Two people. Two home offices. Two completely different lighting needs.

Yoram and Luisa, both professionals who work from home, were about to undergo a major renovation with Lagois Design-Build-Renovate for two home offices. 

But before renovation could begin, Yoram and the Lagois team needed to solve a problem.

Yoram is photophobic. Bright light gives him severe headaches. Luisa loves the light. They needed opposite office lighting systems of controllable and varied intensity and temperature. 

When they hired Lagois, Yoram says, it was a “very happy experience. We really liked them.” They were grateful to team members Tom Felts, Darren Vander Meer, Sophie Villleneuve, Jacob Kirst and Herb Lagois. 

However, Lagois didn’t have the answers to the kind of lighting systems Yoram needed. It seemed nobody did.

Yoram’s needs went well beyond standard lighting. An engineer working on large international projects, he had to be able to work, headache-free, in a varied lighting environment. It was critical that lighting design be separate from lighting implementation. 

He researched possibilities and looked for a lighting designer. Herb Lagois looked and researched, too. After a few wrong paths, one thing led to another, and they finally discovered Gabriel Mackinnon Lighting Design on Murray Street in Ottawa. 

Once they had the perfect plan, Lagois Design-Build-Renovate implemented a full renovation of the kitchen, two bathrooms, all rooms, new floor, offices – and lighting. Although Yoram and Luisa had an initial solution for lighting from Design First, it was not meeting their requirements, so they worked together with Lagois to revise the lighting solution while the rest of the project proceeded. 

“They were VERY helpful and patient,” Yoram says.

Gabriel Mackinnon Lighting Design created different lighting solutions for the whole home, a condo: standard for the living room, kitchen, and bedroom pot lights that they could control with dimmers.

But the lighting for the offices was the most spectacular because it is programmable. 

“We each configure the bulbs differently to fit our different lighting needs,” Yoram explains. “It works for different needs in the same space at different times with a button touch on the custom Philips Hue app.

“It’s fantastic. If I need to work in the middle of the night, if I need to read a book…it’s perfect.”

Luisa has the same arrangement, but the opposite. Her system is usually configured with the highest intensity, brightest (white color temperature) setting.

"I'm very happy with my bright office," says Luisa "it fits my needs and allows me to read and work comfortably".

Lighting is such an important component of making the home work for the couple. 

“Yesterday I had my eye appointment,” says Yoram. “The optician projected a bright light in my eye, which caused big headache.”

Most people, he admits, like lots of light, but for him it’s the other way around. “People say I’m a caveman,” he says with a laugh.

The Lagois team “was amazing how they worked with us, how flexible they were,” says Yoram.  “Our research together finally led to a solution. It was expensive, but we worked together with the cost of it all.”

The best part of it was the achievement of something Yoram worried was perhaps not possible.

“But,” he says, “we were able to find a solution that works for both of us.”