Apr 252012
 

bedroom 300x191 Lighting to Bring Out the Best in Any Bedroom Color SchemeWe are pleased to offer you, our readers, another guest post with great lighting tips for bringing out the best in your bedroom color scheme.

Have you ever noticed how different lighting types affect the color of your room? From the warm colors of the standard incandescent light bulb (which is being phased out) to the cool colors of fluorescent, the type of lighting you select affects your color scheme – for better or for worse. After investing in bedding, drapes, and accessories for your bedroom, don’t make the mistake of overlooking the lighting. Select the wrong lighting and you’ll ruin the mood; select the right lighting and your bedroom’s color scheme will pop!

Warm versus Cool

In general, “warm” light sources bring out the warm colors such as orange, red, and yellow, while “cool” lighting intensifies cool colors such as blue. This concept is referred to as color temperature, which is measured in units called “kelvin” or “K.” For example, warm incandescent light bulbs typically equal about 2,700K, soft white light falls in the 3,000K range, cool white is about 4,100K, and daylight is about 6,500K. Continue reading »

 Posted by on April 25, 2012 at 10:45 am
Apr 252012
 

bruce munro star turn 1 300x243 Light Show Powered By Bikes

This is not everyday lighting design. Unless, that is, you’re accustomed to an inspirational light show accompanying your workouts.

The photo to the right is one of British lighting designer Bruce Munro’s latest exhibits. Called Star-Turn, it’s completely interactive with mechanical components powered by bike pedals. As a participant spins the pedals, tealight candles also spin to create spiraling rays of light. The exhibit consumes no electricity at all.

Recently, Star-Turn was used in a fundraiser for Help for Heroes, an organization that aids wounded soldiers in the UK. Munro’s inspiration for the exhibit:

Two years ago I was riding my bicycle in the lanes near my workshop – it’s a very good way to keep fit. But that winter afternoon it was dark and my lights had failed, and I fell off into a ditch full of icy cold cow-poop. As I got to my feet, the idea of cycling in a warm, dry, well-lit environment seemed irresistibly attractive. Almost immediately when I got home I started sketching the Star-Turn bike. - Bruce Munro, “The Inspiration”

To see more, check out his website. Here’s one more photo of the magnificent Star-Turn:

bruce munro star turn Light Show Powered By Bikes

Photos via Discovery Channel.

Apr 192012
 

xenonproject 3 300x224 5 Ways Lighting Improves the Homeowners Life

We are pleased to have this guest post from Christine Cooney, a writer at The House Designers, about the five benefits homeowners can get from proper lighting. Thanks so much Christine!

We are creatures that are made to live in the light, not the darkness. The lack of sunlight can leave the homeowner facing a number of negative effects, ranging from poor mood to the lack of energy needed to face the day. However, properly lit homes can counter these ailments, allowing individuals to live in a more productive, happier environment.

If you’re living in a dark, poorly-lit home, you should immediately start considering the advantages of proper lighting. The following are a few of the many benefits that lighting provides for the individual homeowner:

1. Increased Productivity
Many homeowners have a home office, from which they may spend hours at a time, staring at a computer screen. However, the lack of balance between artificial and natural light can strain eyes and lead to serious health issues. In addition, poor lighting can affect your attitude towards work, leading to decreased productivity. In order to make sure that the home office is used to full effect, it is vital to make sure it is well lit as possible. Continue reading »

 Posted by on April 19, 2012 at 10:00 am
Apr 092012
 

Have you ever critiqued the interior design on your favorite TV show? It may sound strange, but it’s interesting to look past the characters and consider what you would have done differently (or similarly) with furniture placement, color schemes, and lighting design. I’ve definitely found myself thinking, “nice under cabinet lighting” a time or two while watching a show set in a luxury kitchen. Maybe that makes me a lighting nerd …

Modern Family is one of the most popular sitcoms on ABC right now, featuring three households that are impeccably designed. Phil and Claire Dunphy live in a traditional style family home with their three children, Jay Pritchett and wife Gloria live in a sleek, modern house with Gloria’s son Manny, and Mitchell and Cam’s home is a blend between the two styles. I included a few snapshots below, along with lighting design lessons:

1. Just a few recessed light fixtures can wash an entire wall with light. You can see just four recessed cans in this photo, but they create a wall washing effect so that the far wall becomes a focal point. I actually wrote a post recently on how wall washing recessed lighting  is often used in museums, hotels, and art galleries because it makes quite a statement. As you can see, it’s just as easy to incorporate into a home! The photo is of the Dunphy living room. Read more on how to wash a wall with light here.

