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…

Continue reading »

Oct 232013
 
contemporary kitchen How to Light a Vaulted Ceiling

image via houzz.com

Vaulted ceilings can be great assets to any building, giving rooms a much more spacious, airy feel. But all that extra space can also be a challenge to light. What’s the best kind of lighting to use on a vaulted ceiling? We’re glad you asked!

Start with recessed lighting. If your ceiling has any kind of slope to it, it will almost definitely benefit from a healthy spread of can lights. You really can’t go wrong with recessed lighting in a vaulted ceiling because their versatility, inconspicuous design and customizable illumination. There are many kinds of recessed trims you can pick from, and we recommend choosing fixtures with housings specially designed for vaulted ceilings, like these. There are a lot of different ways to space your recessed lights, so take into consideration what effects you want the light to have. You might choose to spread recessed lights across the whole ceiling, or keep them mainly around the wall border. There’s no right answer here, and for extra help, check out our blog post on laying out recessed lights. Recessed lights do great as the primary source of illumination, especially when paired with interesting pendant lights that create a beautiful layered look in your vaulted room.

Use pendant lights to fill the extra space and jazz up the room’s style. Pendant lights and recessed lights are the dynamic duo of vaulted ceilings, so make sure you take full advantage of both! Pendant lights don’t work in every room, so if you have a vaulted ceiling, go crazy. If you prefer something a little more practical (like a ceiling fan) or dramatic (like a chandelier), who’s to stop you? Your vaulted ceiling gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to what type of space-filling light fixture you want, so go with your gut. The sky’s the limit.

Continue reading »

Oct 172013
 

This post is part of a series designed to help newlyweds get the most out of lighting. Also be sure to check out our post about wedding lighting!

Are you a lover? Newly engaged, looking to plan the perfect honeymoon?

Are you a light lover? Does sunshine thrill you in the morning, or warm lamps at night?

If so, this post is for you. Click here for the perfect soundtrack for this post, then grab your bags and passports, because we’re taking you on a worldwide tour to find the most exsquisite, romantic lighting around the globe! The following list details some of the best honeymoon destinations in the world that are perfect for lovers of light.

1) Paris, France.

paris france 31856 600x450 Honeymoon Destinations for Lovers of Light

Image via nationalgeographic.com

Cliché, I know – but to be fair, Paris has been known as the City of Light for hundreds of years! Though its nickname originated from Paris’ academic importance during the Enlightenment, France’s capital city lives up to its name after dark. You can take an evening stroll along the Seine to get a glimpse of some of the most beautiful – and historically significant – landmarks in the world.  The most iconic attraction in Paris is, of course, the Eiffel Tower, which lights up at night with a special twinkling mini-light show that happens on the hour every hour. Take a look at this gorgeous photo of the tower from inside, courtesy National Geographic.

2) Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

583572 Honeymoon Destinations for Lovers of Light

Image via summitpost.org

Though not typically top of the list for most romantic destinations due to its somewhat imperfect reputation, Las Vegas is an eye feast for lovers of light. It’s also a fantastic honeymoon destination in general, with some of the most luxurious hotels and spas in the country, incredible night life, and several natural attractions not too far outside the city. This picture is of the Hoover Dam at night, which is about a 45-minute drive from the city. Continue reading »

Oct 042013
 

Halloween is less than one month away! If you’re thinking of decorating your home for the holiday, nothing can help turn your house into a festive sight like lighting. In minutes, you can turn your quaint cottage a ghoulish green, make your bungalow glow orange, or paint your front lawn an eerie yellow. Suddenly, your charming home becomes mysterious and thrilling to trick-or-treaters and passersby.

An impressive Halloween lighting design doesn’t take much time or effort to execute. It can even incorporate the outdoor lights you already use like up lights, outdoor recessed lights, spotlights, or floodlights. You just have to change the color by adding colored light filters in green, yellow, orange, and even blue – iconic Halloween colors. The colored light will work well on its own or as a backdrop for a more elaborate design:

  • Green light can turn your home into an over-the-top laboratory, bringing to mind bubbling viles and fluorescent beakers – you’ll half expect a mad scientist to pop out from behind the bushes with a monster of his own creation trailing close behind.  Continue reading »
Oct 022013
 

Love is in the air! Fall officially began last week, so we are in the throes of the autumn wedding season. Although the summer months have traditionally been the most popular for weddings, autumn weddings have steadily risen in popularity and nowadays, you’re just as likely to receive an orange maple leaf save-the-date as you are a frilly invite with a flower border.

But as we all (should have) learned in elementary school, when the seasons change, the angle of sunlight touching the earth changes as well, resulting in a different quality and duration of sunlight. While many people prefer the more “golden” tones of autumn afternoons (especially photographers!), it can certainly be challenging to keep your special day well-lit when the sun begins to set. But never fear! Here is a list of four ways lighting can save the day on your big day.

a guatemalan and italian inspired wedding lighting production 4 Ways Lighting Can Save the Day on Your Big Day

Image via http://extremeprodjs.com

1. Good lighting design can transform an event.

If you can, hire a lighting designer for your wedding. Great lighting can be the difference between a spectacular party and a “well, they tried hard.” Acclaimed lighting designer Bentley Meeker said that with the right lighting, a $25,000 wedding can look like a $75,000 wedding. Lighting design can be pricey, but it’s plenty cost-effective.

