Mar 182014
 

I live in an apartment, so I face certain constraints when it comes to upgrading my lighting. I can’t hard wire anything. I can’t install any power outlets. But, thanks to this LED tape/rope hybrid, I can dramatically improve the look and feel of my kitchen with over cabinet lighting. And you can, too.

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Mar 042014
 

Lately, I have been coming across lots of photos of cool applications of kitchen track lighting. So this week I thought I would share some of my favorites with you. I hope you find some inspiration below. Or, if not, I hope you at least enjoy seeing how relevant track lighting in the kitchen has become.

1.  Real-life Kitchens

via Pinterest (Marcia Moore)

It’s not a huge, luxurious kitchen. It is something better: Real. Track lighting functions to illuminate kitchen tasks while accenting the wall. All is taken care of with one fixture. It’s the perfect solution in this kitchen full of well-used space.

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Feb 272014
 

The term “light box” can mean a few different things, but from a lighting perspective it typically refers to a backlit display panel. Light boxes are most commonly used for advertisements or other commercial displays. You’ve probably seen them in trade show booths, restaurants, airports, nightclubs, offices, hotels, museum exhibits, and retail shops. That’s right, light boxes are everywhere.

One of the most common uses for light boxes is the commercial advertisement. You see these in large spaces like terminals or outdoors at bus stops. They capture the attention of passers-by and create lasting impressions. The light box pictured below is one of the biggest I’ve ever seen.

via www.jcdecaux.lv

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 Posted by on February 27, 2014 at 9:55 am
Feb 142014
 

Battery operated motion sensor lights are the perfect solution for lighting areas of your home or business that lack permanent fixtures. I say this for a few reasons. One is the installation. Installing battery powered lights is darn near effortless – just a few screws and NO WIRING. The best wireless motion sensor lamps also provide a surprisingly large amount of light, and the sensors help ensure that the batteries last for a long time.

1) In the Kitchen.

Cordless motion sensor lights definitely have a home in the kitchen. They can be used as under cabinet lights, pantry lights, and will provide light in dark areas, like the cabinets under your sink. I love that it can be 10 p.m. on a Friday night, and I can go to the kitchen to get some wine for my wife and me without having to interrupt the movie with blinding ceiling lights. The wireless light under the cabinet blinks right on while I amateurishly uncork the bottle. And should that wine spill? I can reach under the sink for cleaning supplies and actually see what’s going on in there.

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 Posted by on February 14, 2014 at 12:26 pm
Jan 022014
 

Who wouldn’t love to live with a little less clutter? There’s a reason Pinterest is overflowing with images of perfectly categorized & organized cupboards, closets, pantries, drawers, desks, garages, kitchens … the list goes on! See for yourself: organization is truly one of social media’s best friends.

Closets & pantries can fall to the wayside when it comes to organizing chaos, and the culprit is often poor lighting. Builders are notorious for installing lone overhead fluorescent fixtures that simply don’t create effective storage spaces. Here are four fresh closet lighting ideas for inspiration:

1. Track Lighting: Functional, Beautiful Spotlighting

via ArchitectureArtDesigns.com

via artisticdesignsforliving.com

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Dec 232013
 

Choosing a paint color can bring out the indecisiveness in anyone. My mother is famous for this – paint samples will stay on the wall for at least six months before a decision is made.

There are a lot of great resources out there on this; How to Quit Procrastinating on Color Choice on Houzz.com is short, sweet, and helpful for a start. Donna Frasca’s Color Expert blog is also enlightening.

Today, I want to talk about the lighting considerations that come into play with picking paint colors. We’ll start with a new vocabulary word for all you Scrabble competitors. Metamerism. Heard of it? If not, you’re certainly familiar with its meaning. Ever noticed how a paint color you carefully chose at the store looks completely different in your living room? Or how two seemingly black socks you put on in the morning turned into one black and one decidedly navy blue sock at the office? The effect of metamerism occurs when colors appear to change under different light conditions.

Metamerism can be used to your advantage – it’s certainly interesting to have a room with a dynamic paint color that changes from sunrise to sunset, from wall to wall, and from room to room. However, it’s important to be knowledgeable about how it works, so you don’t end up with a fast food red hue when you were aiming for a sophisticated shade of brick.

Know How Light Exposure (North, East, South, West) Affects Colors

Image via decosee.com

Image via decosee.com

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 Posted by on December 23, 2013 at 10:00 am
Nov 202013
 

We’ve seen LED rope lights transform a living room cove ceiling, illuminate a staircase handrail, and accent outdoor decks and patios.

