Richmond Businesses Decorate With Holiday Lights


Commercial and public holiday lighting design helps to create at atmosphere, but must first consider the context of the building or the property as a whole.  A building with little or no adjacent structures will require more lights to create the overall effect and attract attention.  Meanwhile, individual buildings within a larger commercial development can be designed with more simplicity to highlight their location within a larger, existing scene.

We start any project by getting a feel for what the client likes in terms of colors or theme.  Our client at Midlothian Family Dentistry in Midlothian, Virginia was inspired by gingerbread houses, so we started first with the architecture unique to their location and the idea of using lots of color throughout.  Our lighting designers highlighted the entrance in red, and used the existing white columns to create a candy cane motif by using both red and white lights.  The roof outline in green reflects the green roof of the main clinic area.  Our goal was to keep the overall design from looking too boxy or angular.  Framing the building is just the starting point – using roof lines, doorways, shrubs or trees as available.  To emphasize height we used red lights in what we refer to as “drops”, and wrapped the design with the ground-level lighting to create curved features.  It’s important to integrate some of the client’s personality, in this case mixing in some whimsy while keeping an overall elegant feel.


At the Children’s Museum of Richmond we had a lot of color and light built into their building to inspire our design.  There are some very large trees on the site that we wanted to highlight, and overall wanted to create a festive, cheerful scene.  Using white lights to outline the outdoor entry area, we created a clean horizontal line along the roof with softer vertical drops at the posts underneath the awning.  The colors already present in the design were reflected in the colors used on the large trees adjacent to the train area.  Swags of lights along the fence create an inviting sense of movement that sweeps families in from the main parking area.