Mar 062014
 

You want to add some life to your kitchen, but a full-on renovation can be expensive. Upgrading or adding under cabinet lighting is one cost-effective way of dramatically improving the feel of your space. Emily has a great blog post that gives an overview of under cabinet lighting. Today, I’ll be talking specifically about LED under cabinet lights.

You might be wondering, What kind of LED under cabinet lighting is best for my space? Popular types are LED strip lights and LED puck lights. Here are a few things you should know about each before making your decision.

Puck lights can be recessed, and this gives them a nice look even when they aren’t turned on. They’re great contributions to kitchens that strive for sophisticated style.

file 488 How to Choose between LED Strip Lights and LED Puck Lights

via strobeldesignbuild.com

Continue reading »

Mar 042014
 

Lately, I have been coming across lots of photos of cool applications of kitchen track lighting. So this week I thought I would share some of my favorites with you. I hope you find some inspiration below. Or, if not, I hope you at least enjoy seeing how relevant track lighting in the kitchen has become.

1.  Real-life Kitchens

e6d036188b3ff788054d47840a07549b 11 Stunning Photos of Kitchen Track Lighting

via Pinterest (Marcia Moore)

It’s not a huge, luxurious kitchen. It is something better: Real. Track lighting functions to illuminate kitchen tasks while accenting the wall. All is taken care of with one fixture. It’s the perfect solution in this kitchen full of well-used space.

Continue reading »

Dec 232013
 

Choosing a paint color can bring out the indecisiveness in anyone. My mother is famous for this – paint samples will stay on the wall for at least six months before a decision is made.

There are a lot of great resources out there on this; How to Quit Procrastinating on Color Choice on Houzz.com is short, sweet, and helpful for a start. Donna Frasca’s Color Expert blog is also enlightening.

Today, I want to talk about the lighting considerations that come into play with picking paint colors. We’ll start with a new vocabulary word for all you Scrabble competitors. Metamerism. Heard of it? If not, you’re certainly familiar with its meaning. Ever noticed how a paint color you carefully chose at the store looks completely different in your living room? Or how two seemingly black socks you put on in the morning turned into one black and one decidedly navy blue sock at the office? The effect of metamerism occurs when colors appear to change under different light conditions.

Metamerism can be used to your advantage – it’s certainly interesting to have a room with a dynamic paint color that changes from sunrise to sunset, from wall to wall, and from room to room. However, it’s important to be knowledgeable about how it works, so you don’t end up with a fast food red hue when you were aiming for a sophisticated shade of brick.

Know How Light Exposure (North, East, South, West) Affects Colors

innovative light blue colors to paint room How To Pick a Paint Color: The Lighting Perspective

Image via decosee.com

Continue reading »

 Posted by on December 23, 2013 at 10:00 am
Oct 152013
 

bigstock Superhero Idea 2679624 300x225 The Unsung Superhero of EducationWe all want the best for our children, and one of the most important ways we can help the next generation is by ensuring that they are receiving the highest quality education they can. But what if I told you there is an element to education that most people overlook when discussing ways to change education, even though it has been proven to improve behavior and focus, reduce disruptions and increase reading speed and learning capacity?

Though often overlooked, classroom environment plays a crucial role in students’ abilities to focus and learn. Think about it. If you want to be really focused and productive, where do you go? All people – children included – have different learning styles, and they are very much affected by the environments in which we learn. That is why it is essential that educators take the time to learn about all the ways lighting can impact a classroom, both positively and negatively.

First, let’s talk about color temperature. Color temperature is something that many educators don’t know to watch out for, but it can have a dramatic impact on the success or failure of a classroom as a learning environment. The warmth or coolness of light is measured in degrees Kelvin, where higher temperatures (above 3,500 Kelvin) equate with cooler, more vividly white light, and lower temperatures (below 3,500 Kelvin) are warmer and more yellow. Research has shown that full-spectrum, cool white light is best for encouraging concentration in a classroom, so swapping out outdated fixtures for newer technology could be a great start to better classroom lighting.

