Mar 042013
 

This post is the fifth in a series on how to optimize the lighting in your home or business for the utmost energy savings.

The bathroom offers a unique combination of utility and luxury. It’s an essential in every home and every office, and an integral part of everyone’s daily routine. Not to mention that the restroom is also a place for rest and rejuvenation. For some of us, it’s the only place where we can find a little peace and quiet.

Vanity Lighting 667x1024 How To Make Your Bathroom Lighting More Energy Efficient

When a room is as important as this one, you make sure the lighting is of the highest quality. Because what is a functional room without functional lighting? And what is a luxurious room when the lighting is harsh and abrasive?

Having quality bathroom lights that also save energy might seem like too tall an order, but making your bathroom lighting energy-efficient is actually easier than you might think. Just follow my lead…

1. Change out those light bulbs!

By now, you probably know that upgrading your light bulbs to more energy-efficient varieties is the easiest way to save a little energy. But, some of these newer lamps won’t thrive in the variable atmosphere of the bathroom. Continue reading »

Mar 012013
 

Having adequate, quality, and – heaven forbid – stylish lighting when you live in a rented space can seem like a far-away dream. Your landlord or property manager has certain limits and regulations on what changes you can make, so creating a lighting design you like feels next to impossible.

What’s a renter to do? It’s time to get creative with your lighting.

For The Kitchen

Let me guess. When you moved into your current place, your kitchen had a single ceiling light fixture – a linear fluorescent, a track light – on a basic on/off light switch. The brightness of that single ceiling light is too jarring in the morning, and when you’re chopping, dicing, and frying in the evening, it’s not enough.

Fluorescent Under Cabinet Lights How To Have Great Lighting In A Rental

The best thing you can do in here is add one or two light layers for extra task light. Start with under cabinet lights, because they’ll make it easier for you to see while cooking, and add a nice ambiance to the room. You can opt to leave the ceiling lights off when you want a lower light level, or use them with your ceiling lights when you’ve got your chef’s hat on. Continue reading »

Feb 262013
 

This is the fourth post in a series on saving energy with your lights. We’re tackling every space in your home and business to make sure you’re saving the most power possible.

For many of us,  the garage is one of the most utilitarian rooms in the house, so there shouldn’t be any excuse for having lights that consume unnecessary energy. Whether you use your garage as a full-on workshop, or just as a place to stash your holiday decorations, you might be surprised at how much you can save with just a few simple lighting upgrades.

iStock 000019156158Small How To Make Your Garage Lighting More Energy Efficient

Let’s start by dividing the garage into different regions with unique functions: the storage area, the task area, and the entrances and exits.  Continue reading »

 Posted by on February 26, 2013 at 12:49 pm
Feb 222013
 

In this series, we’re helping you save energy at your homes and businesses, room by room.

Your bedroom can be many things. A space to kick back after a long day. A place to romance your sweetie. Maybe it doubles as an office, or maybe it’s just the only personal space you have in this whole wide world.

Whatever your bedroom, boudoir, or inner sanctum may function as, there’s one thing it should never be: a needless energy-sucker.

Lighting is an important part of any bedroom. It adds style, ambiance, and functionality, but having great lighting in the bedroom doesn’t have to use up a ton of power.

iStock 000012262295Small How To Make Your Bedroom Lighting More Energy Efficient

We’re pulling out all the stops to give you the best tips to use in the bedroom – for energy-efficient lighting, that is!

1. Take a survey of all your light fixtures – table lamps, floor lamps, track lights, and any ceiling fans, chandeliers, or pendant lights. How many of these use incandescent light bulbs? If the answer is greater than zero, we’ve identified the first way you can cut down your energy consumption in the bedroom: Swap out all your incandescent household, chandelier, and reflector light bulbs for LEDs or CFLs. Continue reading »

 Posted by on February 22, 2013 at 10:30 am
Feb 192013
 

Kozzi selection of coloured pencil crayons 294x441 200x300 What is Lighting CRI?
If you’ve been shopping for new light bulbs or light fixtures recently, you may have spotted these three little letters: CRI. (Hint: Usually, there’s a number next to them too).

What’s this mysterious measurement?

CRI stands for Color Rendering Index. In plain English, that means it’s the measure of a lamp’s ability to render colors accurately. The scale ranges from 1 (low pressure sodium lamps) to 100 (the sun). A CRI of 85 and above is considered very good. 

When does CRI matter?

 Since a lamp’s color rendering index is an aesthetic measurement, the answer here really hinges on how you want whatever you’re lighting to look. If you go through the trouble of picking out a particular shade of blue to paint your dining room with, you don’t want your lights to distort the color. Continue reading »

 Posted by on February 19, 2013 at 9:48 am
Feb 182013
 

This post is the second in a series on energy-efficient lighting. We’re reviewing all kinds of spaces in homes and businesses to help you save energy.

According to Pacific Gas & Electric’s Food Service Technology Center, restaurants are the biggest energy users in the retail world. Did you know that lighting accounts for about 13% of all energy used in the average restaurant? This sounds like an industry ready for some energy savings.

