Winning The Battle On Christmas Lights: Artificial Trees

Stringing lights onto your Christmas tree can be a major nightmare. I mean, people have written songs about how terrible it is. Before the stress of the season takes over, check out our latest guest post from holiday expert Linda Knighton. These simple tips for lighting your artificial Christmas tree will help keep peace on earth throughout your holiday preparation.

If you’re new to owning an artificial Christmas tree, you may discover that it’s a little different to decorate. Although it generally takes more time to put light strands on an artificial Christmas tree, the benefit is that once you’ve placed them on the branches, you won’t have to remove them again. Below are some ideas for selecting the right lights for your Christmas tree, and some tips on how to decorate with them.

  • Use 50-foot light strands. According to Better Homes and Gardens, these lights are less likely to have electrical problems or burn out. If you want subdued lighting, Better Homes’ website suggests 12 boxes of 50-foot light strands for a 6-foot tree, or 20 boxes for an 8-foot tree. If you prefer a brighter look, use 20 boxes for a 6-foot tree or 30 boxes for an 8-foot tree.
  • Check the Christmas lights before you start putting them on the tree. Make sure all the strands are untangled and that none of the light bulbs are loose. Plug each into an electrical socket to ensure that they work and that none of the bulbs are burnt out. (more…)

Read More

Latest Trend: Industrial Lighting

The New York Institute of Art + Design recently published this mood board about industrial design on their blog:

Image via /blog.nyiad.edu

According to NYIAD, the industrial look features “unfinished woods, metals, and exposed structural work.”

What I love about industrial design is how lighting is so integral. Not only do the right fixtures (like the galactic chandelier shown above) add to the raw, material aesthetic, they also keep your bare-bones rooms from feeling too dismal.

Here are a few other “industrial” lights that will keep your home looking modern and mechanized, but never bleak. (more…)

Read More

Tips From The White House For Lighting Your Home

With the debate tonight and Election Day a month away, I’m in a presidential state of mind. No matter who we choose to run the country for the next 4 years, he’s going to live in a stunning, immaculately lit home.

While much of the White House décor would overpower a regular-sized home, we can take away concepts from its lighting scheme to make our own dwellings more beautiful. Here are a few universal lighting principles carried out Washington-style:

Layer those lights! See: The China Room

While I was scrolling through photos on WhiteHouse.gov, I noted that every room had two, three, four different light sources. For instance, in the China Room created by First Lady Edith Wilson in 1917, there’s not only a beautiful chandelier for overhead lighting, but there are also wall sconces and even display lights in the china cabinets. This adds visual interest, eliminates unflattering shadows, and creates striking focal points.

Photo via WhiteHouse.gov

Light layering is a flattering design strategy in any room in your house, but I chose The China Room so you could see how pretty it looks to have illuminated cabinets, hutches, shelves, and display cases. It might not be your first impulse to install a few linear or puck lights, but it’s really easy to do, and will make your cabinet’s contents and the entire room dazzle.

Know your color temperature. See: The State Dining Room

When we think of classic, traditional lighting, we often summon images of warm incandescent lights, as close to candle light as we can get. But, The State Dining Room shows us that cooler white light can be just as dignified. The daylight white light of the chandelier and sconces is unexpectedly cool, but it looks great! This color temperature is perfect to offset the clean white walls and crisp table cloths – a warmer light source may make things look too yellow.

Photo via WhiteHouse.gov

(more…)

Read More

3 Unforgettable Lighting Projects from Young House Love

If you’ve never visited the DIY, home renovation blog Young House Love, you’re in for a treat. John and Sherry, bloggers extraordinaire, are renovating their home step-by-step, giving their readers a detailed look into the process. Every day they have some new clever project to write about. (And the way they tell stories gets addictive, quick).

The blog has a ton of posts on home lighting, some technical, some crazy and fun. Today, I thought I’d share with you my 3 favorite DIY lighting projects from Young House Love:

Courtesy of YoungHouseLove.com

1. The Basket Pendant

Who would have thought a thrift store basket could become such a striking focal point? Using an old consignment pendant light (for the lighting kit) and some makeshift hardware, this light was up and ready with only minimal assembly required.

I love this project for 3 reasons: First, the way the light plays with the basket casts the neatest shadows on the ceiling. Second, this project is so simple, you can use almost anything you want (within reason) to make a really personal, meaningful centerpiece for your room. Finally, the basket Sherry and John used is actually a fishing basket, used in many African and Asian countries. What a cool fact!

Courtesy of YoungHouseLove.com

2. The Chandelier-Turned-Office-Light

For this lighting project, John and Sherry modernized an outdated chandelier in their office that just didn’t match their aesthetic at all. All they did was doctor up the old bronze chandelier with a little indigo spray paint, and attach it to a giant drum shade for a much sleeker edge.

What I think is totally remarkable here is how Sherry and John used a fixture that they already had – just made some unexpected changes to help it fit their style. (more…)

Read More

Powerful Lighting Changes for Your Everyday Life (Brought To You by Philips & LEDs)

Have you seen Philips’ series of lighting makeovers? They’re all on YouTube, showing how LED lights can positively change the lives of people around the world. Seriously, LEDs can solve so many common lighting problems, it’s almost unbelievable! I’ve picked out my three favorites to share with you, featuring three unique problems and their ingenious LED solutions, but you can view all 20+ here.

This first LED makeover takes place in Amsterdam. A couple has been trying to sell their flat for over a year, and they haven’t gotten anyone to bite…

With inadequate lighting, real estate agents complain about low ceilings and a gloomy atmosphere. After the lighting makeover, the agents focus on the unique architectural features, the bright kitchen, and the cozy mood. And when post-lightover they price the flat at 40,000 euros more, it really makes you marvel at the power of LEDs! (more…)

Read More

4 Simple Ways To Improve The Exterior Of Your Home

Nice exterior home

Today’s guest post focuses on the outside of your home. Jennifer, a staff writer for Fortified Roofing, reviews four ways to really give the exterior of your house that “Wow!” factor. I am going to go ahead and add a fifth way to this list – outdoor lighting. No big surprise there, huh? Now back to our regularly scheduled guest post.

