House of Lights


credits: David Lamb Photography

Project Name

House of Lights

Entering its 25th year of business at its current location, the owners sought to change how lighting was displayed and sold in response to an evolving market and to raise the standard going into the future.  With the encouragement of the owner, the architect envisioned a store that celebrated accessibility and incorporated it into every element of the building design, the shopping experience, and ultimately the consumers home.

Utilizing the existing footprint of the building, the architect planned an expansion of the showroom into underused warehouse space.  In reusing the structure this project saved natural resources required for new construction, saved land that would have been used to develop a new structure, and also prevented waste from an unused or demolished building.

The owners wanted an expanded showroom and a theater-like experience for selling lighting fixtures. The architect designed individual vignettes for families of fixtures as well as specific use areas, such as kitchen, garden and exterior, bathroom and bedroom lighting. With the addition of an elevator, the second level, which was previously unreachable by handicapped consumers, became useable showroom space.

Wayfinding through the store is clearly marked and evenly lit. Individual vignettes showcase the lights which customers can buy and how an accessible area does not need to feel different, or commercial.  The entire showroom, including the bathrooms, are accessible yet have a residential feel inspiring people to incorporate similar features into their own home.  The showroom is designed with many accessible features, including the technology be able to control lights with a tablet or phone.

The standard was raised on this project by going further than just making each space accessible according to ADA by incorporating unique, individual, and accessible retail experiences in the store, and inspiring the consumer to utilize the product in the home.

Architecture or A/E Firm Name

Harriman Architects + Enigneers


Judy L. Johnson, AIA, LEED AP BD + C


Judy Johnson, AIA LEED AP BD +C, Principal/Architect; Mark Ouellette, AIA, Architect; David Reinheimer, PE, Mechanical Engineer; John Tarr, PE, Electrical Engineer; Peter Pinkerton, IIDA, Interior Designer


Scarborough, ME


House of Lights

General Contractor

Hebert Construction