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Bringing Modern Lighting to Historic Condos

Mid-Century Modern design has experienced a renaissance in popularity over the past decade, leading to new product development for residential and commercial spaces that imitate this iconic aesthetic.

Installing PureEdge’s Lazer Line operating on two circuits from wall to wall within the curves of the ceiling provides both functional ambient light as well as decorative accent lighting.

In the case of Scottsdale, Arizona’s Olympus Condominiums, however, PureEdge Lighting’s Lazer Line system brings ultra-modern technology to a building that is authentically of that era. What makes this installation unique is how a cutting-edge lighting technique solved a common lighting dilemma posed by historic architecture.

Comprised of 36 residential units, Olympus Condominiums was originally developed by Monarch Tile as a showcase for its product. It was designed by architect Robert Starkovich – a member of one of Arizona’s pioneering families – and completed in 1964. Recently, the condo complex was given an update, with the guidance of historical consultants, that refreshed the common areas, but did not alter the great bones of the building, including its distinctive barrel vault ceilings.

Some of the residents, who are primarily of retirement age, have gently renovated their condo units as well. For example, Chad Rothe, a lighting designer and principal of Scottsdale-based LightForm Lighting, was retained to design a new lighting system for one of the condos.

Before the Lazer Line installation, the owners had to rely on portable lamps as their lighting solution.

When Rothe first visited the couple’s residence, he immediately knew he wanted to accentuate the beautiful arched ceilings. The owners wanted to supplement the table and floor lamps they had been using for illumination with overhead LED lighting that would have a discreet, architectural form.

“The design aesthetic of this beautiful home was calling for a lighting system as clean and modern as the entire space. Average lighting was not an option here, we needed something exceptional,” Rothe explained.

The challenge was the solid concrete ceiling, which made installing conventional ambient lighting fixtures using a junction box in the ceiling impossible.

Rothe had specified PureEdge’s Lazer Line, a suspended linear LED lighting system, on previous projects and knew it would be the best choice for this situation. Rothe and the LightForm team installed three Lazer Lines, connected by turnbuckles, and spanning from wall to wall in a manner that provided more than enough functional light while also highlighting the ceiling’s arches.

To give the homeowners maximum control and flexibility in illuminating their space, this Lazer Line system has two independently controlled circuits – one for uplighting and the other for downlighting.  The 3000K color temperature creates a warm, residential ambiance that can also be fully dimmed. Diffusers cover the light source to further reduce glare, Rothe pointed out, adding that that the Lazer Line system is easy to install and offers good light output in a sleek profile that does not detract from the room’s architecture.

“Using Lazer Line in a residence gives a cutting-edge appeal, one that I really enjoy seeing come to life,” said Gregory Kay, owner and CEO of PureEdge Lighting. “I designed Lazer Line to give the designer flexibility when lighting a space. This install is inspirational and an excellent example of modern architectural lighting.”

Mounting the Lazer Line system wall to wall solves the problem of not being able to penetrate the concerete ceiling to install lighting fixtures.

PureEdge Lighting has found that its Lazer Line system has become especially popular in restaurants, boutiques, and hospitality environments located inside historic buildings where plaster ceilings are not able to accommodate new overhead lighting. Since Lazer Line is installed from wall to wall, overhead lighting can be achieved without compromising the ceiling.

Upon completion of the project, Rothe noted that not only did the clients love the new lighting, but so did their friends and neighbors.

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