Jan 312012
 

Harsh computer screen How to Counter the Effects of a Harsh Computer ScreenNot all lighting is easy on the eyes. Flickering fluorescent lamps give you a headache, powerful rays from the sun make you search for sunglasses, the harsh computer screen at night leaves you seeing spots.

It probably didn’t come as a surprise last month when we published results of a recent study revealing certain artificial indoor lighting has a negative impact on sleep cycles.

The study found that light with a cool color temperature affects a certain blue-sensitive photoreceptor that targets our biological clock. So, to avoid losing sleep because of your lights, we recommended sticking to lighting with a warm color temperature (2800-3200K) after dusk – and dimming the lights before bed!

However, that recommendation didn’t address the bulk of the problem: the glare from computer screens, smartphones, and tablets. If you’re like most people, you check your e-mail and catch up on news articles in the hour or two before you go to bed. The color temperature from those devices will kill your efforts to stay away from sleep-inhibiting lighting. Continue reading »

 Posted by on January 31, 2012 at 10:27 am
Jan 122012
 

home buying 5 Lighting Renovations That Will Help Sell Your HomeIf you’re in the market to sell, you probably feel like you could use all the help you can get. You’ve heard realtors talk about remodeling projects to make your home stand out, but which are worth it?

If you’re asking yourself that question, your most helpful tool will be Remodeling Magazine’s Cost versus Value report. Published once a year, it’s an analysis of  remodeling projects with the highest (and lowest) value. You can select your region (New England, Middle Atlantic, etc.) and view the average cost of particular projects as well as the estimated resale value.

Obviously, those numbers are incredibly difficult to pin down, but Remodeling Magazine does their research, using figures from the National Association of Realtors, several market research companies, and thousands of web-based surveys.

If you decide to remodel a particular room after using the report, use these additional tips to amp up the lighting – and make your home more attractive to buyers: Continue reading »

 Posted by on January 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm
Dec 162011
 

couple choosing under cabinet lighting 5 Killer Tips from ASSIST Recommends on Under Cabinet LightingI recently came across a great resource from the Lighting Research Center (a university-based center for studying lighting technologies). It’s designed for homeowners, contractors, and builders exploring best practices for residential under cabinet lighting.

In other words, it’s a completely objective source to determine what kind of under cabinet light fixtures are right for you or your clients. Perfect!

The research is published in two PDF’s – A Homeowner’s Guide to Residential Under Cabinet Lighting and How To Select Residential LED Under-Cabinet Lighting – so read the complete guides if you can. However, if you’re pressed for time, start with these 5 killer tips I gleaned from the research.

Match the Color Temperature With Your Kitchen:

Do you envision a yellowish, neutral white, or cool white (with hints of blue) light for your under cabinet lighting? It’s a matter of personal preference. If you’re a fan of yellowish light, we usually recommend you aim for a color temperature below 3200K. The 2700-2800K range will be closest to the warm glow of an incandescent lamp. Neutral white light is around 3200-3500K and it becomes cool white at about 4100K. Continue reading »

 Posted by on December 16, 2011 at 8:34 am
Dec 092011
 

foyer How To Light a FoyerIf you have an elegant staircase, entrance hallway, or foyer that’s begging for lighting to call attention to its splendor, look no further. This guide will help you determine exactly what types of light fixtures will fill the space best.

You almost always want to incorporate some sort of chandelier if the foyer’s ceiling is above-average height. It will create that “wow” effect you are looking for. However, it’s important to scale  the size of the light fixture for the space. Here are some tips that should help…

To determine the right width of the light fixture: Add the length and width dimensions (in feet) of the foyer area together. That number – in inches – is the width of the light fixture you should look for. So, if your foyer is ten feet by ten feet, you’ll want a light fixture that is about 20 inches wide.

To determine the right height of the light fixture: Position the light fixture so that the bottom is at least seven feet from the floor. If you have a window above your front door in the foyer, you can really heighten the effect of a beautiful chandelier. Center the chandelier in the window. Even from the outside, your home will look brilliant!

Depending on how large your foyer is, you may want to look for a flush mount ceiling light, a semi-flush mount light, or a chandelier with two or three tiers.

Very large entryways might call for wall sconces in addition to a ceiling light fixture. Hang them about 66 inches from the floor and place them about eight feet apart.

For more entryway design ideas, check out Houzz Ideabooks.

 Posted by on December 9, 2011 at 8:55 am
Nov 032011
 

wall wash How To Wash a Wall With LightIt’s a staple in hotel, art gallery, and museum lighting design, and for good reason. Wall washing recessed lighting makes a statement, calling attention to architectural details, sculptures, fireplaces, wall hangings, and more. It’s an easy way to create a dramatic effect in virtually any room.

