A Bright New Design Concept
By Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - March 22, 2006

Swain of Lighting Concepts and DesignTom Ogawa wants to light up your life. His 3,000-square-foot showroom, Lighting Concepts and Design, helps weekend warrior remodelers add a special touch to their homes.

“We are a light store that carries lights that make a statement,” Ogawa says. “Whether you want something ultra-modern or traditional, we can find it for you. We have lots of things in stock, and our clients like that.”

Ogawa notes that a line of five hand-blown glass fixtures from the mecca of master glass blowers in Murano, Italy, is part of the store’s best decorative pieces sought after by architects, contractors and interior designers.

Ogawa subcontracts out installations, and says people seem to appreciate that. He says floor lamps are also popular since older condominiums don’t have electrical hookups in the ceiling.

“People are paying more attention to lights,” explains Ogawa. “Lights are like a piece of furniture. Customers want something with the wow factor.”

Ogawa can conduct consultations at the home, or with a quick photo e-mailed to him, he can help gauge where lights should be placed. To focus on where the lights should go, he says, he asks several questions. What do you use this room for? Do you work or play cards at your dining room table?

“I try to get a feel for what they like,” the Saint Louis grad explains.

With his five employees, he feels his niche is customer service and having fun, because they enjoy what they do.

What sparked Ogawa’s interest in this field was learning the significance of lighting framed artwork when he ran the Lassen Art Galleries. After working at another lighting store for a couple of years, he decided there were so many other types of lights that could be offered that he and his wife, Penny, opened the doors of their shop in January. Owning their own business offers the Hawaii Kai couple more flexibility to spend time with their 3-year-old son Luke.

Lighting Concepts and Designs is located at 1931 S. Beretania St. Hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 955-9955.