Surprising Ways to Get Rid of Bugs at your Next Outdoor Party

Last week I tackled the question of whether or not yellow bug lights actually work to reduce the swarms of insects you usually see around a light. If you haven’t read it yet, here’s the cliff notes: Yes, they do. But you’re going to need more in your arsenal.

How to Deter Those Pesky Pests

I’m one of those lucky few that seem to attract every mosquito within a 5 mile radius (my Daddy used to say it was because I was ‘so sweet’ :-) ). There are a handful of methods that have always been my first plan of attack: Citronella candles, dousing myself with insect body spray, and even employing the use of wonderfully entertaining bug zappers. But I’ve recently learned that there are some highly effective, though less-common methods of bug-banishment that many people swear by:

Bring out the Big Guns

Unleash your inner Clint Eastwood with this salt-laden bug obliterator. The Bug-a-Salt fires a lethal grade of table salt to destroy its winged victims.

Bug-a-Salt sprayer

Did You Know? Opt for LED light bulbs in your outdoor fixtures. Insects are attracted to high levels of ultraviolet light. Though any light will attract some bugs, LED’s emit almost no UV light, so they don’t attract as many insects as a regular bulb would. Incandescent & CFL ‘bug lights’ also attract less insects by using yellow bulbs to change the color temperature that bugs can see. (Read more in Bug Lights: Do They Work?)
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Ultimate Garage Lighting, A Buyers Guide with Infographic

The Ultimate Guide to Garage Lighting [with Infographic]

A great garage lighting strategy requires a great garage layout. So how exactly do you achieve that? Whether your garage is your lair, your storage room, a place to park your car, or all three, we have some ideas that will help you define the space, along with lighting product suggestions for each one.

Expert organizers recommend that you think of your garage in terms of zones:

Divide the garage into zones for optimal organization
Source: EasyClosets, a division of the Stow Company
  1. Transition Zone
  2. Need it Now
  3. Long, Tall and Thin Storage
  4. Large Item Storage
  5. Frequently Used Items
  6. Workspace

The Best Lighting for the Garage

Once you’ve determined your zones, it’s time to start brightening the space up. Each area of the garage will have different lighting needs, and different products that fit them the best. Let’s take a look at each zone and your best lighting options for each one:

  • The Transition Zone (Zone 1) is located right outside the door leading into and out of your house from the garage. It may have a few steps up, with or without a handrail. For this area we recommend battery operated, motion activated lights around the entry door and steps with auto on/off features, so you aren’t fumbling for keys or tripping up the stairs while carrying in a load of groceries.
  • Need it Now (Zone 2) usually consists of cabinets or shelving and is where things are stored that you want easy access to on a daily basis – like dog food, or canned goods and paper products overflow. For garage cabinet and shelf lighting we recommend microfluorescent strip lights, especially when located inside deep garage cabinets, where items can easily get shoved far back into dark corners. Wireless motion sensor in-cabinet lights with adhesive backing can stick anywhere and don’t require an electrical outlet.

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Pathway lighting techniques that break the rules - small

3 Path Lighting Techniques that Break all the Rules

Path Lighting Techniques that Break all the RulesIf you are a perfectionist when it comes to your yard, then what I’m about to say might make you a bit uncomfortable. For an alluring pathway that adds character and charm while gently guiding the way, you might have to break a few rules of symmetry and design.

Less is More

Pathway lighting is most successful when it’s soft and subtle. Just because your lighting kit included 12 path lights, doesn’t mean you need to use them all on your front sidewalk. Unless you plan on performing surgery in your front yard or garden – which we really hope isn’t the case – you don’t need tons of glaringly bright lights. DIY Network recommends that you think of your path lights as “gentle hints for where to go next, not outlining tools or runway lights for an airplane landing.” Try this test: On a clear night, with your outdoor path lights on, can you see the stars? If not, they may be too bright. (more…)

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Trade Show Lighting Techniques to Draw a Crowd

Trade Show Lighting Strategies to Draw a Crowd

Trade show lighting strategies to draw a crowd
Are you attracting customers to your trade show exhibit with a killer lighting strategy?

There are plenty of ways to discourage people from approaching your trade show booth (overwhelming salespeople… underwhelming salespeople…annoying gimmicks) but how do you encourage people to come look at the product or company that you’ve worked so hard to build? When it’s you against hundreds of other companies that are all vying for attention, an eye-catching, interest-generating trade show booth has to have the right lighting strategy to draw a crowd.

Know your venue lighting situation in advance.

Having a head start on the lighting guidelines of your trade show venue is as important as knowing who your competition will be. Some convention centers have very strict regulations that will hamper even the most brilliant exhibit. The last thing you want to find out is that your track lights exceed height requirements or the wattage of your bulbs violate fire safety regulations, leaving your well-thought-out booth design fading into the background. Contact your venue ahead of time so that there aren’t any last-minute surprises.

Once you’ve got the logistics nailed down, you can start diving into the details of your lighting strategy.

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A 5-Day Plan to Ease Into Daylight Saving Time

A 5-Day Plan to Ease into Daylight Saving Time | Pegasus Lighting BlogIt seems odd to be “springing” forward when I’m still sloshing through the mud left behind by record winter snowstorms. This Sunday clocks adjust forward one hour for Daylight Saving Time, leaving many Monday morning commuters groggy, sleep-deprived and searching for the nearest java joint. If you’re usually one of those dazed drivers, there are some simple strategies that you can start implementing today that will leave you refreshed and alert when you hit the streets next week.

