May 202014
 

Well, it happened again. The kitchen and bath pros who make up the KB Tribe have inspired me to write a blog post based on one of our very enjoyably twitter chats. Last week’s topic was laundry rooms, and it really got me thinking about laundry room lighting solutions. Laundry rooms are one of the most varied of residential rooms. Some are closets; some are expansive rooms. Some are in basements; some are upstairs. So what do all the different kinds of laundry rooms have in common? You guessed it: A need for quality lighting. In particular, laundry rooms utilize natural light.

Natural Light – That’s Right, I Said It

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May 162014
 

led step lights 5 5 Things You Should Know Before Choosing Step Lights

Step lights are both attractive and functional, as they illuminate stairs, paths, and hallways, in indoor and outdoor applications. Step lights are universally brilliant, but there are so many kinds of step lights, we figured we would help clarify your options in order to help you make an informed decision for your home, garden, or other space.

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Apr 292014
 

 How to Install LED Step Lights in 6 Easy Steps

Let’s first take a moment to remember that it’s always a good idea to get a licensed electrician involved in any electrical project in your home. Now let’s move directly into how to install LED step lights in a retrofit application. Remember, always read the instructions that come with your LED step light before taking any electrical action.

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Apr 172014
 
personalizeicon002 4 Simple Tips for Personalized Kitchen Lighting

via www.stargroup1.com

This week, I participated in a weekly twitter chat called KB Tribe Chat (Hint: the “KB” stands for “Kitchen and Bath.”). It’s a lively weekly chat between professionals in the kitchen and bath remodeling industry, of which lighting is an important part. I always enjoy these weekly chats enormously. They are chock full of valuable information about current trends in kitchen and bath design (a big interest of mine, since I used to work for a K and B remodeling company just after finishing my undergraduate degree, while I was, you know, “finding” myself.). It’s also a fun time. There are a lot of personalities in the chat, and the conversations can get pretty funny. People share all kinds of great pictures of unique, or beautiful, or wacky designs. It’s especially rich because there are folks who make wine racks, who do custom tile, who do counters, cabinets, and floors.

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Feb 142014
 

Battery operated motion sensor lights are the perfect solution for lighting areas of your home or business that lack permanent fixtures. I say this for a few reasons. One is the installation. Installing battery powered lights is darn near effortless – just a few screws and NO WIRING. The best wireless motion sensor lamps also provide a surprisingly large amount of light, and the sensors help ensure that the batteries last for a long time.

1) In the Kitchen.

 Six Uses for Battery Operated Motion Sensor Lights

Cordless motion sensor lights definitely have a home in the kitchen. They can be used as under cabinet lights, pantry lights, and will provide light in dark areas, like the cabinets under your sink. I love that it can be 10 p.m. on a Friday night, and I can go to the kitchen to get some wine for my wife and me without having to interrupt the movie with blinding ceiling lights. The wireless light under the cabinet blinks right on while I amateurishly uncork the bottle. And should that wine spill? I can reach under the sink for cleaning supplies and actually see what’s going on in there.

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 Posted by on February 14, 2014 at 12:26 pm
Feb 102014
 

My wife and I are the happy parents of a sixteen-month-old boy. Having a kid has turned out to be every bit as wonderful and exhausting as our family and friends told us it would be. We can see why everyone we knew with children, including our own parents, told us with that knowing smile, “Your life will never be the same.” They were right. There’s never a dull moment, is there? Every day presents new challenges and responsibilities.

For example, a couple hours ago, my son was screaming at his grandma for taking a bite of his banana. Nap time soon? Sheesh.

20101116144018717 0001 Five Cool Lighting Solutions for Babys Room

via littleparade.blogspot.com

Successfully getting baby down to sleep at night or for a nap during the day is an elaborate and delicate art. Stop me if you’ve been in this situation: You’ve just given your baby her bottle, and she’s fast asleep. Thanks be to the powers above. But before your silent self-congratulation party gets started, there’s one more task – getting her from your lap to her crib with zero waking up, and far more importantly, zero crashing to the floor in the arms of a parent who hasn’t given enough thought to nighttime lighting for baby’s room.

This entry will introduce you to some simple lighting solutions to ensure that your baby makes it from well-intentioned lap to crib without you tripping over anything or putting your baby in the hamper instead of the crib. And – who knows? – as Tiny Baby slowly transforms into Little Terror (I kid, I kid), maybe these lighting solutions will make beddy-bye seem less an exile to a dark abyss than a fun trip to a cozy safe haven.

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 Posted by on February 10, 2014 at 9:55 am
Dec 062013
 

Let’s face it; while working for yourself can be an amazing experience, owning your own business can come with a ton of unsightly costs you may not have been anticipating. One of those may be energy costs for lighting and illuminating your building. This day and age, lighting can account for up to 35% of a business’s energy costs which can be a huge impact on your profit. So what are some ways you can help cut down on this expensive expenditure?

cut energy costs Brighten Your Business and Cut Down Your Energy Costs

Understand Your Lighting Needs

It is important to first understand what type of lighting will best suit your business. Are you lighting a restaurant? A book store? Coffee shop? Retail outlet? Whatever the genre, you need to determine how your customers are using your space. Lighting should be adequate and efficient to fit their needs. You will also want to decide the color and hue you want your lighting to have. Being aware of your customer’s needs can help you determine whether or not your company should have more or less lighting. This will reduce unnecessary energy costs by ensuring you are not using extra lighting when it is not needed. Continue reading »

Nov 112013
 

iStock 000009046195XSmall How to Recycle Light Bulbs

Today kicks off National Recycling Week, so we thought we’d celebrate by publishing a handy guide on how to recycle your old bulbs. Recycling can be a bit tedious, especially since light bulbs have to be sorted even more carefully than glass bottles. But the more you know ahead of time the easier it will be, and you can make a serious difference just by correctly recycling your old lamps! Here is the proper way to recycle light bulbs based on the type of lamp.

