In our 15+ years of selling unique lights & lighting accessories we’ve learned that our customers like it when we make things simple. They also like it when we make them super-affordable. So packaging our lighting products into easy-to-buy kits with special bundled pricing was a no-brainer. From the kitchen to the dorm room, the deck to the tornado shelter – these Mr. Beams Lighting kits have you covered.
Trends in lighting technology keep getting smarter. In fact, if the LED Light Bulb were a soccer mom, she’d have a bumper sticker that read “My Light Bulb is Smarter than Your Light Bulb.” Smart lighting systems are hot at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, an annual event that showcases the most innovative gizmos of the year. But for all the hype, what exactly do they do? Without a smart bulb, am I less intelligent?
What Makes a Light Bulb Smart?
Like every good parent, smart light bulb manufacturers have different ideas about what makes their product smart. As the trend starts to explode, new variations of the smart bulb are cropping up everywhere in an attempt to out-perform their predecessors. Though each smart bulb has its own set of features, I’ve put together a list of some popular characteristics that seem to make a smart bulb so much “brighter” than its peers (sorry, couldn’t resist):
Sunday’s season première of Downton Abbey showcases the splendor of early 20th century lighting. From the brass candelabras that line the entrance hall to the ornate crystal chandelier that hangs in the drawing room, we’re greeted by elegance and luxury at every turn. A century later, we continue to see the echoes of this noble lifestyle in lighting decor.
In the early 1900’s electricity was still a relatively new concept and limited primarily to the very wealthy. For more than a century gas and oil had been the primary sources of artificial lighting fixtures. Intense heat, risk of combustion & carbon monoxide poisoning were all factors that pushed the modern world to pursue electric lights.
Science fiction aficionados may appreciate today’s blog post on one of the fundamental ingredients needed to create an other-worldly retreat where you can … well, space-out. From childhood bedrooms to multi-million dollar estates, science fiction has been the motivation for some of the most amazing spaces ever. Call it your Star Wars Sanctuary, Asimov Alcove, or Halo Haven, sci-fi rooms all have similar characteristics that give it their “universal” appeal. LIGHT.
Create an Astral Atmosphere
One of the most popular settings for a fictional future is in outer-space. A black landscape, interrupted only by the flickering of shining planets & stars is the perfect backdrop for sci-fi design. LED fiber optic ceiling lights will make you look like you’re in space.
2015 is the International Year of Light, and while we openly admit to being obsessed with anything light-related, we also understand that the rest of the world may not share our level of amazement. (Okay, we really don’t understand it, but we’ve come to accept it.) So imagine our joy when the United Nations announced this global initiative to educate the world about “the importance of light and optical technologies in their lives, for their futures and for the development of society.”
They could have done an International Day of Light, or even a month dedicated to light, but a year, folks. One. Entire. Year.
As a company, providing a positive learning experience has always been one of our main goals. Creating valuable, readable blog posts is a big deal to us, and we spend a lot of time looking back at what we’ve written to find out what worked, and what didn’t.
As we look back at 2014, one thing remains clear. Our readers continue to look to us for expert advice on things like “What are the advantages of Low Voltage Lighting?” and “How do you install LED Step Lighting?” The ever-popular “How to Layout Recessed Lighting in 4 Easy Steps” still reigns as our top blog post of all-time.
But we also like to have a little fun at Pegasus Lighting. In fact, it’s one of our guiding principles. Doing photo round-ups and design series gives us a chance to step back from the technical aspects of lighting and enjoy the remarkable things light can do. It was encouraging to see that our readers enjoy it too.
This week we’re wrapping up our 15 Year Celebration with our final 1999 Pop Culture Flashback. We’ve had such a great time looking back to the launch of Pegasus Lighting 15 years ago, and hope you’ve enjoyed coming along for the ride.
In December of 1999 all eyes were on Y2K. The millennium was nearing its end and amidst the reassurances of major governments and corporations, many were still braced for a digital meltdown. But even the threat of world-ending disasters couldn’t stop the 1999 Billboard awards.
1. Back Street Boys steal the show
The Back Street Boys take home 6 awards at the 1999 Billboard Music Awards, including Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. Tween-age girls across the globe squealed with joy each time this boy band took the stage.
Perhaps the most thoughtful and creative gift that you can give is sitting on your smart phone even as you read this. With just a printer and a few art supplies, photographs become unique keepsakes that can tell any story you want.
Tips for creating custom photo gifts:
- Design like an Expert — Add cool photo effects, frames and text to your pictures with Canva.com or Picmonkey.com. They are free, easy and will make you look like a pro!
- Get Social — Scout out your friend or family member’s Facebook or Instagram feed for great photos that you can customize and print.
- Look Back — Dig through old boxes of family photos to use in your project. To avoid damaging original prints, photocopy them or use your digital camera to take a picture of the image, then print that.
- Prepare to Print — Most home printers are more than adequate for these projects, but if yours is on the mend or you’ve just realized you’re out of ink, make a quick trip down to your local digital photo or copy center.
- Make it Shine –Incorporating light into your design adds a unique intensity to the photos. Brighten the gift with repurposed lamps, custom picture lights, tea light candles, or simply the brilliance of the sun.
Check out some of our favorite photo gift ideas with tutorials!
Despite your best intentions and promises to yourself that this will be The Year You Shop Early — here you are, just 10 days away from Christmas and you’re down to the wire. You. Have. One. Weekend. Left. One weekend where every procrastinator on the planet will be scouring for last-minute gifts. You’ve seen them before — Desperate, they grab the overpriced items off the endcaps and pile them into their cart, feverishly crossing names off their list.
Maybe next year will be your year. For now, take heart in the fact that you’re not alone. 11.7% of Americans wait until the last minute. Luckily we’ve rounded up 12 easy-on-the-wallet gift ideas for last-minute shoppers that will still make you look like you shopped all year long. And you don’t even have to leave the house.
Note: For this guide we’ve included gifts ranging from $5-$50, however prices are always subject to change.
1. Mini-Bluetooth Grill Thermometer ($49.95, Sharper Image)
Bluetooth technology debuted just 15 years ago. I wonder if any of the attendees at COMDEX thought to themselves “One day, I can cook my steak with the help of a tiny glowing tool that changes colors when my meat is cooked to perfection.” Probably not. Thankfully Sharper Image did, so now you can cook your steak and monitor it from your smart phone.
Whether shimmering, sparkling or softly glowing, incorporating light into your holiday mantle design is an instant way to add glitz. We have collected some gorgeous examples from Houzz designers where light played a role in creative holiday mantle decor, as well as simple ideas to make your mantle shine.
Quick tips for designing your holiday mantle:
- Think outside the box (er, mantle) — If you don’t have a fireplace or mantle in your home, recreate the look easily and with just as much glamour using a large shelf or entry table.
- Go outside! — A quick trip to the back yard can reap huge rewards for your holiday decor. Branches, twigs, holly and pinecones add to a rustic look.
- Borrow baubles from the tree — Extend your current theme by taking a handful of ornaments from the tree and scattering them throughout your design.
- Get crafty – You’d be amazed at what a can of silver or gold spray paint and some glitter will do to make the mantle sparkle.
- Add light! — Candles, string lights or just the simple glow from the fireplace are the finishing touches that can take your design from “Meh” to “Marvelous.”