The Bay Lights photo credit James Ewing

The Bay Lights Project Will Dazzle at Super Bowl 50

The Bay Lights photo credit James Ewing25,000 LED lights, intricately programmed on a network of complex algorithms, will soon dazzle the San Francisco Bay area on the largest LED light sculpture ever created. But it won’t be the first time.

In March of 2015, after a two-year-long display, it was “lights out” for the beloved Bay Lights Project, an iconic architectural light sculpture dreamed up by non-profit organization Illuminate.org and made reality by renowned artist Leo Villareal.

The original project, which ran from March 2013 to March 2015, was deconstructed when the permit expired, allowing the city to do maintenance work on the cables. Illuminate immediately went to work raising the $4 million needed to ensure that the bridge would be re-lit.

Thanks to their efforts, an upgraded and reinstalled sculpture will dazzle once again on January 30, 2016 where it will afterwards be gifted to the State of California. (more…)

Read More

Man walking into bathroom stall with tooshlights installed

Lights that Made us Say WHAT? – Tooshlights

Lights that made us say What? Tooshlights

Sometimes in my search for lighting news to share with my readers, I come across a new lighting product that stops me in my tracks, causes me to raise my brows and even makes me chuckle. Tooshlights® are definitely one of them.

The Los Angeles start-up recently brought to market an automated lighting system that uses glowing red and green LED lights to signal patrons when a bathroom stall is available. Quite literally in this case, “green means go.”

Man walking into bathroom stall with tooshlights installed
via Tooshlights.com

You can install Tooshlights in any size restroom, but the advantages really come into play in large venues like stadiums, airports, theme parks, and performing arts centers, etc. There are some nice benefits for the end-user (no pun intended) and for the venue: (more…)

Read More

LEDs Hit the Streets

Cities everywhere are jumping on the LED street light bandwagon and trading in their outdated fixtures for new & improved models. We’ve known for years that LEDs have many advantages over their incandescent counterparts, so why the sudden push to make the switch?

LED street lights compared to conventional street lights in Sacramento County
This image from Sacramento County’s recent lighting upgrade reveals the vast difference in color temperatures between LED and Conventional street lights. (Photo credit: saccounty.net)

Why are Cities Getting Rid of Conventional Street Lights?

Take a look at some of the benefits LEDs offer over conventional High Pressure Sodium (HPS) street lights:

  • LEDs are 10x more energy-efficient
  • LEDs last 25x longer (less maintenance, reduced lamp toxins in landfills)
  • LEDs offer advanced lighting controls (dim or power off when not in use)
  • LEDs offer better visibility (less glare for drivers, better images for security cameras)
  • LEDs reduce light pollution by not diffusing light in all directions

(more…)

Read More

LED solar hanging planter basket for the garden.

This Solar Light May Have Turned Me into a Green Thumb

With the bounty of Spring upon us and Summer right around the corner, I decided to shine some light on a product that I’ve been itching to unbox: A hanging garden basket with ultra bright solar LEDs.

Just one problem…

I’m not much of a green thumb (truth be told, I’ve been known to kill a cactus) so I was a bit hesitant to – literally – put a spotlight on my inability to keep anything green alive.

What it Is
Solar LED hanging basket

  • A solar-powered LED light is suspended above a hanging garden basket.
  • Kit includes a solar panel, a coconut husk-lined basket, bracket and chains.
  • Automatic dusk-to-dawn solar light illuminates your plant.
  • Provides about 12 hours of warm white light when fully charged.
  • Currently priced at $49.00 (Note: The light is also available for purchase without the basket)

Where to Hang It

One of the features of solar lights is that they need to be positioned, well, in the sun. But the blazing hot Southern summers (and this non green-thumbed gal) can spell tragedy for plants. I’m much more likely to keep a shade loving plant alive. Thankfully, the remote solar panel can be installed up to 8 feet away from the planter which means I can hang my flowers in a shady area while positioning the panel in the sun for optimal charging.

Tips for Installing the Light

When you’re searching for the right place, make sure you have a nice sunny spot available within 8 feet of the basket to install the solar panel. For bright light throughout the evening, the panel should be exposed to direct sunlight for several hours a day. (more…)

Read More

Weekend Warrior Recessed Lighting Project, Part Two

Weekend Warrior Series: LED Retrofit Lighting, Part Two

During the course of May, our team celebrated National Home Remodeling month by doing some simple lighting projects around the house and sharing them with our readers. We called it our “Weekend Warrior” series because all of the projects can be completed in a weekend (or less!). 


 

Weekend Warrior Retrofit LED Lighting Project

Project Two – The 1-Hour Project

In my last post I shared how we installed recessed lighting in our bonus room. Once I installed the LED retrofits there, I was hooked on the quality and energy-efficiency of the lighting. I decided to change out our seven 75-watt PAR30 halogen recessed lights in our kitchen with seven LED retrofit modules. The 7 halogen recessed lights used 525 total watts of electricity. By switching to LED retrofit modules I would reduce that wattage use to 87.5 watts! HUGE energy savings! In addition to the LED retrofit modules, I also changed out my dimmer switch to a Lutron Maestro C-L dimmer.

This was one project I was able to very easily do myself. In fact, I finished this one in less than an hour. (more…)

Read More

Using a reading light in a kid's book nook

Weekend Warrior Series: A Kid’s Cozy Book Nook

This is the latest project in the Weekend Warrior blog post series, part of our quest to bring our customers unique products and offer creative ideas for DIY lighting projects around the house. 


How to create a kid's cozy book nook with reading light

For my Weekend Warrior project, I took a boring, ho-hum playroom corner and created a cozy and private reading area for my 9-year-old son, Max.

Here’s the deal:

I think every kid needs a place to call his own. A place to curl up and read an adventure novel on a rainy day, or just a place to escape pesky brothers. A book nook.

After lots of intense discussion, Max and I decided that his book nook needed a few crucial ingredients to make it the coolest-place-ever:

  • A small, cozy area with a comfy place to sit
  • Tons of interesting books with lots of super-hero action
  • A plug-in nearby for charging his Kindle
  • A reading light so he can read under his many future sheet-forts
  • Some pictures or posters to hang on the wall

Now:

We’ve already got most of the necessary ingredients for the perfect reading nook: a bookshelf full of interesting books, a cozy corner in the sitting area off of his bedroom, and an overstuffed bean bag. All we lacked was a reading light and some wall art.

A Cozy Corner, Before the Book Nook
Corners and closets are prime real estate for a cozy book nook.

How I chose the best reading light for our nook:

(more…)

Read More