Derek Barnwell Extends the Reach of Available Light

Derek_HeadshotLook out, Raleigh – Derek is coming home! Available Light Senior Associate, Derek Barnwell, is returning to his southern roots and opening up Available Light Raleigh in the process. Creative Director Steven Rosen reports, “We’ve done work in Raleigh before including the RDU Triangle Icon Sculpture and the venerable North Carolina Museum of Natural Science, but with Derek working locally we are extremely excited to be bringing our distinctive lighting design style to North Carolina.” With one of the fastest growing economies, the Mid-Atlantic boasts multiple cities on Forbes’ Best Places lists (15 in the Top 100 Best Places for Business!). And with over 200 AIA Architects in the Research-Triangle, 36 museums in the anchor cities, over 1000 individual interior designers, and countless other architects, museums, and exhibition companies below the Mason-Dixon line, Available Light will be better able to serve our Southern clients.


“After nine fantastic years at Available Light and 12 in New England I am really looking forward to sharing all the beauty and charm of my home with my family. We are excited to deliver high performance lighting design with unbeatable service to the Raleigh market,” says Derek.


Available Light is an award-winning Lighting Design studio specializing in Museum Exhibition, Architecture, and Trade Shows & Special Events. Poised at the intersection of Theater & Architecture, Available Light is a leader and innovator in the Lighting Design industry. As members of the United States Green Building Council, Available Light is committed to responsible and sustainable lighting solutions.


For more info contact Derek Barnwell,

Project Opening: The Neural Climber

The Neural Climber, part of the Your Brain exhibit at The Franklin Institute, opened summer 2014. It allowed us the opportunity to create a fully immersive environment where children climb through “neural pathways” to learn about the brain. How the light plays on the netting and translucent glass discs is crucial to the experience — as children pretend to climb through a brain, their own brains are responding to the changing sensory stimuli. The lighting changes the glass plates from translucent to opaque as children climb through. The Neural Climber has been reviewed as one of the highlights of The Franklin Institute’s new exhibit.

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Project Opening: Channel Center Garage

The Channel Center Garage officially opened 29 July 2014. Team members CV Properties, Spalding Tougias Architects Inc, Halvorson Design Partnership, Available Light, and artist Joanne Kaliontzis all celebrated with the Fort Point community in an evening-to-dark bash. The Revolutionary Snake Ensemble got everyone moving, food trucks offered delicious fare, and families enjoyed romping around the new park.

We entered the project with two missions. First, to design the lighting for a parking structure that met both the owner’s minimum light level expectations while also meeting or exceeding energy codes — all while working towards a target budget. To squeeze out and maximize every watt of energy consumption, a state-of-the-art control system, coupled with LED luminaires, is constantly monitoring and reacting to both auto and pedestrian occupancy. With 1,644 total lighting fixtures, it is ten times more efficient than required by code.

Second, to create a programmable and dynamic lighting system to support an artist’s vision for the exterior facade. Color-changing LED technology, located behind the exterior art panels, reveal shape and form during the nighttime presentation. It is Boston’s largest illuminated artwork, with 2,031 custom panels punched with 999,396 holes.

Additionally, the Garage features 5 electric vehicle charging stations, 10 electric vehicle spaces, 6 carpool spaces, and 100 bicycle spaces. The green space in front offers play equipment, a dog park, a basketball court, and more than 140 trees. There’s plenty of space for dancing.

This building is an icon for the entire South Boston rejuvenation effort and we are extremely proud to be part of the team tasked with bringing it to life!

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