Tip: Wall washing also makes a room feel larger. Since you’re emphasizing the vertical surfaces, it tends to create a visual expansion effect! Continue reading »

 Posted by on November 3, 2011 at 8:59 am
Oct 272011
 
seared albacore tuna The Truth About CFLs and Mercury

There is more mercury in one bite of albacore tuna than there is in one CFL.

Yes, CFLs contain mercury. So do laptop computers, TVs, telephones, and tuna fish sandwiches.

On average, CFLs contain 4 milligrams of mercury each (that amount would almost cover the tip of a ballpoint pen). LCD projector TVs, by comparison, contain 500-100 milligrams of mercury. One bite of albacore tuna contains more mercury than a CFL.

Many people think about mercury emissions in a very simplistic manner. (Sure, the mercury in a CFL may be a trace amount, but incandescent light bulbs don’t contain any – which makes incandescent light bulbs better for the environment, right?) Continue reading »

 Posted by on October 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm
Oct 112011
 

energyefficientlighting Energy Efficient Lighting Guide For Business People Who Arent Lighting TechiesRealEnergyWriters.com and The Daily Energy Report recently came together to publish a comprehensive, no-nonsense report on energy efficient lighting.

I read how-to articles and news reports every day about energy efficient lighting. This guide is top-tier. It’s easy to understand (written “for business people who aren’t lighting techies”), it includes valuable information (i.e., details on available government rebates and links to apply), and it’s based on cost-benefit analyses (you can even calculate exactly how much money your business will save using the included charts).

If you are a business person looking for one document that will explain everything you need to know about energy efficient lighting, look no further. If you’re considering installing energy efficient lighting, ‘greening’ your facility, or simply looking for ways to reduce your energy bills, this guide will be incredibly helpful.

The 44-page report is normally available for $189, but our friends at The Daily Energy Report are offering Light Reading readers a 10% discount if you use the promo code “PEGASUS.” Follow the link for the deal.

We normally don’t advertise deals here, but we are all about lighting education – especially when it comes to energy efficiency! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.

 

 Posted by on October 11, 2011 at 3:37 pm
Sep 302011
 

lightsout1 How to Prevent a Power Outage BlackoutEver experienced that plunge into darkness characteristic of a power outage?

Whether it’s after dark or you are in a windowless room, it leaves you scrambling for the matches, candles, and flashlights.

What if you could eliminate that worry and ensure your home or business would always remain lit in the event of a power outage?

We are now selling a revolutionary lighting system that makes it possible. The base product is a Power Outage Detector. It plugs in to a normal outlet, senses when power is lost, and immediately activates a bright, battery-powered light. You may even detach it from the wall to use as a flashlight. Continue reading »

 Posted by on September 30, 2011 at 11:27 am
Sep 292011
 

Standing Ovation Our 5 Most Popular How To Lighting PostsI was taking a look at our five most popular blog posts of 2011, and I was surprised to find that every single one of them was some type of “how-to”:

1. How to Layout Recessed Lighting in 4 Steps: This one was inspired by a question we received on Twitter.  It will guide you through finding a focal point, dividing up your room, and mapping out exactly where your recessed lights should go.

2. How to Choose Under Cabinet Lighting: Under cabinet lighting fixtures are some of our top-selling products.  This post discusses the different features available and helps you select the perfect light fixture for your space.

3. Planning Your Kitchen Lighting – 8 Easy Steps: Written for those involved in either a new construction project or a remodeling project that will start from scratch, this post builds your kitchen lighting from top to bottom, walking you through each step. Continue reading »

 Posted by on September 29, 2011 at 11:34 am
Sep 232011
 

Electrical Contractor Smartphone Apps Top 3 Android and iPhone Apps for Electrical ContractorsIf you’re an electrical contractor, any tool that makes your job easier/more efficient is a good tool. Derek Singleton of Software Advice shares this guest post with us reviewing Smartphone apps designed specifically for electrical contractors.

Derek researches the best mobile apps for various industries and is considered an expert in the mobile app world. Enjoy, and be sure to leave a comment if you have any favorite apps not mentioned here!

At Software Advice, we spend a considerable amount of time reporting on construction technology and trends such as electrical estimating programs. Every now and then, however, we like to take a look at the lighter side of the construction industry. This time, we decided to report on apps. In today’s mobile world, an app can save an electrician, engineer or student precious time and is a helpful tool in the field or the classroom.

I recently scoured the iTunes and Android markets in search of the best apps for the electrical industry. I came up with 20 apps – 10 for each operating system (OS). Here are the top three apps that I came across for each OS. Continue reading »

 Posted by on September 23, 2011 at 12:27 pm

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