June 22, 2020

Virtual Lumen West Awards

The winners of the 2020 Lumen West Awards were announced this weekend, and although we didn’t get to dress up and have a fancy dinner this year, Oculus was still excited and proud to take home two more awards! Our IES Lumen West Award of Merit winners this year are the Aviron offices and Athletic Propulsion Labs retail store.


May 29, 2020

500 Broadway Under Construction

500 Broadway is under construction! This large mixed-used development in Downtown Santa Monica is also being called “The Park”, as it will provide communal courtyards, and green outdoor spaces on the top levels of 4 different towers connected via pedestrian bridges. The project also intends to help reduce neighborhood vehicular traffic by providing employees and residents with transportation allowances that would cover the costs of transit passes and bike parking.


May 15, 2020

Oculus Projects Star on Top Chef All Stars!

Oculus Light Studio’s projects have made their TV debut on this season of Top Chef All-Stars, which has already filmed at two of our project locations! Will there be a third?! Stay tuned to find out!

Our first project premiered on Episode 4 on April 9th, 2020, where the chefs had to serve 40 guests at Birdie G’s, which opened last summer in Santa Monica, CA. The lighting design creates a comfortable rustic design with linear glow lights behind the banquettes that accentuate a subtle, ambient environment.

Episode 8’s Restaurant Wars, the biggest competition of the season, aired on May 7th, 2020, and took place at ROW Downtown LA, which Oculus has been continuously working on with Atlas Capital Group on various phases since the start of the historic site’s renovations. In this episode we got a peek at the small-profile linear lights integrated into the feature canopy above the pedestrian entry to valet parking.

You can watch the full episodes here!

Screenshots taken from episodes listed above, broadcast on Bravo TV.

April 23, 2020

Birthdays from Home

We hope you have all been staying safe and healthy out there during this unusual and unprecedented time. As you may know, we are currently on week 6 of working from home and it has been an interesting ride to say the least.

Earlier this month, we celebrated the birthdays of our Senior Associates, Jane You and Carol Prendergast. Usually, we like to plan a surprise craft activity, get a cake, sign a card, and sing as loud as we can to embarrass them, but this year was different. We had to figure out a fun and creative way to put together a birthday card as well as continue to help make their day feel special for them. We also sent some yummy birthday cupcakes to brighten their day!

Here are the digital birthday cards that the team put together (click photos to enlarge):

From all of us here at Oculus, we wish you both the happiest of birthdays and look forward to gathering together in person soon!

April 10, 2020

Calibre Award Nominations 2020

Nominations for the 2020 IIDA Calibre Awards were announced this week, and Oculus is proud to be recognized in three separate categories!


March 23, 2020

Tools of the (Remote Working) Trade

By Archit Jain

So here we are in week 2 of the work from home, WFH, situation.

We have been following the statistical charts produced by Johns Hopkins University and see that as of today the US has the 3rd highest number of confirmed cases and many people who need testing are not able to get them yet. The outlook has not become positive yet with the rate of cases going up faster than in Italy, though we all try to make the best of a tough state of affairs.


March 19, 2020

100 Thieves’ LA Headquarters

Oculus recently designed the lighting for the Culver City based 100 Thieves Cash App Compound, the largest e-sports team facility in the U.S. The 15,000sf space features multiple private training rooms, meeting rooms, gaming rooms, an Apparel Design & Retail space, and a business headquarters area.


February 24, 2020

Oculus is Hiring!

We are currently looking for a full-time mid-level lighting with 3-5 years experience, designer to join our diverse team currently working on a wide range of architectural lighting design projects located both locally and around the globe.


February 10, 2020

St. Louis Aquarium Opens!

The St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station opened its doors to the public over Christmas, and they saw over 61,000 visitors in just the first week!

In the months leading up to the Christmas Grand Opening, Oculus worked with PGAV and the Contractors (literally) around the clock—the Grand Lobby inside the aquarium features a clock tower tank that recalls the Victorian origins of the 126-year old site. Located in a train shed built in 1894, the new aquarium is now home to otters, shark, and myriad species of both freshwater and saltwater creatures.


January 24, 2020

Hell’s Kitchen: Reality Restaurant

If you’re a fan of the show Hell’s Kitchen, you’re in luck! Chef/host Ramsay has just opened another Hell’s Kitchen restaurant, this time in Lake Tahoe, NV at Harvey’s Hotel and Casino. Oculus was part of the design team, collaborating with architect firm DezMotif to create an immersive atmosphere reflecting the dynamic energy of the show (minus the actual yelling).

We are happy to see it come to life exactly as planned: surface-mounted monopoints and recessed wall washers enhance the restaurant’s two-tone color theme, while warm white adjustable projectors spotlight the Winner Display wall above the banquette seating. Custom pitchfork pendants work together with dueling red and blue thematic lighting to add layers of drama, which is certainly on-brand for this destination restaurant.


January 14, 2020

Hello Seattle!

