This article appeared in The New Milford Times daily newspaper, in the business section, written by Carol Ann Wilcock, March 7th, 1997.
The Lighting Gallery brightens New Milford
Store offers variety of styles and installation tips
Kathy and Bob Siegel of New Fairfield are lighting up the New Milford area from the Lighting Gallery, their new store at 18A Grove St. (Route 67) in New Milford.
The couple, who have owned and operated Berkshire Lighting Gallery since 1972 at the Berkshire Shopping Center in Danbury, bought the lighting business from New Milford resident Paul Hulton last fall after he had separated the lighting from the electrical business.
"Paul called us and asked us if we would be interested in the New Milford operation," explained Mr. Siegel, who said he was already favorably impressed with the New Milford area.
"Paul, Kathy, and I put our heads together and here we are," he said.
After they purchased the business, the Siegels redecorated the premises with paint and installed new displays.
"We did a lot to the showroom area," said Mrs. Siegel, who is responsible for purchasing and displaying the various types of lighting at the gallery. "We brought in lamp shades, new lines, new styles and new products."
"I look for products that will appeal to a variety of tastes," she explained, citing the traditional Williamsburg collection of lighting as a classic look in many area homes.
"It's fun - it's a fashion business," said Mrs. Siegel. "When people come in and don't know what they want, it's nice to walk them through the store and guide them to their selections."
Her husband, a certified lighting consultant, said his interest in the business is more technical and financial than artistic.
"My forte is lighting layouts," said Mr. Siegel, who gave recessed and track lighting as examples of dramatic lighting effects he can produce. "I can match a person's style with his or her lighting needs."
The Siegels have also welcomed their son Stephen into the business, so there is always a member of the family at each of the lighting stores.
The most important aspect of both stores is costumer satisfaction, according to the Siegels. If necessary they will go to the costumer's home to recommend the best lighting.
"It's just part of our service," Mr. Siegel said. "Light fixtures aren't an everyday purchase. We want people to come back to us for a bulb, for a desk lamp for their child. Our question is, 'How can we help?'"
Mr. Siegel said he also works from pictures of a room and house plans to help people with their lighting needs. Customers can choose from the array in the showroom or from catalogues available at the Lighting Gallery.
The Lighting Gallery services are most appropriate for homes, home and commercial offices, and small restaurants, according to Mr. and Mrs. Siegel.
Stock includes floor lamps, hanging fixtures in a variety of sizes, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, table lamps, outdoor lights, and sconces created with several materials including iron, brass, glass, stained glass, rope, porcelain, and crystal.
The special purpose section also includes rope lighting, track and recessed lighting, and lighting for under cabinets.
Since their New Milford business's grand opening in November, Mr. and Mrs. Siegel said they have received comments from customers who like having a lighting store in the area where they can find lamp shades and hard-to-find bulbs, replacement glass, lamps and lighting fixtures for their homes.
"People have welcomed us," said Mr. Siegel. "They've given us a nice reception."
The Lighting Gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information call 860-354-0874