It’s full-on spring, and there seems to be a lot of activity in the landscape lighting world. That’s probably because landscape lighting is generally a great and affordable way to significantly improve the curb appeal of your home. Landscape lighting ideas abound on the internet, and, since it’s a popular season for landscape lights, I thought I would curate for you some of the best landscape lighting I have seen out there on the Web.
Well, it happened again. The kitchen and bath pros who make up the KB Tribe have inspired me to write a blog post based on one of our very enjoyably twitter chats. Last week’s topic was laundry rooms, and it really got me thinking about laundry room lighting solutions. Laundry rooms are one of the most varied of residential rooms. Some are closets; some are expansive rooms. Some are in basements; some are upstairs. So what do all the different kinds of laundry rooms have in common? You guessed it: A need for quality lighting. In particular, laundry rooms utilize natural light.
Natural Light – That’s Right, I Said It
This week, I participated in a weekly twitter chat called KB Tribe Chat (Hint: the “KB” stands for “Kitchen and Bath.”). It’s a lively weekly chat between professionals in the kitchen and bath remodeling industry, of which lighting is an important part. I always enjoy these weekly chats enormously. They are chock full of valuable information about current trends in kitchen and bath design (a big interest of mine, since I used to work for a K and B remodeling company just after finishing my undergraduate degree, while I was, you know, “finding” myself.). It’s also a fun time. There are a lot of personalities in the chat, and the conversations can get pretty funny. People share all kinds of great pictures of unique, or beautiful, or wacky designs. It’s especially rich because there are folks who make wine racks, who do custom tile, who do counters, cabinets, and floors.
Back in February, Harper’s Bazaar published an essay written by David Sedaris about his disdain for overhead lighting. In it, he recounts the role that the color-washing, skin tone-obliterating, poison that is overhead light has played in his life. He starts the essay by happily remarking that the low ceilings in his 500-year-old bungalow in England, while they may injure him and his guests (he tells of scraping bits of scalp from the doorjamb), at least prevent the installation of overhead lighting.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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