gifts for first time homeowner

Gifts for Your Favorite Homeowner

gifts for first time homeowner

Buying a first home is loaded with adventure. It’s also packed full of new responsibilities. For this week’s Holiday Gift Guide, we’ve come up with several useful gift ideas that the first-time homeowner will enjoy for many years. Five key themes encompass our guide: Kitchen, Home Decor, Lawn & Garden, Safety & Security and Home Improvement. Focus on one, or mix and match!

The Kitchen

Deck out his or her new kitchen with a cast iron skillet that will last a lifetime and make learning to cook a breeze. LED puck lights provide bright under-cabinet task lighting when chopping and mixing, or ambient light when entertaining.

kitchen gift ideas

 Products Featured: Cast Iron Skillet via Rachel Ray, Bronze LED Puck Lights via Pegasus Lighting (more…)

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gift guide for the greenthumb

Gifts for Your Favorite Greenthumb

gift guide for the greenthumb

Do you need a gift for someone in your life that takes extraordinary pride in their lawn, coddles and nurtures their garden & scours the internet for optimal planting times? Then read on, because we’ve combined some of our best-selling lighting products with gadgets and accessories that your earth-loving friend will totally “dig.”

Apple Tree Kit with Solar LightGrow an American heirloom with aluminum tag for personalizing this little Apple Tree To Be. When your tree starts to flourish, show it off with a Solar LED spotlight with color filters. (more…)

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holiday gifts for favorite man

Holiday Gifts for Your Favorite Man

holiday gifts for favorite man

Coming up with meaningful gifts for the men in your life can be a challenge. Whether it’s my husband, my older brothers, my dad or my sons, I typically get one of two reactions to the question “What do you want for Christmas this year?”: A) A shrug with, “Ah, don’t get me anything” -or- B) His eyes light up, because he’s been waiting for this moment, and before I can even finish the sentence, he’s pulling out his iPhone with conveniently saved pictures of a custom Harley.

A Gift of Compromise

I revel in gift-giving, so the No-Gift idea doesn’t work for me. However, since I haven’t won the lottery yet, the over-the-top expensive gift isn’t realistic either. So how do you give a reasonably priced and unique gift that he will appreciate? The solution lies in finding a happy-medium that’s both affordable and gives him something practical that he’ll actually use and enjoy. (more…)

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5 Questions To Ask Before Choosing Ceiling Lights

New Room

If you’re thinking about a home remodel or new home project, then you have some serious decision making to do regarding your ceiling lights. Some people don’t realize this, but few things make as big an impact on how your space looks and feels than lighting, especially ceiling lights. And there are many different types of ceiling lights. You might start out wanting recessed ceiling lights, and, despite other choices like flush mount, semi flush mount, or track lighting, etc, you might end up STILL wanting recessed lights. But have you given thought to what size pot lights? Low voltage or line voltage? Square trim, round trim, or no trim at all? What about finish? Plain old white, or maybe brushed nickel? It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, asking five questions will make the process much simpler. So before you swipe that debit card, check out what’s below.

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Know These 6 Myths Before Choosing Your Next Pair of Sunglasses

2 puppies wearing sunglassesSpring has sprung. The weather is getting nicer. Time for a new pair of sunglasses?  It was time for me. Even though sunglasses are not a regular topic of our lighting blog, I felt that my recent experience picking out new sunglasses warranted this post. I was disappointed at the number of myths about sunglasses that were told to me by multiple, yes, multiple, supposedly knowledgeable sales people. So, I figured that it might prove useful to others if I shared my experience and busted these myths with this sunglasses buying guide. 

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Holiday Lighting Guide

It’s that time of year again! The dust has settled from Halloween and we’re gearing up for one of the busiest seasons in the lighting industry.

Holiday Lighting Guide

You might think it’s a little early to start worrying about the holiday season – and don’t worry, we’re not trying to be your weird neighbors with icicle lights on their porch in July. But when it comes to holiday lighting, there’s a lot to plan for if you want to get the most out of your efforts, so in the spirit of preparation, it’s never too early!

Everybody celebrates the holidays a little differently, so here are some tips for how to make your holiday lighting as special as you are.

1. Plan ahead. 

Most people’s holiday decorating tradition involves a month of putting it off and suddenly realizing you can (or have to) do it today. But even minimal planning can make all the difference in your decorating. Decide ahead of time – as in, right now – approximately when the deadline for getting your decorations up is, and then make plans to get it done. Make decorating a priority, and you’ll actually be able to really enjoy them for the whole season.

