Dec 302013
 

Light Bulb Question Mark Green Where Did the Phrase Go Green Come From?

“Going green” has come to symbolize environmentalism in such a familiar way that most of us don’t think twice about who first coined the phrase.

I was curious about the origin of the term and wondered what made it take such strong hold in the English language. Speaking of curiosities, remember Heinz’s food flop several years ago when they decided to go green (literally) with ketchup? Glad that didn’t take hold.

Most people associate the beginning of the green movement and environmentalism with the publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson in the 1970′s.

Surprisingly, it dates back even further, to Henry David Thoreau’s writings in the 19th century. Thoreau spoke about living a “green” life in The Maine Woods in his call for conservation, forest preservation and respect for nature. You are probably familiar with several of Thoreau’s famous inspirational quotes (i.e., “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams,” or “What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”). His greener remarks include:

What is the use of a house if you don’t have a decent planet to put it on?

This one’s my favorite (Thoreau, you were a funny guy!):

Beware of all enterprises that require a new set of clothes.

Did you have any idea the U.S. “green movement” was rooted in early American philosophy?

 

 Posted by on December 30, 2013 at 10:01 am
Dec 272013
 

eco friendly light bulb lying The Biggest Impact of the EISA Is Here: Bye Bye 60 Watt Incandescent

It has taken 7 years but we are now here. On January 1, 2014 both the 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent light bulb will no longer be produced as a result of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) signed by President George W. Bush. In years past we have lost the 100-watt and 75-watt. However, this next phase will probably have the biggest impact. Why? Simple. The 60 and 40-watt light bulbs are the most popular. According to Residential Lighting, they represent over 50% of all light bulbs used today.

We have been covering the incandescent phase out on this blog for the last couple of years. However, as a reminder, a primary goal of this law is to raise appliance and lighting efficiency standards.

The 60 and 40-watt light bulbs will not just vanish into thin air on January 1, 2014. You will probably still see them in stores for a couple of months. The key is that as of 1/1/14 they can no longer be imported into or manufactured in the United States. Continue reading »

Dec 232013
 

Choosing a paint color can bring out the indecisiveness in anyone. My mother is famous for this – paint samples will stay on the wall for at least six months before a decision is made.

There are a lot of great resources out there on this; How to Quit Procrastinating on Color Choice on Houzz.com is short, sweet, and helpful for a start. Donna Frasca’s Color Expert blog is also enlightening.

Today, I want to talk about the lighting considerations that come into play with picking paint colors. We’ll start with a new vocabulary word for all you Scrabble competitors. Metamerism. Heard of it? If not, you’re certainly familiar with its meaning. Ever noticed how a paint color you carefully chose at the store looks completely different in your living room? Or how two seemingly black socks you put on in the morning turned into one black and one decidedly navy blue sock at the office? The effect of metamerism occurs when colors appear to change under different light conditions.

Metamerism can be used to your advantage – it’s certainly interesting to have a room with a dynamic paint color that changes from sunrise to sunset, from wall to wall, and from room to room. However, it’s important to be knowledgeable about how it works, so you don’t end up with a fast food red hue when you were aiming for a sophisticated shade of brick.

Know How Light Exposure (North, East, South, West) Affects Colors

innovative light blue colors to paint room How To Pick a Paint Color: The Lighting Perspective

Image via decosee.com

Continue reading »

 Posted by on December 23, 2013 at 10:00 am
Dec 172013
 

Our hope is for Light Reading to be a place you can come for inspiration and guidance as you plan your next lighting project.

The thing is, we are incredibly inspired by our readers!  Your creative installations, kind words, and contributions to product Q&A’s constantly remind us why we do what we do. In this season of thankfulness, we are so thankful for you.

As the year comes to a close, we wanted to share our top 5 most popular blog posts from 2013. Without further ado …

Motion Sensor Under Cabinet Lights Your Top 5 Favorite Blog Posts From 2013

“11 Beautiful Photos of Under Cabinet Lighting”

11 Beautiful Photos of Under Cabinet Lighting: This one definitely falls under the “inspiration” category, but it can also be helpful if you’re trying to determine what type of under cabinet lighting is your favorite for the kitchen. Puck? Linear? LED? Fluorescent? Be prepared to gaze at dreamy kitchens. Read More >>

iStock 000016712550Small Your Top 5 Favorite Blog Posts From 2013

“How To Have Great Lighting In a Rental”

Here’s How To Map Out Your Recessed Lights (An Infographic): Those who decide to add recessed lighting to a new or existing home are presented with a seemingly impossible task – laying them out on a blueprint. This infographic will clue you in on what every lighting designer knows about recessed lighting placement. You’ll be ready to install in no time. Read More >>

How To Install Recessed Lights In a Drop Ceiling: There are special considerations for this type of lighting installation; for example, you need to be cautious about heat output to avoid a fire hazard around plastic surfaced or fiberglass panels.  Read More >>

Tape Light Step Lights Your Top 5 Favorite Blog Posts From 2013

“8 Ways To Use Step Lights”

How To Have Great Lighting in a Rental: Trust Annie Josey to share ingenious ideas for amping up your lighting without ticking off your landlord. She walks you through the kitchen, bedroom, living room, bathroom, & patio, rescuing renters everywhere from bad lighting on the way. Read More >>

8 Ways To Use Step Lights (Photo Inspiration): Introduce yourself to the myriad of possibilities when it comes to staircase lighting with these gorgeous photos and links to make them happen in your space. Read More >>

We are looking forward to continuing to share lighting information and photos with you in 2014! As always, let us know if you have any special requests for blog topics below.

