Annie Josey

Annie Josey

Annie was the E-Commerce Marketing Specialist at Pegasus Lighting from June 2012 to October 2013. She has a background in English literature, and loves using language to help illuminate the world. So covering lighting news and tips naturally fit her interests. In her personal time she enjoys painting, biking, and reading.

Jun 172013
 

stock photo outdoor space vertical The 5 Rules of Outdoor Universal Lighting Design
Every space you inhabit should be safe and welcoming.

If you’re a designer, or if you live with a person who has special needs due to age, you’re probably familiar with universal design. It’s all about making a living space accessible to everyone. Universal lighting design specifically uses light to make these improvements and accommodations possible.

Most often, you hear about universal lighting design for task areas in kitchens and bathrooms, but it’s also a very important concept for the exteriors of homes and buildings.

When night falls, universally designed exterior lighting ensures a smooth transition between inside and out. It keeps porches, patios, steps, and walkways always inviting.

Use these rules to create an outdoor environment that is safer for everyone.

1. Create a visual destination.

Aging eyes need more light to distinguish detail. So, when an elderly person navigates in the dark, he needs the light to clearly indicate where he should go. All the lights should converge on, or point to a single destination, usually the front door or entrance. This spot is the brightest spot on the property.

bigstock Contemporary grand entrance 6548309 The 5 Rules of Outdoor Universal Lighting Design

2. Clearly define outdoor “zones.” Continue reading »

Jun 142013
 

Step lighting can take any staircase from dangerous and dull to safe and stunning. Whether you’re lighting stairs in the foyer or the basement, up to the porch or down to the patio, step lights add that perfect finishing touch.

If you’re thinking of adding stair lighting to any set of steps in your home, you may wonder what kind will look the best. For this blog post, I’ve pulled together 8 of my favorite step lighting photos that illustrate just how many ways you can use these handy light fixtures.

In the end, I’m sure you’ll agree that these are stairs worth staring at:

1. Shrouded Brick Step Lights

LED Step Lights At Home 8 Ways To Use Step Lights (Photo Inspiration)

These warm LED lights create the perfect atmosphere for breezy summer evenings on the porch.

2. LED Step Lights With Lenses

LED Step Lights Indoors 8 Ways To Use Step Lights (Photo Inspiration)

These sleek staircase lights add a beautiful layer of light to this basement, while also acting as safety lighting. Continue reading »

Jun 122013
 

CFLs in Bulk 300x206 CFLs and LEDs Steadily Gain Popularity
New research shows that the number of U.S. households using energy-saving LEDs or CFLs is increasing. Around 87% of households use at least one of these energy efficient light bulbs, and 77% use three or more. That’s up from 86% and 75% respectively in 2011.

Why do the numbers keep rising?

The answer is multi-faceted.

In a large-scale energy audit survey of 32,000 homes about energy use and energy efficiency, researchers found consumers were primarily motivated to use CFLs and LEDs to save money on their energy bills. Those who were slightly more environmentally conscious were more likely to use multiple CFLs and LEDs.

This increase in popularity also comes from utilities offering incentives for homeowners to switch to energy-efficient lights, especially CFLs, and the general-service incandescent phaseout that began in early 2012, removing many standard household lamps from the market. Continue reading »

Jun 102013
 

camping 236x300 How To Choose Good Camping Lights
When planning your next summer camping trip, you should always have a quality headlamp, flashlight, and lantern on your packing list. The right battery lights will keep you safe and comfortable throughout your journey through the wilderness.

Here are some essential qualities you should look for in a good camping light:

1. Battery Operated. As nostalgic as those old kerosene lamps may be, battery operated lights are much more practical. You can turn them on and off whenever you need to, and they require much less paraphernalia. During bad weather, they’re a lot safer to have in your tent. Make sure to find one with a long battery life, or one with a recharge crank so you’ll have light until you choose to return to civilization.

