Lights For A Holiday-Ready Home


Holiday lights can have a bad reputation, but it’s my goal to help put some sparkle back in your season; to “lighten” your load a bit. Below you’ll find all the lights you need to prep your home for a headache-free holiday, from practical essentials to the best decorative fixtures and everything in between.

1. LED String Lights

Holiday string lights have always been one of the season’s classic hallmarks, and also one of its biggest jokes. With their festive beauty often comes hours upon hours of trial and error, trying to find that single burnt-out light bulb ruining the bunch.

But, you shouldn’t have to worry about burnt-out lights if you use LED Holiday Lights for your home this year. They have a 60,000 hour rated-life, so they’ll stay lit for a long, long time.

On top of the impressive lifetime, LED lights generate much less heat, so you won’t have to worry about holiday fire hazards. Plus, they use about 90% less energy than incandescent string lights, saving you money to use on more important things this season.

They come in a few cozy color temperatures, alluding to winter wonders like ice and candlelight. (more…)

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Not Your Average CFL

To be honest, I’ve always liked the look of CFLs. Yes, there have been mixed opinions about the quality of light they generate, but there’s something about that gentle swirl that I can’t help but enjoy. And of course, the CFL has come a long way from what was first out on the market.

See here:

Image via Plumen.com

You can imagine my excitement when I first saw the Plumen 001, winner of the Brit Insurance Design of the Year Award and you guessed it, a CFL. (more…)

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Reviving Your Commercial Lighting: Study of an Avant-Garde Health Club

Image via CONTEMPORIST.com

I recently ran across an article on CONTEMPORIST.com, featuring the One Taste Holistic Health Club in Hangzhou, China designed by Crox International.
This space, created to cleanse and relax the mind and body uses commercial lighting strategies in new and unexpected ways. I think there’s a lot we can learn from the lighting design in this space – after all, wouldn’t you love it if your office, store, or hotel had this same inviting, rejuvenating atmosphere? I’ve picked out 5 key lighting concepts from this to share.

Let’s delve:

1. Always, always, always layer lights. In this lounge area, there are bold ceiling lights interspersed with recessed cans, shelf lighting, artistic floor lamps, and natural light from the right hand windows.

Image via CONTEMPORIST.com

Everyone probably knows light layering is the #1 rule in residential lighting design, but we can often neglect it in professional settings. Light layers can transform that standard gloomy, fluorescent malaise into something calm and energizing. (more…)

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Tips From The White House For Lighting Your Home

With the debate tonight and Election Day a month away, I’m in a presidential state of mind. No matter who we choose to run the country for the next 4 years, he’s going to live in a stunning, immaculately lit home.

While much of the White House décor would overpower a regular-sized home, we can take away concepts from its lighting scheme to make our own dwellings more beautiful. Here are a few universal lighting principles carried out Washington-style:

Layer those lights! See: The China Room

While I was scrolling through photos on WhiteHouse.gov, I noted that every room had two, three, four different light sources. For instance, in the China Room created by First Lady Edith Wilson in 1917, there’s not only a beautiful chandelier for overhead lighting, but there are also wall sconces and even display lights in the china cabinets. This adds visual interest, eliminates unflattering shadows, and creates striking focal points.

Photo via WhiteHouse.gov

Light layering is a flattering design strategy in any room in your house, but I chose The China Room so you could see how pretty it looks to have illuminated cabinets, hutches, shelves, and display cases. It might not be your first impulse to install a few linear or puck lights, but it’s really easy to do, and will make your cabinet’s contents and the entire room dazzle.

Know your color temperature. See: The State Dining Room

When we think of classic, traditional lighting, we often summon images of warm incandescent lights, as close to candle light as we can get. But, The State Dining Room shows us that cooler white light can be just as dignified. The daylight white light of the chandelier and sconces is unexpectedly cool, but it looks great! This color temperature is perfect to offset the clean white walls and crisp table cloths – a warmer light source may make things look too yellow.

Photo via WhiteHouse.gov

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Powerful Lighting Changes for Your Everyday Life (Brought To You by Philips & LEDs)

Have you seen Philips’ series of lighting makeovers? They’re all on YouTube, showing how LED lights can positively change the lives of people around the world. Seriously, LEDs can solve so many common lighting problems, it’s almost unbelievable! I’ve picked out my three favorites to share with you, featuring three unique problems and their ingenious LED solutions, but you can view all 20+ here.

This first LED makeover takes place in Amsterdam. A couple has been trying to sell their flat for over a year, and they haven’t gotten anyone to bite…

With inadequate lighting, real estate agents complain about low ceilings and a gloomy atmosphere. After the lighting makeover, the agents focus on the unique architectural features, the bright kitchen, and the cozy mood. And when post-lightover they price the flat at 40,000 euros more, it really makes you marvel at the power of LEDs! (more…)

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Using Dynamic Lighting Arrangements to Liven up Your Yard

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. (more…)

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