Although fluorescent fixtures are popular in schools, the way they flicker (often imperceptibly) has been linked with eye strain, fatigue and headaches, all of which contribute to poor concentration. For this reason, LEDs are a better option in places like classrooms and offices. Not only do they reduce fatigue, but they are extremely energy efficient, long-lasting, and often capable of changing their color temperature or dimming in brightness. These qualities make this type of light a fantastic investment for a classroom environment. Continue reading »

Aug 192013
 

Wall Sconce 300x224 Good Lighting & Bright Lighting Are Not The Same Thing.When 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. Continue reading »
Aug 052013
 

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.

Stock Photo Wall Washing How To Save A Boring Room (With Light!)

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 How To Save A Boring Room (With Light!)

Continue reading »

Jul 222013
 

Comfort and convenience – these should be your two main goals when creating a nursery lighting scheme. Babies are extra-sensitive to harsh lighting, so you should use lights that are gentle and calming to their young eyes. However, you still need enough light to perform necessary tasks quickly and easily.

Just follow these 5 lighting rules, and your nursery will be in ship-shape and ready for baby in no time:

1. Choose soft ceiling lights.

HGTV nursery 5 Tips For Great Nursery Lighting

Image via HGTV.com

You never want bright, severe ceiling lights shining down into your baby’s eyes. Ideally, your overhead lighting should be shielded or diffused with a shade or cover. Hanging lights like pendants or chandeliers are probably your best choice for ambient lighting. If you have recessed lights or track lighting in your nursery, make sure none shine directly on the crib. Continue reading »

Jul 122013
 

LED Mini Guide Lights 300x195 Practical Magic: How To Have Great Lighting In The Kids RoomLighting is perhaps the only design element that lets you change the look and mood of a room instantly. When that room belongs to your child, variation is even more important. The right lighting can be warm and comforting, creative and energetic, and above all – able to keep up with your children’s many needs. It can help soothe them to sleep, wake them up in the morning, and encourage critical thinking and self expression during the day.

Here are a few elements that add a little practical magic to the kids’ bedroom:

1. Night Lights

I’d say safety and sleep are the first two things to address when lighting a child’s bedroom. How to help your child sleep through the night, and how to help him navigate in the dark without mishaps. A night light can solve both these issues. (No wonder it’s a bedroom classic!) Of course, you can go with the standard plug-in variety, or you can use battery operated guide lights to add light where your child needs it most.

Night Light and Child Practical Magic: How To Have Great Lighting In The Kids Room

I love the idea of a halo of soft mini guide lights around a headboard to comfort a child at night, or a bedside guide light she can use to reach the bathroom safely in the dark. 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 »

May 172013
 

Here’s a daring alternative to normal kitchen lighting: Instead of traditional accent lights that only emit white light, use kitchen lights that can change color.

Color-changing LED tape lights have the perfect linear, low-profile design to be great under cabinet lights, toe-kick lights, or cove lighting. But instead of shining with just white light, they can emit light in 16 different colors. Imagine, being able to change the entire look and feel of your kitchen in seconds. You can tailor the space to any occasion, from family game nights to big holiday parties, from early morning baking frenzies to a couple’s night in.

Can you pull off this dramatic feature in your kitchen? To help you find out, I’ve whipped up a few different “color recipes” explaining how each color can transform it into something new.

Green: Get Energized At Your Tranquil Health Club

Comfortable Home Design Green Over Cabinet Lights The Magic Of Color Changing Kitchen Lights

Image via ComfortableHomeDesign.com

Green is a clean, comforting color. Physiologically, green can be good for your heart, it can help you relax your muscles and breathe deeper and slower. Set your lights to an emerald hue for the afternoon, and suddenly, you’ll feel in just the right mood to have a cool glass of water and a piece of fruit. It’s the perfect scheme to use after a long workout or spending time outdoors too. Continue reading »