the piece and so color, has until now, only been possible  through the use of hot patina treatments or powder coating. We are now introducing LED spot lights into our Morphic series and have recently released our  color enhanced illuminated door handles that can be used on any new door designed with a channel for the low gauge wiring or any door where power can be supplied by a power transfer unit.

However, to continue the Morphic series we have now designed a series of illuminated cabinet pulls that can house intense high density light strips that will create accent lighting in bars, kitchens, restaurants or any location needing cabinet pulls where space is limited. The  strips we are using in this application are very small and are made up of 3528SMD LED’s that have a  HIGH CRI 90+ rating.  The number 3528 refers to the size of the chip being 3.5mm by 2.8mm and the HIGH CRI rating means the light  they deliver gives a more accurate reading of  surrounding colors and as such are better designed to enhance vibrant colors in a setting. These intense strips are dimmable and they follow the guidelines of California Title 24 Part 6, Building Energy Efficiency Standards. Their size and  type makes them  ideal for single color applications and we will be introducing these in  either warm or natural white.

We are currently shooting a video to highlight these new pulls and hope to be releasing this very soon.

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Unusual Wall Light Captured on Video

The first of our new LED low voltage wall lights has now been released as a video and can be seen in the new Lighting section of this site or by visiting our gallery at Youtube.

We begin our venture into the artistic wall light scene with our unusual wall sconce named in honor of the Mother of Dragons and the dragon eggs she rescues in “Game of Thrones”.

We have chosen to cast this piece in stainless steel, a medium reminiscent of armor and chain mail and that is fittingly flame proof. The cap of the sconce is a fusion of  medieval themes with its turreted tower peak  and diamond shaped shields. By contrast the body of the sconce is organic and fluid with molten shapes reminiscent of much of the work of Gaudi and other masters of the Art Nouveau era.

The Dragon Egg sconce is available  in stainless steel or in bronze and is currently being released with a single color, red, blue, green or white LED. We do plan to make this available as a color changing wall light so stay tuned.

The advent of low voltage LED’s has motivated us to enter the wall lighting market and we look forward to helping designers with their residential and hospitality needs.

 

We would again like to extend our thanks to Jeff Jenkins of www.onefoxtwofox.com for making this video possible.

New Handles and Lighting A Spring Summer Preview

As we approach day time savings we wanted to update you on our forthcoming new handles and lighting and new internet partnerships.

Videos

We have been busy developing and shooting a series of videos which will soon be live on our website and also on Facebook and Daily Motion. The videos were made by Jeff Jenkins of www.onefoxtwofox.com and they follow on from our lizard and door handle video collections.

We are currently making a time-lapse video of a new and very grand custom door grip that will be used as the main entry and ballroom door handle for a new project in Texas. Too date the video shows how the pattern has been carved and we will continue this visual diary by showing how the mold is made, how waxes are produced and finally what this 6’ tall bronze grip actually looks like.

We are also continuing our   time-lapse video of the new Hedgerow illuminated door handle which we began last year and which we hope to complete by the end of the year. The new Hedgerow handle is extremely intricate and it has proven to be technically challenging to find appropriate areas to incorporate LED lights.

New Illuminated Cabinet Pull

We are following on from our illuminated door handles and are now adding 3 illuminated cabinet pulls that will be part of the Morphic collection and which will range in size from 2” to 14”.

 

New Catalogue

This week we will be launching our March 2017 Hardware & Lighting Catalogue which will be available as a pdf from our website.

 

New venture

Soon we will be partnering with www.interiordesign.net and www.architonic.com to showcase and officially launch our venture into the low voltage lighting market. Through these 2 sites we hope to be able to effectively connect with designers and architects.

Custom LED Wall Sconce Cast in Bronze

Our Floral Wall sconce is now available to Interior Designers and design professions as a UL listed low voltage luminaire and can be specified in a light or dark oil rubbed bronze patina. At present we are offering the sconce in single color, red, green, blue or white LED’s and later will be adding color changing LED’s.

 

The Floral sconce was fashioned from the foliage Martin and I saw when staying in the Albayzin quarter of Granada, Spain and by the local Moorish art work of artisans like Munira Mendonça who honors the traditions of this region in her superb embossed leather work.

 

The vibrant colors of Munira’s stamped designs influenced this piece and led us away from the more obvious use of white light to more dazzling blue and red LED’s which provide a dramatic contrast to the subdued but rich tones of bronze.

 

As low voltage luminaires, designers will be offering their clients an energy efficient yet still beautiful fixture with a carbon foot print firmly planted in Los Angeles which is where we cast and finish all of our work.

 

As we have shared in earlier posts Martin made this piece by printing a 3D hollow gourd shape. The 3D print was then formed by Martin using a variety of hand chisels and dremels to create the movement and detail of each leaf. Each sconce has a total of 60 sprigs with 3 leaves on each sprig. The LED light sits in the top of the fixture which was modeled on the shape of an upturned trumpet flower.