Tom Sowders

Tom Sowders

After majoring in creative writing at NC State, I worked in the home remodeling industry. Then, I attended graduate school for a really long time and gained experience as a writer and writing instructor. I live in the Raleigh-Durham area with my wife and baby boy, and you can find me around the Triangle anywhere there's good music and/or NC-style BBQ.

May 202014
 

Well, it happened again. The kitchen and bath pros who make up the KB Tribe have inspired me to write a blog post based on one of our very enjoyably twitter chats. Last week’s topic was laundry rooms, and it really got me thinking about laundry room lighting solutions. Laundry rooms are one of the most varied of residential rooms. Some are closets; some are expansive rooms. Some are in basements; some are upstairs. So what do all the different kinds of laundry rooms have in common? You guessed it: A need for quality lighting. In particular, laundry rooms utilize natural light.

Natural Light – That’s Right, I Said It

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May 162014
 

led step lights 5 5 Things You Should Know Before Choosing Step Lights

Step lights are both attractive and functional, as they illuminate stairs, paths, and hallways, in indoor and outdoor applications. Step lights are universally brilliant, but there are so many kinds of step lights, we figured we would help clarify your options in order to help you make an informed decision for your home, garden, or other space.

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May 132014
 

bigstock Big Sun Element of design 18659510 Lighting Levels Affect Consumer Decision Making

A couple months back, Medical News Today published an article on the effect of room lighting on decision making. Invoking crime dramas in which suspects are interrogated under bright lights, the report suggests that people tend to feel emotions more intensely in brighter light. This finding is significant not just for retailers but for anyone who consciously uses light in their spaces for a desired effect.

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May 082014
 

Recently, Digital Trends profiled a new product being developed by an associate professor of optics and experimental physics who works at the University of Insubria in Como, Italy. The professor’s name is Paolo di Trapani, and his work has a lot of people excited. For all the rapid progress that has been made with LEDs, no one else has made this important step towards recreating natural light.

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May 062014
 

To commemorate our fifteenth year, we are taking a look back at what life was like 15 years ago. Do you remember May 1999? It was a month of ups and downs. We gained Star Wars: The Phantom Menace but lost Shel Silverstein. Natural disasters of epic proportions and new leadership in world powers made the month one that would change the course of history. Legal precedents were established and technologies that we all utilize now were just being announced. Here are fifteen moments in history from fifteen years ago. Next stop: May 1999.

1. Bluetooth Is Announced

bluetooth Do You Remember May 1999?

via soundandalarm.com

The nineties were the era of the Ethernet cable, that funny phone line-looking wire that wouldn’t quite fit into the phone jack. (Wait, what’s a phone jack?!) In May 1999, an organization called Ericsson announced a revolutionary way of sending data wirelessly. They called the technology Bluetooth. Now, we can listen to music with wireless headphones and talk to our loved ones while driving with both hands on the wheel.

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May 012014
 

img 18056 Announcing Our Bring the Light Campaign

In celebration of our 15th year, we are very pleased to announce a new partnership with Unite to Light, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing low-cost solar lighting to global communities without electricity. As part of our 15th anniversary celebration, we have teamed up with Unite to Light in a campaign we’re calling Bring the Light.

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Apr 292014
 

 How to Install LED Step Lights in 6 Easy Steps

Let’s first take a moment to remember that it’s always a good idea to get a licensed electrician involved in any electrical project in your home. Now let’s move directly into how to install LED step lights in a retrofit application. Remember, always read the instructions that come with your LED step light before taking any electrical action.

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Apr 252014
 

Lightbox Pic How to Build a Light Box (Video)

A while back I posted an entry called “What Is a Light Box?” In it, I explained how a light box backlights a photo or other visual image, and I showed several examples of DIY light boxes I found on the Web. The secret truth is that by explaining to you what a light box is, I was really teaching myself so that I could build one. Well, now I have built one! And it was easy, fun, and made a pretty excellent gift. Here’s a video I made documenting the process.

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Apr 172014
 
personalizeicon002 4 Simple Tips for Personalized Kitchen Lighting

via www.stargroup1.com

This week, I participated in a weekly twitter chat called KB Tribe Chat (Hint: the “KB” stands for “Kitchen and Bath.”). It’s a lively weekly chat between professionals in the kitchen and bath remodeling industry, of which lighting is an important part. I always enjoy these weekly chats enormously. They are chock full of valuable information about current trends in kitchen and bath design (a big interest of mine, since I used to work for a K and B remodeling company just after finishing my undergraduate degree, while I was, you know, “finding” myself.). It’s also a fun time. There are a lot of personalities in the chat, and the conversations can get pretty funny. People share all kinds of great pictures of unique, or beautiful, or wacky designs. It’s especially rich because there are folks who make wine racks, who do custom tile, who do counters, cabinets, and floors.

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