ILLUMINATING THE POSSIBILITIES

BY JEFF HAMPTON | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS

When lighting entrepreneur Robert Owens set out to name his new company there was good reason not to put the word “light” in it. Yes, he delivers lighting solutions to homes and businesses alike, but that is just what the customer sees. As the name 2C Custom Lighting suggests, there is more to illumination than just creating light.

“For the first time lighting is no longer an analog device. It’s now a technology, and what that means is that it changes every six months,” Owens says.

Staying on top of those changes—and often driving them—has been the hallmark of Owens’ career as an innovator and inventor. And, yes, he now operates under the names 2C Custom Lighting and 2C Audio Video, but his deep roots in technology drive everything he does.

Originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, Owens began developing more efficient lighting systems in 2005 after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, when he saw his electric bill increase by a thousand percent for six straight months. Owens and an international team developed the technology and built the foundation for most of the LED lighting designs and circuitry that are currently on the market. He sold his first lighting company in 2014 and then moved to Dallas/ Fort Worth, where he formed 2C Custom Lighting in 2017 to tap the region’s diverse clientele and advantageous environment for tech-based businesses.

With business partner Josh Allison, Owens works with interior designers, contractors, homeowners and building owners to bring functionality and efficiency to interior and exterior lighting and audio/video.

“Because we’ve had expertise in home automation and lighting since 2002 and designing, engineering and manufacturing LED lighting since 2005, we’re probably more familiar than most people with what works with what types of dimmers and systems,” Owens says. “So when an interior designer brings us in to consult and do the lighting design as well as put systems in, we can guarantee that it will work. We know which bulbs and fixtures and dimmers are going to be compatible.”

What’s more, 2C Custom Lighting has developed LED systems that, for the first time, can create task and ambient lighting with dimming controls in one fixture. Instead of looking up at a ceiling littered with can lights and fixtures, homeowners can have a simpler, more elegant interior design.

On the entertainment side, 2C Audio Video has installed some of the largest home systems in the country, says Owens. His largest AV installation cost the homeowner $2.5 million and incorporated 36,000 terminations of wire and more than 200 miles of wire and cabling.

“An interior designer can pick colors, they can pick atmosphere and what they want, and through our concern for design and taste we can make sure the AV and lighting all blend together seamlessly, both in control and in function as well as the formal look of it,” says Owens. “We can give them something extremely sophisticated with the simplest and most elegant controls for lighting and ambience and mood setting.”

With their business and industry connections around the world, 2C Custom Lighting has the pulse of trends both locally and abroad. Owens served on the board that wrote the LED color standards in the United States for warm white, neutral white and cool white light. That’s important because color standards abroad are not universal.

The company also is on the cutting edge of what is developing. New fixtures are coming into the commercial market later this year that can replace traditional fluorescent troffers with three linear feet of lighting that is less than one inch wide. “That will change the way commercial lighting is done,” says Owens.

On the residential side, there now is lighting that can be put into the ground and in wet areas. “We can put lights throughout the driveway in the concrete that create an elegant look for coming in,” Owens says.

Elegance, efficiency, longevity, value, innovation—2C Custom Lighting has it all covered.

Jeff Hampton is a freelance writer based in Garland, Texas. Find out more at jeffhamptonwriter.com.