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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The 2012 LED Olympics

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.  (more…)

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Lighting Emmy Nominees Are In! Part 2

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. (more…)

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