Fluorescent/CFL Bulbs

Fluorescent bulbs are tricky to dispose of because they contain a small amount of mercury, so you can’t just throw them in the trash. Doing so could lead to broken bulbs, which could put people who come in contact with it – namely, waste management workers – at risk for mercury poisoning.  The good news is that there are a TON of ways to recycle your CFLs. Many hardware and retail stores, including Ace Hardware, Home Depot and IKEA, offer CFL recycling drop-offs at their locations. Use this helpful tool to find the closest recycling location to you!

Here are some more resources on recycling fluorescent lamps:

Incandescents

These old fashioned power-suckers are not very kind to your energy bill or the environment, since they waste a lot of electricity and cannot be recycled. One more reason to upgrade to something better once your bulb burns out. Some places that recycle CFL bulbs may take your incandescents, but since there are no recycling programs for regular light bulbs they will most likely just throw them out.

The best way to safely dispose of incandescent bulbs is to wrap them up in newspaper and/or in the original packaging before placing them in your normal trash. This will help protect the people handling your trash (including you!) from risk of injury from broken glass.

Although incandescent lamps can’t be recycled into new lamps, there are a number of ways to up-cycle them yourself. Check out these creative ideas for using old burnt out bulbs in craft projects!

Halogen & LEDs

Halogen lamps are a type of incandescent, so the same restrictions apply to them. They can’t be recycled, so you can carefully dispose of them in your regular trash. Be sure to wrap them up so they won’t shatter! You can also try reusing them just like incandescents in various up-cycle craft projects.

Likewise, LED bulbs take a pretty long time to wear out, but eventually they will need to be replaced. LEDs don’t have mercury in them so they are safe to dispose in the normal trash, but depending on what your lamp looks like it might be great for crafts too! Anyone have a creative idea for LED recycling?

Holiday Lights

Tis the season to recycle! Did you know there are several recycling programs dedicated to recycling old or broken holiday lights? Several states have their own recycling programs, so do a Google search for “holiday light recycling in [your state]” to see what is available to you locally. If your state doesn’t offer holiday recycling, there are a few stores that may recycle holiday lights like Home Depot and certain online retailers. Here is a great resource for locating recycling programs near you, or mail-in options if there isn’t much local to your home.

Have any cool ideas to share about bulb recycling? Let us know in the comments!

Oct 312013
 

This post is part of a series for newlyweds, which has included a post on wedding lighting and on honeymoon destinations for lovers of light.

New life stages can be exhilarating, but they can also be intimidating. If you’ve just gotten married and moved into your first home together (or even just moved to a new place by yourself), chances are you’re about to discover all kinds of things that need updating or fixing. This will be especially true for lighting, since so much in the lighting industry has changed in the past few years. Here are some important things to keep in mind when planning the lighting updates for your new home.

bigstock New happy property owners 44454670 1 Lighting Your First Home

Energy Efficiency

If you’re thinking about home lighting options for the first time, you may not be aware of the impact the kind of bulbs you use can have on your wallet. Incandescent lamps – the kind we all grew up using, which produce a warm yellow light – use only about 5% of the energy they expend to produce light; the other 95% produces heat. Since heat is not usually the purpose of a light bulb, you can see why these lamps are considered “inefficient” – they waste the majority of the energy they use.

CFLs in Bulk Lighting Your First HomeSo if you aren’t sentimental, ditch the incandescents for energy-saving light bulbs. Even if conservation isn’t your thing, you can win with energy efficient lighting because it will save you a LOT out of pocket on each electric bill. With some fixtures it’s as easy as replacing the bulb – household light bulbs, or A-lamps, are exchangable regardless of light source. You can try out an affordable CFL bulb if you don’t need to be able to dim, or go all in with a longer-lasting, cool-to-touch, dimmable LED bulb. Even LEDs have become very affordable recently, with some models as low as $5 each. And even if you love the color of incandescents, never fear! You can find fluorescents and LEDs that look (and sometimes even act) the same as old-fashioned lamps.

If the bulbs in your fixtures aren’t easily replacable, you may need to buy new ones if you want to upgrade to more energy efficient lighting. Ultimately it will be worth the up-front investment either way, since you can save so much both in your energy bill and in replacement costs when you use LEDs or other similarly long-lasting solutions. Continue reading »

Oct 282013
 

The lighting industry has been busy as ever this month, from the slow-climbing successes of LED adoption to the discovery of new galaxies. Have you kept up? Allow us to offer a taste…

In Lighting News…

“LED Lighting Creeps Toward Tipping Point”

L Prize Winner Pegasus Lighting Roundup: Lighting in October

It’s only a matter of time before LEDs make serious headway into the retrofit market. Forbes predicts that by 2021, LEDs will make up approximately half of all retrofits in a market where they currently only make up about 5%. Read more…

Cree Announces Dim-To-Warm LED Lights

Durham, N.C.-based LED manufacturer Cree has just announced that they are adding a dim-to-warm option in their LMH2 LED module family of lamps. This is significant because although LEDs are better at dimming than fluorescents, they do not inherently change colors as they dim like an incandescent. But now incandescent lovers can enjoy the warming colors of a dimming incandescent without all the wasted energy. Read more…

“Glow-In-The-Dark Paths Could Be The Future Of Street Lighting”

 Pegasus Lighting Roundup: Lighting in October

Image via popsci.com

A park in Cambridge, England has tried out an unconventional method to lighting the paths at night: glow-in-the-dark gravel. Known as Starpath, this resurfacing material is able to absorb ultraviolet light during the day and release it at night in a bluish glow. Read more…

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