March 6, 2024

Hospitality & Multifamily Application Feature: Units & Guestrooms

Units & Guestrooms have a unique set of features that specifiers must design around to balance function, comfort, and code.

Price: All construction projects have a budget and as Multifamily Units & Hotel Guestrooms comprise a high quantity of lighting fixtures in mixed-use spaces they can often be the most cost-sensitive spaces to design.

Fire Rating: Fire Rating is a code requirement specific to many wood-built structures in which individual living spaces or guestrooms are accessed via common corridors, stairways, and exit doors.  These common passageways should be constructed to provide approved levels of fire protection enabling occupant egress in the case of an emergency.  There are several methods of installing a light fixture without sacrificing the fire rating of floor or ceiling assembly but these methods can be labor-intensive and costly. Fire-rated fixtures simplify the design and construction of these spaces.

Sound Rating: Don’t you hate it when noisy neighbors disrupt the peace in your home or getaway lodging?  As building finish trends have recently moved away from using carpet in favor of more laminated type products this issue is more pronounced than ever.  That’s why sound-rated luminaires are an important component in the design of any building: to minimize sound transmission from one room to the next. Minimizing the transmission of noise from adjacent rooms requires judicious choice of many building components such as floor topping, floor underlayment, subfloor topping, subfloor underlayment, ceiling insulation, joist size, resilient channel, ceiling finish, construction quality, and a sound-rated luminaire.

Non-Conductive (Dead Front): The term dead-front is defined by the National Electric Code (NEC) as “without live parts exposed to a person on the operating side of the equipment” and usually is specific to electrical panels.  Some jurisdictions like the City of Seattle go one step further and require all “luminaires, with exposed metal parts that are grounded, must be ground fault circuit interrupter protected.” The requirement to add GFI protection to the luminaire circuit within the shower or bathtub zone adds complexity and cost.  However, dead front trims are constructed out of non-conductive polycarbonate.  Contractors and designers alike prefer these trims as a cost and time-efficient way of overcoming the GFI requirement, which is only applicable to grounded metal trims.

Closet Rating: Due to their unique usage, closets, and storage spaces demand special electrical code requirements outlined by the (NEC).  Luminaires in clothes closets must be (1) Surface-mounted or recessed incandescent or LED luminaires with completely enclosed light sources (2) surface-mounted or recessed fluorescent luminaires or (3) Surface-Mounted fluorescent or LED luminaires identified as suitable for installation within the close storage space.  These permitted luminaire types must meet minimum clearance requirements.  Depending on the lighting type, the space between the fixtures and the closet contents requires up to 12″ of clearance and if that is not available, the fixtures must pass the UL Closet Rating Test in compliance with standards UL 2108, 67.1.9, and 60.4.

Warm Dim: Warm dim technology gives occupants the flexibility to choose the light that’s right for them by dimming from vibrant, full-spectrum lighting, to a warm, comfortable glow.  There’s minimal color temperature change at the high end of the dimming curve so daytime lighting remains vibrant and unaffected.  Once dimmed below 50% light output, the color temperature gradually warms to provide the personal, intimate ambiance desired in the evening.

Tunable White: Tunable white is becoming increasingly trendy in high-end hotels and living spaces as it grants the occupants full autonomy to choose the specific color temperature of their lights and quickly change as desired. Comprised of multiple LEDs of different color temperatures, you can control the mix of these LEDs as well as intensity using a lighting control system of your choice.  Tunable white can be programmed to mimic natural daylight patterns, supporting occupants’ circadian rhythm.  This feature is important to hotel guests with jet lag or those in senior living facilities without outdoor mobility.   Tunable white fixtures also allow for the ultimate task flexibility in a living space as you can choose the color temperature ideal as you move throughout the motions of your day whether it be working, cleaning, or relaxing.