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Seeing The Light

The Lighting Studio in Senoia brings big city design to the south side.

From the greeting by Yorkie shop dog, Moose, to the peaceful environment, small-town charm comes naturally at The Lighting Studio in downtown Senoia. But don’t be fooled. The big city has nothing on this lighting studio. It provides a wide selection of premium designs and lives up to its slogan, ‘Small town charm meets big city design.’

Owner and certified lighting designer Susan Erwin has a God-given gift to make things beautiful and enjoys helping residential and commercial customers choose their lighting while avoiding the pitfalls that can come with shopping on websites or at big-box stores. "It's not unusual for a whole-house customer to spend all day working with us on choosing the lighting for their new home," Susan said. 

Susan believes that lighting is a crucial part of planning a new home or remodeling project and provides personal service and extensive knowledge of lighting a space.  She believes that no matter how nice a room is or how expensive the furniture is, it’s not complete without proper lighting.  “It brings a space to life,” she said. As important as lighting is as a design element, Susan said lighting also affects mood, productivity, and even children’s learning environments. Susan’s one-on-one design service, which can include lighting a whole house inside and out, including landscape lighting, is comprehensive and fun, taking all areas of the home into account. 

In 2020, Susan expanded the store to include a Visual Comfort gallery. They are the only gallery south of Atlanta that showcases this signature, designer lighting. Whether it’s reviewing lighting plans to select fixtures for an entire home, business or only one new fixture, Susan says, “We can fit any budget.” The Lighting Studio sells a wide selection of lighting fixtures and with the farmhouse style beginning to wane, Susan is seeing styles return to classic, timeless looks that won’t be out of style within a year. The Lighting Studio also sells fine gifts as well as artwork, accent furniture, rugs, and other home décor items.  Although Susan is not an interior designer, she enjoys helping customers with spatial planning and selecting pieces that complement their home’s décor.

It isn't every day that something like good handwriting can lead to a career.  “I had really good handwriting,” Susan recalled. Someone suggested that trait would make her a good draftsman, so in the 80s she took a job as an electrical drafter with an engineering firm that did major commercial projects all over the world. “It really appealed to me taking a blank piece of paper and turning it into a drawing they would build a new building by,” she said.  Susan learned about architectural lighting while working with a lighting specialist at the firm.

Susan left the firm after her first husband passed away and worked in lighting consulting and sales for a time.  During her career, she garnered awards for lighting major projects including the UPS headquarters in Alpharetta and the Adidas hospitality facility for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Susan remarried in 2004, and she and her husband Mike later bought an electrical supply store in Thomaston. Susan took half of the storefront and turned it into a small lighting showroom called The Lighting Studio in 2012.  In 2017, the couple decided to move the business to Senoia. They reopened The Lighting Studio on Barnes Street in the small town, which has experienced incredible growth. “I really do love being in downtown Senoia and being part of this community,” Susan said. “The business exploded after I got to Senoia.” In Senoia, the couple found not only the perfect home for The Lighting Studio, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this October, but they also found one for themselves. “I don’t want to leave. We’re home.”  

For more information about The Lighting Studio or to schedule a lighting consultation, call 770-727-9010 or visit www.the-lighting-studio.com.

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