How To Light A Low Ceiling

Stock-Photo-Cove-LightingHave you ever watched someone go spelunking? The spelunkers almost always come to a place in the cave where they have to squeeze their bodies between two huge slabs of rock and you think, my god, they’ll be trapped! How in the world are they going to get all the way through that tiny opening, and with all that gear to boot? You imagine the hard, weighty rock pressing in all around as you watch their tight, treacherous journey onward. Will they escape, or be stuck forever?

Bottom line. If you have a room that makes you feel this same vague, claustrophobish discomfort, it’s not okay. So your space doesn’t have ceilings like the Sistine Chapel. You’d be surprised at how airy and dramatic the right lighting can make your room feel – even if it has an extra-low ceiling.

Here are some tips to help you light that low ceiling:

1. Embrace width.


As a rule, the bottom of any hanging light should be at least 6’8″ off the ground – unless it’s over a table or island. When you have an 8′ ceiling, this doesn’t give you a whole lot of room to play. If you long for the grand impact of a decorative ceiling light, try a larger low-profile fixture that stays close to the ceiling, but holds some real estate up there. It’s dramatic without looking cluttered, and it will help you avoid the drama of a gash to the head.

2. Use more than one light.

Fluorescent Kitchen

A room with a single light fixture is depressing. Kick the shadows by adding multiple light sources. A few stylish flush-mount ceiling lights. Some table lamps. An accent light here or there. When you have multiple lights shining in different directions, the space will feel lighter and more open. Make sure to place ceiling lights at least 3′ from the wall, any closer and harsh shadows will make your ceiling seem lower.  (more…)

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Pegasus Lighting Roundup: Lighting in August

Get ready for a fast, wild, innovative, informative, and (yes) long lighting roundup this month, because the lighting industry has been BUSY. You’ll hardly believe your eyes at some of these new lighting inventions, displays, and successes – so allow us to enlighten you…

In Lighting News…

“Alfredo Moser: Bottle light inventor proud to be poor”

How do you light a house using recycled materials and zero electricity? Alfredo Moser, a mechanic in southern Brazil invented a new way to light his house during the day, using only plastic bottles filled with water and a few drops of bleach. By early next year, these bottles are expected to be in over 1 million homes. Read more.

Image via
Image via

“Superdome gets new lighting system”

Remember those 34 terrible minutes at this past Super Bowl, when half of the Superdome lost power? Well, the Superdome managers are determined never to drop the ball (ha) like that again, so they’re upgrading their aging electrical equipment with a new, state-of-the-art system. Get ready for stunning computer-programmed lighting scenes, and more. Read more.

“Researchers identify cause of LED efficiency droop”

When LED light bulbs are subjected to larger electrical currents, they can loose up to 20% of their efficiency. Nobody wants that. This “efficiency droop” first identified in 1999, has hindered the LED’s development and popularity. BUT, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have finally identified the mechanism behind this nuisance – a phenomena called “electron leakage.” Read more.

bigstock LED

“Obama White House finally getting solar PV panels”

The White House is going solar! After spending about 40 months getting all the right permits for this energy-efficient retrofit, American-made panels are finally coming to the roof of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Read more. (more…)

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Download Your Free Under Cabinet Lighting Guide Today!

Ebook Cover under cabinet lightingWhat could make your experience with under cabinet lights better?

That’s the question the experts at Pegasus Lighting have been asking for years. We’ve written numerous blog posts on the subject, created video guides, and hand-picked every under cabinet fixture on our website – always with quality, affordability, and ease of operation in mind. And yet, we wanted to do more.

That’s when we decided to write an eBook. A complete resource to guide you through every step of an under cabinet lighting project…

Today, the lighting experts at Pegasus have achieved that goal. It’s called “The Complete Guide To Under Cabinet Lighting,” and you can download it for free, in the format of your choice, right here on our website.

The book includes sections on how to pick out, install, and operate under cabinet lighting. I, along with Chris Johnson, answer some of your most pressing questions, including –

  • Why do I need under cabinet lights?
  • What kind of lights will work best for my needs, my space, and my tastes?
  • How many lights do I need?
  • How do I install my lights?
  • What should I expect from my lights over time?
  • And more! (more…)

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Good Lighting & Bright Lighting Are Not The Same Thing.

