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
Nov 112013
 

iStock 000009046195XSmall How to Recycle Light Bulbs

Today kicks off National Recycling Week, so we thought we’d celebrate by publishing a handy guide on how to recycle your old bulbs. Recycling can be a bit tedious, especially since light bulbs have to be sorted even more carefully than glass bottles. But the more you know ahead of time the easier it will be, and you can make a serious difference just by correctly recycling your old lamps! Here is the proper way to recycle light bulbs based on the type of lamp.

Fluorescent/CFL Bulbs

Fluorescent bulbs are tricky to dispose of because they contain a small amount of mercury, so you can’t just throw them in the trash. Doing so could lead to broken bulbs, which could put people who come in contact with it – namely, waste management workers – at risk for mercury poisoning.  The good news is that there are a TON of ways to recycle your CFLs. Many hardware and retail stores, including Ace Hardware, Home Depot and IKEA, offer CFL recycling drop-offs at their locations. Use this helpful tool to find the closest recycling location to you!

Here are some more resources on recycling fluorescent lamps:

Incandescents

These old fashioned power-suckers are not very kind to your energy bill or the environment, since they waste a lot of electricity and cannot be recycled. One more reason to upgrade to something better once your bulb burns out. Some places that recycle CFL bulbs may take your incandescents, but since there are no recycling programs for regular light bulbs they will most likely just throw them out.

The best way to safely dispose of incandescent bulbs is to wrap them up in newspaper and/or in the original packaging before placing them in your normal trash. This will help protect the people handling your trash (including you!) from risk of injury from broken glass.

Although incandescent lamps can’t be recycled into new lamps, there are a number of ways to up-cycle them yourself. Check out these creative ideas for using old burnt out bulbs in craft projects!

Halogen & LEDs

Halogen lamps are a type of incandescent, so the same restrictions apply to them. They can’t be recycled, so you can carefully dispose of them in your regular trash. Be sure to wrap them up so they won’t shatter! You can also try reusing them just like incandescents in various up-cycle craft projects.

Likewise, LED bulbs take a pretty long time to wear out, but eventually they will need to be replaced. LEDs don’t have mercury in them so they are safe to dispose in the normal trash, but depending on what your lamp looks like it might be great for crafts too! Anyone have a creative idea for LED recycling?

Holiday Lights

Tis the season to recycle! Did you know there are several recycling programs dedicated to recycling old or broken holiday lights? Several states have their own recycling programs, so do a Google search for “holiday light recycling in [your state]” to see what is available to you locally. If your state doesn’t offer holiday recycling, there are a few stores that may recycle holiday lights like Home Depot and certain online retailers. Here is a great resource for locating recycling programs near you, or mail-in options if there isn’t much local to your home.

Have any cool ideas to share about bulb recycling? Let us know in the comments!

Nov 072013
 

We wrote an article a few years ago about “li-fi,” an up-and-coming technology that uses light bulbs to transmit a wireless signal. This technology has come a long way since then, and today it’s one of the craziest (and coolest) innovations in the lighting industry! Scientists across the globe (primarily in the UK and China) have been developing this lighting-based data transmission, which could revolutionize the way we connect to the internet.

bigstock LED1 Are Light Bulbs Taking Over the Internet?

Conventional wi-fi is emitted using mirowaves or radio frequencies. The great conundrum of physics is that light travels both in particles and waves, a property which also makes it compatible with wavelength data transmission. Although li-fi has been in development for some years now, the most notable recent accomplishment belongs to Chinese professor Chi Nan, who managed to construct a DIY lighting-based data transmitter from basic retail components. Continue reading »

Nov 042013
 

It’s that time of year again! The dust has settled from Halloween and we’re gearing up for one of the busiest seasons in the lighting industry.

holiday lighting guide1 Holiday Lighting Guide

You might think it’s a little early to start worrying about the holiday season – and don’t worry, we’re not trying to be your weird neighbors with icicle lights on their porch in July. But when it comes to holiday lighting, there’s a lot to plan for if you want to get the most out of your efforts, so in the spirit of preparation, it’s never too early!

Everybody celebrates the holidays a little differently, so here are some tips for how to make your holiday lighting as special as you are.

1. Plan ahead. 

Most people’s holiday decorating tradition involves a month of putting it off and suddenly realizing you can (or have to) do it today. But even minimal planning can make all the difference in your decorating. Decide ahead of time – as in, right now – approximately when the deadline for getting your decorations up is, and then make plans to get it done. Make decorating a priority, and you’ll actually be able to really enjoy them for the whole season.

Planning is also super helpful when it’s time to start hanging lights, because there’s not much worse than getting to the end of your last string of lights while on top of a 20-foot ladder – and you only made it across half the house. Do some simple calculations and a bit of research to decide what type of light you need and how much of it. Continue reading »

Oct 312013
 

This post is part of a series for newlyweds, which has included a post on wedding lighting and on honeymoon destinations for lovers of light.

