Aug 222012
 

 Using Dynamic Lighting Arrangements to Liven up Your Yard

Today we have a guest post from Jillian Watkinson of Community Home Supply, a family-owned Chicago kitchen and bathroom showroom. Jillian’s post gives us some tips for improving the look of your home’s yard with strategically placed outdoor lighting.

Regardless of what your backyard looks like, how big it is or what landscape style it’s been built to, the addition of decorative dynamic lighting arrangements in strategic places is guaranteed to improve your yard’s look immensely. Placing lights around your property in certain patterns is not difficult or expensive and can turn even an ordinary yard into a nighttime wonder.

Take a look at the following tips and maybe use some of them to liven up your garden space with dynamic light arrangements.

What are Your Existing Yard Features?

As a first step towards setting out your lighting arrangements, take a good look at your front yard, back yard and any walkways you have to decide where lights could be placed for maximum effect. For example, if you have a walkway in your front yard and a large stone or wood patio in your back, you might want to think about surrounding their edges with small decorative lights in order to accent their presence and shape.

The idea here is to notice the features against which lighting would look best and make them stand out while muting other parts of your yard that would be better off more hidden in the dark. Continue reading »

 Posted by on August 22, 2012 at 10:00 am
Aug 202012
 

If you don’t know about LifeHacker.com, it’s a website about shortcuts to make your life easier. The site offers tons of articles about smart and handy tips and tricks for getting things done and solving annoying, everyday problems.

Below are just a few ideas from LifeHacker about lighting. Some are “hacks” about creating simple-yet-innovative light fixtures, and others use light to avoid common problems:

1. Use Rope or Tape Lights Under Cabinets to Prevent Toe Stubbing

This hack is pretty straightforward – all you need is a rope light, or some handy adhesive tape lights. You can cut them to the perfect length to run along the bottom of the cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom close to the floor. Wire them to a switch, and then when you get up for a late night snack, or trip to the bathroom, you’ll never stub your toe again. (They also add a really attractive layer of light.)

eefce4a0fc38ef1678e91e03dbc80e1c 5 Light Hacks from LifeHacker.com

Courtesy of LifeHacker.com

Continue reading »

Jul 312012
 

bigstock 350px outdoor lighting Luxury Estate 2316198 How Proper Security Lighting Can Deter Burglars From Targeting Your Home

A simple and relatively inexpensive way to protect your home from unwanted intruders is to install security lighting outside your home and to use timers to turn lights on and off inside your home. Thanks to Allen from YourLocalSecurity.com, an ADT authorized dealer, for this guest post with five easy tips to protect your home.

Lighting is a homeowner’s best friend when it comes to protecting home and property. Burglars love the darkness and feed on creeping around in the shadows. A poorly lit home reads like an invitation for them to commit a robbery. There is no such thing as having too much lighting inside and outside your home.

There are plenty of ways to get the most out of your interior and exterior lighting so you can turn your home into a secure environment for you and your family. Consider these lighting tips to discourage burglars from targeting your home:

1. Install motion sensors

Nothing startles a burglar and stops them dead in their tracks better than an exterior light suddenly flipping on as they are snooping around. When you install exterior lighting that operates on motion sensors, it gives the appearance that someone is home – even when no one is there.

Burglars canvas neighborhoods over a period of several days while they search for houses that are in the dark. Lights operating on motion sensors will encourage them to move on from your residence and choose an easier target elsewhere.

Exterior lights operating on motion sensors should be installed at the front and the back of your house. It is also a good idea to position lights at each corner of your house so that the motion sensors can catch anyone approaching from a side or an angle. Continue reading »

 Posted by on July 31, 2012 at 10:00 am
Jul 092012
 

Are you ready for a positive life change? (Or maybe just a bit of fun…) Check out our new video about the many advantages of dimmers:

Dimmers really can help you in ways you wouldn’t expect. Allow me to elaborate:

They’re Versatile:

By varying the lumen output of the lights in any room, you can immediately change the look and feel. It’s like having multiple rooms in one that you can enter with the simplest touch of a button. For instance, you can change your den from a lounge perfect for festive fraternization into a very official home theater.

They’re Tranquil:

Dimmers can create a peaceful environment to relax. Lowering the lights in your living room while you read, or for a nice long soak in the tub will keep you feeling very Zen. If harsh lights bother you in the morning, slowly brightening the lights is a gentle way to ease yourself into the new day.

They’re Romantic:

There really is no easier way to create ambiance at the drop of a hat. When you and your sweetie are feeling amorous, you can instantly transform any room into a romantic lovers’ retreat by simply turning down the lights. Try it for a date night – it’s a marvelous, imitate alternative to crowded, expensive restaurants. Continue reading »

Jul 032012
 

Flashlight In Woods 300x199 Averting Disaster With Portable Lights
Summer is the season of fun in the sun, for relaxation and adventure. But whether you’re camping, road tripping, enjoying calm nights at home, or off in the far corners of the earth, accidents can happen.

