The look of ocean waves provides a tranquil environment for an Arizona-based manufacturer, but utilizes flexible LED to replicate the appeal of neon.

Although the Knox Company is headquartered in Phoenix, when it came time to remodel half of its 80,000-sq.-ft. facility, management wanted a contemporary design that would harken back to the company’s roots in Newport Beach, California.

In designing the new interior, Balmer Architectural Group in Phoenix proposed adding waves of light to the building’s main hallway and cafeteria/break room for its client, which manufactures rapid-entry systems – products that allow emergency services personnel to enter buildings safely, quickly, and easily in time-sensitive situations.

With the ocean as a source of inspiration, Balmer Architectural Group conceived of installing waves of blue iLight Plexineon across the ceilings as part of the interior upgrade at Knox Company.

The Design Challenge

To make the plan a reality, the designers specified iLight Plexineon LED fixtures, which can be bent to form curves and is offered in an array of colors – including the shade of blue the design team envisioned.

Wesley Balmer, President of Balmer Architectural Group, says the possibilities were exciting. “We saw an opportunity to have some three-dimensional fun by installing the fixtures along the ceiling around soffits and other existing structures to create blue curves that replicate ocean waves,” he says.

The design did have complexities. Going into the break room, there’s a 30′-high exposed structure that the fixtures needed to be installed around. The solution was to suspend them from the ceiling at varying heights overhead ranging from about 10.5 to 16 feet from the floor.

The resulting fingers of light are dramatic and also practical – providing wayfinding to a training room for guests.

The Plexineon Advantage

At this desert headquarters, the resulting fingers of light along the hallway are not only dramatic, but practical – providing wayfinding to a training room where fire chiefs and heads of other governmental agencies nationwide learn to use Knox Company products. The fixtures then extend into the break room, mimicking the flow of water and adding a “Wow” factor that exceeded all expectations.

Balmer says Knox’s management “loves” the installation, and based on this experience of using Plexineon, he would not hesitate to use it in another application. “We could visualize the space before, but the fixture’s flowing design is definitely the icing on the cake – an element that brings a whole different experience to the space,” he notes.


Client: Knox Company
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Architect: Balmer Architectural Group, Willmeng Construction, Phoenix
Electrical Engineer: Hawkins Design Group, Phoenix
Manufacturer: iLight Technologies, Chicago
Product: Plexineon Blue