Sometimes event planners and wedding florists provide their own lighting, so be sure to ask about that when booking your big day. If they don’t, look into a lighting design firm that specializes in weddings. You can see from this photo (from a reception designed by Extreme Productions) how glamorous professional wedding lighting can be. If you can afford to go all out, you won’t be sorry.

The reason lighting at a wedding is so important is it can really make or break a venue’s ambiance. Whether you want a romantic vibe, like in the picture, or more of a warm, casual family feel, lighting can make a huge difference on how successful you are in achieving the aura you desire. You will want to look into professional lighting design, especially if your wedding takes place outside. Many venues have pre-approved lighting designers familiar with their codes, so make sure to find out when venue-hunting.

But if hiring a lighting designer is outside your budget, don’t freak out! There are plenty of ways for you to have great lighting at your wedding without breaking the bank.

Continue reading »

Sep 302013
 

September has been another eventful month in the lighting industry. In this post, we’re covering new energy breakthroughs, new ideas about lighting design, and of course, more crazy, creative projects. Come take a gander…

In Lighting News…

“Boston: the Top City for Energy Efficiency”

boston 600x450 Pegasus Lighting Roundup: Lighting in September

Image via Jeff Gunn

According to a report done by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, Boston is the most energy-efficient city in the US. This report compared 34 major cities in the country, and Boston came out on top due to its commitment to many different sustainable initiatives, and ambitious energy-saving goals. Read more…

“This Funky-Looking LED Bulb Could be the Future of Lighting”

 Pegasus Lighting Roundup: Lighting in September

Image via NliteN

LED light bulbs are made from clusters of small diodes, meaning they aren’t limited to the traditional light bulb shape like older light sources. LED light bulbs can look like anything. Andy Turudic of NliteN has designed a unique LED light bulb that uses 80% less energy than an incandescent light, and will be much less expensive. What makes it so special? This light bulb is flat. Read more…

“Commemorative LED Baseball to Honor Mariano Rivera Could Also Help Yankees Closer’s Charitable Foundation”

rivera 004 web Pegasus Lighting Roundup: Lighting in September

Image via NYDailyNews.com

If you’re a fan of Yankee closer Mariano Rivera, you can now get a super-cool LED baseball that features his signature, his career stats, and the number 42. Rivera hopes his unique baseball will help generate proceeds for his charitable foundation. Read more… Continue reading »

 Posted by on September 30, 2013 at 12:44 pm
Sep 042013
 

You may have come across our most popular blog post of all time: “How To Layout Recessed Lighting in 4 Easy Steps.” It gives readers step-by-step instructions about how to create an ideal lighting scheme in any room by adding recessed cans. Recently, we were racking our brains about how to bring that information to you in an even more accessible way…

Then inspiration struck!

We’ll make an infographic about it. The business of mapping out your lights is so visual anyway, of course a solid visual aid would come in handy. Wouldn’t it be better if readers could see how to sketch out their rooms? If they could visualize how to space out their fixtures? Or observe different lighting configurations?

We thought so.

If you’re still in the dark about how to plan your recessed lights, get ready to learn. This infographic will teach you:

  • Where your lights should go on the ceiling.
  • How to create a focal point, or an even distribution of light.
  • The amount of space that should go between each light.
  • How to avoid unwanted, ugly shadows.

Recessed Lighting Layout Final Heres How To Map Out Your Recessed Lights (An Infographic)

Continue reading »

 Posted by on September 4, 2013 at 10:17 am
Aug 302013
 

Stock Photo Cove Lighting1 How To Light A Low CeilingHave you ever watched someone go spelunking? The spelunkers almost always come to a place in the cave where they have to squeeze their bodies between two huge slabs of rock and you think, my god, they’ll be trapped! How in the world are they going to get all the way through that tiny opening, and with all that gear to boot? You imagine the hard, weighty rock pressing in all around as you watch their tight, treacherous journey onward. Will they escape, or be stuck forever?

Bottom line. If you have a room that makes you feel this same vague, claustrophobish discomfort, it’s not okay. So your space doesn’t have ceilings like the Sistine Chapel. You’d be surprised at how airy and dramatic the right lighting can make your room feel – even if it has an extra-low ceiling.

Here are some tips to help you light that low ceiling:

1. Embrace width.

Hallway How To Light A Low Ceiling

As a rule, the bottom of any hanging light should be at least 6’8″ off the ground – unless it’s over a table or island. When you have an 8′ ceiling, this doesn’t give you a whole lot of room to play. If you long for the grand impact of a decorative ceiling light, try a larger low-profile fixture that stays close to the ceiling, but holds some real estate up there. It’s dramatic without looking cluttered, and it will help you avoid the drama of a gash to the head.

2. Use more than one light.

Fluorescent Kitchen How To Light A Low Ceiling

A room with a single light fixture is depressing. Kick the shadows by adding multiple light sources. A few stylish flush-mount ceiling lights. Some table lamps. An accent light here or there. When you have multiple lights shining in different directions, the space will feel lighter and more open. Make sure to place ceiling lights at least 3′ from the wall, any closer and harsh shadows will make your ceiling seem lower.  Continue reading »

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