Sure, this light source lends itself to unique and creative applications: it’s completely flexible, easy to install, and truly eye-catching. We’ve been wowed in the past, but DIY’ers are now taking LED rope lighting to places we’ve never seen before. Clearly, there is no end to the creative uses for this light source!

1. Word Wall Art in a Playroom:  This homeowner created an inspiring word art installation on the wall of her son’s playroom. She used the screw-in mounting clips that come with the product for wall hanging.

One great tip for a project like this is to place weights (or other heavy objects) on top of your rope light to shape it properly. Often our customers say that rope lights tend to hold their coil from packaging for a little while; this will help accelerate the uncoiling.

Image via prettyhandygirl.com

Image via www.prettyhandygirl.com

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 Posted by on November 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm
Nov 042013
 

It’s that time of year again! The dust has settled from Halloween and we’re gearing up for one of the busiest seasons in the lighting industry.

Holiday Lighting Guide

You might think it’s a little early to start worrying about the holiday season – and don’t worry, we’re not trying to be your weird neighbors with icicle lights on their porch in July. But when it comes to holiday lighting, there’s a lot to plan for if you want to get the most out of your efforts, so in the spirit of preparation, it’s never too early!

Everybody celebrates the holidays a little differently, so here are some tips for how to make your holiday lighting as special as you are.

1. Plan ahead. 

Most people’s holiday decorating tradition involves a month of putting it off and suddenly realizing you can (or have to) do it today. But even minimal planning can make all the difference in your decorating. Decide ahead of time – as in, right now – approximately when the deadline for getting your decorations up is, and then make plans to get it done. Make decorating a priority, and you’ll actually be able to really enjoy them for the whole season.

Planning is also super helpful when it’s time to start hanging lights, because there’s not much worse than getting to the end of your last string of lights while on top of a 20-foot ladder – and you only made it across half the house. Do some simple calculations and a bit of research to decide what type of light you need and how much of it. Continue reading »

Oct 312013
 

This post is part of a series for newlyweds, which has included a post on wedding lighting and on honeymoon destinations for lovers of light.

New life stages can be exhilarating, but they can also be intimidating. If you’ve just gotten married and moved into your first home together (or even just moved to a new place by yourself), chances are you’re about to discover all kinds of things that need updating or fixing. This will be especially true for lighting, since so much in the lighting industry has changed in the past few years. Here are some important things to keep in mind when planning the lighting updates for your new home.

Lighting Your First Home

Energy Efficiency

If you’re thinking about home lighting options for the first time, you may not be aware of the impact the kind of bulbs you use can have on your wallet. Incandescent lamps – the kind we all grew up using, which produce a warm yellow light – use only about 5% of the energy they expend to produce light; the other 95% produces heat. Since heat is not usually the purpose of a light bulb, you can see why these lamps are considered “inefficient” – they waste the majority of the energy they use.

Compact Fluorescent LightingSo if you aren’t sentimental, ditch the incandescents for energy-saving light bulbs. Even if conservation isn’t your thing, you can win with energy efficient lighting because it will save you a LOT out of pocket on each electric bill. With some fixtures it’s as easy as replacing the bulb – household light bulbs, or A-lamps, are exchangable regardless of light source. You can try out an affordable CFL bulb if you don’t need to be able to dim, or go all in with a longer-lasting, cool-to-touch, dimmable LED bulb. Even LEDs have become very affordable recently, with some models as low as $5 each. And even if you love the color of incandescents, never fear! You can find fluorescents and LEDs that look (and sometimes even act) the same as old-fashioned lamps.

If the bulbs in your fixtures aren’t easily replacable, you may need to buy new ones if you want to upgrade to more energy efficient lighting. Ultimately it will be worth the up-front investment either way, since you can save so much both in your energy bill and in replacement costs when you use LEDs or other similarly long-lasting solutions. Continue reading »

Oct 212013
 

MicrowaveYou go to the fridge, grab a slice of cold pizza, pop it in the microwave, and suddenly the lights in your kitchen go slightly darker than normal. It’s not a big deal – you can still see everything in your kitchen, your pizza is still going to heat up properly, and after a minute, the lights will brighten back up. But it sure is annoying.

If you’re like me, you might start to wonder if this is indicative of a larger issue. Could there be a bigger electrical problem, lying in wait like a sleeping beast, until the day you’re minding your own business, enjoying your pizza, and you start to smell smoke?

Well, let me assure you that this alone isn’t going to burn your house down. Having lights that dim when you turn on the microwave, coffeemaker, or vacuum cleaner is a common problem in older homes, but it doesn’t cause any major damage to your system. Continue reading »

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