New life stages can be exhilarating, but they can also be intimidating. If you’ve just gotten married and moved into your first home together (or even just moved to a new place by yourself), chances are you’re about to discover all kinds of things that need updating or fixing. This will be especially true for lighting, since so much in the lighting industry has changed in the past few years. Here are some important things to keep in mind when planning the lighting updates for your new home.

bigstock New happy property owners 44454670 1 Lighting Your First Home

Energy Efficiency

If you’re thinking about home lighting options for the first time, you may not be aware of the impact the kind of bulbs you use can have on your wallet. Incandescent lamps – the kind we all grew up using, which produce a warm yellow light – use only about 5% of the energy they expend to produce light; the other 95% produces heat. Since heat is not usually the purpose of a light bulb, you can see why these lamps are considered “inefficient” – they waste the majority of the energy they use.

CFLs in Bulk Lighting Your First HomeSo if you aren’t sentimental, ditch the incandescents for energy-saving light bulbs. Even if conservation isn’t your thing, you can win with energy efficient lighting because it will save you a LOT out of pocket on each electric bill. With some fixtures it’s as easy as replacing the bulb – household light bulbs, or A-lamps, are exchangable regardless of light source. You can try out an affordable CFL bulb if you don’t need to be able to dim, or go all in with a longer-lasting, cool-to-touch, dimmable LED bulb. Even LEDs have become very affordable recently, with some models as low as $5 each. And even if you love the color of incandescents, never fear! You can find fluorescents and LEDs that look (and sometimes even act) the same as old-fashioned lamps.

If the bulbs in your fixtures aren’t easily replacable, you may need to buy new ones if you want to upgrade to more energy efficient lighting. Ultimately it will be worth the up-front investment either way, since you can save so much both in your energy bill and in replacement costs when you use LEDs or other similarly long-lasting solutions. Continue reading »

Oct 282013
 

The lighting industry has been busy as ever this month, from the slow-climbing successes of LED adoption to the discovery of new galaxies. Have you kept up? Allow us to offer a taste…

In Lighting News…

“LED Lighting Creeps Toward Tipping Point”

L Prize Winner Pegasus Lighting Roundup: Lighting in October

It’s only a matter of time before LEDs make serious headway into the retrofit market. Forbes predicts that by 2021, LEDs will make up approximately half of all retrofits in a market where they currently only make up about 5%. Read more…

Cree Announces Dim-To-Warm LED Lights

Durham, N.C.-based LED manufacturer Cree has just announced that they are adding a dim-to-warm option in their LMH2 LED module family of lamps. This is significant because although LEDs are better at dimming than fluorescents, they do not inherently change colors as they dim like an incandescent. But now incandescent lovers can enjoy the warming colors of a dimming incandescent without all the wasted energy. Read more…

“Glow-In-The-Dark Paths Could Be The Future Of Street Lighting”

 Pegasus Lighting Roundup: Lighting in October

Image via popsci.com

A park in Cambridge, England has tried out an unconventional method to lighting the paths at night: glow-in-the-dark gravel. Known as Starpath, this resurfacing material is able to absorb ultraviolet light during the day and release it at night in a bluish glow. Read more…

Continue reading »

Oct 232013
 
contemporary kitchen How to Light a Vaulted Ceiling

image via houzz.com

Vaulted ceilings can be great assets to any building, giving rooms a much more spacious, airy feel. But all that extra space can also be a challenge to light. What’s the best kind of lighting to use on a vaulted ceiling? We’re glad you asked!

Start with recessed lighting. If your ceiling has any kind of slope to it, it will almost definitely benefit from a healthy spread of can lights. You really can’t go wrong with recessed lighting in a vaulted ceiling because their versatility, inconspicuous design and customizable illumination. There are many kinds of recessed trims you can pick from, and we recommend choosing fixtures with housings specially designed for vaulted ceilings, like these. There are a lot of different ways to space your recessed lights, so take into consideration what effects you want the light to have. You might choose to spread recessed lights across the whole ceiling, or keep them mainly around the wall border. There’s no right answer here, and for extra help, check out our blog post on laying out recessed lights. Recessed lights do great as the primary source of illumination, especially when paired with interesting pendant lights that create a beautiful layered look in your vaulted room.

Use pendant lights to fill the extra space and jazz up the room’s style. Pendant lights and recessed lights are the dynamic duo of vaulted ceilings, so make sure you take full advantage of both! Pendant lights don’t work in every room, so if you have a vaulted ceiling, go crazy. If you prefer something a little more practical (like a ceiling fan) or dramatic (like a chandelier), who’s to stop you? Your vaulted ceiling gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to what type of space-filling light fixture you want, so go with your gut. The sky’s the limit.

Continue reading »

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