Quality and know-how – Interview with Ralf Lübke
A lampshade is like a small house: shape, size, material, static strength, safety – only an expert can perfectly match all of the requirements together. As with all constructions, including lampshades there are structural and safety aspects that have to be considered. The laws of physics can not be outwitted, however it is possible to use them creatively. Thanks to our production machinery, we are able to turn many ideas into reality that otherwise may seem impossible at first sight. The key to this is our personal advice: Either by telephone, in our showroom, or on your own premises.
Co-owner of the company
Lübke & Driller
Do your customers know from the outset what kind of shade they would like to order?
Generally we get the following information from our customer: There is an idea, or maybe already a concrete conception regarding shape, size and colour of the lampshade. He may already know if the model needs to have a bottom cover. Now our consultation starts by clarifying type and intensity of lighting required. How do we achieve an optimum of light distribution, without any light spots being seen. Did the customer think of a mesh top, to prevent insects getting into the lampshade. How is the lampshade positioned? Can it be hung safely and straight? Is there an electrical connection in the ceiling and is it usable and suitable? Is a ceiling cap required or needed? Has the ceiling height and hanging height been considered?
So there are many details that need to be considered. How do you continue after that?
We check whether the shade can be produced in this size and shape. We also take appearance into consideration, will it look good. Because of our years of experience we are able to determine how much light enters the shade and it’s distribution. Aspects our customers usually have little or no knowledge of.
This is why the customer looks to you for competent technical advise. How do you determine the technical data for your lampshades?
That’s down to our experience. We recommend installing specific LED-strips or a 3-way distributor for E27 to realize an optimum of illumination for the size and shape the customer desires.
On the subject of technology. More and more customers would like to use LED-lights. How do you deal this and what should be considered?
If the customer wants a lampshade with LED lighting without a E27 socket, our advice for example is to use LED-strips. We calculate the number of LED-strips suitable for size and shape of the lampshade. The outcome is a specific number of lumen which defines the driver unit. Then the position of the driver unit needs to be defined. Is it possible to place the driver unit on a metal plate inside the lampshade, or buried in the ceiling cap.
We plan and put together a comprehensive package for the customer. This entails the selection of the technical components e.g. LED-strips (conductor boards), cooling, defining the driver unit, wiring and safe installation.
This seems to be an extensive process. Not forgetting optimal illumination, how do you place the LED to ensure this?
This is down to experience and science. The illumination of the lampshade needs to be balanced and nice, we take care of that. It is essential to identify the right distance between LED-strips and laminate foil. Single light spots should not be seen.
Know-how acquired over many years allowing your customers to benefit even more from your experience.
We help our customers realize the lampshade starting from the idea through to the finished product. We have gained experiences and learned from past mistakes, our customer benefits from this. We have developed a how-to-do guide so we are able to prevent mistakes right from the beginning. It starts with the right way to unpack the boxes. Through to the important points of ceiling installation – to the hanging up of the lampshade. For example: The customer desires not to use a ceiling cap or the existing ceiling does not allow the installation of a ceiling cap. The cable needs to run vertical to the ceiling. This is very important. If one cable is shorter than the others the lampshade will hang crooked, causing the fabric and carrier foil to become creased. You first see the damage, when the installation is finished and you turn on the light. We advice our customers to make use of a laser level for vertical alignment of the cables. In addition we point out the importance of having sufficient staff on hand. One person holds the lampshade, another one adjusts the position of the cables.
As you can see from this example: There are many small things that finally make up the quality of the lampshade.