Planning is also super helpful when it’s time to start hanging lights, because there’s not much worse than getting to the end of your last string of lights while on top of a 20-foot ladder – and you only made it across half the house. Do some simple calculations and a bit of research to decide what type of light you need and how much of it. (more…)

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How To Choose Solar Lights For Your Yard

victorian-solar-led-lamp-and-post-7-foot-height-17When given the choice between spending money or getting something for free, which would you pick?

While this dilemma seems a little too good to be true, in the outdoor lighting industry, it’s an increasingly valid question. Conventional outdoor lights run on the electricity you pay for, but solar lamps are powered by the always-free sunlight. Once you invest in your favorite solar lights, the costs stop. No money spent on difficult installation, upkeep, or energy.

Who doesn’t love that?

However, because solar powered lights are still a fairly new technology, you need to make sure that the lights you buy aren’t going to let you down. Until just recently, most solar powered lights only produced a dim amount of light, and weren’t very reliable.

To choose good solar lights for your yard, you need to be informed. Here’s what you need to look for when you’re shopping:

LED lights: We recommend you always use solar powered lights with durable LEDs. They last longer than other light sources, and can hold up under harsher elements. LEDs require less energy to produce light, so they are much more dependable.

Efficient Photovoltaic Cells: You should stay away from older models, making sure your lights have durable solar cells and the most efficient batteries.

Function and Decoration: Make sure your lights will be able to perform the functions you require. When lighting an outdoor area, we recommend you use 3 kinds of solar landscape lights – accent lights, path lights, and task lights. Here are some examples:

  • Solar accent lights: Accent lights are used to mark areas or highlight features in your yard, but not illuminate a large object or area. They aren’t as bright as other kinds of lights, meaning they last longer. Their purpose is mostly to add visual interest.

hanging-basket-with-solar-led-accent-light-7

  • Solar path lights: Path lights are brighter than accent lights, and used to guide you around an area in the dark. They come in a variety of sizes, and operate in a range of different ways – timers, motion sensors, or dusk-to-dawn photocells. (more…)

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How To Buy LED Light Bulbs (When You’re Used To Fluorescent)

LED Light Bars ShowcaseFluorescent light bulbs are all the rage. Today, the majority of households in the U.S. have begun to adapt their lighting, exchanging inefficient incandescent light bulbs for energy-saving compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). These familiar spiral-shaped light bulbs hide under our lamp shades, within our ceiling lights, behind our wall sconces, and are quite pleasant to use. Often, you can’t even tell the difference between a classic incandescent and a CFL.

As incandescent lights become a thing of the past, and energy efficient lighting becomes more of a priority, the fluorescent lights have gained popularity.

Fluorescent lights use much less energy to produce the same light output as any incandescent lamp, and they last many times longer. Plus, improvements in fluorescent lighting technology have turned these lamps into a pleasant source to have around your home or work space. The cost upfront isn’t terribly more than an incandescent, either.

Presently, cost and technology make fluorescent lights and LEDs (light emitting diodes) rivals in the energy efficient lighting market. But it won’t stay that way for long. Lighting experts say that while fluorescent lighting technology has reached its peak, LEDs are still evolving and improving. Even now, manufacturers are coming out with new LED lights that surpass fluorescent technology in many different ways.

Let’s examine how fluorescent light bulbs compare with today’s LED light bulbs:

  • Efficiency: While both light sources are considered efficient, LED lights have pulled ahead. A CFL produces 30-50 lumens or light per watt, while an LED on the market today can produce 60-100+ lumens per watt.
  • Rated Life: LEDs and fluorescent lights also both have long rated lives, but again, LEDs win. A CFL can last between 6,000 and 15,000 hours. An LED can last between 25,000 and 60,000 hours.
  • Mercury: Fluorescent lights contain mercury, and LEDs don’t. While operating fluorescent lights on a daily basis won’t put you in danger, a broken light bulb will expose you to a small amount of this toxic substance.
  • Infrared and UV: LED light bulbs don’t emit infrared or UV radiation in the same direction they emit light, but fluorescent lights do. Thus, LEDs will not damage sensitive material, and they won’t attract bugs. (more…)

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