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14 Inspiring Ways to Make Your Home Sparkle with Holiday Lights

14 inspiring ways to make your home sparkle

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. (more…)

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How to Build a DIY Studio Lighting Kit (Video)

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?

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10 Quick Tips for DIY Outdoor Lighting

DIY Outdoor Lighting
via The Garden Glove

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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Apartment Lighting Project: Battery Operated LED Under Cabinet Light

LED Battery Cabinet Light Fixture

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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Apartment Lighting Project: Antique Light Bulb

Antique Light Bulbs

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

LED Step 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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Apartment Lighting Project: Battery Operated LED Picture Light

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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How to Build a Light Box (Video)

DIY Light Box

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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Apartment Lighting Project: Over Cabinet Lighting in One Easy Step

I live in an apartment, so I face certain constraints when it comes to upgrading my lighting. I can’t hard wire anything. I can’t install any power outlets. But, thanks to this LED tape/rope hybrid, I can dramatically improve the look and feel of my kitchen with over cabinet lighting. And you can, too.

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How To Make A Battery Operated Light Bulb

light bulb
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could make a light bulb light up without putting it into a socket? Turns out, there’s more than one way to power a light bulb. If you’re in the mood for a quick, fun experiment, I’ve found a way to power any regular old light bulb with a battery!

Here’s what you need:

  • One D Battery
  • A Light Bulb (With Screw-in Base)
  • Two Pieces Of Insulated Wire
  • Electrical Tape

Follow these steps:

1. Strip about 3/4″ of insulation off each end of your two wires. (more…)

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