Keeping Library Lighting Lite
Plexineon Creates Casual Vibe in College’s New “Learning Commons”
Located just 200 feet from one of LaGuardia Airport’s runways in Flushing, N.Y., Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology recently underwent a comprehensive exterior upgrade for noise abatement. At the same time, the private, four-year institution had the opportunity to upgrade and relocate its Library and Learning Resource Center to better serve its nearly 1,800 students.
Today, the multimillion-dollar “learning commons” is both an information hub and a home base of sorts for the many coeds who commute to the school, versus live on
campus. As such, the new two-story space reads friendly and casual. Among the typical bookshelves and stacks of resources is plenty of seating, as well as group study areas and
independent study carrels where students can be productive in between classes.
iLight Plexineon White 1X 6500 fixtures help set that inviting tone. Installed along the ceiling, thin lines of light define the boundary between two spaces: a central open area
and an outer perimeter that houses tall book shelves.
“Since it’s continuous lighting, it’s nice and even, with no dark spots. You don’t need to double up like you would with fluorescents to get that evenness.”
– Alyson Dunn, Project Manager
The Design Challenge
The new library was moved from one location to another within the college’s main building — a long narrow structure built in the 1940s. One challenge was that work had to be done in several phases, since the building needed to remain functional throughout the school year.
Other challenges stemmed from the retrofit nature of the project. In the library, heavy columns in the middle of the new
library space were a less-than-ideal design element that Alyson Dunn, Project Manager, needed to confront. She had never
used Plexineon before, but the LED fixtures became integral to plans to work with the columns, rather than against.
“To try to make some sense out of the columns, I made a boundary with the iLight, outlining the soffit that frames
the columns.” The boundary delineates the inner and outer spaces in the library.
Being able to recess the fixtures was key. Dunn used iLight’s Recessed Mount System (pictured, left) to install the Plexineon fixtures flush with the ceiling.
The fact Plexineon was unlike any other lighting throughout the school also made it a winning pick.
“We wanted to give the space a feel unlike anywhere else,” Dunn says. “Utilitarian lighting is in all of the classrooms. But here, we wanted to have some fun.”
The Plexineon Advantage
Once she knew she wanted to use Plexineon, Dunn found the iLight team easy to work with. “They made sure we got what we needed and even allowed me to try some samples,” she says. “I could see the range of kelvins and be sure I made the right choice.”
After the fixtures were installed, the quality of the light confirmed her decision. “It’s nice and even, with no dark spots. You don’t need to double up like you would with fluorescents to get that evenness.”
The result is an inspiring learning environment that actively meets the evolving needs of today’s students, tomorrow’s leaders.
Vaughn College of Aeronautics & Technology Library
John Ciardullo, PC. Architects & Planners
DVL Consulting Engineers
Plexineon White 1X 6500
86 LF (26 m)
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