Dunphy family room What You Can Learn About Lighting Design From Modern Family

Photo via zimbio.com

Continue reading »

Feb 242012
 

This morning, Philips Lighting (@PhilipsLightUS) tweeted,

“Everything we see, most of what we do, & much of what we feel is touched by light.” What is it about light that inspires you?

What a great musing for a Friday morning! I am inspired by the fact that light can literally transform the ambiance of a space. Philips recently gave a restaurant that hosts speed dating events a lighting makeover. The room went from this:

Speed Dating Before What is it about light that inspires you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To this:

Speed Dating After What is it about light that inspires you?

Isn’t that incredible? No change in furniture or other decor – purely a lighting makeover.

The thing is, the impact of lighting is underappreciated! Unless the lighting design is glaringly horrible, the average person rarely looks around a room and thinks “a few minor lighting upgrades would really help here.” More often, people consider wall color, furniture, flooring, appliances, countertops, cabinetry – anything but the lighting.

The longer that I work for a lighting company, the more often I walk into a space and think about how the lighting design enhances (or detracts from) the ambiance. When you see photos like the ones above, or dynamic scenes showing kitchens with and without lighting, you realize that lighting does effect “everything we see, most of what we do, and much of what we feel” – perhaps more so than other elements of interior design.

What inspires you about lighting?

Photos from Philips Lighting’s Speed Date Challenge Video

 Posted by on February 24, 2012 at 9:32 am
Aug 262011
 

We frequently blog about home lighting tips, but rarely do we share photos of homes with professionally designed lighting. It’s fun to see the style in a celebrity’s kitchen or to read about the projects an architect might take on in his own home, but the best homes to peek into are the ones that showcase room after room of professional lighting. What better place to see that than in the home and office of our nation’s president?

Although 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has housed every U.S. president except George Washington, there have been a few decorative changes over the years. Congress allocates money every four years for maintenance and redecoration of the 132 rooms. The Committee for the Preservation of the White House must approve changes to historic rooms and public spaces, but the living quarters on the upper floors may be updated without consultation.

George W. and Laura Bush added CFL light bulbs during their time in the White House (along with low-flow faucets and solar heating). It’s impossible to catalog each lighting change the building has seen, but photos speak to how beautifully each room is lit. Continue reading »

 Posted by on August 26, 2011 at 10:11 am
Aug 122011
 

Classroom Concentration Lighting Classroom Lighting Impacts Learning: Research Study

When the Philips SchoolVision lighting system was installed in a German primary school, the teachers were probably dubious that there would be measurable results.

Sure, the SchoolVision system was specifically designed to improve learning environments: A touchpad allows the teacher to select between four lighting levels for the optimum atmosphere during lessons. For example, an “Energy” setting features high intensity light in a cool color tone, recommended for first thing in the morning or after lunch. A “Calm” setting has a standard intensity level and a warm color tone for use in a hyperactive classroom. “Normal” and “Focus” similarly use light to create the ideal setting for students.

But would such subtle changes in lighting make a difference? Apparently, yes! A year-long study of 166 pupils and 18 teachers in SchoolVision classrooms was conducted in Hamburg, Germany. Standard tests used to measure levels of attention and concentration found that reading speed among the students increased by 35% and hyperactivity decreased by 76%.

The findings correlate with several other studies into the effects of SchoolVision. According to my research, SchoolVision has not yet been installed in any classrooms in the United States. What do you think: Would it be a valuable addition to our school systems?

Aug 042011
 

Shoe Display at House of Fraser The Link Between Color Rendering & Buying Shoes: A Case StudyWhen it comes to designing enticing displays in retail stores, there’s a lot more that goes into it than deciding where the “Sale” sign should go. Studies have shown that buying decisions are affected by store layout, lighting, music, and even scent.

The Smell & Taste Research Foundation in Chicago has conducted a number of studies evaluating how certain scents can impact mood and perception. One study placed an identical pair of Nike sneakers in two identical rooms – except one was sprayed with a mixed floral scent and one was odorless. When shoppers filled out surveys evaluating the sneakers, a whopping 84 percent said they preferred the sneakers in the floral-scented room, and that they’d pay about $10 more for them. Clearly, sensory perceptions affect our opinions on products.

Lighting, of course, has a significant impact on retail display as well. A recent study published in LEDs Magazine indicated that the degree of color rendering in a display may have an impact on sales.   Continue reading »

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