A 5-Day Plan to Ease into Daylight Saving Time
Sleep experts suggest that there are several ways you can combat the initial turmoil that losing an hour of sleep causes your internal clock. The key is having a plan and starting early. (more…)

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How to Survive a Snow Day (in the South)

How to survive a snow day (in the South)In the Carolinas, snow days are a rare treat, but their scarcity means we aren’t always ready for what comes along with them. Hazardous driving conditions, icy steps, power outages and stir-crazy kids are par for the course. With a little planning, some creativity and a few affordable products, many winter weather woes can be alleviated.

Icy Steps & Sidewalks

I forgot how much my dog loves to frolic in snow. Which is why, when he lurched forward to run figure eights in the powdery stuff last week, his leash was still securely attached to my wrist and I was busy fiddling with the buttons on my coat. After a few terrifying seconds of skating across the thin layer of ice, I came to my senses and dropped the leash, skidding to a halt against a pine tree. Thankfully, the only thing wounded was my pride, but it could’ve been much worse. (more…)

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4 Quick Tips for Preventing Voltage Drop

Recently I shared a blog post where I compared the voltage drop that causes dimming in a series of lights to a leaking garden hose. Today I’m sharing four tips on how to reduce or prevent this voltage drop in your electronic transformer so that the last bulb in your run of lights is just as bright as the first one. Here’s a simple rhyme to help you remember them: Short, Thick, Twist, Split.

1. Shorten the distance.
2. Use thick secondary wires.
3. Twist the secondary wires.
4. Split the output.


Interested in learning more about wiring low voltage lighting systems?

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Understanding Voltage Drop, the Garden Hose Analogy

Understanding Voltage Drop: The Garden Hose Analogy

Understanding voltage drop, a garden hose analogy
Have you ever heard of the electricity/water analogy?

If wire is a water pipe and electricity is the water, voltage is the pressure of the water.

I’m a writer, not an engineer. So making sense of the technical aspects of light and energy is sometimes challenging. I need graphics and analogies to wrap my brain around them.

I’m working on some content about the very engaging topic of (dun-dun-dun) … voltage drop. Specifically, how to prevent it in low voltage lighting systems. Spoiler Alert! The voltage wins in the end.

Along the way I came across the water/electricity analogy. It made sense to me and allowed me to put voltage drop into a context that I could better understand and I thought it was worth sharing. (more…)

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how to use light to make a small space look big

How to Use Light to Make a Small Space Look Big

how to use light to make a small space look big
An increasing number of people are moving towards smaller living. Smaller ecological footprint, smaller spending … smaller home. Whether your reasons for living small are by choice or by necessity, strategically placed lighting can create the illusion of a larger space.

If your room looks more like a closet than a family room, here are a few ways to make the space seem larger without the hassle and expense of a major construction overhaul…

Recessed Lights — In a small room where floor space can be a precious commodity, floor lamps probably won’t make the cut. Large light fixtures hanging from the ceiling can break up the room and make it seem smaller – an advantage in open living areas, but quite the opposite in an already tight space. Low-profile recessed lights solve this problem by creating a clean line of sight that can shine bright for tasks or be dimmed for a family movie night.

Track Lights — Track lights take up much less visual space than traditional fixtures, but can still make a decorative statement in the home. Each individual light on the track can be adjusted to bounce off of walls and ceilings, or lighten up a shadowed corner. When you combine the flexibility of track lighting with the low profile of recessed lighting, every corner of a room is brightly lit without compromising space or style.



Natural Light Sources — Capitalize on every bit of natural light by keeping windows as exposed as possible. Heavy drapes and dark curtains can take away from this valuable light source. Skylights are a wonderful solution to a poorly lit space, but are substantially more expensive when you start involving structural work. A more cost-effective alternative are solar light tubes, sometimes called sun tunnels. The metal tubes capture light at the roof and reflect it into the home. Look at the difference they make in this entryway:



Colors & Accessories — After you’ve put your perfect lighting strategy into place, expand on it with bright colors and artfully placed accessories. A large, strategically positioned mirror makes the space seem wider and longer, and reflects light back into the room. When considering paint choices, Freshome recommends using light blues, greens, light grays and neutrals to create a bright and airy feel.

Putting it all together — Whether your layout is cozy or expansive, having a strategic lighting plan is a crucial part of home design, and coming up with the right one can be daunting. Here are 5 super-helpful resources that can guide you through your lighting project:

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holiday mantles that shine

Holiday Mantles that Shine

holiday mantles that shine

Whether shimmering, sparkling or softly glowing, incorporating light into your holiday mantle design is an instant way to add glitz. We have collected some gorgeous examples from Houzz designers where light played a role in creative holiday mantle decor, as well as simple ideas to make your mantle shine.

Quick tips for designing your holiday mantle:

  • Think outside the box (er, mantle) — If you don’t have a fireplace or mantle in your home, recreate the look easily and with just as much glamour using a large shelf or entry table.
  • Go outside! — A quick trip to the back yard can reap huge rewards for your holiday decor. Branches, twigs, holly and pinecones add to a rustic look.
  • Borrow baubles from the tree —  Extend your current theme by taking a handful of ornaments from the tree and scattering them throughout your design.
  • Get crafty – You’d be amazed at what a can of silver or gold spray paint and some glitter will do to make the mantle sparkle.
  • Add light! — Candles, string lights or just the simple glow from the fireplace are the finishing touches that can take your design from “Meh” to “Marvelous.”

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