MediaTech is a full-service integration and automation design-build firm providing audio/video, networking, climate, lighting control, surveillance, home theater and media room systems in estate homes throughout the United States ranging from 2,000 to 25,000+ square feet. Our process is seamless from conception to completion and involves a group of highly-trained experts to ensure that every project is designed, executed, and maintained with an unparalleled level of service and support. MediaTech also proudly offers fully customizable solutions when it comes to commercial and high-end residential lighting.
One of the incredible partnerships we hold is with Kiersten Hoiland, the Principal Lighting Designer of Hoiland Studios. Through her vast knowledge and skill set, Kiersten brings forth her expertise in interior architecture and architectural lighting design to create lighting for spaces that resonates personally with each individual client based on both their needs and desires.
We interviewed Kiersten to dive deeper into what it truly means to execute a custom lighting design and uncover how her passion led her to Hoiland Studios.
What brought about your love of lighting?
While I was in graduate school studying interior architecture, I started working part-time at a boutique lighting showroom. Up until that point, I hadn’t thought twice about lighting because I was focused on space planning, finishes, and furnishings in my designs. After my second day surrounded by a plethora of unique fixtures, I distinctly remember watching an episode of How I Met Your Mother when suddenly I became fixated on the lighting instead of the story line. Soon after, my eyes darted around my basic university-housing apartment – why did the interior feel so sterile? What could I do to enhance the environment through the lighting? And from that moment on, I have been on a quest to improve lighting in the built environment!
Are there one or two projects that stand out to you as being a favorite? What makes them so special?
It’s so hard to choose a favorite project because I have had the honor of working with such talented architects, designers and contractors on so many projects! There are moments that make a project stand out, though.
I’ll never forget a particular client I worked with when I was with a former firm who had a passion for art collecting saying that he didn’t care much for one of his paintings until it was moved to his new home and illuminated with two recessed accents. After everything was installed, he exclaimed that he loved the piece now and couldn’t believe he hadn’t seen the brush stroke details and pigment variation before.
I find it so rewarding when my clients are equally as excited about the effects of lighting in their spaces as I am.
What are three things you consider most important when choosing lighting for a space?
The client’s wants/needs, the architectural aesthetic, and the function of the space.
The Wants and Needs of the Client
Lighting is so personal that first and foremost, I listen to what the client likes and dislikes about the lighting in their current home. Whether it’s a client who has vision problems, gets migraines from bright light sources, prefers a cool white color temperature over a warm incandescent color, or insists on not lighting their Monet(!), each client has specific requirements that need to be addressed.
The Architectural Aesthetic
Secondly, I always use the architectural aesthetic as a reference point before I begin a design. In a very traditional home, I might recommend many layers of decorative ceiling and wall fixtures, lamps, and picture lights whereas in a sleek modern home, I might recommend more integrated cove lighting, recessed downlights, and sporadic decorative fixtures that are more sculptural than functional.
The Function of the Space
Finally, the function of the space is also an important contributing factor to the design. I lay out the lighting fixtures in order to enhance the function of the space whether it be a gallery wall, catering kitchen, garage for a car collection, or an exercise room. Automated lighting control also enables the client to enhance the function of the space by creating different lighting scenes with a single button press. By adjusting the light levels to watch a movie, cook, or host friends for cocktails, you can dramatically change the feel of the room. I believe good lighting is the best supporting actor to a well-designed space.
Can you explain the process and what is involved from conception to installation by MediaTech Living?
I work closely with the client, architect, and interior designer to design a lighting plan based on the client’s needs, the aesthetic of the architecture, and the function of each space. As soon as the design team starts talking about lighting design, we also discuss lighting control based on the size of the home and/or the level of control the client would like in their space.
Once I complete a preliminary lighting plan, I pass it along to MediaTech Living so they can determine the best system for the project. As we continue to refine the design, I send the team at MediaTech Living the fixture specifications and a load schedule to help coordinate the dimming protocol. They can then determine the exact components that are needed for the project.
I typically design the lighting scenes on each keypad with input from the client and assign light levels based on the design direction which I then send to MediaTech Living to implement in their software. I return at the close of the project to tweak the lighting scenes with both the client and the team at MediaTech Living. Once the system is up and running, any further changes to the lighting scene control is typically handled by MediaTech Living’s skilled professionals.
How does your partnership with MediaTech Living serve the client’s best interests?
Lighting fixtures need lighting control whether it is standard switches or a fully automated lighting control system. An automated lighting control system can only function as well as the lighting fixtures’ specifications and location. Our companies are experts in our respective fields, and together we can provide a seamless lighting design and lighting control package for the client.
When you’re looking for customized lighting solutions that simplify your life and are backed by a team of dedicated professionals, MediaTech Living in partnership with Hoiland Studios are the answer.
Lighting control systems from MediaTech Living are backed by a one-year warranty, extended maintenance agreements, and 24/7 emergency service. Contact us for a free consultation today.
The founders of MediaTech combine 75+ years of experience providing automation, entertainment and surveillance solutions in homes & businesses. Our resume includes estate homes throughout the United States ranging from 2,000 to 25,000+ square feet, luxury condominiums in Chicago’s most prestigious buildings, custom renovations and additions, as well as a wide range of businesses and manufacturing facilities.