Jun 102014
 

Electrical Plans and Tools Low Voltage Lighting: Advantages, Disadvantages, and Straight Up Myths

Low voltage lighting got its start in American residential settings in the 1950s. Originally developed to facilitate landscape lighting, low voltage lighting soon made its way indoors and is now very common for lighting applications like track lighting, recessed lighting, under cabinet lighting, strip lighting, and more. So, what’s the deal with low voltage lighting? What does low voltage lighting do that regular line voltage can’t? And why do people disagree on matters as seemingly straightforward as to whether or not low voltage light bulbs last longer?

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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.

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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)

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 Posted by on September 4, 2013 at 10:17 am
Aug 292013
 

What do you need to know about recessed cans? If you wouldn’t exactly label yourself an expert on these popular ceiling lights (welcome to the vast majority, my friend), it can be a huge pain to skim through pamphlet after pamphlet, manual after manual, trying to discern how to find the right lights for your space.

Instead, try taking a quick (and colorful) glance at our latest infographic, which illustrates the basic components of a recessed light, and what you should look for when picking one out. Learn what kind of housing you should use, the kinds of trims you can choose from, and how light sources like incandescents, LEDs, and more compare with one another.

Check it out:

Recessed Lighting Guide Choosing Recessed Lights (An Infographic)

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Jun 192013
 

Pendant 200x300 How To Get More Out Of Your Recessed Cans
It’s hard to brighten a room with minimal overhead lighting, but it’s not impossible.

The easiest way to get more light, and enhance the impact of your recessed cans is to convert them into hanging lights, or pendants.

So how can you make this happen?

First, choose your pendant lights based on where they’ll hang in your space. If you’re going to put them over a counter, kitchen island, or table, you can choose ones that will hang slightly lower. This will provide brighter task lighting without getting in the way. If you plan to install them in hallways or open areas, pick lights that will hang very close to the ceiling so they don’t eat up your headroom.

To install the pendant lights in your recessed cans, you’ll need the following:

  • Recessed light converter kit
  • Small vanity plate to cover the old recessed hole in your ceiling
  • Screwdriver
  • Painter’s tape
  • Ladder
  • Circuit tester

Before you begin, make sure your city doesn’t have any codes requiring a licensed electrician to perform the conversion. Continue reading »

Jun 072013
 
Basement Drop Ceilings 300x225 How To Install Recessed Lights In A Drop Ceiling

Image via BasmentDropCeilings.com

A drop ceiling is a very common feature in offices, basements, theaters, and schools. It’s made from a metal grid and “tiles” or “panels” hung below the structural ceiling. Also known as a secondary ceiling, suspended ceiling, T-bar ceiling, or false ceiling, it most often conceals air ducts or pipes for a clean look in a previously unfinished area. Often, these ceilings feature recessed can lights – a sleek option to illuminate a space without diminishing any headroom.

Whether you’re building a brand new drop ceiling complete with recessed cans, or adding them to an existing ceiling, you’ll need to accommodate some special electrical and structural needs with your installation.

Follow these steps to add recessed lights to your drop ceiling:

1. Find the right lights.

Heat is your biggest concern when choosing recessed lights for your ceiling. If a light generates too much heat, especially around plastic surfaced or fiberglass panels, it can create a fire hazard. LED recessed light fixtures run cooler than other light sources, so they’re generally your best option. You should also choose lights with adjustable mounting arms, or heavy duty clips that can attach to support wires or bars above the ceiling.

2. Layout your lights.

Use graph paper to make a scale drawing of your room, so you can plan where each light should go. You should space them out according to your ceiling height, any focal points that you want to add, and how bright you want your room’s ambient light to be. For more detailed advice on how to layout your recessed lights, check out this blog post: How To Layout Recessed Lighting in 4 Easy Steps.

3. Establish supports.

Drop ceilings are too delicate to support the weight of recessed lights on their own. Also, as your structure settles and shifts, the drop ceiling will move. Install extra wire supports over the tile to help hold the lights – one wire for each of the four corners of the tile. Using support bars or blocks with an additional frame that rests on the ceiling grid will work too. Make sure you can mount the light so it’s flush with the face of the tile. For more info on using wire supports, check out this article from eHow. For more on support bars and frames, read this article from Armstrong World Industries. Continue reading »

Apr 262013
 

iStock 000006954225Small 300x199 Outfitting Recessed Can Lights: LED Light Bulbs, LED Retrofits, or LED Housings?
When using LEDs in your recessed can lights, should you install completely new LED housings and trims, use LED retrofit modules, or simply switch out your light bulbs for LEDs?

