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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Apr 292014
 

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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Mar 182014
 

I live in an apartment, so I face certain constraints when it comes to upgrading my lighting. I can’t hard wire anything. I can’t install any power outlets. But, thanks to this LED tape/rope hybrid, I can dramatically improve the look and feel of my kitchen with over cabinet lighting. And you can, too.

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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.

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Feb 242014
 

A recent TedTalk about LED lights has garnered about a million and a half views. That high number isn’t surprising, given that LEDs have been making headlines a lot, lately. Tons of informational articles about the efficiency of LED light bulbs and how to choose them have been circulating online. But this TedTalk is about something quite different – data transmission.

via www.cnn.com

The talk was given by Harold Haas, Chair of Mobile Communications at the University of Edinburgh, who coined the term LiFi, or light fidelity, to refer to a visible light communications (VLC) system. LiFi uses LEDs, which, of course, are electronic semi-conductors, as a medium to deliver networked, mobile, high-speed communication.

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 Posted by on February 24, 2014 at 11:27 am
Jan 152014
 

When you step to the edge of the Grand Canyon, or take a gondola across Niagara Falls, or look over any natural abyss or up any colossal structure, well, there’s a certain thing that happens. Invoking Keanu Reeves and Joey Lawrence at once — an admirable feat itself — I call this feeling the whoa moment.

It’s that weightless feeling we get when we walk into a huge cathedral or behold a haunting religious painting or painted sarcophagus, things that make us say, Whoa! Seriously. Is this fo’ real?

Museum lighting

Yesterday morning, on the front cover of its morning edition, The New York Times published a photo of a 1,500-year-old Buddhist relic held in the National Museum of Afghanistan, a museum that was devastated by the Taliban in 2001. One can only imagine how it must feel to behold this relic in person, to breathe the air of it. Its age, its spiritual significance, its stunning composition, its serenity, and even the story of the danger it survived in 2001, all help create an aura around the object. The thing has gravitas. Continue reading »

 Posted by on January 15, 2014 at 10:00 am
Jan 082014
 

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.

 

Dec 302013
 

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?

 

 Posted by on December 30, 2013 at 10:01 am
Nov 202013
 

We’ve seen LED rope lights transform a living room cove ceiling, illuminate a staircase handrail, and accent outdoor decks and patios.

Sure, this light source lends itself to unique and creative applications: it’s completely flexible, easy to install, and truly eye-catching. We’ve been wowed in the past, but DIY’ers are now taking LED rope lighting to places we’ve never seen before. Clearly, there is no end to the creative uses for this light source!

1. Word Wall Art in a Playroom:  This homeowner created an inspiring word art installation on the wall of her son’s playroom. She used the screw-in mounting clips that come with the product for wall hanging.

One great tip for a project like this is to place weights (or other heavy objects) on top of your rope light to shape it properly. Often our customers say that rope lights tend to hold their coil from packaging for a little while; this will help accelerate the uncoiling.

Image via prettyhandygirl.com

Image via www.prettyhandygirl.com

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 Posted by on November 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm

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