How a Custom Design Tool Empowered a Lighting Solutions Company and Its Partners

Challenges Faced by the Client

Our client, a technological leader in the Lighting Solutions space, had a reputation for being difficult to work with due to their innovative technology being different from the rest of the market. No one knew how to design with our client's lighting technology, which featured new wireless computers. The limitations of these devices and their compatibility with other computers were unclear. Consequently, the engineers at our client's company had to do a lot of work to maintain partnerships with contractors, creating a bottleneck for growth. The team was swamped and realized that empowering their partners would allow them to focus on more complex challenges.

Innovative Solution Developed

To help our client grow, we created an innovative tool that supported their ecosystem. This tool not only enabled their engineers to create accurate estimates and maintain consistent branding with less effort, but it also allowed non-engineer partners to generate accurate estimates independently.

What We Built

We developed an advanced web-based "CAD" design tool that allowed agents to create solutions and bids using the client's control equipment out of the box. The tool featured built-in logic to assist users in obtaining accurate estimations while effortlessly acquainting them with the capabilities of the sensors and control equipment. The tool simplified device pairing with minimal technical knowledge and helped users track energy regulations based on the project location, enabling agents to design customized solutions.

Working with the Client

We began with a week-long workshop to understand the client's and their partners' needs, shaping solution concepts. A design and research stage followed, where we created prototypes and held user interviews to validate assumptions and gain insights. This stage lasted two to three months.

Focusing on the design engine, we launched version 0.1 and tested it with internals to gather valuable feedback. Over the next four months and versions 0.2-0.7, we added the necessary features to support core agent use cases. The release of version 1.03 was a celebrated success, proving that our tool met agents' needs.

Some Interesting Technical Details for Developers

We chose a web-based solution for ease of access and portability. Angular was selected for the front-end due to its compatibility with the client's other solutions and its modularity and injectable singleton instances called services.

  • Fabric.js was utilized for its versatility in manipulating movable shapes and speeding up development time.
  • Node.js with Express was used for the back-end, handling SSO authentication with the client's authentication system and application saving logic.
  • A separate service was implemented to aggregate details and images from all floors, creating a comprehensive PDF export of the project for the client to sign off on.


The tool has been universally praised as user-friendly by engineers and partners. It has been actively used to create bids worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, with the team providing regular feedback on design improvements. The tool has empowered agents to become more independent, enhancing the client's relationship with agents and changing their reputation for having difficult-to-design equipment.