May 252012
 

bookcase lights 220x300 Use Bookshelf Lights to Help Tell Your StoryWhether they shelve books, artwork, or heirlooms, bookcases are a great way to feature your unique interests. However, it can be easy to let your special things fall into the shadows if they’re not properly lit. Here are a few different ways to spotlight your most precious items:

Strips and Microfluorescents

If you prefer to highlight your entire bookshelf, running a Xenon Low Voltage Light Strip or a microfluorescent light fixture along each shelf will do the trick. Just make sure you install the lights in a place they can’t be seen—that way they’ll draw attention to what is important and really make your display pop. As an added bonus, they’ll also provide a significant light source to the entire room.

Puck Lights and Recessed Lights

Do you have a favorite painting, sculpture, or photograph sitting on your bookcase? Feature it with a small puck light attached to the shelf above. This finishing touch draws attention to the item and adds diverse visual interest to the entire bookshelf. If your bookcases are freestanding and have curiosities on top, you can use recessed lighting to attract the eye above. Installing recessed lights is also an easy way to emphasize a bookshelf without illuminating the whole room, although this option will highlight the shelf more than its contents.

Need more ideas on how to display your favorite belongings? Check out these thoughtful shelf decorating tips by HGTV’s Leah Hennen!

 

May 142012
 

The following post is from our new blogger Annie Josey, who is joining Pegasus Lighting on May 21, 2012. Annie is a recent UNC-Chapel Hill graduate who majored in English with a minor in creative writing. Annie wrote this post during the interview process and we loved it so much, and learned a little bit about art in the process, we could not wait to post it to the blog. We hope you like Annie’s first post as much as we do, and can’t wait for her to “enlighten” us even more in the coming months.

In paintings, the depiction of light can create tangible shape, intricate texture and vibrant color. Great painters like Rembrandt, Caravaggio and Manet crafted careers out of working with light, while having very few lighting options for inspiration. Here are a few examples of their work, and how each painter might go about achieving the same schemes with modern lighting:

Rembrandt’s “Self Portrait, 1629″

rembrandt 272x300 What Kind of Lighting Went Into Famous Works of Art?

This painting is a perfect example of Rembrandt’s use of chiaroscuro (the contrast between light and shadow). The lighting here is soft, creating a tranquil, romantic look. The shadows are diffused and gentle, used to define the face without being too severe.

If Rembrandt were alive today, he could easily recreate this setting with an incandescent or compact fluorescent light bulb placed high and to the left. He should opt for a lower wattage to achieve that same dim look, and stick with a light temperature of under 3,500K to maintain the warm atmosphere. Continue reading »

May 032012
 

If there’s anyone that knows a thing or two about the effect lighting has on people, it’s the broadcast set designers at FX Group. In their opinion (and we couldn’t agree more), “the difference professionally-designed lighting makes is stunning — colors pop off the screen, talent looks their best and your set and branding grab viewers’ attention.” Here’s an example of their work:

fxgroup3 Set Design & Lighting Effects, Featuring FX Group
FX Group also works with theme parks and museums (see their portfolio here) to create experiences that engage audiences through set designs.

We haven’t covered broadcast lighting here on Light Reading much, but it has more in common than you would think with display lighting, under cabinet lighting,  and even bedroom lighting. When you look at a room – whether that’s your own kitchen or the set of your favorite news channel – lighting is rarely the first thing you notice. Instead, you’re checking out the granite countertops in the kitchen, or the furniture in the bedroom, or the newscaster’s wacky new tie.

However, without good lighting, those granite countertops would be duller, the bedroom would seem cold and nondescript, and the newscaster would be ensconced in unflattering shadows.

FX Group’s CEO Mack McLaughlin recently shared a blog post about a new app by ZVORK that enables you to see the effects of various lighting instruments on a person. You can place up to six light fixtures in the scene, control the intensity, add color filters, and more. Here are two screenshots from the application:

fxgroup1 271x300 Set Design & Lighting Effects, Featuring FX Group fxgroup2 266x300 Set Design & Lighting Effects, Featuring FX Group

Quite a different feel, isn’t it? 

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

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