Aug 222012
 

A House Lit up at Night

Today we have a guest post from Jillian Watkinson of Community Home Supply, a family-owned Chicago kitchen and bathroom showroom. Jillian’s post gives us some tips for improving the look of your home’s yard with strategically placed outdoor lighting.

Regardless of what your backyard looks like, how big it is or what landscape style it’s been built to, the addition of decorative dynamic lighting arrangements in strategic places is guaranteed to improve your yard’s look immensely. Placing lights around your property in certain patterns is not difficult or expensive and can turn even an ordinary yard into a nighttime wonder.

Take a look at the following tips and maybe use some of them to liven up your garden space with dynamic light arrangements.

What are Your Existing Yard Features?

As a first step towards setting out your lighting arrangements, take a good look at your front yard, back yard and any walkways you have to decide where lights could be placed for maximum effect. For example, if you have a walkway in your front yard and a large stone or wood patio in your back, you might want to think about surrounding their edges with small decorative lights in order to accent their presence and shape.

The idea here is to notice the features against which lighting would look best and make them stand out while muting other parts of your yard that would be better off more hidden in the dark. Continue reading »

 Posted by on August 22, 2012 at 10:00 am
Aug 012012
 

The London Olympics are certainly on the tip of nearly everyone’s tongue (and Twitter account) at the moment, but did you know there used to be many different kinds of Olympic competitions? From 1912 to 1952, the Olympics featured art competitions in fields like literature, painting, sculpting, music, and architecture. Check out this little goody from the 1948 London Olympics:

1948 Gold Medal Etching

Courtesy of FrenchArt-Deco.com

This piece, entitled “Swimming Pool” by French artist Albert Decaris won gold in the Engravings and Etchings competition.

In 1949, the International Olympic Committee decided to stop all art competitions, reasoning that it was illogical to let professional artists compete, while only amateur athletes were eligible. Instead, cultural festivals replaced the art competitions, and still do to this day. There’s still a chance for the best of the best artists and entertainers to showcase their stuff on an international stage, and for lighting designers, this is certainly a world class exhibition.  Continue reading »

Jul 242012
 

In the second part of this two-part post on this year’s Emmy nominees for TV’s outstanding lighting (read part 1 here), I’m going to discuss the nominees for a variety special. Like the nominees for a variety series, these are super impressive.

Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For A Variety Series

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2011

Confession time: I couldn’t help staring…at John Kusner and Matt Firestone’s brilliant lighting designs! Under the direction of Harry Sangmeister and Nick Collier, this show had enough flash and dramatics to make any lighting professional blush.

Nicki Minaj Performing at the VS Fashion Show 2011

Courtesy of CNBC.com

Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show Starring Madonna

The lighting in this astounding performance was really something to cheer about. There was so much going on in this show, I’m still reeling from the excitement of it all. Major credit goes to lighting designer Al Gurdon, and lighting directors Robert Barnhart, David Grill, and Michael Owen. Continue reading »

Jul 202012
 

This year I’m seriously jazzed about the 2012 Emmy nominees – especially for Outstanding Lighting Design. Admittedly, I’m a sucker for theatrics (dating back to long before those college stage makeup classes and my Cirque du Soilel-level Halloween costumes) but honestly, these nominees are amazing. Here’s what the Academy has laid out for us this year:

Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For A Variety Series

So You Think You Can Dance

Last year’s winner is at it again, producing number after flashy number. Lighting designer Robert Barnhart along with lighting directors Matt Firestone, Pete Radice, and Patrick Boozer are ones to beat, for sure. Check out this dramatic jazz piece from the Season 8 finale, it’s truly unforgettable:

Continue reading »

May 252012
 

book case lightsWhether 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″

Rembrant Self Portrait 1629

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:


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:

Quite a different feel, isn’t it? 

Apr 252012
 

BedroomWe 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
 

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:

Photos via Discovery Channel.

Apr 192012
 

Under cabinet lights lit at night

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