Snowflakes in Stunning Detail

They say no two snowflakes are alike.

These incredible photos from Alexey Kljatov prove it and reveal the awesome beauty of each one:

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The crazy thing is (as if the photos aren’t mind-blowing enough!), Kljatov took these photos with an old Canon point-and-shoot camera off his balcony in Moscow. He jerry-rigged a lens to the camera and taped the entire contraption to a piece of wood so the shot would be steady.

The snowflakes landed on a glass plate and he illuminated them with an LED flashlight from the opposite side. That’s right – no fancy studio lights or umbrellas, just a simple LED flashlight. Read more about his technique or see his Flickr page for more photos.


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4 Fresh Closet Lighting Ideas

Who wouldn’t love to live with a little less clutter? There’s a reason Pinterest is overflowing with images of perfectly categorized & organized cupboards, closets, pantries, drawers, desks, garages, kitchens … the list goes on! See for yourself: organization is truly one of social media’s best friends.

Closets & pantries can fall to the wayside when it comes to organizing chaos, and the culprit is often poor lighting. Builders are notorious for installing lone overhead fluorescent fixtures that simply don’t create effective storage spaces. Here are four fresh closet lighting ideas for inspiration:

1. Track Lighting: Functional, Beautiful Spotlighting



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Where Did the Phrase “Go Green” Come From?

Go Green?

“Going green” has come to symbolize environmentalism in such a familiar way that most of us don’t think twice about who first coined the phrase.

I was curious about the origin of the term and wondered what made it take such strong hold in the English language. Speaking of curiosities, remember Heinz’s food flop several years ago when they decided to go green (literally) with ketchup? Glad that didn’t take hold.

Most people associate the beginning of the green movement and environmentalism with the publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson in the 1970’s.

Surprisingly, it dates back even further, to Henry David Thoreau’s writings in the 19th century. Thoreau spoke about living a “green” life in The Maine Woods in his call for conservation, forest preservation and respect for nature. You are probably familiar with several of Thoreau’s famous inspirational quotes (i.e., “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams,” or “What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”). His greener remarks include:

What is the use of a house if you don’t have a decent planet to put it on?

This one’s my favorite (Thoreau, you were a funny guy!):

Beware of all enterprises that require a new set of clothes.

Did you have any idea the U.S. “green movement” was rooted in early American philosophy?


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Your Top 5 Favorite Blog Posts From 2013

Our hope is for Light Reading to be a place you can come for inspiration and guidance as you plan your next lighting project.

The thing is, we are incredibly inspired by our readers!  Your creative installations, kind words, and contributions to product Q&A’s constantly remind us why we do what we do. In this season of thankfulness, we are so thankful for you.

As the year comes to a close, we wanted to share our top 5 most popular blog posts from 2013. Without further ado …

"11 Beautiful Photos of Under Cabinet Lighting"
“11 Beautiful Photos of Under Cabinet Lighting”

11 Beautiful Photos of Under Cabinet Lighting: This one definitely falls under the “inspiration” category, but it can also be helpful if you’re trying to determine what type of under cabinet lighting is your favorite for the kitchen. Puck? Linear? LED? Fluorescent? Be prepared to gaze at dreamy kitchens. Read More >>

"How To Have Great Lighting In a Rental"
“How To Have Great Lighting In a Rental”

Here’s How To Map Out Your Recessed Lights (An Infographic): Those who decide to add recessed lighting to a new or existing home are presented with a seemingly impossible task – laying them out on a blueprint. This infographic will clue you in on what every lighting designer knows about recessed lighting placement. You’ll be ready to install in no time. Read More >>

How To Install Recessed Lights In a Drop Ceiling: There are special considerations for this type of lighting installation; for example, you need to be cautious about heat output to avoid a fire hazard around plastic surfaced or fiberglass panels.  Read More >>

8 Ways To Use Step Lights - one of the top blog posts from 2013
“8 Ways To Use Step Lights”

How To Have Great Lighting in a Rental: Trust Annie Josey to share ingenious ideas for amping up your lighting without ticking off your landlord. She walks you through the kitchen, bedroom, living room, bathroom, & patio, rescuing renters everywhere from bad lighting on the way. Read More >>

8 Ways To Use Step Lights (Photo Inspiration): Introduce yourself to the myriad of possibilities when it comes to staircase lighting with these gorgeous photos and links to make them happen in your space. Read More >>

We are looking forward to continuing to share lighting information and photos with you in 2014! As always, let us know if you have any special requests for blog topics below.

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A Friendly Glowstick Competition

Is there a better way to kick off a lighting design awards show than to distribute glowsticks to the finalists for “experimentation”?

Well, we can’t think of one.

The photos below have been floating around on Twitter in anticipation of the 2014 Lighting Design Awards, a worldwide architectural lighting competition to be held in London on March 20. Leave it to the creative lighting professionals to craft a rainbow motif, an “alien landing” scene, and a dog collar – all from a box of glowsticks.

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Photos: Innovation – @havellssylvania. Glowstick Art #1 – @zanocontrols. Alien Landing – @zanocontrols. Finalist Glowsticks – @iGuzziniUK. Glowstick Art #3 – @zanocontrols. #LDA 2014- @lightingmag. Dogs with Glowsticks – @lucentlighting

Which would you vote for?

Follow @LDA_2014 and @iGuzziniUK on Twitter for more, and check out a shortlist of the finalist projects and products for the 2014 Lighting Design Awards here.

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NBC’s Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting

Tonight from 8-9 p.m. ET, NBC will air the live broadcast of the Rockefeller Center holiday tree lighting! We are excited to tune in. A few fun facts about this year’s tree:

  • This year’s Norway Spruce is 76 feet tall and 47 feet in diameter.
  • The tree was donated by a family in Shelton, Connecticut – it grew in their front yard for 20+ years.
  • 45,000+ LED lights were strung to decorate the tree.
  • A 9.5 foot wide LED-lit Swarovski crystal star tops the tree.

The show will feature performances from Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, Goo Goo Dolls, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Ariana Grande, and Jewel. Check out the size of that tree!

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