We’ve all experienced it: Walking into the hotel room you’ll call home for the next night at least, looking forward to charging the battery on your phone and heading to sleep or for a night out, when the search for an outlet or the right light switch becomes an egg hunt.
During their April 25, 2017 webinar with interiors+sources magazine, Senior Manager of Hospitality Sales for Legrand North America, Nancy Snyder, pointed out that you wouldn’t let a plumber specify the bathroom fixtures, so why leave electrical products to electricians?
It’s a good question that designers should examine in their designs. The trend of manufacturers designing with plug-in options has only increased over the years and shows no sign of stopping as society’s dependence on all things rechargeable continues a steady upwards climb. So why is it that outlets and light switches are left up to electricians who have less of an understanding of how the room will be used by the occupant than the designer does?—particularly these days as there are so many power options available.
According to the Expedia Future of Travel Survey, 75 percent of travelers surveyed worldwide use smartphones and tablets. Each of those devices need places to plug in, especially on the road when they’re in overdrive, whether to stay connected to the office, video call family, figure out directions, or provide comforting downtime. While that number may be enough of an eye-opener, take a moment to consider the times you’ve needed just a bit more power: did it cause you to take a different seat in the hotel lobby than you’d prefer, or plug your phone in overnight across the room?
To most, having easy and convenient access to power is taken for granted and is hardly noticed—that is, until it becomes a search or impinges on the ways in which they would prefer to interact—and something as simple as neglecting to factor plugs into a design can have a negative impact on the visitor’s stay.
For hospitality designers, owners, and operators, guest power solutions must be readily available, but should feel seamless in the overall design so that it feels intuitive rather than disruptive.
Luckily, as technology has advanced, the ways in which visitor experiences can be improved have as well. Although a room may have been designed before the increase in need for a range of outlet types to power everything from laptops to activity trackers, Legrand’s wide range of products can be retrofit easily into spaces. With 34 percent of business travelers surveyed by the Global Business Travel Association saying they wanted more in-room AV and USB outlets, and 32 percent saying they also have an interest in hotels providing in-room chargers for personal devices, that’s good news for hotel properties which want a simple way to update their rooms to better fit the needs of their users. Particularly in an age of online travel reviews, no one wants an outlet-hunt to turn into a frustration for the occupant.
Additionally, lighting can be a source of grievance. A hotel stay should feel like a home-away-from-home, and part of that comfort is in the intuitive nature of the simplest aspects of any design: the light switches. Fumbling around the walls for the right switch—or to find one at all—easily reminds the user that they are in an unfamiliar place. Designers are the most attune to the environment they are creating and the users who will fill that space; specifying the placement and type of lighting controls that will blend into the design and provide visitors with the utmost comfort can and should be just as important as the lighting fixtures themselves in creating an ideal space.
Interior design is the practice of transforming a room into a haven through the combination of products from the overhead lighting to the wall coverings all the way down to the hardwire. Why leave important details like whether there will be an outlet close enough to the perfectly-specified desk for users to actually be able to utilize the amenities or whether a guest will have to run their hands across the papered accent wall to find the switch as an afterthought or left up to the whims of electricians? With Legrand, whether you’re starting fresh or renovating an existing space, electrical outlets and light switches can be seamlessly integrated into a room. To learn more visit www.legrand.us.
**This is an i+s sponsored post**