Having a beautiful home with a lot of curb appeal requires work! That said, approaching an exterior makeover with the right priorities will save you time, money, and a ton of stress. Let’s take a look at the best ways to improve the outside of your home:

1. Landscaping

This is the first thing someone sees when they look at your home – your only chance to make a first impression. You should mow the lawn at least once every week, and make sure not to neglect edging (creating clean lines around flowerbeds, trees, sidewalks, and fences). For the hedges we usually recommend trimming after you mow, but if they hang over the lawn, you might want to reverse the order to save yourself work. This way you can mow over the clippings. Pine needles, mulch, or rocks are all great, visually pleasing options for flower beds, but don’t forget to pull the weeds! (more…)

Read More

Using Dynamic Lighting Arrangements to Liven up Your Yard

A House Lit up at Night

Today we have a guest post from Jillian Watkinson of Community Home Supply, a family-owned Chicago kitchen and bathroom showroom. Jillian’s post gives us some tips for improving the look of your home’s yard with strategically placed outdoor lighting.

Regardless of what your backyard looks like, how big it is or what landscape style it’s been built to, the addition of decorative dynamic lighting arrangements in strategic places is guaranteed to improve your yard’s look immensely. Placing lights around your property in certain patterns is not difficult or expensive and can turn even an ordinary yard into a nighttime wonder.

Take a look at the following tips and maybe use some of them to liven up your garden space with dynamic light arrangements.

What are Your Existing Yard Features?

As a first step towards setting out your lighting arrangements, take a good look at your front yard, back yard and any walkways you have to decide where lights could be placed for maximum effect. For example, if you have a walkway in your front yard and a large stone or wood patio in your back, you might want to think about surrounding their edges with small decorative lights in order to accent their presence and shape.

The idea here is to notice the features against which lighting would look best and make them stand out while muting other parts of your yard that would be better off more hidden in the dark. (more…)

Read More

How Proper Security Lighting Can Deter Burglars From Targeting Your Home

Outdoor Security Lighting for a Home

A simple and relatively inexpensive way to protect your home from unwanted intruders is to install security lighting outside your home and to use timers to turn lights on and off inside your home. Thanks to Allen from YourLocalSecurity.com, an ADT authorized dealer, for this guest post with five easy tips to protect your home.

Lighting is a homeowner’s best friend when it comes to protecting home and property. Burglars love the darkness and feed on creeping around in the shadows. A poorly lit home reads like an invitation for them to commit a robbery. There is no such thing as having too much lighting inside and outside your home.

There are plenty of ways to get the most out of your interior and exterior lighting so you can turn your home into a secure environment for you and your family. Consider these lighting tips to discourage burglars from targeting your home:

1. Install motion sensors

Nothing startles a burglar and stops them dead in their tracks better than an exterior light suddenly flipping on as they are snooping around. When you install exterior lighting that operates on motion sensors, it gives the appearance that someone is home – even when no one is there.

Burglars canvas neighborhoods over a period of several days while they search for houses that are in the dark. Lights operating on motion sensors will encourage them to move on from your residence and choose an easier target elsewhere.

Exterior lights operating on motion sensors should be installed at the front and the back of your house. It is also a good idea to position lights at each corner of your house so that the motion sensors can catch anyone approaching from a side or an angle. (more…)

Read More

New Home Project: Annie’s Desk Light Decision

As the newest employee at Pegasus Lighting, I figured it was high time for me to post about one of my own personal lighting projects! I recently moved into a new apartment, and got this gorgeous wooden desk for my home office:

Annie's New Desk

I love it for all the storage, especially the nooks and shelving up top, but unfortunately they cast most of my workspace in shadow. NOT acceptable, especially for a devoted employee of Pegasus Lighting!

So, I weighed my options. I love the utility of standard base and clamp-on desk lamps to position and focus light, but I was dealing with so much shadow that I needed something more large-scale. Using an under cabinet light for widespread overhead lighting was the perfect choice for me. (more…)

Read More

How To Choose Light Bulbs For Your Home: Bathroom Light Bars

You depend on it to prevent shaving nicks and makeup mishaps. It wakes you up in the morning; it’s one of the last lights you turn off before bed. Bathroom lighting is crucial to your home. How much thought do you give to your bathroom light bulbs?

We’ve written a couple of posts on bathroom lighting: this one explains a few design tips to enhance the space, and this one advises you not to use recessed downlights over the mirror to avoid the Dracula effect. For those of you who are looking for light bulbs to your bathroom light bar appropriately:

  • The best bathroom lighting emulates sunlight. Heard of G.E. Reveal light bulbs? They have a special coating of an element called neodymium – you’ll see that the light bulbs have a bluish tint when turned off. That neodymium coating helps create something very close to natural, outdoor light.
  • Keep an eye on Color Rendering Index (CRI) – it’s a measure of how accurately your light bulb renders colors. In the bathroom, you want a high CRI. It’s measured on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being sunlight. Anything 85 or above is considered to be very good.
  • Many people don’t think about dimmability in the bathroom, but it’s a very useful feature. Ever felt like you’re blinded by the light first thing in the morning, or wished it didn’t have to be so harsh for late-night trips to the bathroom? If you install a dimmer, you can create those low-light conditions without sacrificing the bright light levels you need the rest of the day.

So, there you have it: For bathroom light bars, look for dimmable, neodymium-coated light bulbs with a high CRI.

Read More