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Four Seasons Hotel Austin: Luxury Hospitality with a Central Texas Twist

For three decades, the Four Seasons Hotel Austin has stood as one of the Lone Star State capital’s most luxurious hotels. Under new ownership and in need of a renovation, the charge was clear: deliver a complete transformation of the hotel lobby, bar, restaurant and patio to present the Four Seasons’ global brand with a sophisticated and uniquely Central Texas appeal.

The materials are authentic, clean and tailored; the interiors high-end and visually stunning. However, in a space that seamlessly adapts its ambience from daytime to evening, business lunch to nightcap, “arrived at your destination” to “feels like home” — it’s the lighting that makes it happen.

Four Seasons

“Lighting on the project was crucial to articulating the subtlety in materials and details in the project—not only to illuminate the things you want the guests to see, but then to create the highs and lows and sense of drama that people expect in a luxury environment,” said Michael Dalton, managing principal at Whitespace Interiors .

Lighting designer Granville McAnear, principal at GMLD , described his job as “not projecting light on people and spaces, but lighting the spaces in an indirect way so the people can absorb all of these warm light sources.”

“There’s a big psychological aspect to lighting besides just making a space look sophisticated,” McAnear continued. “Lighting can really evoke a mood or sensation. When people look good in a space and see other people that look good, I think it transforms the energy in the space. To accomplish that we needed consistent, high-end fixtures that produced high R9 and red values.”

Four Seasons

McAnear often illuminates spaces, skin tones and millwork with warm dim incandescent fixtures, but this project was different. For a global brand dedicated to evolving luxury hospitality like the Four Seasons , McAnear set out to deliver an innovative lighting design that only utilized LED lighting.

“At the time, it was very difficult to produce the warm dim effect we wanted to achieve with anything but incandescent light,” McAnear said. “We were on a constant search to find a color that we liked that was close to the xelogen incandescent source that gave us that warm look.”

“There are a lot of LED companies that don’t have products with high red and R9 values,” McAnear elaborated. “Luminii does, which makes woods and skin tones look very good.” 

The space flows from lobby to patio to landscape. The high amount of natural light in the lobby space required a lighting plan that transformed throughout the day.

“We were looking for something that matched what an incandescent can do,” McAnear said. “Luminii’s product got us closer than anything we’ve seen in a warm dim in changing the whole environment from daytime at a nice, comfortable warm level to nighttime at a warmer, more golden color.”

Now recognized as an industry leader in the warm dim LED lighting space, the Four Seasons Hotel Austin was Luminii’s first warm dim project.

“We delivered Luminii’s Kendo S product for the Four Season Hotel Austin’s coves and front desk spaces,” Luminii Senior Regional Manager Taylor Jacobs said. “It was our first warm dim project and demonstrated that LED lighting sources can match an incandescent light curve. We remain one of the few LED lighting companies with warm dim technology. It’s a big market differentiator for us.”

The $8.1 million, four-month renovation relied on a complex construction site that allowed the five-star hotel to operate at capacity. Soundproof walls enclosed work completed almost exclusively at night while guests slept a few floors above.

“This was a high-profile project for Luminii,” Jacobs said. “Our unmatched customer service and construction planning process, coupled with our products’ highly adaptable low-profile applications and ability to be field-cut, makes Luminii an ideal fit for projects with tight construction timelines.”

Luminii’s role in the Four Seasons Hotel Austin demonstrates the company’s key differentiators in LED light: color, quality and consistency.

“So many LED lighting companies have products that dim in a way that looks gray and terrible,” McAnear said. “Luminii is an exceptional product and is one of the only companies I have found to master warm dim LED lighting.”