Apr 092012
 

Have you ever critiqued the interior design on your favorite TV show? It may sound strange, but it’s interesting to look past the characters and consider what you would have done differently (or similarly) with furniture placement, color schemes, and lighting design. I’ve definitely found myself thinking, “nice under cabinet lighting” a time or two while watching a show set in a luxury kitchen. Maybe that makes me a lighting nerd …

Modern Family is one of the most popular sitcoms on ABC right now, featuring three households that are impeccably designed. Phil and Claire Dunphy live in a traditional style family home with their three children, Jay Pritchett and wife Gloria live in a sleek, modern house with Gloria’s son Manny, and Mitchell and Cam’s home is a blend between the two styles. I included a few snapshots below, along with lighting design lessons:

1. Just a few recessed light fixtures can wash an entire wall with light. You can see just four recessed cans in this photo, but they create a wall washing effect so that the far wall becomes a focal point. I actually wrote a post recently on how wall washing recessed lighting  is often used in museums, hotels, and art galleries because it makes quite a statement. As you can see, it’s just as easy to incorporate into a home! The photo is of the Dunphy living room. Read more on how to wash a wall with light here.

Dunphy family room What You Can Learn About Lighting Design From Modern Family

Photo via zimbio.com

Continue reading »

Mar 262012
 

illuminated artwork How To Get The Most Out of the Artwork In Your HomeWant to call more attention to the beautiful artwork gracing the walls of your home? When it comes to enhancing textures, showing off detail, and making colors more vibrant, it’s all about getting the lighting right.

In general, you should light up artwork three times brighter than the rest of the room. It might be a good idea to put your artwork lighting on a dimmer so that you can install lamps with high lumen output and then tweak the light levels.

To avoid glare, place your picture lights or adjustable recessed trims at a 30 degree angle from the painting or photograph. For very large frames (such as the one in the photo above), increase the angle to about 35 degrees so that you won’t cast a shadow. For paintings with texture, decrease the angle to about 25 degrees to accentuate.

Typically, for smaller pieces of artwork, it’s best to install one light per frame. It creates a cohesive effect and ensures that each piece receives enough illumination. However, for a mural or piece of artwork that extends horizontally on the wall, you will probably want to install multiple lights. The general rule is to use one display light for every 2-3 feet of wall space.

You also have to take into account potential UV and heat damage from your lighting – particularly with oil paintings. To avoid UV damage, stick with LED lighting, which does not emit any ultraviolet or infrared radiation. To avoid heat damage, use the “hand test”  with picture lights – simply place your hand in between the artwork and the light fixture. If you can feel any heat, it may be damaging to an oil painting. Fluorescent and LED lights are both great options for minimal heat exposure. Halogen display lights tend to give off a great deal of heat.

Mar 152012
 

bathroom lighting 325px How Lighting Can Easily Match the Ambiance of any Bathroom

Helen Davies of Better Bathrooms shares this guest post with us about ways to choose the right lighting for your bathroom. Thanks Helen!

The secret to creating the best ambiance for any room, including the bathroom, is simply having the correct type of lighting. It is a shame to build and decorate the bathroom of your dreams, only to have the feel of the room let down by the quality of the lighting. For example, a person may have gone for a modern inspired bathroom and ruined the decor with an aged ceiling lamp. With the vast majority of different lighting options available, it couldn’t be easier to find a light fixture to match the overall style of your bathroom.

If you have a small bathroom or en suite, lighting is the perfect way to maximize the space. A selection of ceiling spotlights can create the illusion of a larger space, taking away that cramped feeling and improving the overall feel of the room. The good thing about spotlights is that they can be installed into everything from the ceiling to the top of your bathroom cabinets. By installing the lights into shelves or bathroom cabinets you can create the illusion of extra space while showcasing any decorative items or products displayed on these units. Continue reading »

 Posted by on March 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm
Mar 072012
 
dimming tool Fun Tool: How Much Energy Can You Save?

Plug in the bulb type, hours used per day, wattage, and calculate your 5-year savings!

We are big fans of Lutron dimmers. The company – Lutron Electronics, Inc. – was founded over 50 years ago, so they have a lot of experience in the light control business. They are award-winning innovators. Plus, their products are just fantastic! The dimming controls are intuitive, the design is sleek, and the technology is sophisticated.

Not surprisingly, we sell a wide selection of Lutron dimmers.

I came across a fun tool this morning on Lutron’s website. It’s an Energy Saving Calculator allowing you to find out exactly how much electricity (and money) you can save in a particular room by adding a dimmer. You specify which dimmer you want to install, what type of light bulbs it will be used with, and how many hours per day you have the lights on.

Try it out for yourself! I plugged in the numbers for the light bulbs in my bathroom with a Maestro dimmer and found this:

Lutron Savings Calculator Fun Tool: How Much Energy Can You Save?

