Samina Mehar, the owner and principal consultant of Illume Consulting Inc.,Toronto started her niche consulting business of lights just when COVID 19 hit the world. Samina’s decision was based on her commitment to fully integrate best practices at an affordable cost to companies and individuals during these trying economic times of COVID 19.
How did you think about starting this business amid COVID 19?
The launch of Illume Consulting in COVID 19 caters to new business realities. High-quality professional services at reasonable rates and quick turnaround time without infrastructural overheads are in high demand. Remote project management and hybrid models of virtual and onsite lighting design services are the waves of the future that has just approached.
Kindly share your long-term business vision?
My Company’s mission is to promote Human-centric practices in design which is affordable to a small business and attractive to larger enterprises. Illume aims to provide exceptional service for Lighting Design, green building, and Project Management. My Vision lets the world see how aesthetically pleasing and technically viable lighting and sustainability design practices can make the quality of life better.
Please tell us a bit about your earlier work.
I have worked with the City of Toronto and developed a Green Building rating system for The City’s Energy Management STEP program; For the City of Mississauga, I designed and implemented the energy management program to help city facilities save energy. I managed LED lighting conversion for all city-owned buildings and with the City of Markham. On the Private sector side, I have completed Lighting Designs as well as LED conversion plans for many schools, gymnasiums, arenas, libraries, and office spaces.
What made you interested in this field?
I have always been inclined towards aesthetics and design. My early career jobs were in the electrical T&D industry, which is quite monotonous. Before moving to Canada, I have worked in few interior design firms in Sri Lanka and loved playing with colors and light. After coming to Canada, I realigned my professional field and decided to build on my project management experience to establish myself as a Sustainable green building and lighting design professional.
Talking about the corporate or residential setup of lights, what can attract me about your business to give you the contract?
Being a designer at heart, I did not limit myself in roadway lights but was keenly interested in residential and other lighting design projects. I intrinsically apply my aesthetic sense in my business.
I love the combination of the technical side of lighting design along with the human-centric aspect of the process. These tunable LED lights make space aesthetically pleasing and healthier by utilizing Daylight effects in the designs. The research has proved that color-coordinated lighting design substantially affects people’s moods and sleep patterns.
As impressive as it gets, I would like to know what you are teaching through bulletin to those interested in the lights chapter.
Natural light is the number one component in setting our body clocks. These circadian rhythms tell us when to wake and when to sleep and are critical to good health, hormone production, metabolism, and sleep/wake cycles. Unfortunately, 90% of our day is indoors, surrounded by artificial light. Most of this indoor lighting is designed only for energy efficiency, making it too dim in the day and too bright in the evening.
Human Centric Lighting (HCL), the leading-edge innovation in lighting technology, brings natural lighting indoors, stimulating the mind in the daytime for greater productivity and dimming light at night for better sleep.
Lighting is directly connected with colors and has a huge impact on human health. For example, purple color has a more holistic peaceful energy, Orange and red are for vitality. It’s a complete science to get tailored-made designs.
Any exciting clients you enjoyed worked with so far?
Currently, I have been commissioned to work with a UK-based Sustainability developer. I am working on BREEAM green building rating scheme. It recognizes and reflects the value in higher performing assets across the built environment lifecycle. I was approached to do this assignment as I have developed the City of Toronto Assessment system based on BREEAM. This project is exciting for me as I would utilize my multi-facet technical skills to achieve targeted standards.
You started the business when most of the companies had to close down. Any message you would want to give to business start-ups.
Don’t underestimate the power of professional networking. Build your online presence, especially on Linked In. For business, you need to get out of your comfort zone, and as an experienced entrepreneur, you need to believe in yourself and persevere till you get going. Even in pandemic times, I was able to establish and actively market my own business through my professional contacts.
Energy Efficient design and human-centric light schemes both are here to stay. The government provides incentives to small and large businesses, even residencies to upgrade their savings to be energy efficient. Newer technologies include remote monitoring system models, which help buildings and cities become smart buildings/cities. Lights integrated with specific sensors and technology can even detect gunshot or any unusual behavior in the environment, such as infrequent crowd in an area.
This industry has a lot to offer in any given situation and can address the clients’ requirements in these times to save money and make the environments healthy and happy. There is a market influx of UV lighting to disinfect spaces.
For more information kindly visit website: https://www.illume-consulting.ca
Author: Sarah Syed, Content Writer, Toronto, Canada. If you have stories to share kindly email: – [email protected]