2. Small. When you’re lugging your belongings up a mountain, an extra pound or two makes the biggest difference. You want something light, compact, and easy to carry.

3. Bright. Your light may need to be small, but its impact should be big. When rummaging through your knapsack, cooking your food, or scoping out a campsite, your lanterns, flashlights, and headlamps need to emit a massive number of lumens. This will keep you organized and out of danger. You may also find it helpful to invest in a light with several different brightness settings. That way you can set up your camp and read yourself to sleep with just one light. Continue reading »

Jun 072013
 
Basement Drop Ceilings 300x225 How To Install Recessed Lights In A Drop Ceiling

Image via BasmentDropCeilings.com

A drop ceiling is a very common feature in offices, basements, theaters, and schools. It’s made from a metal grid and “tiles” or “panels” hung below the structural ceiling. Also known as a secondary ceiling, suspended ceiling, T-bar ceiling, or false ceiling, it most often conceals air ducts or pipes for a clean look in a previously unfinished area. Often, these ceilings feature recessed can lights – a sleek option to illuminate a space without diminishing any headroom.

Whether you’re building a brand new drop ceiling complete with recessed cans, or adding them to an existing ceiling, you’ll need to accommodate some special electrical and structural needs with your installation.

Follow these steps to add recessed lights to your drop ceiling:

1. Find the right lights.

Heat is your biggest concern when choosing recessed lights for your ceiling. If a light generates too much heat, especially around plastic surfaced or fiberglass panels, it can create a fire hazard. LED recessed light fixtures run cooler than other light sources, so they’re generally your best option. You should also choose lights with adjustable mounting arms, or heavy duty clips that can attach to support wires or bars above the ceiling.

2. Layout your lights.

Use graph paper to make a scale drawing of your room, so you can plan where each light should go. You should space them out according to your ceiling height, any focal points that you want to add, and how bright you want your room’s ambient light to be. For more detailed advice on how to layout your recessed lights, check out this blog post: How To Layout Recessed Lighting in 4 Easy Steps.

3. Establish supports.

Drop ceilings are too delicate to support the weight of recessed lights on their own. Also, as your structure settles and shifts, the drop ceiling will move. Install extra wire supports over the tile to help hold the lights – one wire for each of the four corners of the tile. Using support bars or blocks with an additional frame that rests on the ceiling grid will work too. Make sure you can mount the light so it’s flush with the face of the tile. For more info on using wire supports, check out this article from eHow. For more on support bars and frames, read this article from Armstrong World Industries. Continue reading »

Jun 052013
 

Today’s infographic breaks down the essential facts about energy efficiency. It explains why energy efficiency is so important, and goes into detail about how wasting energy can harm the environment. Then, after convincing you that conserving power is a good idea, it offers a comprehensive guide to help you start saving more energy at home, assessing the efficacy of your appliances, insulation, and of course, your lighting.

I especially like this infographic for the Incandescent/CFL/LED comparison chart at the very bottom. Good stuff!

Save The World By Saving Energy Infographic infographicsmania A Guide To Energy Efficiency [Infographic]

Continue reading »

Jun 032013
 

Outdoor Kitchen HGTV 300x225 Using Under Cabinet Lights In Your Outdoor Kitchen

Image via HGTV.com


Whether you’re building an outdoor kitchen for the first time, or updating yours for summer, under cabinet lights can be a valuable addition. Today’s blog post will explain what under cabinet lights can add to your outdoor kitchen, and how to find the right kind for you…

What Under Cabinet Lights Will Add To Your Space:

You need a light to rely on.

Most outdoor kitchens don’t have a constant source of ambient light. Unless your space is complete with a ceiling and some sort of overhead fixture, you can’t just rely on the sunlight. If you like the feeling of cooking in the open air, you’ll need some sort of task lighting, especially when preparing food after dark.

