bug lights, do they work

Bug Lights – Do They Work?

An outdoor barbecue is going to lure insects into your yard. Aside from eating your hamburger in a dark void, there’s not much you can do that will totally eradicate all insects from your lawn, but will using bug lights help?

The smoky aromas, good music and friendly laughter from your outdoor BBQ may have drawn the neighbors in, but chances are good that it also drew in a few unwanted guests. Mosquitos. Flies. Bees. They love the sweet lure of barbecue sauce, along with one of the necessary ingredients for an evening party — Light.

You may have seen yellow “bug lights” in your department store and wondered if they actually worked or if they were just another marketing gimmick. (more…)

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The healing powers of chromotherapy feature image

Chromotherapy: The Healing Powers of Color & Light

Chromotherapy, the Healing Powers of Color and Light

“Mere color, unspoiled by meaning and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.” – Oscar Wilde

Oscar wasn’t the first person to appreciate the power of color. Holistic healers have long heralded the combination of color and light as an effective method of treatment for a variety of mental and physical ailments. Chromotherapy (or Chromatherapy) is the marriage of these two methodologies. Simply put, it’s mood lighting.

You may be familiar with phototherapy or light therapy, a popular method of treatment for seasonal depression, insomnia, fatigue and a host of other maladies. Supporters of light therapy believe that deficiencies in daylight (say during winter months) can muck up our bodies’ natural clock, or circadian rhythm. Artificial light, when presented in measured ‘doses’ targets the deficiencies, leaving you with increased energy, wakefulness, and positive mood.

In addition to light, the psychology of color is thought to play a vital role in mental and physical health. Specific colors on the spectrum target different areas on the mind/body spectrum… (more…)

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Three Reasons to Love Waterproof Tape Lights

3 Reasons to Love Waterproof Tape Lights

Typically electricity and water don’t play well together, but modern technology has given birth to lights that can not only get wet, but be fully submerged underwater.

Color-changing capability, energy efficiency and custom lighting effects ramp up the cool-factor even more. There’s no end to their creative applications, but I’ve found that some people are prime candidates for these innovative lights.

RGB Invisiled Color Changing Tape Lights
Innovative outdoor LED tape lights like the InvisiLED can be fully submerged in water up to 5 feet deep and offer customizable color effects with a compatible controller.

This is really important! Note that there can be vast distinctions between the different lights that are labeled “wet location lights.” A light fixture that can withstand rain may not be able to withstand full immersion. It all comes down to a vitally important specification called an Ingress Protection Rating (or IP Code). For the purposes of today’s post, we’ll be talking about lights that are IP-68 rated. (Read more about that here.)

3 reasons to love waterproof LED color-changing tape lights…

1. You are a Moonlight Dipper

Mediterranean style swimming pool with purple LED lights
via Houzz

Late night swims after a hot summer day are incredibly relaxing. Late night swims with underwater color-changing LED tape lights? Magical. Installed in a pool or spa, the color and sequencing of the lights are fully customizable with an external remote. You may choose to dim them for a romantic evening plunge, or crank up the colors and speed for a midnight cannonball contest. (more…)

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The ‘Shocking’ Story of White House Lighting

Presidential guest room in the 1890'sIn 1891, electric lighting was still in its infancy. President Benjamin Harrison, the first president with electricity in the White House, was skeptical about its use. His story reads like the headline from a grocery store tabloid…

“President Benjamin Harrison Shocks America!”

“The Shocking Truth about Your President!”

“The Electrifying Fear that Plagued President Harrison”

Truth be told, the story about President Harrison’s fear of electric shock is a legend too, though not on the level of Bigfoot or the Lochness Monster. (more…)

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smart light bulb

CES 2015: Smart Lighting ‘Shines’ in Home Automation

smart light bulb
Should I invest in smart lighting?

Trends in lighting technology keep getting smarter. In fact, if the LED Light Bulb were a soccer mom, she’d have a bumper sticker that read “My Light Bulb is Smarter than Your Light Bulb.” Smart lighting systems are hot at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, an annual event that showcases the most innovative gizmos of the year. But for all the hype, what exactly do they do? Without a smart bulb, am I less intelligent?

What Makes a Light Bulb Smart?

Like every good parent, smart light bulb manufacturers have different ideas about what makes their product smart. As the trend starts to explode, new variations of the smart bulb are cropping up everywhere in an attempt to out-perform their predecessors. Though each smart bulb has its own set of features, I’ve put together a list of some popular characteristics that seem to make a smart bulb so much “brighter” than its peers (sorry, couldn’t resist): (more…)

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dowager countess quote

A Modern Look at Antique Lighting

dowager countess quoteSunday’s season première of Downton Abbey showcases the splendor of early 20th century lighting. From the brass candelabras that line the entrance hall to the ornate crystal chandelier that hangs in the drawing room, we’re greeted by elegance and luxury at every turn. A century later, we continue to see the echoes of this noble lifestyle in lighting decor.

In the early 1900’s electricity was still a relatively new concept and limited primarily to the very wealthy. For more than a century gas and oil had been the primary sources of artificial lighting fixtures. Intense heat, risk of combustion & carbon monoxide poisoning were all factors that pushed the modern world to pursue electric lights. (more…)

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CaseStudy Design Firm of Asheville, NC Makes Your Favorite Books Glow

biblio pendant

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to interview a lighting entrepreneur from Asheville, NC. His lighting design start up, CaseStudy Design, has become locally popular for their unique light fixtures that are made out of … wait for it … books! If you’re as surprised as I was when I first learned about CaseStudy Design and its owner/founder/designer Chall Gray, who are engaged in the practice of upcycling old things like books into lovely light fixtures, then read on for an interesting interview with a book-lover turned lamp designer.


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What Is Solar Power? Interview with a Trade Professional


Solar Power Plants
via wordpress.com

On a bright day in May 2006, J.R. Whitley attended his graduation ceremony at Appalachian State University. The person next to him, an English major, asked J.R. his major. When J.R. replied “Appropriate Technology,” the English major looked stunned. This anecdote is hilarious to me, because I was an English major, and, when J.R. said the words “appropriate technology” to me, I could only tentatively mmhmm because I had never heard of the field.


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The Art Gallery Shall Be Illuminated! Part 2

Part 1 of this blog series detailed some major problems with the lighting in my former teacher’s art gallery. I explained how the spotlights on the track weren’t adequately accenting the art work on the walls, and how the light bulbs in the hanging fixtures were washing the color out of the vintage furniture.

This week, the owner of Pegasus Lighting, Dr. Tom Farin, stopped by Paul’s art gallery to assess the situation in person and to offer some solutions. Remember how we were hopeful that different, more powerful fixtures could be placed in the track to limit costs? We weren’t even on the right “track.” Here’s how Dr. Tom set us straight.

DSC_0304 (more…)

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