Sep 062013
 

Thunder. Lightning. Though it’s the middle of the day, the dark clouds block out the sun and make it look almost night. Raindrops pound your windows. Trees stretch this way and that. Then your lights go out.

What do you do?

We’re right in the middle of hurricane season, and if you’re affected by these storms, the right preparation is essential. If you lose power, the last thing you need to do is stumble around willy-nilly looking for a flashlight. It’s time to make a plan.

bigstock summer storm beginning with li 26900168 How To Prepare For A Power Outage

Our lighting experts have taken some time to select the best products and devise the best strategies to use during any power outage this season. Check them out:

1. Start simple.

Designate a spot for your go-to flashlight, and keep it there. You may want to use one with a glowing guide light or sticker so you can grab it in a split second. Make sure to test the batteries every so often, or invest in a light that charges on a crank.

2. Stay organized.

When your lights go out, finding essentials like your keys is infinitely more challenging. Think about the smaller items you need to access at a moment’s notice, and attach glowing objects to (or near) them – an LED keychain fob, a mini guide light, etc.

3. Plan ahead.

If the power stays off for more than a few hours, what tasks will you have to do in the dark? If you’re preparing a meal, cleaning up a mess, or even playing a board game, dim candlelight or a single flashlight beam just won’t cut it. Think about how you might need battery operated task lights, hands-free work lights, or bright lanterns around your home. Continue reading »

 Posted by on September 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm
Aug 122013
 

As much as some good task lighting and a ceiling full of recessed cans will make a room come alive, there’s nothing like airy, natural light. You can change your home’s color, its style, and even its structure, but when it comes to the amount of sun you get, you can rarely change much. How much natural light you home receives depends on so many different factors both in and outside of your house – the direction your home faces, the topography and structures around, the number of windows you have – these can be costly or just impossible to fix.

So, when you’re on the market for a new house, be sure to consider the lighting potential of any dwelling – lest you end up with a dungeon, or an oven.

Here are some questions to keep in mind when scoping out a new property:

1. Which way does the house face?

Normally, south-facing homes get sun at the front of the house, and for most of the day. They tend to be brighter and warmer. A house that faces north gets light at the back and is cooler and darker. This may be especially important to note depending on your climate. When it’s cool most of the year, you may want a house that’s naturally a little warmer, if it’s warm for most of the year, you may prefer a house that doesn’t make you cook.

Also be sure to take a look around your property and note what could potentially affect your light. Does your house face an open field, or another row of houses? Are you at the base of a hill that will cast a shadow for most of the day, or at the top, almost always exposed to sunlight? These factors will influence the brightness in your home, and also the temperature.

bigstock modern house in the night 15661763 Seeing the Light: How Much Sun Will Your New House Get?

2. How and when will you use the rooms? Continue reading »

Aug 072013
 

How many times have you left a room and forgotten to turn out the lights? How many times have your kids done it? Your partner? Your roommate?

According to a new survey from Lutron Electronics, about 90% of Americans admit that someone in their household has left the lights on by accident. Interestingly enough, this happens most often in the kitchen.

Check out this infographic to learn a little more about this bad habit:

WhoLeftTheLights Who Left The Lights On? (An Infographic)

Thanks to Lutron for creating this infographic! Continue reading »

Aug 052013
 

So, your living space isn’t exactly Versailles. Even if the ceilings are low, windows are few and far between, and architecture leaves much to be desired, you can still transform your home into a bright, artful, and interesting space.

Just look to the light.

No matter how boring or boxy a room might be, lighting can always give it color, texture, and form. Here are some ways you can use lighting to turn a drab space into something really special:

1. Wash a wall with light.

Wall washing is a lighting technique that can add beauty and visual interest almost anywhere – it uses recessed cans with wall wash trims to evenly illuminate walls. This technique will call attention to texture on your walls, and will perfectly highlight wall hangings. Wall washing is especially helpful for smaller rooms – by emphasizing the vertical surfaces, your space will appear to expand. Check out this article to learn the details.

Stock Photo Wall Washing How To Save A Boring Room (With Light!)

2. Get creative with accent lighting.

If your room is literally just a box, accent lighting will save you from the design doldrums. First, make sure you have light coming from different angles throughout your room – downlights, floor lamps, cabinet lights, desk lamps – this will give a boring, flat room more depth and dimension. Next, use accent lights to play up interesting objects in your room. For instance, a puck light used to highlight a small sculpture on your shelf can really play up the angles. Finally, consider colored accent lights for a surprising, unconventional impact.

Blue Indirect Lighting in a Kitchen 646 How To Save A Boring Room (With Light!)

Continue reading »

Jul 222013
 

Comfort and convenience – these should be your two main goals when creating a nursery lighting scheme. Babies are extra-sensitive to harsh lighting, so you should use lights that are gentle and calming to their young eyes. However, you still need enough light to perform necessary tasks quickly and easily.

Just follow these 5 lighting rules, and your nursery will be in ship-shape and ready for baby in no time:

1. Choose soft ceiling lights.

HGTV nursery 5 Tips For Great Nursery Lighting

Image via HGTV.com

You never want bright, severe ceiling lights shining down into your baby’s eyes. Ideally, your overhead lighting should be shielded or diffused with a shade or cover. Hanging lights like pendants or chandeliers are probably your best choice for ambient lighting. If you have recessed lights or track lighting in your nursery, make sure none shine directly on the crib. Continue reading »

Jul 122013
 

LED Mini Guide Lights 300x195 Practical Magic: How To Have Great Lighting In The Kids RoomLighting is perhaps the only design element that lets you change the look and mood of a room instantly. When that room belongs to your child, variation is even more important. The right lighting can be warm and comforting, creative and energetic, and above all – able to keep up with your children’s many needs. It can help soothe them to sleep, wake them up in the morning, and encourage critical thinking and self expression during the day.

