Jamie Beckwith is known for her innovative contributions to interior design, specifically in the realm of wood surfaces. But recently, she brought her pioneering reputation underground by creating an eye-popping LED wine cellar that has the design world buzzing.
Described by some as a “TRON cathedral,” the cellar has several special features: acrylic wine racks, color changing LED lights and a transparent ceiling, to name a few. I recently tracked down Beckwith to get a little insight into how and why she designed this masterpiece.
“I was inspired by many of the commercial wine cellars I have seen at restaurants around the world, specifically Las Vegas. I wanted to combine a rustic element with a modern form and lighting was especially important in the design,” says Beckwith about why she chose such a striking, modern and high tech design scheme for this wine cellar, which resides in the basement of a Franklin, Tennessee home.
Turns out LED lights were the only lighting option for the job. “I chose the LED lights for the ease of installation, the ability to change the color of the light and for the safety of the wine,” she says. “There is over $700,000-worth of rare and vintage wines in this cellar and while the space is unique and attractive, it had to function first. This means that the lighting does indeed stay cool without giving off heat and condensation is not good for the wine and would also cloud the acrylic that housed the wine. This cellar is outfitted with humidity control and temperature control,” she adds.
Another common problem many wine collectors face is damage caused by exposure to UV radiation, which fluorescent lights emit. This provided an additional incentive for Beckwith to choose LED lights, since they do not emit UV rays. She explains that UV radiation from other sources, i.e.: from other lighting types or from the room above, is dealt with easily. “The UV lights are only turned on when there is a party or get together. They could easily be turned off and while the ceiling in the cellar is made from glass, there are 3 large black out shades that keep all light out from above,” she says.
All in all, the wine cellar has achieved what Beckwith believes is interior design’s number one goal: “to provoke strong emotional response.” To that end, she’s not afraid to employ LED lights in other bold designs, including the two lighting features pictured below, one a stair tower fixture and the other an illumined panels. “I use LED lights for the ease of installation, the small amount of energy they use and how long their life is,” says Beckwith, but also because they’re highly “decorative and give strong ambiance to a space.” We couldn’t agree more.