Tully Weiss: Best Lighting Designer in Dallas

One of a pair of Weiss' light sculptures for Kalita Beck's house. This is the view from the first floor. (Photos by Charles Davis Smith, AIA Photographer)

View from the second level.

I profiled several outstanding people for Modern Luxury Dallas' new interiors magazine, which just hit stands this week. One of them is lighting designer Tully Weiss, an under-the-radar cult figure among art collectors and modern architects in Dallas. He's done the lighting for Raymond Nasher's house, as well as Howard Rachofsky's house (pre-Tadao Ando), among other great modern houses in the area.

He did the lighting for his own house, naturally, which was designed by architect Dan Shipley.
Here's part of the living area in Tully and Kalynn Weiss' beautifully-lit house near White Rock lake. Shipley helped them turn a small ranch into a cozy modern enclave that feels wonderful to be in. In this shot, you can see one of only a handful of lighting fixtures that Tully used, but most of the glow in the space comes from the newest generation of LED lights and fluorescents hidden in wall coves, under benches, etc.

Tully's rule of thumb: If you have art, leave some pieces unlit, because if you do it right, light will bounce off walls and subtly illuminate the art. It's hard to do when you have a great collection and want to show it off. Even Ray Nasher, who at first agreed he didn't want all his multi-million dollar canvasses lit up individually, chickened out at the last minute and asked for more light than what Tully had originally proposed. It all worked out in the end (probably because Nasher ultimately listened). Although the dining area in Tully and Kalynn's house is without art in these photos, you can see how light bounces beautifully around the rooms without much effort. The light you see looks natural and clean, but most of it doesn't come from the sun, it comes from strategically placed new-generation fluorescents.

Tully and Kalynn spent some time talking to me about fluorescents, because I, like many people, still harbored negative ideas about the ugly light and buzzing noises they used to emit. Technology has changed so much that some of the most beautiful light now comes from fluorescents.

These benches are lit underneath with small strands of LED lights that are similar to Christmas tree lights. Illuminated, these simple benches look like sculpture, don't they? You can turn the lights way up or way down, depending on your mood. Go see LED and fluorescent lighting options at Lights Fantastic, which recently installed rooms upstairs to showcase all the new technology.

Contact Tully at 214-718-9596, or t.weiss@sbcglobal.net