How To Light a Foyer

If you have an elegant staircase, entrance hallway, or foyer that’s begging for lighting to call attention to its splendor, look no further. This guide will help you determine exactly what types of light fixtures will fill the space best.

You almost always want to incorporate some sort of chandelier if the foyer’s ceiling is above-average height. It will create that “wow” effect you are looking for. However, it’s important to scale  the size of the light fixture for the space. Here are some tips that should help…

To determine the right width of the light fixture: Add the length and width dimensions (in feet) of the foyer area together. That number – in inches – is the width of the light fixture you should look for. So, if your foyer is ten feet by ten feet, you’ll want a light fixture that is about 20 inches wide.

To determine the right height of the light fixture: Position the light fixture so that the bottom is at least seven feet from the floor. If you have a window above your front door in the foyer, you can really heighten the effect of a beautiful chandelier. Center the chandelier in the window. Even from the outside, your home will look brilliant!

Depending on how large your foyer is, you may want to look for a flush mount ceiling light, a semi-flush mount light, or a chandelier with two or three tiers.

Very large entryways might call for wall sconces in addition to a ceiling light fixture. Hang them about 66 inches from the floor and place them about eight feet apart.

For more entryway design ideas, check out Houzz Ideabooks.

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How to Choose a Recessed Shower Light

Shower Lighting When I say “bathroom lighting,” what image pops up in your head?

If it’s a beautiful vanity area accented with stylish wall sconces, or an illuminated mirror above the sink, you’re like most people. The vanity is important to light properly. It can be incredibly annoying to have inadequate light for makeup or shaving, so it’s typically what people (including us!) think of first.

This post is about the part of the bathroom that is frequently forgotten in terms of lighting: the shower. For some reason, recessed shower lights get left off the lighting plan often. The result is a shadowy, unwelcoming space – hardly the place you’d want to spend your first few groggy moments of the morning.

Whether you’re adding shower lights to your finished bathroom (an easy project with special remodel recessed housings), or choosing the shower trim you’d like to use in a new bathroom, this post should help you decide which product is right for you.


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Photos from a Kitchen: LED Under Cabinet Lighting

Sometimes, it’s best to let photos speak for themselves.

Take a look at this kitchen. See the newly installed under cabinet lights nestled discreetly underneath those cabinets? If you can barely spot them, it’s because our LED under cabinet lights are incredibly low profile.

The following photos show the kitchen with the under cabinet lights turned off. For all intensive purposes, consider these the “before” photos:








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Lighting Design at the White House

We frequently blog about home lighting tips, but rarely do we share photos of homes with professionally designed lighting. It’s fun to see the style in a celebrity’s kitchen or to read about the projects an architect might take on in his own home, but the best homes to peek into are the ones that showcase room after room of professional lighting. What better place to see that than in the home and office of our nation’s president?

Although 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has housed every U.S. president except George Washington, there have been a few decorative changes over the years. Congress allocates money every four years for maintenance and redecoration of the 132 rooms. The Committee for the Preservation of the White House must approve changes to historic rooms and public spaces, but the living quarters on the upper floors may be updated without consultation.

George W. and Laura Bush added CFL light bulbs during their time in the White House (along with low-flow faucets and solar heating). It’s impossible to catalog each lighting change the building has seen, but photos speak to how beautifully each room is lit. (more…)

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Under Cabinet Lighting Install: From Start to Finish

Update (7/28): I added my installation video at the bottom of this post!

This was my first time with a “do it yourself” lighting project, so I wanted to share my experiences from the very beginning.  I absolutely love the finished results!  This project was surprisingly easy to tackle.   I completed the install in less than two hours, and the total cost was right around $100.

I highly recommend making this update to your kitchen!

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How to Create an Outdoor Living Space

When the summer months roll around, you want to be sure you can take advantage of your outdoor living space as much as possible.  Whether your backyard is a pristine oasis complete with a pool and garden or you are limited to a small balcony overlooking nothing but your neighbor’s place, there’s always room for improvement.

Enhancing your outdoor lighting will give your area so much more versatility: Host a cookout and have guests linger after dusk.  Enjoy a late dinner on the patio.  Bring a book out after the sun goes down and listen to the crickets.

Chances are if your current outdoor lighting situation is lackluster, you’re not using the space as much as you could.  Customize your lighting to enhance your space by following the tips below: (more…)

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Before “Aging in Place” Ever Happens

There’s a lot of talk about “aging in place” in the remodeling industry.  Homeowners are increasingly asking designers to help them envision home modifications that will serve future needs.

While the term “aging in place” fosters some negative connotations, it essentially means creating a more accessible and low-maintenance space (i.e., eliminating unnecessary steps, adding slip-resistant bathroom floors, etc.)  See the National Association of Home Builder’s checklist for more information.

Lighting adjustments do hold a prominent place on the “aging in place” checklist, but they would be better off on another list altogether.

People begin experiencing major changes in eyesight at the young age of 45.  As you get older, the changes accelerate: You are less able to discriminate between colors, more sensitive to glare, and less able to see small details.  Also, it begins to take increasingly longer to adapt to sudden changes in brightness.

Research shows that a 60-year-old needs twice as much light as a 30-year-old.  Most of the commonly found lighting guidelines are written with the 30-year-old user in mind.  -American Lighting Association


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As Seen on TV: Our Xenon Light Strip

Have you ever seen a cove lighting installation in action?  Our xenon low voltage strip was featured on the DIY network TV show Rescue Renovation!  The episode features a young man who bought his first home from 1000 miles away.  Needless to say, it turned out to be quite a “fixer-upper.”

In this clip, you’ll see the Rescue Renovation team coming in to help.  They use the light strip behind crown molding to accentuate the home’s original cove ceiling.  View the video after the jump! (more…)

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Is It Lights Out Time For Your Kids?

Are night lights really good for our kids or should we be encouraging them to sleep in the dark? Research shows that the question is not quite that simple.  In fact, it’s all depends on the amount and quality of sleep your kids are getting.

It’s not unusual for young children to sleep with a night light, and there are certainly advantages for both parents and children. For parents, it means that you can peek into their room and see how they are doing without waking them by turning on a harsh light.  For kids, it’s often about security. Dark shadows can terrify some little ones. (more…)

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Little-Known Facts about Energy Efficient Lighting

The Huffington Post recently published a great article about home lighting.  We figured some of their ‘little-known facts’ might be no-brainers to our blog readers, so we wanted to share just the best of the information here:

For each $1 you invest in efficient lighting, you will be paid back up to $6 in energy savings.

You have all heard that CFLs beat incandescent bulbs as far as energy efficiency, but exactly how energy efficient they are might draw a blank.  Think about it this way: if you use a 75-watt incandescent for six hours a day, you’d pay approximately $54 a year on energy (this includes the costs of replacement bulbs at 75 cents per bulb).  A 20-watt CFL with the same light output would cost $14 a year to power.  That bulb would cost $6 to purchase initially but it’d last four years for six hours a day, so the total expenditure per year would be $15.50.  That’s $38.50 less per year, which is a return on investment of 642%! (more…)

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