Here are a few elements that add a little practical magic to the kids’ bedroom:

1. Night Lights

I’d say safety and sleep are the first two things to address when lighting a child’s bedroom. How to help your child sleep through the night, and how to help him navigate in the dark without mishaps. A night light can solve both these issues. (No wonder it’s a bedroom classic!) Of course, you can go with the standard plug-in variety, or you can use battery operated guide lights to add light where your child needs it most.

Night Light and Child Practical Magic: How To Have Great Lighting In The Kids Room

I love the idea of a halo of soft mini guide lights around a headboard to comfort a child at night, or a bedside guide light she can use to reach the bathroom safely in the dark. Continue reading »

May 172013
 

Here’s a daring alternative to normal kitchen lighting: Instead of traditional accent lights that only emit white light, use kitchen lights that can change color.

Color-changing LED tape lights have the perfect linear, low-profile design to be great under cabinet lights, toe-kick lights, or cove lighting. But instead of shining with just white light, they can emit light in 16 different colors. Imagine, being able to change the entire look and feel of your kitchen in seconds. You can tailor the space to any occasion, from family game nights to big holiday parties, from early morning baking frenzies to a couple’s night in.

Can you pull off this dramatic feature in your kitchen? To help you find out, I’ve whipped up a few different “color recipes” explaining how each color can transform it into something new.

Green: Get Energized At Your Tranquil Health Club

Comfortable Home Design Green Over Cabinet Lights The Magic Of Color Changing Kitchen Lights

Image via ComfortableHomeDesign.com

Green is a clean, comforting color. Physiologically, green can be good for your heart, it can help you relax your muscles and breathe deeper and slower. Set your lights to an emerald hue for the afternoon, and suddenly, you’ll feel in just the right mood to have a cool glass of water and a piece of fruit. It’s the perfect scheme to use after a long workout or spending time outdoors too. Continue reading »

May 152013
 

 

Kitchen renovation in the works? When updating your kitchen with energy-efficiency in mind, be sure to look to the lights. Efficient under cabinet or under counter lights are extremely effective at cutting down your energy use, without sacrificing style or quality.

Here’s a list of some of our favorite under cabinet lights, what makes them energy-efficient, and what makes them great for the kitchen:

LEDs

1. LED Thin Under Cabinet Task Lights

LED Under Cabinet Choosing Energy Saving Under Cabinet Lights

These classic ENERGY STAR qualified LED lights can produce nearly 36 lumens of light for every watt of energy they use, depending on the length of the fixture. They also have a rated-life of up to 50,000 hours, so you know they’re reliable. These lights will fit in with the decor of almost any kitchen, producing bright white light, and available in 2 different finishes. See them here. Continue reading »

May 132013
 

step lights 300x199 How To Use Step Lights In Indoor Spaces
For a little more impact in a home’s foyer, or a little more safety in a dark basement, step lighting can help.

This blog post will help you learn how to light an indoor staircase, what lights you should choose for your project and how to install them.

Let’s get started!

First, decide where you want your lights to go…

On the step.

For a subtle accent on each step, you can install recessed lights within the riser (vertical) or the tread (horizontal) portion of the step. Your stairs will get a little more impact, but the lights won’t alter the overall brightness of the room very much. Tread lighting will give steps a runway-like appeal, while riser lighting will typically illuminate the center region of the stairs. If you choose to install your lights here, you’ll need to cut portions of the steps to set and hardwire the lights. We recommend you consult with a professional electrician before setting off to work.

Beside the step.

Another popular step lighting option that adds a little more brightness to the room’s overall light level is wall lighting. Here, you would install your step lights on the wall right next to your staircase, so the lights would cast beams directly down onto the step. Since you don’t have to worry about mounting these lights on the surface of the step, you have a little more artistic freedom – the lights don’t have to be flush with the wall, and they can be a little flashier if you choose. We recommend installing 1 light every 3 steps or so, but you can play with this number depending on how bright you want your staircase to be. Continue reading »

May 082013
 

 

Taking your kitchen from dim and dull to bright and beautiful is no small task. While experts agree lighting is one of the most important design features in any room, it might not be so easy to create your perfect kitchen lighting scheme flying solo.

A stylish, functional kitchen needs to have overhead/ambient lighting, accent lighting, and of course task or under cabinet lights.

If you’re still in the dark about what lighting scheme will work best in your kitchen, check out these 11 amazing photos for a little inspiration:

1. Microfluorescent Under Cabinet Lights

Microfluorescent Under Cabinets and Over Sink 11 Beautiful Photos Of Under Cabinet Lighting

 The microfluorescent fixtures under the cabinets in this kitchen provide bright white light, adding to the space’s ultramodern feel.

2. LED Puck Lights

Puck Lights In Kitchen 11 Beautiful Photos Of Under Cabinet Lighting

These bright LED puck lights add pops of much needed illumination in the main work areas of this contemporary white kitchen. To find out how many puck lights you need in your kitchen, check out this helpful article.

3. LED Motion Sensor Lights

Motion Sensor Under Cabinet Lights 11 Beautiful Photos Of Under Cabinet Lighting

If you prefer your task lighting quick, easy, and automatic, battery operated LED motion sensing lights will turn on only when you need them.  Continue reading »

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