 Posted by on December 17, 2013 at 9:30 am
Dec 122013
 

holdman christmas show 20101 Top 5 Christmas Light and Music Displays

What is the Christmas season without Christmas lights and music? But what happens when you combine the two? Well, a wonderfully awesome Christmas light display of course! Check out our picks for the top 5 homes that combined the elements of lights and music to create unforgettable Christmas light displays.

1) The Holdman Family

Beautifully done, and extremely well organized, the Holdman family has been setting their Christmas display to music for years!

2) A Colorado Springs Home

This home goes above and beyond to spread the holiday cheer!

3) Gangham Style

What is 2013 without the widely renowned “Gangman Style” theme song? This home combines the funky fun song with a perfectly timed Christmas display.

4) Let’s Dance!

Although this one seems a little more fitting for a nightclub then a home, it still shines a fun light on combining music with a Christmas light display. Kudos for the creativity!

5) Fit for a Princess

So, maybe this one isn’t exactly “set” to music, but it is still one of the best home Christmas light displays we’ve seen. Even if this particular “home” is actually a castle belonging to a fairytale princess.

Do you know of any cool Christmas lighting displays that are timed to music?

Dec 092013
 

Is there a better way to kick off a lighting design awards show than to distribute glowsticks to the finalists for “experimentation”?

Well, we can’t think of one.

The photos below have been floating around on Twitter in anticipation of the 2014 Lighting Design Awards, a worldwide architectural lighting competition to be held in London on March 20. Leave it to the creative lighting professionals to craft a rainbow motif, an “alien landing” scene, and a dog collar – all from a box of glowsticks.

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Photos: Innovation – @havellssylvania. Glowstick Art #1 – @zanocontrols. Alien Landing – @zanocontrols. Finalist Glowsticks – @iGuzziniUK. Glowstick Art #3 – @zanocontrols. #LDA 2014- @lightingmag. Dogs with Glowsticks – @lucentlighting

Which would you vote for?

Follow @LDA_2014 and @iGuzziniUK on Twitter for more, and check out a shortlist of the finalist projects and products for the 2014 Lighting Design Awards here.

 Posted by on December 9, 2013 at 10:00 am
Dec 062013
 

Let’s face it; while working for yourself can be an amazing experience, owning your own business can come with a ton of unsightly costs you may not have been anticipating. One of those may be energy costs for lighting and illuminating your building. This day and age, lighting can account for up to 35% of a business’s energy costs which can be a huge impact on your profit. So what are some ways you can help cut down on this expensive expenditure?

cut energy costs Brighten Your Business and Cut Down Your Energy Costs

Understand Your Lighting Needs

It is important to first understand what type of lighting will best suit your business. Are you lighting a restaurant? A book store? Coffee shop? Retail outlet? Whatever the genre, you need to determine how your customers are using your space. Lighting should be adequate and efficient to fit their needs. You will also want to decide the color and hue you want your lighting to have. Being aware of your customer’s needs can help you determine whether or not your company should have more or less lighting. This will reduce unnecessary energy costs by ensuring you are not using extra lighting when it is not needed. Continue reading »

Dec 042013
 

Tonight from 8-9 p.m. ET, NBC will air the live broadcast of the Rockefeller Center holiday tree lighting! We are excited to tune in. A few fun facts about this year’s tree:

  • This year’s Norway Spruce is 76 feet tall and 47 feet in diameter.
  • The tree was donated by a family in Shelton, Connecticut – it grew in their front yard for 20+ years.
  • 45,000+ LED lights were strung to decorate the tree.
  • A 9.5 foot wide LED-lit Swarovski crystal star tops the tree.

The show will feature performances from Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, Goo Goo Dolls, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Ariana Grande, and Jewel. Check out the size of that tree!

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 Posted by on December 4, 2013 at 10:00 am
Nov 262013
 

We all know Thanksgiving can be a hectic holiday, particularly if you’re hosting. When the 10+ pound turkey has yet to be picked up, the sides have yet to be planned, and your guests are due to arrive in hours, decorating the table is the least of your worries. Don’t be discouraged: you don’t have to be Martha Stewart to create a beautiful, easy, inexpensive holiday centerpiece. In fact, you may have all the supplies to wow those soon-to-arrive guests in five minutes flat:

Option 1: Glass Vases or Wine Bottles + String Lights

Check your cabinets for empty glass vases, hurricane candle holders – any decorative glass bowl will do. If you’re in a pinch, an empty wine bottle creates the same effect! Now, fill with string lights and voilà – instant centerpiece. Battery operated string lights are easiest because you won’t have to worry about the cord, but you can also get creative with hiding the cord under your table runner. Add pinecones and/or branches as you wish.

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Images (in order) via curbly.com, chaiandhome.com, lightpositive.com, and morethanjustcards.blogspot.com.

Continue reading »

 Posted by on November 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm
Nov 202013
 

We’ve seen LED rope lights transform a living room cove ceiling, illuminate a staircase handrail, and accent outdoor decks and patios.

Sure, this light source lends itself to unique and creative applications: it’s completely flexible, easy to install, and truly eye-catching. We’ve been wowed in the past, but DIY’ers are now taking LED rope lighting to places we’ve never seen before. Clearly, there is no end to the creative uses for this light source!

1. Word Wall Art in a Playroom:  This homeowner created an inspiring word art installation on the wall of her son’s playroom. She used the screw-in mounting clips that come with the product for wall hanging.

One great tip for a project like this is to place weights (or other heavy objects) on top of your rope light to shape it properly. Often our customers say that rope lights tend to hold their coil from packaging for a little while; this will help accelerate the uncoiling.

lit create sign night 3 Ways DIYers Are Redefining Rope Lighting

Image via www.prettyhandygirl.com

Continue reading »

 Posted by on November 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm