Hawaii Home + Remodeling

Lighting Concepts
A new lighting showroom is the source for superb optical effects.
By Jude Waterman, photos by Tomas Del Amo

If you haven’t visited Lighting Concepts, you’re missing quite an experience. Lighting Concepts is a new lighting source for Hawaii. This two-story light emporium features a diversity of appurtenances and modern concepts from a multitude of lighting companies. It also offers custom artwork by local artisans. Owner Tom Ogawa and his friendly staff are well informed and readily share their expertise with clients and contractors.

Entering the showroom is extraordinary. Light piano music plays softly, and water fountains provide relaxing sounds and a tranquil atmosphere. Lighting fixtures, lamps and chandeliers greet customers brightly. The flooring is clean and vast; the colors of the walls are unobtrusive. Exquisite wall clocks hang. The lighting fixtures, however, are the most striking elements. Observing one remarkable display, a customer declares, “They look like jewels hanging from the ceiling.”

Ogawa says, “We want to give each client a look that suits their personality.

We determine that by getting to know them and taking a look at what currently is in their home interiors.”

Recently Ogawa has found success working with Geoff Lee, a Hawaii-based glassblower who makes one-of-a-kind vases. This fusion of vases and lamps is highly inventive. Ogawa demonstrates by placing a bulb inside one of the finely textured glassworks. The bulb glows warmly from behind the purple glass. “They look good when they’re on and off,” explains Ogawa. He smiles amicably. “[Lee and I] have found success and are really growing.”

Co-owners Penny and Tom Ogawa with showroom manager, Kyle Morikone.

Growing, indeed. The 3,000-square-foot showroom has several Noguchi-style lamps. The paper lanterns are a congenial union of Japanese handcraft and modernist design. Also featured are designs by Jeffan, Roland Simmons and Silux from Italy—a great line that “blends well with Hawaii interiors,” because it “offers a unique look that, while not Hawaiian, is organic enough to complement many Island homes,” Ogawa says. There are chandeliers covered with banana leaves and the magnificent Swarovski crystal chandeliers—twinkling ravishingly with reflected light.

One of Ogawa’s many distinctions is his attitude toward his clients. If there is anything he wants his customers to know, it is that “lighting is often overlooked when furnishing a space, and we can solve that piece of the puzzle for [customers].” Ogawa walks graciously through his showroom, choosing his words carefully. Those important to him are “the people that we meet. Interior designers come in because they need to know their clients’ tastes. Lights are functional pieces of a person’s home. We need to help them make the right decisions.”

Ogawa spends anywhere from five minutes to five hours with his customers. He says, “Whether you are looking for a replacement light bulb or the centerpiece of a Kahala home, we will help you to find it.”