SconceWhen you think of a room with good lighting, what picture comes to mind? Does your room have skylights or giant windows? How about recessed cans or a constellation of pendants? What is the color temperature?

Bright, alone, doesn’t cut it.

There are a lot of different ways to light a room so it’s stylish and functional, comfortable and versatile. It just takes planning. Use these guidelines to get started:

  • Good lighting can change in a second. A well-lit room isn’t necessarily visible from space. You need different light levels for different tasks. Adjustable “layers” of different lights and dimmer switches will let you enjoy the room in more ways.
  • Good lighting embraces shadow. Large shadows along the walls and ceiling can turn a room into a dungeon. However, the right combination of light and shadow can help sculpt a room, giving it more character and atmosphere. Don’t be afraid of shadows that accentuate interesting textures or architecture in your space.
  • Good lighting isn’t distracting. Some lights shine right in your eyes. Some lights have ugly color temperatures. Some lights hum. Some lights heat up your whole room. When installing yours, make sure they’re not this obnoxious. (more…)

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What is IP Rating?

Tape Light Step LightsWhen you buy a new light fixture, you don’t want it to be a piece of junk. You want it to last for a long time, and hold up under the elements. You want to get your money’s worth.

But how can you figure this out before getting out your wallet? Shaking the box or tapping on the cover just won’t do.

You need to hear about IP rating.

IP, or Ingress Protection ratings are developed by the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC). A fixture’s rating indicates how well its enclosure protects its electrical equipment from the environment. 

The IP rating usually includes two different numbers:

  • The first rates protection from solid objects and materials (like dust).
  • The second rates protection from liquids (like water).

These tables show what each rating indicates:

First IP Number – Protection Against Solid Objects

0 No special protection
1 Protected against solid objects up to 50 mm, e.g., accidental touch by person’s hands.
2 Protected against solid objects up to 12 mm, e.g., person’s fingers.
3 Protected against solid objects over 2.5 mm (tools and wires).
4 Protected against solid objects over 1 mm (tools, wires, and small wires).
5 Protected against dust limited ingress (no harmful deposit).
6 Totally protected against dust.


Second IP Number – Protection Against Liquids

0 No protection.
1 Protected against vertically falling drops of water, e.g., condensation.
2 Protected against direct sprays of water up to 15° from the vertical.
3 Protected against direct sprays of water up to 60° from the vertical.
4 Protected against water sprayed from all directions – limited ingress permitted.
5 Protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions – limited ingress.
6 Protected against temporary flooding of water, e.g., for use on ship decks – limited ingress permitted.
7 Protected against the effect of immersion between 15 cm and 100 cm.
8 Protected against long periods of immersion under pressure.


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8 Awesome Lighting Sites To Follow

If you’ve read our blog for any length of time, you know we’re pretty enthusiastic about light. At Pegasus Lighting, we love writing about lighting design, technology, news, advice, art, and more. BUT we also love to read about it. For today’s post, I decided it was high time to send a shout-out to some of our favorite lighting blogs, magazines, and websites. Each one is run by passionate individuals and offers a unique perspective on the lighting industry. And you better believe they keep us on our toes.

So without further ado…

Lighting Science

Lighting Science

To indulge your inner lighting geek, check out Lighting Science’s company blog. You’ll learn things like how lighting affects sea turtle behavior, what it can do to our sleeping patterns, and more. The best part – Lighting Science is actively solving these problems with new, creative lighting technology!

Here’s a bright post: New Coastal Light Video

Jim On Light

Jim On Light

No one can give lighting topics pizzazz and personality like Jim Hutchison from Jim On Light. He covers everything from light art to lighting technology and much in between, all with memorable enthusiasm.

Here’s a bright post: Not Your Grandma’s CFL – The Brain Compact Fluorescent Lamp (more…)

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Seeing the Light: How Much Sun Will Your New House Get?

