Lighting Designer David Trubridge – Where Lighting Design and Technology Merge

I like to wander, and it’s a good thing. While attending last week’s Westedge Design Fair opening night party to benefit Heal the Bay, I took a break from sipping all the fanciful libations and schmoozing with the design elite to wander outside to the lounge area.  Almost immediately I was star struck by the sea of rainbow bright propeller-like pendants gently rotating above and wondered why I hadn’t seen them when I walked in earlier that afternoon. I am assuming that they were not that noticeable before nightfall and not that I really overlooked them, because if I did, I really deserve a big kick in the %&#.

Propellers by David Trubridge
As I pulled out my trusty DSLR camera to snap some shots, I noticed a gentleman next to me with camera in hand (MUCH bigger and fancier than mine, I must add), and he asked me if I knew much about the lighting above, to which I answered “no”.  He then introduced himself as David Trubridge.  Yeah – I knew that name.  David Trubridge was the designer whose lighting I had just gotten snap happy with on the show floor a few minutes earlier.
Propellers by David Trubridge
For his light installation at Westedge, Trubridge created a custom installation that was designed specifically for the show site at the Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica airport.  “Propellers” was inspired by the history of aviation and Trubridge configured six KOURA lights to resemble a series of propellers gently rotating in the breeze.  I commented on how much I thought the color was incredible and little did I know that what he would tell me next would turn on a lightbulb in my head (no pun intended!).
Propellers by David Trubridge
As colorful as the lighting installation was, Trubridge used white shades for each propeller.  At that point the thought going through my head was “white shade? Then where is all the color coming from?” He explained that an integral part of his installation was the use of the Philips Hue internet-protocol LED bulb, a personal wireless lighting system, where color can be controlled via an app on your iPhone or iPad.  Whoa – you mean I can actually control the color?  Last month I went to the Hollywood Bowl to see Yoyo Ma (not to be confused with Yo Mama, which my son did.  Long story short – sadly mistaken, he thought he was going to see a rap star, but you all know that that was not the case…)
During the show, the lighting changed as the show progressed and I was mesmerized at how the color and mood changed with the music taking the lead.  Below is an assortment of photos I took that evening (pardon the iPhone pics) to give you an idea of the mood.  Yes, we were up close – 3rd row.  It helps to have incredibly generous friends who are patrons of the arts in and around LA! (Thanks, Allan!) A month ago I thought changing the color was something that was left to entertainment venues and high tech lighting designers.  Luckily I was wrong.  If I wanted to, I could have the same mood altering effects in my own home!
Colors of the Hollywood Bowl
The Philps Hue bulb is an amazing discovery.  Until now, there was no way to replicate the Hollywood Bowl lighting experience at home.  The Philips Hue starter pack, which includes three Hue bulbs and the Hue Bridge and cable to connect to your router, can be purchased at the Apple Store for $199.
If I had a teen daughter, I’d definitely incorporate a David Trubridge fixture with Philips Hue technology into her room.  You know how moody teen girls get – this way the family can be forewarned by her mood judging by the color of the lighting in her room! I’d say that’s brilliant!
Here’s a short video you can watch to see the full capabilities of the Philips Hue and to get a better idea of what you can do with this amazing new product.

David Trubridge also created the lighting at the entrance of Westedge Design Fair, which was also designed specifically for the space and to resemble the wing of an airplane.

David Trubridge light installation at Westedge
David Trubridge light installation at Westedge

Below are pictures from the David Trubridge booth on the show floor.  Unlike “Propellers”, these pendants did not utilize the Philips Hue bulb technology.  Instead the inside of the shades were painted the desired color.  These can be purchased online at YLighting.


The best part about attending a high caliber show like Westedge is to come across lines that one would not come across every day.  Each line at Westedge was unique in their own way and has something significant to contribute to the world of design, and the collaboration between David Trubridge and Philips Hue is no exception.

Tomorrow starts a week and a half of running around learning all about design. I’ll try to post where I can but I know I’ll be tired!  Starting tomorrow morning I’ll be down in Laguna Niguel for Design Camp with Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis through Friday evening.  On Monday I’m heading out to Louisville, KY to visit GE Monogram for 3 days of hands on chef training on GE Monogram appliances.  This will definitely be a fun one since I viewed the line of appliances while at Dwell on Design and I was definitely impressed by the innovative features they integrated into each design and I am looking forward to experience what it is like to cook on the appliances.  From Louisville it’s on to High Point, NC where once again, I’ll be attending market to see all the new fall introductions.  One line I’m particularly looking forward to is Stanley Furniture, as they will be unveiling their restored collection of original Stanley Furniture midcentury modern pieces. The camera battery is fully charged and ready to go!

Have a good one!


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