It has been a while since I roamed the aisles of interior design trade shows in Mumbai first organized by Inside/Outside Magazine at the Nehru Center or NSCI grounds. Even before I went to architecture school where it was almost incumbent upon us to attend such shows to collect reference material for our files, I used to attend these shows with my dad. Often strapped for time, we would split up and I would collect brochures and catalogues of products he hadn’t time to look at which he would carefully categorize and file away for future use.
The advent of the web may have made this exercise redundant but it was always fun to browse through latest products in one huge place. You almost had instant ideas for your designs that you couldn’t wait to implement or sometimes saw an innovative product that redefined your perspective for treating interior space; be it a new material or bathroom fittings. But the best display was always by light equipment and fittings. In this light (no pun intended), I was asked to review the website for Starry Nights Lights. Note that this is a part of ReviewMe’s Paid Reviews for this blog. Remember that this is not a review of their products which I haven’t sampled but that of their website.
At first impression, the Starry Nights Lights’ website looks clean and simple to navigate. The name, Starry Nights (remember Van Gogh?) might seem paradoxical because you may not need lights on a fine starry night but they show support for reducing light pollution. The main body of the website displays their product offerings categorized broadly into interior lighting and outdoor lighting. Strangely the interior light products seem to be properly categorized into sub-categories like wall scones, chandeliers, ceiling mount fixtures, bath/vanity lights, etc, the outdoor section is not organized similarly and instead goes to the generic ‘store front’. They run their store based on Yahoo! Shopping and have a customized look but is powered by Yahoo at the backend. Alternatively, you can directly access the different types of light fittings from the sidebar where they are listed by name and brand.
But the feature that impressed me most was their emphatic coverage on light pollution and although being a light fixtures company, they provide advise on using their products with ‘responsibility’. This might be in line with the latest corporate trend of being socially responsible. You can read more about Light Pollution and browse through the news stories on the topic. They also provide information on how the company provides lighting solutions and customer testimonials to win you over.
Since blogs are such a trendy way to disseminate information, Starry Nights Lights has a blog too. The blog was started in March of 2006 and has been since infrequently updated with aspects of outdoor lighting, reviews of new products, and general news in the field of outdoor lighting. Their specific post on relating light pollution and human health is interesting. It collates interesting links from news media that focus on this largely ignored aspect. Natual light has always been suited for human existence and personally, I have alway favored using natural light and opening up your design instead of consuming energy. It also makes economic sense as energy costs continue to spiral upwards.
But considering Starry Nights focus on outdoor sustainable light, their store front on outdoor lighting seems lot to be desired. Also, they could do with more focus on selling energy-efficient products. If they serve as a front to sell energy efficient lights, some consumers might even stick around and buy some of their fixtures and fittings.
Overall, Starry Nights Lights provides a useful service couple with information on sustainable lighting solutions. However, the experience would be greatly enhanced if they also provided a savings calculator for different energy uses and even a special focus on the new energy saver bulbs that Walmart is trying to promote. The store interface also could be improved so as to make it more customizable. Currently, they are offering free UPS Ground Shipping on all orders of $100 or more. Check them out.