by Christy Heitger-Ewing / photos by The Home Aesthetic

It’s hard to articulate the power of light and how it affects your mood. To truly get it, one needs to experience it. That’s precisely what happens anytime John McKenzie invites visitors to tour the model home he built in Zionsville’s Holliday Farms.

“When people walk through, they say it feels different, though they can’t put their finger on why,” says McKenzie.

Chad Brewer, General Manager of BRAVAS, a leading national technology integrator, has had the same experience – particularly when he ushers people into the home’s basement, which has a jaw-dropping wine cellar that is accentuated by the unique lighting. They walk around as if in search of something before asking where the door is to go outside, yet it’s not an open basement. Brewer points to the high-performance lights that take the place of traditional canned lights that often buzz and flicker.

“The way we can portray the light in that area makes it feel like it’s true natural light as if there are windows everywhere,” says Brewer, who demonstrates the stark contrast when walking visitors into the mechanical room next, which features canned lights. In doing so, they experience an a-ha moment where they can feel the significant difference of high-quality lighting.

McKenzie wanted to use this high-performance lighting to spotlight several special features of the home. For instance, in the wine room the BRAVAS team used uplighting in an unusual way – they built these fixtures into the concrete floor. In the master bathroom, the lighting emphasized the beautiful stone wall behind the tub. They also installed LED strip lighting on the beams in the great room, which produces an incredible effect.

“It would be a shame to invest a bunch of time and money into cool materials and features and have lighting that took away from it or neglected to enhance it,” says McKenzie, who met with the BRAVAS team before even breaking ground to discuss plans for making this model special by investing in an upgraded lighting package.

“It was a real collaborative effort that evolved as we met,” says Mark Vyain, BRAVAS’ Principal. “The spirit of that collaboration led to, ‘Wow, wouldn’t it be cool if we did this or that?’ You only get good results with good teamwork.”

In this home, they created what, in the lighting world, is called a “quiet ceiling.” This means that instead of one’s attention being directed at the ceiling, the lighting encourages one to focus their gaze elsewhere – i.e., the bar top, kitchen counter, artwork, etc. For the high ceilings, a 29,000 Lumen accent light illuminates the main level living space while also accenting the reclaimed wood beams.

“Lighting is the market where manufacturers are making their products better and smarter,” says Jose Saavedra, BRAVAS’ Design Engineer. “Traditionally we’re known as your AV integrators, but we also have expertise in more advanced lighting that a traditional electrical contractor may not.”

If you’re looking to experience the difference superior lighting can make in your home, the experts at BRAVAS can shine the way.