If you’re still using traditional filament lamps to illuminate your eatery, cafe, or diner, 75% of the energy your lights consume – of the energy you pay for to power those lights – is wasted, given off as heat.

By making easy upgrades to energy-efficient lights in your restaurant, you can save upwards of 75% of the energy used to operate your lights. Plus, newer, innovative light sources can give your customers an elegant and memorable dining experience.

Restaurant Lighting How To Make Your Restaurant Lighting More Energy Efficient

Here are a few simple suggestions to save energy and hard-earned cash with your restaurant lights:  Continue reading »

 Posted by on February 18, 2013 at 12:40 pm
Feb 152013
 

It’s 2013, and if you’re still spending a ton on your energy bill, you should know that it doesn’t have to be that way. Right now, about 20% of the energy we consume goes to lighting. But, with a few energy-efficient changes, we can see that number (and the numbers on our monthly bills) dwindle. This post is the first in a series on how to make the lighting in your home or business more energy-efficient. 

Everyone’s got to eat, and for many of us, the kitchen is the very heart of the home. The kitchen also requires excellent lighting for cooking and cleaning up. So, I figure it will be a good place to start an energy-efficient lighting makeover.

LED Under Cabinet Lights Kitchen How To Make Your Kitchen Lighting More Energy Efficient

There are many different ways to upgrade the lights in your kitchen, some are quick and easy, and others are more extensive.

Easy Upgrades

  • Eliminate the incandescents. Nothing sucks energy quite like and incandescent light bulb. It wastes about 90% of the energy it uses, giving it off as heat (incidentally making your kitchen feel more like a sweat lodge than it should). If you replace every light bulb with a CFL (compact fluorescent), whether it’s a household lamp, a reflector lamp, or even a chandelier light bulb, you’ll start seeing energy savings right away!
  • Add a dimmer.  Putting your overhead lights, pendant lights, and even your under cabinet lights on dimmers will help you save even more energy. A light bulb doesn’t need to use as much energy when dimmed to a lower level. Also, dimming will increase the life of your light bulb, which means you won’t have to pay for (or use up) so many. Just make sure that if you’re using your dimmers on CFLs, the dimmer and the light bulb are compatible. Continue reading »
 Posted by on February 15, 2013 at 10:39 am
Feb 012013
 

iStock 000018935400Medium 1024x682 Your Guide to Perfect Valentines Lighting
It’s February already, which means Valentine’s Day isn’t far away. If you’re planning something special for your special someone you should remember that nothing says “Love Me Tender” like some sultry mood lighting.

For an amorous evening in, it’s up to you to to create the perfect atmosphere for the night. And let me tell you, lighting will be essential. What else could completely transform a regular room into a romantic retreat in seconds? If you’re strapped for time, or lacking ideas for lighting this Valentine’s, we’ve got your back. We’ve put together a list of our best (and easiest) romantic lighting ideas to make sure your night goes right.

1. Dimmers

iStock 000017131515XSmall Your Guide to Perfect Valentines Lighting

 

If you only make one lighting change for Valentine’s Day, make it this: put your overhead lights on a dimmer. It’s a simple, affordable switch to make, but it will make all the difference when you’re turning your den, dining room, or boudoir into an enchanting paradise. And let’s face it – everyone looks better in softly dimmed ambient light, which can’t hurt on a day like February 14th. Plus, once you install the dimmer, you’ll be able to enjoy it all year round.

2. String Lights

christmas lights bedroom Your Guide to Perfect Valentines Lighting

Image via thesoho.blogspot.com

After you establish romantic ambient lighting it’s all about adding a little magic with accent lights. If you have some white string lights left over from the holidays, they can add a bit of sparkle to your evening. Try draping them behind sheer curtains or around the dinner table or bed’s headboard. They’ll have you and your sweetie starry-eyed in no time. Continue reading »

 Posted by on February 1, 2013 at 11:49 am
Jan 212013
 

contemporary home gym Toning Up The Lighting In Your Home Gym

Image via Chicago Architect COOK ARCHITECTURAL Design Studio


With the New Year upon us, many have decided to upgrade their fitness routines by installing home gyms, or dusting off the treadmills they already own. But, if you have dingy or inadequate home gym lighting, it can be even more difficult to actually make use of the space 3-5 times a week.

Am I saying lighting can help you achieve your fitness goals? Not exactly, but I’m not saying that it can’t.

When deciding on the lights for your home gym, here are some things to consider:

1. Brightness

So you sweat it out for half an hour and then move on with your life. What’s the point of putting effort into comfortably lighting your home gym if you don’t spend a lot of time being comfortable in there anyway? Well, good lighting might actually help motivate you to spend longer, more quality time exercising. Nothing is quite as depressing as a home gym with a single ceiling light fixture and gloomy shadows cast on every surface. Studies show that cool, bright light naturally increases your energy levels, which means you could have an easier time putting in those 30 minutes on the elliptical.

LED Track Lighting Toning Up The Lighting In Your Home Gym Continue reading »

 Posted by on January 21, 2013 at 12:05 pm

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