Oculus is excited to announce the opening of a studio in Seattle!  We have been fortunate to work with long-term clients in the Seattle area for numerous years and even though we were a little further away, the collaborations have continued with multiple firms and repeat clients.

With Oculus Seattle, we will be closer to our many clients we enjoy working with, and it will be an opportunity to cultivate new relationships in the dynamic design community of the area.  We will also be able to better service our projects already in design and construction in the region.  Joel Weston, Associate, who has been in our LA office for over 4 years, is now permanently based in Seattle, where he is leading our work in the Pacific North West.


December 20, 2019

Recently Completed Projects

Check out Oculus Light Studio’s most recently completed projects now added to our website! These new projects include a family-friendly community park, offices for your favorite streaming service, a restaurant on the campus of a legendary movie studio, and an iconic flagship store in the Big Apple.



December 11, 2019

Creative Offices Takeover Westside Mall

Officially announced in the Los Angeles Times last month, developer GPI Cos. has acquired ownership of the former Westside Pavillion mall and is turning it into creative office spaces. GPI jumped at the opportunity to convert the aging mall since creative office space on the Westside is in high demand, especially for large tech companies looking to take root or expand near Silicon Beach. This converted indoor mall will keep its high ceilings, large floor plans and ample parking, making it very desirable for future tenants. Adding to the value for future tenants is the promise of being neighbors with Google, who has already committed to occupying a large portion of the new office space. continued→

November 18, 2019

It’s Time to R.U.N

If you’re a fan of action, then this new dark and edgy Cirque de Soleil live-action thriller R.U.N is the show for you! It recently opened at the Luxor in Las Vegas, and Oculus designed the lighting for the theater entrance and pre-show lobby that immerses guests into a gritty cyberpunk urban alleyway.

Walking through the “alley” to the theater, guests encounter an interactive phone booth where they can eavesdrop on the conversation, or visit a tattoo parlor and “get inked” with real-time projections. The graffitied walls appear to be shift in hue and tone, an effect caused by the changing RGBW lighting above. When guests reach the end, they discover a large digital clock ticking down to showtime.


November 5, 2019

Celebrating Chao-Wei Su’s 5 Years at Oculus

Another 5 year anniversary here at Oculus and this time we’re celebrating Chao-Wei! Time flies when we’re having fun!

Chao-Wei started off as an entry-level designer in 2014, only a couple of years after Oculus’ inception. During his time here he has grown to be a reliable and knowledgeable lighting designer with a fair share of lighting design awards. His portfolio consists of upscale restaurants and office projects with repeated work with his many clients. One of his recent projects, Birdie G’s, has been called ‘Hottest Restaurant of the Year’ by the LA Times.


October 28, 2019

Senior Associate Jane You

Oculus Light Studio is proud to announce that Jane You has been promoted to the position of Senior Associate.  Over her 6 years with Oculus, Jane has designed a wide variety of projects located nationally and internationally. These have included several large office spaces including those for Netflix and Amazon, buildings for Google and Facebook, retail and mixed-use projects in China and the Middle East, and aquarium projects across the U.S.


October 18, 2019

BLDWN at Melrose Place

BLDWN, formally known as Baldwin, recently opened the doors to their flagship store on Melrose Place, the famous avenue of boutique fashion houses and high-end designer goods. BLDWN started in Kansas City as “Baldwin”, a denim label founded by husband-and-wife team Matt and Emily Baldwin, who have since relocated and reintroduced their line as a refined take on modern minimalist American fashion. Oculus’ lighting design uses integrated niches and troughs to conceal most of the primary light sources, creating a clean and sleek approach that reflects BLDWN’s sartorial aesthetic and design philosophy.


October 4, 2019

New Oculus Designers!

Oculus is excited to announce that our team has grown again this summer with the addition of two new members, Stephanie Chou and Andy Bailey!

They have really hit the ground running, and we are happy to have them join our team!


September 20, 2019

Oculus Catalina Outing!

Oculus had one last summer hoorah on the beautiful island of Catalina! Thanks to Kathie, Stacie, and the SCI Lighting Solutions team, we had a fantastic group outing– it was a beautiful sunny day, and the team was ready for action!

Half of the group went ziplining for an adrenaline-filled aerial view of the island, while the other half went on an exciting off-road jeep tour around the east end of the island where they caught a glimpse of the local bison population.


September 10, 2019

Oculus Travels: Summer 2019

With summer coming to an end, we’re reflecting back on our vacations, which have taken us all over the world, including to Europe, Hawaii, India, Chicago, Vancouver, and Portland. We hope you enjoy these snippets from our travels!


During the Labor Day weekend, Sarah went hiking in the mountains surrounding Portland. She walked along the creeks deep within the forest to find the hidden waterfalls, and it definitely was worth hours of hiking to discover them. Having endured a long hot summer in LA, she felt refreshed and re-hydrated in the mist from the falls. After finishing her long hike, Sarah visited a local beekeeper; nothing tastes better than newly harvested honey paired with fruits just picked from their orchard!