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. (more…)
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.
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.
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”
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”
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”
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… (more…)
Have 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.
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.
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. (more…)
When you think of a room with good lighting, what picture comes to mind? Does your room have skylights or giant windows? How about recessed cans or a constellation of pendants? What is the color temperature?
Bright, alone, doesn’t cut it.
There are a lot of different ways to light a room so it’s stylish and functional, comfortable and versatile. It just takes planning. Use these guidelines to get started:
Good lighting can change in a second. A well-lit room isn’t necessarily visible from space. You need different light levels for different tasks. Adjustable “layers” of different lights and dimmer switches will let you enjoy the room in more ways.
Good lighting embraces shadow. Large shadows along the walls and ceiling can turn a room into a dungeon. However, the right combination of light and shadow can help sculpt a room, giving it more character and atmosphere. Don’t be afraid of shadows that accentuate interesting textures or architecture in your space.
Good lighting isn’t distracting. Some lights shine right in your eyes. Some lights have ugly color temperatures. Some lights hum. Some lights heat up your whole room. When installing yours, make sure they’re not this obnoxious. (more…)
When you buy a new light fixture, you don’t want it to be a piece of junk. You want it to last for a long time, and hold up under the elements. You want to get your money’s worth.
But how can you figure this out before getting out your wallet? Shaking the box or tapping on the cover just won’t do.
You need to hear about IP rating.
IP, or Ingress Protection ratings are developed by the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC). A fixture’s rating indicates how well its enclosure protects its electrical equipment from the environment.
The IP rating usually includes two different numbers:
The first rates protection from solid objects and materials (like dust).
The second rates protection from liquids (like water).
These tables show what each rating indicates:
First IP Number – Protection Against Solid Objects
No special protection
Protected against solid objects up to 50 mm, e.g., accidental touch by person’s hands.
Protected against solid objects up to 12 mm, e.g., person’s fingers.
Protected against solid objects over 2.5 mm (tools and wires).
Protected against solid objects over 1 mm (tools, wires, and small wires).
Protected against dust limited ingress (no harmful deposit).
Totally protected against dust.
Second IP Number – Protection Against Liquids
Protected against vertically falling drops of water, e.g., condensation.
Protected against direct sprays of water up to 15° from the vertical.
Protected against direct sprays of water up to 60° from the vertical.
Protected against water sprayed from all directions – limited ingress permitted.
Protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions – limited ingress.
Protected against temporary flooding of water, e.g., for use on ship decks – limited ingress permitted.
Protected against the effect of immersion between 15 cm and 100 cm.
Protected against long periods of immersion under pressure.