Despite all the variable conditions in the outdoor kitchen, adding lights to specifically illuminate your countertops will ensure you’ll always have adequate task lighting. The lights will come in handy when you grill meat or veggies, allowing you to check that they’re fully cooked before serving. Under cabinet lights help you see when mixing and pouring drinks, and fixing snacks as well. Having extra task lights will also help you see to thoroughly clean your outdoor kitchen, so leftover crumbs won’t attract unwanted pests.

Not to mention good task lighting adds a lovely ambiance to an outdoor space after dark. Continue reading »

May 312013
 

Dimmable Under Cabinet Lighting 224x300 How To Install Plug In Under Cabinet Lights In 7 Easy Steps
DIY-ers lend me your ears!

When choosing under cabinet lights, plug-in fixtures are a great option. They offer high quality light, but don’t require such an involved installation like hardwired lights.

If you’re looking to update your kitchen with some plug-in under cabinet lights, just follow these easy instructions to have them up and running in no time. These 7 easy steps are applicable to linear and puck under cabinet lights of any light source. (To learn more about which lights will work best in your kitchen, check out this article).

Tools you’ll need:

  • Drill with keyhole saw
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wirestrippers
  • Electrical tape and wirenuts, or direct connectors
  • Lamp cord
  • Pressure connectors

Continue reading »

May 292013
 

Reading Lights Pegasus Lighting Roundup: Lighting In May
It’s time for our monthly update on the most exciting happenings in the lighting world!

In Lighting News…

According to e! Science News, the new production of dual-color lasers could lead to cheaper, more efficient LEDs. It’s normally very costly and difficult to physically put together several lasers of different colors in one LED, but researchers at Arizona State University are about to change that. Read more.

On May 15, the US Department of Energy issued new protocols for calculating savings from energy efficient home, commercial, and industrial upgrades. The new protocols are voluntary, but formulated to encourage a common structure to determine energy savings based on average efficiency measures. Read more.

Lighting magazine recently published an article by lighting designer James Bedell about lighting CRI (Color Rendering Index). CRI is defined as the measure of how accurately a light portrays color, but Bedell argues that CRI actually has very little to do with how our eyes see colors. Instead, the CQS (Color Quality Scale) proves to be a more accurate measure. Read more.

A new study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) found a link between energy efficient homes and morgage risks. It seems that owners of ENERGY STAR-certified houses are less likely to default on their home loans. Read more. Continue reading »

May 242013
 

Microfluorescent Under Cabinets and Over Sink 300x220 How To Hardwire Under Cabinet Lights
The most convenient way to operate under cabinet lights in the kitchen is to hardwire them to a wall switch. You can turn the lights on and off, and even dim them without having messy wires and plugs in your cooking space. However, when it comes to installation, hard-wiring your lights is probably the most involved process. If you’re searching for advice on how to hardwire under cabinet lights, read on for step-by-step instructions.

After you choose your lights, you’ll first need to prepare for installation:

1. Consult with an expert before you start. A professional electrical contractor in your geographical area will be able to advise you regarding any electrical details that you might have questions about, and  make certain that you’re satisfying all of the appropriate electrical codes.

2. Plan for the wiring. Where do you want your light switch to be? Close to the cabinets? Alongside the rest of your kitchen lighting controls? Determining this will help you know how much wiring you need. The electrical wiring runs within the wall and loops from one fixture to the next.

3. Position your under cabinet lights. For even lighting, we suggest you use linear lights along the length of your cabinets, or puck lights every 6-10 inches. For the best task lighting along your counters, we also recommend you place the lights close to the front of the cabinet. Finally, make sure your corner cabinet lighting is balanced to cover the area evenly, not causing shadows.

4. Gather the tools and mounting hardware. Most under cabinet fixtures come with a pack of appropriate hardware to use for installation. This includes screws that won’t penetrate the bottom shelves of your cabinets. Cable bushing and wire connectors of the right size are necessary for proper installation. You’ll also need the following tools: Continue reading »

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