Application Story: Quality Lighting Key to Establishing Positive Community Relationship

Challenge: Kiddie Academy is a franchise that has established a national reputation for being one of the premier educational daycare operators in the United States. The success of this national franchise is built upon its patented Life Essentials education philosophy and a critical element is a clean, safe and nurturing learning environment.

The lighting of these facilities plays a prominent role in achieving success.

This particular site in Virginia presented a unique challenge for the design of the exterior lighting. The facility sits at a heavily trafficked intersection that backs up to a residential neighborhood featuring high-end single-family homes. On the opposite property line is the flight zone for the Ocean Naval Air Station.  Through careful planning the Ocean Lakes neighborhood/community in Virginia Beach has earned a reputation as an upscale neighborhood and its citizens and regulators consider a disciplined approach to outdoor lighting as a key element to ensure the integrity of the vision continues.

The facility had to project a unique, warm, friendly and nurturing image, and adhere to strict performance requirements to ensure the safety of visitors, all while avoiding any light trespass on neighboring property lines. The design build would require approvals from local regulators as well as community residents and the exterior lighting design was certainly a primary topic in these negotiations.

Solution: The lighting design team for the interior and exterior of the facility consisted of the architect, Ionic DeZign Studios, Lighting Virginia East and Current Lighting. Products were specified based on performance, aesthetics and price. The functionality was critical, obviously for the exterior but the interior as well to ensure it aligned with the founding principles of the organization.

Featured interior products include Prescolite’s D2LED, a specification grade LED downlight, which utilizes a Xicato® XSM Remote Phosphor LED module with 0-10 dimming standard to ensure color consistency. Prescolite’s LF4LED commercial downlight, designed for optimal life and lumen maintenance, provides remote phosphor technology to offer color consistency from fixture to fixture and is featured throughout the facility.

Even a few of the primary emergency lights received the architectural treatment. Dual-Lite’s slim profile EV2 series was used in strategic areas to compliment the architectural design ambition of the facility.

The team decided that the KicK fixture from Architecture Area Lighting (AAL) would provide the performance and aesthetics needed to be successful on the exterior of the facility.

First was the aesthetics. The unique design of the fixture established a high-tech look that is desirable in today’s competitive world of education.

Secondly, it offered the ideal photometric performance and control of light spillage.  This allowed the team to light the parking and drop-off areas to levels appropriate for safety where people, mostly children, and vehicles would be interacting.  At the same time, the precise optics allowed for almost complete elimination of light spilling across the property lines onto adjacent residential properties.

Three of KIM Lighting’s LightVault 8’s, which feature patented aiming technology, are used to illuminate the flagpole.

Benefits: The owners of the facility believe they have achieved the targeted aesthetics to be successful in this market.

The staff, children and parents who use and visit the facility on a daily basis are benefiting from the safety afforded by the precision optics of the KicK fixtures.

The owners have also benefited by establishing themselves as “good neighbors.” The residents of the homes in close proximity to the facility are benefiting from the KicK as well, since it was the first fixture in the world to feature an upward angle with zero uplight. The fixture also features a Dark Sky approved full cutoff optic, ensuring compliance with local regulations. The fully shielded optics provided the required BUG rating. And the simplicity and elegance of the KicK compliments the architect’s vision, while the performance meets the strict criteria. At 74 Lumens per Watt, Kiddie Academy also receives the sustainable benefits that are associated with LED technology.

“We knew the challenges associated with outdoor lighting at the site would be atypical from what the franchise had encountered in other markets. The lighting solution had to meet the community requirements for design aesthetics and accommodate the preferences of neighbors on the residential border. The performance of the KicK was a key component to Kiddie Academy securing zoning approval, specifically due to its high marks for backlight, uplight, glare performance and stylish design. The overall outcome has been a tremendous success.”

– Eugene Thompson, founder and president of Ionic DeZign Studio 

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