Case Study Details

LOCATION: Emeryville, CA


Seeing the Light: 16500 Revels in New Office Space

The Challenge

When lighting is your business, you need to practice what 
you preach.

16500, a San Francisco Bay Area-based factory-authorized 
representative for several top lighting and lighting 
control manufacturers, desired to create its own office 
space in a manner that showcased the very best in lighting 
design and application. Plus, like most sustainably focused
companies, they sought to achieve extraordinary levels of 
energy savings by deploying progressive and efficient 
luminaires powered by intuitive lighting control systems.

The opportunity to display the virtues of the lighting 
solutions 16500 offers came when the company chose to move 
its offices to the 8th floor of 2100 Powell Street, a 16-
story office building in suburban Emeryville, Calif. Not only 
was the building centrally located, but it offered 
breathtaking, unobstructed views of the Bay Area’s iconic landmarks. 
And importantly, it was a hallmark of sustainable design, having 
achieved Energy Star 2008-14 and LEED Gold status.

One key goal of 16500 was to design a special collaborative area 
and conference space in the northwest corner of its space, which 
provided numerous lighting options. The company’s lighting experts 
wanted a lighting design that would build on the energy efficiency 
of their entire suite of offices, while achieving many other
functional and aesthetic features – the very benefits of progressive 
lighting that they offer their own customers.

“Our firm recognizes the importance of making our own offices an 
embodiment of what we sell – the best architectural lighting solutions 
on the market,” said Paul McDowell, principal and founder of 16500. 
“It’s crucial for my sales staff to experience the commercial viability 
of these products, but it’s paramount that our clients experience 
firsthand the unique lighting quality benefits and exciting design 
possibilities these products offer to their projects.”

The challenge for McDowell and 16500 was to go beyond glare free,
comfortable and adequate illumination, and select lighting that 
would convey the interactive nature of the space while paying 
homage to the breathtaking views of the San Francisco skyline and 
San Francisco Bay that shone through its windows.

The Solution

While gazing out the window at a flock of birds flying over the
glimmering Bay, 16500’s Specifications Sales Manager, Mariane Ayoub, 
was inspired. She called over to her colleague, Ayse Aktari, Lead 
Specification Sales Specialist, and they got working on sketching 
four designs for the collaborative space, each based on some variation 
of Revel, one of four OLED product families offered by Acuity under the 
Winona® brand.

Light, small and versatile, OLED is an ideal candidate for delivering 
customized lighting solutions. By removing the need for grid-like 
layouts, OLED can place light at the points where it is most needed 
or desired – while still achieving extraordinary energy savings.

After evaluating each design for optimal lighting performance and 
emotional appeal, 16500 selected the“Flying” design, which was 
reminiscent of the birds seen soaring across the sky. The company 
installed 12 Revel pendants in a random pattern and orientations 
at varying overall suspension heights, ranging from 12” to 24” from 
a nine-foot ceiling. Importantly, the OLED light source option of 
3500K was selected to be consistent with other luminaires used 
throughout the 16500 office.

The Result

Not only do the Revel OLED luminaires provide a look fitting
to the space and view, the design also achieves high levels of
efficiency. At less than 10W per luminaire, the lighting power
density for the conference room space is only 0.41 W/ft² while
providing a maintained illumination level of over 30 footcandles
on the room’s conference table.

The Revel design perfectly complements the lighting elsewhere
in the 16500 offices, and nearly all of the luminaires are
controlled by a digital lighting system that uses such features
as time clock and manual shut-off, occupancy sensing, daylight
dimming, lumen maintenance dimming, and manual control
strategies optimized for individual spaces.

Also, a suite of traditional and sophisticated graphical control
stations are used throughout the offices, and are tailored to
the complexity of the lighting design and user interface
requirements of each space. The overall design achieves an
incredibly low overall lighting power density of 0.60 W/ft²,
which is 25 percent below the 2013 CA Title 24 Building Energy
Efficiency Standards requirement.

As for the conference space, 16500 can adjust the lighting for day
or evening use, as well as the tasks that are being performed. For
most of the work day, daylight through the windows provides
significant illumination, and the Revel luminaires are used for
visual impact. At twilight or during foggy days, the Revels provide
full light output to comfortably light the entire area.

Any time of day or night, the effect of the Revel luminaires is
stunning. According to both Ayoub and Aktari, clients – including
lighting designers, architects, engineers, contractors, distributors
and owners – have a similar reaction.

“When I hear them say ‘Wow’, one might think they are simply
referring to our amazing view,” noted Aktari, “but I know it’s
the lighting!”