Dec 192014
 

Perhaps the most thoughtful and creative gift that you can give is sitting on your smart phone even as you read this. With just a printer and a few art supplies, photographs become unique keepsakes that can tell any story you want.

Tips for creating custom photo gifts:

  • Design like an Expert — Add cool photo effects, frames and text to your pictures with Canva.com or Picmonkey.com. They are free, easy and will make you look like a pro!
  • Get Social — Scout out your friend or family member’s Facebook or Instagram feed for great photos that you can customize and print.
  • Look Back — Dig through old boxes of family photos to use in your project. To avoid damaging original prints, photocopy them or use your digital camera to take a picture of the image, then print that.
  • Prepare to Print  — Most home printers are more than adequate for these projects, but if yours is on the mend or you’ve just realized you’re out of ink, make a quick trip down to your local digital photo or copy center.
  • Make it Shine –Incorporating light into your design adds a unique intensity to the photos. Brighten the gift with repurposed lamps, custom picture lights, tea light candles, or simply the brilliance of the sun.

Check out some of our favorite photo gift ideas with tutorials!

Lightbox Pic Photo Gifts That You Can Make This Weekend

Lightbox Project via Pegasus Lighting

diy photo lamps 3 500x375 Photo Gifts That You Can Make This Weekend

DIY Photo Lamps via Shelterness

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Dec 052014
 

Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, Independence Day and even Halloween … No holiday is immune to the spell of twinkling of lights. Since July 2009, we’ve written over 600 blog posts. It comes as no surprise that a large majority of them have centered around a holiday. If you are one of the many folks hauling out holiday lights this weekend, you’ll appreciate this round-up of 6 Popular Holiday Lighting How-To Blog Posts that we’ve accumulated throughout the years.

1. Holiday Lighting Guide

Get out your notepads because we’re building a strategy in this 2013 blog post with loads of tips on creating the ultimate holiday lighting plan.

holiday lighting guide sm 6 Popular Holiday Lighting How Tos
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Nov 102014
 

14 ways header2 14 Inspiring Ways to Make Your Home Sparkle with Holiday Lights

The jack-o-lantern is still on the porch and you haven’t even finished eating the good candy out of your Halloween loot — but Christmas jingles are already showing up in advertising. Are you ready to start stringing your holiday lights? This year, don’t feel limited by what you’ve always done in the past. With just a few products — maybe ones you already own — you can establish new traditions in your holiday decor with extraordinary lighting designs.

What’s Your Holiday Lighting Style?

For many homes, lights are the first decorations pulled out of the holiday storage box, and the last to put away. Perfect for Christmas trees, garlands and wrapping around posts, string lights are inexpensive, easy to manipulate, and are nearly limitless in their uses. LED rope and LED tape lights offer a modern take on a classic look with the flexibility to twist and mold into letters and shapes to express your holiday cheer.

From elegant to eccentric, take a look at some of the magnificent things people are doing with holiday lights. Continue reading »

Aug 252014
 

When you’ve got a camera, and you’ve got action, but you’re missing the lights, you’re at an extreme disadvantage as a videographer. Or a photographer, for that matter. Don’t worry. I’ve been there. In fact, until yesterday, I was just like you. Not anymore. Now I have lights! Check out this video to see how I made a DIY lighting kit on a budget.

As you can see, it doesn’t take much to improve the lighting so you can shoot great-looking video. If, like me, you’re on a mission to make professional videos in an apartment or at home, this simple project will give your media game a boost. Yep, with a DIY video lighting set up, you can take your photography or videography to the next level, even if you’re just seeking the best lighting for iphone photography.

Hey professional videographers out there! What else should I add to my DIY photo lighting set up?

 Posted by on August 25, 2014 at 10:05 am
Aug 052014
 

It’s incredible the way lighting can change outdoor spaces. As is the case with indoor spaces, spending comparatively little on lighting can produce dramatic results. A DIY outdoor lighting project might be just the thing to make you fall in love with your home all over again. But before you begin an outdoor lighting project, it’s important to think about your options. Here are 10 tips for 10 approaches to outdoor lighting.

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Aug 012014
 

DSC 0227 1024x678 Apartment Lighting Project: Battery Operated LED Under Cabinet Light

Earlier in the week, I showed you how putting an antique light bulb in the pendant light above my sink/bar area helped create a warm mood which pleased my family. I also expressed lament for a thirty second lighting design creation which did not win the approval of my spouse. Now I am back with a compromise – an under cabinet LED light that provides much needed task lighting in our very warmly lit apartment kitchen. That’s right, folks. I had an itchin’ in my kitchen, and only a cool LED task light could soothe it. I can’t tell you how happy we are with this wireless LED under cabinet light. So see for yourself below! It’s awesome!

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Jul 292014
 

Choosing a Lightbulb 1024x678 Apartment Lighting Project: Antique Light Bulb

In my apartment, there is a simple pendant light fixture hovering over the kitchen sink and bar. It has a frosted glass shade and an exposed light bulb. There’s nothing offensive about it – WHEN it’s not turned on. Generally, the light stays off. Over the months, I’ve tried different light bulbs. At one point I even had a compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulb surrounded by a light-diffusing piece of parchment paper held to the pendant with one of those green rubber bands from Whole Foods. (I liked it. My wife? Not so much.) Finally, after writing a blog piece on antique light bulbs, I had an ah-ha moment.

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Jun 262014
 

DSC 0210 Apartment Light Project: Using an LED Step Light as a Kids Night Light

One of the most important things in my life as a new parent is making sure my son Leo is safe, happy, and healthy. Part of that is creating just the right kind of environment for him in his bedroom. Since we moved into our apartment six months ago, I have to admit that I’ve been a little slow to construct the wonderland that I’ve been imagining. In fact, even his night light situation, a central component of the safe and cozy little kid’s room, has been sub-par. Until now. Yesterday I installed an LED step light with louvers in his room so that he could have a neat LED night light on a switched circuit. How did I accomplish this remarkable feat of electric prowess? Like this.

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Jun 122014
 

DSC 0122 2 Apartment Lighting Project: Battery Operated LED Picture Light

So, as I explained during my last apartment lighting project installment, I live, you guessed it, in an apartment. My wife, son, and I recently moved into the state, and we want to take our time exploring the area before we buy something. So we, like many of our fellow apartment dwellers, I imagine, are torn between wanting to make our apartment REALLY our own and wanting to make our future moving process as easy and inexpensive as possible. Last time I suggested some plug-in over cabinet LED lighting to customize and give wow factor to an apartment kitchen in a way that is invasive to neither your apartment walls nor your bank account. This time I’m taking the no-wiring thing a step further with a battery operated LED picture light!

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Apr 252014
 

Lightbox Pic How to Build a Light Box (Video)

A while back I posted an entry called “What Is a Light Box?” In it, I explained how a light box backlights a photo or other visual image, and I showed several examples of DIY light boxes I found on the Web. The secret truth is that by explaining to you what a light box is, I was really teaching myself so that I could build one. Well, now I have built one! And it was easy, fun, and made a pretty excellent gift. Here’s a video I made documenting the process.

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