As much as some good task lighting and a ceiling full of recessed cans will make a room come alive, there’s nothing like airy, natural light. You can change your home’s color, its style, and even its structure, but when it comes to the amount of sun you get, you can rarely change much. How much natural light you home receives depends on so many different factors both in and outside of your house – the direction your home faces, the topography and structures around, the number of windows you have – these can be costly or just impossible to fix.

So, when you’re on the market for a new house, be sure to consider the lighting potential of any dwelling – lest you end up with a dungeon, or an oven.

Here are some questions to keep in mind when scoping out a new property:

1. Which way does the house face?

Normally, south-facing homes get sun at the front of the house, and for most of the day. They tend to be brighter and warmer. A house that faces north gets light at the back and is cooler and darker. This may be especially important to note depending on your climate. When it’s cool most of the year, you may want a house that’s naturally a little warmer, if it’s warm for most of the year, you may prefer a house that doesn’t make you cook.

Also be sure to take a look around your property and note what could potentially affect your light. Does your house face an open field, or another row of houses? Are you at the base of a hill that will cast a shadow for most of the day, or at the top, almost always exposed to sunlight? These factors will influence the brightness in your home, and also the temperature.

Modern Home Lighting

2. How and when will you use the rooms? (more…)

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How Many Lights Can I Connect To My Transformer?

Transformer 2When operating low voltage lights, you need a transformer to convert your standard line voltage (120V or 277V) into low voltage (12V or 24V). This allows your lights to function properly. If you connect low voltage lights directly to line power, the higher voltage would cause them to burn out immediately. The transformer makes them compatible, sort of like a USB adapter for your iPhone.

To figure out how many lights you can power with a single transformer, look to the minimum and maximum wattage ratings. The transformer’s minimum wattage rating tells you the smallest number of watts it needs to power in order to work. The maximum wattage rating, as you probably guessed, indicates the largest total number of watts a transformer can handle.

There are two kinds of transformers you can use – electronic and magnetic. Electronic transformers are cooler, quieter, and more compact than magnetic transformers. But, electronic transformers can’t power more than 300 watts, while magnetic ones can power as much as 1,200 watts.

When using an electronic transformer, the total wattage of the light fixtures connected to the transformer should be less than or equal to the maximum wattage rating. For most magnetic transformers, the total wattage of the lights you connect shouldn’t be more than 80% of the maximum wattage rating. This is because the cheaper design of many magnetic transformers can cause additional power loss.  (more…)

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Who Left The Lights On? (An Infographic)

How many times have you left a room and forgotten to turn out the lights? How many times have your kids done it? Your partner? Your roommate?

According to a new survey from Lutron Electronics, about 90% of Americans admit that someone in their household has left the lights on by accident. Interestingly enough, this happens most often in the kitchen.

Check out this infographic to learn a little more about this bad habit:


Thanks to Lutron for creating this infographic! (more…)

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How To Save A Boring Room (With Light!)

So, your living space isn’t exactly Versailles. Even if the ceilings are low, windows are few and far between, and architecture leaves much to be desired, you can still transform your home into a bright, artful, and interesting space.

Just look to the light.

No matter how boring or boxy a room might be, lighting can always give it color, texture, and form. Here are some ways you can use lighting to turn a drab space into something really special:

1. Wash a wall with light.

Wall washing is a lighting technique that can add beauty and visual interest almost anywhere – it uses recessed cans with wall wash trims to evenly illuminate walls. This technique will call attention to texture on your walls, and will perfectly highlight wall hangings. Wall washing is especially helpful for smaller rooms – by emphasizing the vertical surfaces, your space will appear to expand. Check out this article to learn the details.

Wall Washing Lights

2. Get creative with accent lighting.

If your room is literally just a box, accent lighting will save you from the design doldrums. First, make sure you have light coming from different angles throughout your room – downlights, floor lamps, cabinet lights, desk lamps – this will give a boring, flat room more depth and dimension. Next, use accent lights to play up interesting objects in your room. For instance, a puck light used to highlight a small sculpture on your shelf can really play up the angles. Finally, consider colored accent lights for a surprising, unconventional impact.

Blue Indirect Lighting in a Kitchen 646


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