A customer recently contacted Pegasus Lighting with that very question. She wanted to use LEDs in her recessed cans, and asked us about the advantages and disadvantages of LED housings/trims, retrofits, and light bulbs in order to make her decision.

So, our lighting experts went to work crafting an answer. Here’s what they had to say:

When Using An LED Lamp With A Conventional Incandescent Housing And Trim…

L Prize Light Bulb Outfitting Recessed Can Lights: LED Light Bulbs, LED Retrofits, or LED Housings?

This option is by far the simplest. Just unscrew that old incandescent or halogen light bulb and replace it with an LED lamp. Depending on the size of your recessed can, you can use LED reflector lamps or A lamps.

Advantages:

  • Easy To Alter. It only takes one person to screw in a light bulb (usually). So, if you don’t like how your new LED light bulb looks or performs, you can switch it out for a different one with minimal hassle. Since LED innovations are still evolving and LED efficacy is increasing dramatically each year, using LED light bulbs gives you more freedom to try out new technology. With a more extensive LED system, it would be annoying and expensive to try to keep up with new technology.

  • Generally Cheaper Upfront. LED light bulbs for recessed cans can cost anywhere from about $15 to over $100, while the prices for LED retrofits and LED housings and trims range from around $30 to over $200.

Disadvantages:

  • Could Trip Your Circuit Breaker. LED light bulbs and conventional recessed can lights aren’t always compatible. Some of the LED light bulbs used in halogen and incandescent recessed lights might cause a heat sensor inside the housing to trip your circuit breaker. This is because LED lamps generally direct heat up towards the ceiling and the fixture’s heat sensor, while incandescent sources project heat down and out of the recessed light. Continue reading »

Oct 312012
 

holidaylighting2 300x217 Lights For A Holiday Ready Home
Holiday lights can have a bad reputation, but it’s my goal to help put some sparkle back in your season; to “lighten” your load a bit. Below you’ll find all the lights you need to prep your home for a headache-free holiday, from practical essentials to the best decorative fixtures and everything in between.

1. LED String Lights

Warm Holiday Lights 300x214 Lights For A Holiday Ready HomeHoliday string lights have always been one of the season’s classic hallmarks, and also one of its biggest jokes. With their festive beauty often comes hours upon hours of trial and error, trying to find that single burnt-out light bulb ruining the bunch.

White Holiday Lights 300x183 Lights For A Holiday Ready HomeBut, you shouldn’t have to worry about burnt-out lights if you use LED Holiday Lights for your home this year. They have a 60,000 hour rated-life, so they’ll stay lit for a long, long time.

Pure White Holiday Lights 300x185 Lights For A Holiday Ready HomeOn top of the impressive lifetime, LED lights generate much less heat, so you won’t have to worry about holiday fire hazards. Plus, they use about 90% less energy than incandescent string lights, saving you money to use on more important things this season.

They come in a few cozy color temperatures, alluding to winter wonders like ice and candlelight. Continue reading »

 Posted by on October 31, 2012 at 9:12 am
Jun 262012
 

blogpost recessedlights1 How To Choose Light Bulbs For Your Home: Recessed Cans

This is the second post in a series dedicated to helping you create a home with beautiful lighting by choosing the best light bulbs. Yesterday, we tackled light bulbs for table and floor lamps. Recessed lights are a little more complicated, but once you’ve got the basics down, it’s smooth sailing!

The first thing you’ll need to do is determine which light bulb size your recessed light fixture takes. Here’s what you’ll see among recessed lighting options: BR30, MR11, MR16, PAR16, PAR20, PAR30, PAR38, R20, R30, R40.

Wow. Let’s break that down a little: Continue reading »

Jan 052012
 

electrical project New Home Project: Remodel Recessed LightsWelcome to this fifth blog post of my New Home Project series. This series of posts reviews the lighting projects that I have undertaken in my new home since moving in to it in September 2009. To be honest, most of these projects have been completed some time ago. It was my goal to write a post after each project, but time just gets away from you sometimes. I cannot believe that it has been over 2 years since moving into my home.

This project involved adding seven 4-inch recessed cans throughout the first floor of my house.

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