While it’s impossible to prevent some misfortunes, you’d be amazed at how much a small light can help you avert disaster. Here are a few instances when a portable lamp would come very much in handy, so you can be prepared for whatever you do:

Power Outages

If you live in any area with intense weather, you know you may be at risk for a power failure. Instead of scrambling to find candles or flashlights when a storm hits, check out these power outage lights. They ensure you’ll never be caught in the dark. The lights automatically detect when there’s a power outage via radio signal, and immediately turn on to keep you comfortable and safe. Continue reading »

Jun 042012
 

Food lighting 300x200 Food Photography Lighting Tips to Savor Ever wonder how food photographers can have you salivating at the first glimpse of a strawberry? A lot of what makes food look so tasty in pictures is the way photographers use the light. Observe the seafood medley to the right. How does the photographer achieve such a clean yet colorful image? Often times it isn’t enough simply to place a plate by the window and snap a few frames—it takes planning! Here are a few ways to use the light to document your next culinary masterpiece:

Consider the time.

The brightness of the light you use should depend on what meal you’re photographing. Use a light bulb with a measure of 1,000+ lumens if you’re taking shots of breakfast foods like these cappuccino doughnuts. An evening meal on the other hand should be photographed in lower light, channeling the elegant ambiance of the dinner hour.

Cappuccino Doughnuts Ann Stratton 300x300 Food Photography Lighting Tips to Savor

Cappuccino Doughnuts courtesy of Ann Stratton from CountryLiving.com

Continue reading »

May 252012
 

bookcase lights 220x300 Use Bookshelf Lights to Help Tell Your StoryWhether they shelve books, artwork, or heirlooms, bookcases are a great way to feature your unique interests. However, it can be easy to let your special things fall into the shadows if they’re not properly lit. Here are a few different ways to spotlight your most precious items:

Strips and Microfluorescents

If you prefer to highlight your entire bookshelf, running a Xenon Low Voltage Light Strip or a microfluorescent light fixture along each shelf will do the trick. Just make sure you install the lights in a place they can’t be seen—that way they’ll draw attention to what is important and really make your display pop. As an added bonus, they’ll also provide a significant light source to the entire room.

Puck Lights and Recessed Lights

Do you have a favorite painting, sculpture, or photograph sitting on your bookcase? Feature it with a small puck light attached to the shelf above. This finishing touch draws attention to the item and adds diverse visual interest to the entire bookshelf. If your bookcases are freestanding and have curiosities on top, you can use recessed lighting to attract the eye above. Installing recessed lights is also an easy way to emphasize a bookshelf without illuminating the whole room, although this option will highlight the shelf more than its contents.

Need more ideas on how to display your favorite belongings? Check out these thoughtful shelf decorating tips by HGTV’s Leah Hennen!

 

May 092012
 

Jewelry doesn’t sparkle and shine on its own – the reason a gem looks radiant is because of the way it reflects light! That being said, lighting is integral to retail design in a jewelry store. You want your displays to entice customers and show off your products in all their brilliance! Hopefully, we can help. This post will lay out options for various jewelry lighting displays.

Jewelry Lighting 3 A Guide To Retail Jewelry LightingThe Illuminated Wall Display:

Planning on featuring jewelry within shelving units alongside a wall of your store? It’s a great way to display a large amount of inventory, but it’s important to make sure items don’t get lost in the shadows.

For the most dramatic effect, use puck lights to call attention to individual pieces, as seen in the photo to the right. Puck lighting above jewelry creates beautiful silhouettes and puts a spotlight on each piece.

If you love the look of evenly illuminated in-wall shelving displays, there is a way to avoid the spotlight effect. For a more subtle glow, install light fixtures on the inside edges of your shelves. See these photos for an example of this type of display case installation. You can accomplish this using our Xenon Low Voltage Light Strip or any of our microfluorescent fixtures. Continue reading »

Apr 252012
 

bedroom 300x191 Lighting to Bring Out the Best in Any Bedroom Color SchemeWe are pleased to offer you, our readers, another guest post with great lighting tips for bringing out the best in your bedroom color scheme.

Have you ever noticed how different lighting types affect the color of your room? From the warm colors of the standard incandescent light bulb (which is being phased out) to the cool colors of fluorescent, the type of lighting you select affects your color scheme – for better or for worse. After investing in bedding, drapes, and accessories for your bedroom, don’t make the mistake of overlooking the lighting. Select the wrong lighting and you’ll ruin the mood; select the right lighting and your bedroom’s color scheme will pop!

Warm versus Cool

In general, “warm” light sources bring out the warm colors such as orange, red, and yellow, while “cool” lighting intensifies cool colors such as blue. This concept is referred to as color temperature, which is measured in units called “kelvin” or “K.” For example, warm incandescent light bulbs typically equal about 2,700K, soft white light falls in the 3,000K range, cool white is about 4,100K, and daylight is about 6,500K. Continue reading »

 Posted by on April 25, 2012 at 10:45 am
Apr 232012
 

senior citizens 300x199 Lighting Tips for the ElderlyWe are pleased to present this guest post from Daniel Frank, a blogger for Stannah Stairlifts, about the unique lighting needs for everyone as we age.

Lighting is vital for our health and well-being, and it becomes particularly important the older we get. As we age, two things happen to our eyes. The ability of our pupils to dilate decreases, which effectively makes them smaller, and our lenses become thicker. This means our retinas receive less light, and more of the light that gets through our pupils is absorbed or refracted before it gets to the retina, making an image softer.

This poses some serious safety risks as tripping hazards and other obstacles may not be as obvious as they would be to a younger person. The effects of glare on bright surfaces are also worsened as we get older, making detailed tasks such as drawing or sewing harder. However, there are some fairly simple lighting solutions to this “age old” problem. Continue reading »

 Posted by on April 23, 2012 at 10:00 am

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