AVDG Lighting Designer Jennette Kollmann knows the uniquely powerful role that lighting plays in an interior. Having entered the industry in broadcast lighting, she once worked alongside some of the most skilled lighting crews in New York City, helping to create the perfect ambiance for a wide range of settings and shots. Today, she brings her extensive knowledge and mastery of lighting design to luxury residences and offices across North America.
Jennette shares her insight into what makes interior lighting a success and what new lighting designers should know when entering the industry.
A typical connected home can have different technologies installed throughout the environment, including smart-system components, audio-visual systems, control panels, climate systems, and others. But it’s the lighting design that pulls it all together, Jennette says. Whereas the best technologies aim to be virtually invisible, it’s the lighting fixtures that make a space truly stunning and comfortable. The right lighting, Jennette says, ties all the technologies together to set the right tone for the space, at any time of day or night.
When it comes to lighting design, it matters who you partner with. “When clients are hiring a designer, they’re looking at who they’re hiring,” Jennette says, and what they bring to the table. It’s not enough to simply suggest a lighting product. Clients are looking for partners who will advise them on how and why a light fixture works for the space and complements other design elements in the room. This is the kind of guidance Jennette provides, leveraging her 20 years of lighting design experience.
a love for lighting
Having a genuine love for lighting is a must in this industry, Jennette says, which is part of the reason she’s been so successful. Jennette is passionate about her job and loves sharing her knowledge with clients to help them find the right solutions. “Being able to communicate with clients is very important,” she says. Additionally, being personable helps to make conversations easy, natural, and enjoyable all around. “The clients want to talk to me.”
advice for aspiring designers
For women who are just starting their careers in A/V and lighting, it’s critical to continue learning, Jennette says. “Know your stuff,” she says. “You can’t give others the opportunity to doubt you. Always keep learning the industry.” This ever-expanding knowledge will not only benefit your career trajectory, but also the clients who rely on you for your expertise and advice. “I feel very passionate about what I do,” Jennette says, “so I want to work to improve and be the expert in the room.”