More than justifies the $35 cost of the Line Voltage Maestro Dimmer, doesn’t it?

Feb 162012
 
DSCN69162 225x300 How To Replace An Outlet With An In Wall Night Light DSCN69272 225x300 How To Replace An Outlet With An In Wall Night Light

What are the night lights in your home like?

If they’re a little like the picture on the left, or if night lights in your mind only belong in children’s bedrooms, this post is for you.

First; night lights, unlike Trix cereal, are not just for kids. Ever fallen on a dark flight of stairs? Or blindly stumbled to the bathroom in the middle of the night?  Night lights are points of safety illumination – and they don’t have to be eyesores.

Our in-wall night lights are fantastic solutions if you’re looking for sophisticated, smart night lights that give off a bright glow! I recently installed several in my fiance’s house.

This post will walk you through the installation. It’s fairly easy and can be done in an afternoon. If you have drab night lights that need to be switched on manually, it’ll be a huge improvement.

DSCN6915 300x225 How To Replace An Outlet With An In Wall Night Light

Materials Needed:

  • Phillips or Flat-Head Screwdriver (Depending on your existing outlet’s screws)
  • Electrical Tape
  • Wire Cutters
  • LED In-Wall Night Lights (Wirenuts and screws included in package)

Steps:

1. Snap off the faceplate cover from your LED In-Wall Night Light. Continue reading »

 Posted by on February 16, 2012 at 8:27 am
Jan 122012
 

home buying 5 Lighting Renovations That Will Help Sell Your HomeIf you’re in the market to sell, you probably feel like you could use all the help you can get. You’ve heard realtors talk about remodeling projects to make your home stand out, but which are worth it?

If you’re asking yourself that question, your most helpful tool will be Remodeling Magazine’s Cost versus Value report. Published once a year, it’s an analysis of  remodeling projects with the highest (and lowest) value. You can select your region (New England, Middle Atlantic, etc.) and view the average cost of particular projects as well as the estimated resale value.

Obviously, those numbers are incredibly difficult to pin down, but Remodeling Magazine does their research, using figures from the National Association of Realtors, several market research companies, and thousands of web-based surveys.

If you decide to remodel a particular room after using the report, use these additional tips to amp up the lighting – and make your home more attractive to buyers: Continue reading »

 Posted by on January 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm
Jan 102012
 

These photos come from a serious DIY-er, so perhaps they’ll be an inspiration for anyone considering tackling a major renovation project on your own. Chad decided to build a kitchen in his basement, so he picked out cabinets and hardware and then installed all of the electrical, plumbing, and flooring with the help of his wife. He hired someone to help with the countertops and drywall work. “Some things should just be left to the pros,” Chad said. We agree!

xenonproject 1 1024x768 Real DIY Lighting Projects: Adding a Basement Kitchen Continue reading »

 Posted by on January 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm
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.

Dec 282011
 

Get ready for some unbelievable before and after pictures.

Today’s post features a kitchen remodeling project from Rob’s Remodeling, Inc. After talking with Rob on the phone, I wished I lived closer to Northbrook, IL (where Rob’s Remodeling, Inc. is based) so I could hire him for any future remodeling projects I might have. He’s the nicest guy, and he’s clearly passionate about doing quality work. “I don’t do this for the money,” he told me. “I just love what I do.”

Rob says he uses Pegasus Lighting products whenever he can. His favorite under cabinet lighting fixture is the Xenon Triangle Light, and he is a perfectionist about making sure clients cannot see any wires once they’re installed. Best of all, he’s as big of a fan of under cabinet lighting as we are: “When I talk someone into doing under cabinet lighting,” he said, “it’s the difference between a good kitchen and a kickass kitchen.”

Without further ado, here are the pictures of a recent kitchen remodeling project Rob completed for a client. Continue reading »

 Posted by on December 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm
Dec 132011
 

Wanted Outdoor Lighting1 5 Warning Signs Your (Lack Of) Outdoor Lighting Is An Accident Waiting To Happen1. When negotiating the steps to your door at night, you’re forced to use your cell phone as a makeshift flashlight.

There’s no question about it – inadequate step lighting is just dangerous. It’s so easy to incorporate lighting into your stairway! Don’t wait until you take a bad fall to make a change. Use this guide to determine what kind of lights are right for your steps.

2. When you’re out of town, so are the house lights. 

Sure, outdoor lighting helps you negotiate dark stairways and makes your house look beautiful, but let’s be honest: It’s not just for you. It sends an important message to outsiders. When you leave home for an extended period of time, you don’t want every passerby to know it. The key here is to look for lights with photocells. Whether it’s a series of small utility lights or a light control socket you can screw your front porch lights into, photocells will enable automated lighting for your home. At dusk, the lights will turn on; at dawn, they’ll turn off again. Continue reading »

 Posted by on December 13, 2011 at 11:12 am

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