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Gregory Kay

With a career of over twenty years and counting, Gregory L. Kay is a force in the world of contemporary lighting. Equally talented as a designer, engineer and entrepreneur, he is due much of the credit for the popularity of sleek, low-voltage technologies in the homes and offices of today's America.

In 1983, he founded a company called Tech Lighting in a small Chicago showroom, and quickly set to work designing fixtures. He was particularly excited by the European low-voltage systems that were emerging at the time, with their small bulbs and clean lines. The American National Electric Code would not approve such systems, but Kay, trained as a master electrician, assembled a case that resulted in amendments to the Code. The result was the advent of low-voltage contemporary lighting in the U. S., and Kay positioned his company at the forefront. By 2001, Tech Lighting had become a giant in the industry, supplying 800 showrooms nationwide. Although Kay has since sold the company to pursue other projects, Tech Lighting remains one of today's most respected brands. Greg Kay has won all of the lighting industry's top awards for design. In 1999, his Symphony chandelier was named Best New Product Design at Lightfair International. A blend of nature and technology, its roots twist into a flowing stem, bursting into a glow of small halogen lamps with frosted glass stems, and the satin nickel or chrome arms are hand-bendable to create any desired shape.

In the architectural realm, he won the prestigious Edwin F. Guth Memorial Award for Interior Lighting Design in 1988; one of the first ever presented to a Chicago-based designer for his AT&T Information Services Showcase project. With so many successful fixture designs to his name, Kay retains a few as personal favorites: The Aero, a low-voltage MR-16 lamp fixed head that has a very clean line, a glass handle and is fully adjustable. Over 40 different shade and finish combinations are possible, to provide a custom look. The Lyra, a linear suspension piece available in lengths of 4 to 10 feet that combines indirect fluorescent uplighting with the precision of MR16 downlights. This fixture won the Citation Of Excellence at NeoCon World's Trade Fair 2002 and is one of the signature pieces of Lightology's Architectural Collection. The TwinRail Cloud, designed for Kay's teenage son for use over his pool table that has 2 levels of custom-bent chrome rail with metal pendants of airplanes, balloons, a sun, and a parachute. "When I first described it to him," Kay recalls, "he didn't like the idea of airplanes and balloons in his 'adult' room. But when it was installed, he thought it was cool." The Tigris Recessed Mirror, a low-voltage fixture creating a halo of light around a floating disc. Kay's innovative design combines bright light, flattering colors and a flush installation ideal for bathrooms, where space is limited. Now fully engaged at the helm of Lightology, Kay continues to design fixtures for his new company.