Archive for the ‘Lighting’ Category
One of the most wonderful things about summertime is that the sunlight stays out longer for us to enjoy it. That’s one of the reasons that summer barbecues are so popular. You can start dinner outside in the evening and still have plenty of time left to enjoy it before the sun goes down. If your barbecue is a good one, though, the party will still be going as the fireflies begin to come out. You don’t want to have to end a great barbecue just because the hour is getting late. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you have good outdoor lighting for summer.
The first thing that you will want to do is to consider updating your outdoor lighting to suit both the mood of a barbecue and the style of your home. Some great summer options for updating outdoor lighting include:
- Outdoor hanging lanterns. These lanterns will beautifully light up your outdoor seating area all year long. They add a gorgeous glow that enhances the spirited mood of your barbecue.
- Pathway lights. You don’t want the latecomers to the barbecue to trip over themselves when they arrive. You also don’t want to shock them with your usual bright outdoor lights. Add some modern, fashionable pathway lights to the arrival area for your guests.
- Deck lights. If you have an outdoor deck for your summer barbecue then small LED deck lights are a must-have. They provide an energy-efficient way to keep the area safely lit without making it too bright for you to enjoy.
In addition to these more permanent changes, you will want to get some temporary outdoor lighting just for your summer barbecues. Top choices for temporary lighting include:
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently announced that there will be a new labeling system for all light bulbs that will start appearing on packaging in approximately one year. This new system is designed to make it simpler for consumers to understand the different types of light bulb options that are available to them. This is terrific since we are seeing an increasingly broad range of different lights with their own benefits and drawbacks. However, you do have to be able to understand what you’re reading on the labels or the information won’t be of much use to you. This guide should help you to get a solid grasp on that important information.
Basics About the New Labeling
The new labeling will help you to better understand the options that you have for buying light bulbs. The labeling will appear on traditional incandescent light bulbs, compact fluorescent light bulbs and the increasingly popular LED light bulbs. These bulbs all have their pros and cons; being able to read the labels accurately will allow you to choose the right bulbs for each of the different light fixtures in your home. The new labeling will include front-of-package labeling with information about brightness and cost of the bulbs as well as in-depth back-of-package labeling (described below).
Why It Matters That You Choose the Right Light Bulbs
If you select the best light bulb for each of your home lighting needs then you can achieve the following benefits:
- Save money. Cheaper light bulbs are appropriate in some places in the home. Longer-lasting light bulbs that save more money over time are appropriate in other places. Choosing the best bulb for each fixture allows you to save the most money on your lighting.
- Save energy. Selecting the most energy-efficient light bulbs for your home will allow you to conserve energy. This green action can further save you money on your electricity bills.
- Obtain ideal lighting. The right light bulbs will provide high-quality lighting for your home, making it more comfortable and more aesthetically pleasing.
Holophane is one of the strongest names in the history of lighting. Established in 1898, Holophane is one of the only lighting manufacturers that dates back to the nineteenth century and yet is still relevant to home design today. The company is widely known because of the fact that it makes residential, commercial, industrial and even emergency lighting. The company even provided important lighting contributions to the war effort during World War II! Of course, it’s their residential lighting that will likely interest you the most.
What makes this company stand out is a product called Endural. This is their trademarked name for a specific type of borosilicate glass reflector that is used in all of their lighting. This type of glass stands out because it provides a unique combination of both upwards-shooting lighting and downwards-shooting light. The result is a steady stream of even light coming from the Holophane light fixtures. Those ugly dark spots that you sometimes experience with household lighting aren’t present when this technology is used.
Although the Endural name is trademarked, there are many different lighting companies that now use this two-directional style of lighting. In fact, whenever you see lighting fixtures that are designed to create vintage light, it is very likely that you are seeing lighting that’s been inspired by this historic brand. The vintage look adds to the ambience of your home by giving it a very classic decorative style. For example, a Halophane aged bronze pendant light uses both the vintage lighting and the historic bronze detailing to evoke a strong sense of décor from a bygone era.
We’ve recently added Lite Source, Inc. to the Lighting By Lux family. With their vast array of fashion-forward lighting, Light Source shines in their commitment to bring you affordable style and quality. Their diverse range of styles includes everything from whimsical kid’s lighting, like this Allsport 1 Light Kids Green Table Lamp, to the classical elegance of this Bellva 5 Light Dark Bronze Crystal Chandelier, showcasing both ends of the company’s full spectrum of lighting options.
In addition to transitional and contemporary interior lamps, Lite Source also offers unique gifts, furniture and home decor, such as this Sebastian Dark Bronze Photo Frame. Their collection of novelty and art glass lighting is not to be beat, with options ranging from this beautiful Encarna 1 Tiffany Accent Lamp, an elegant addition to any side table, to this off-beat A Go-Go The Shirt 1 Light Blue Accent Lamp that would look great spicing up a dorm room. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the most wonderful things about childhood is the sense of magic that is present during the early years of life. Interestingly, this is the same thing that can be so wonderful about great lighting. The perfect lighting creates a mood for a room that is based in fantasy, elegance and magic. Choosing the right lighting for a child’s room can really bring that sense of magic to its pinnacle.
Decorative pendant lights or chandeliers in a child’s bedroom can add to the sense of fantasy that the rest of the room’s décor presents. For example, many boys’ rooms are decorated with their favorite modes of transportation. Trains, planes and ships are all favorite forms of transit for young kids. They love the magic of flying or boating somewhere. Pendant lights shaped like these modes of transportation can add to the sense of wonder in their rooms. For example, the novelty biplane chandelier or the boat chandelier from ELK Lighting bring a sense of rugged whimsy to the room.
Modes of transportation aren’t your only option for great lighting in a kids’ room. Hobbies, sports, animals and images relating to space exploration are all things that make for great decorative lighting. They challenge a child’s imagination and evoke a sense of wonder throughout the room. These lights can stand alone as a major centerpiece for the room’s design. Alternatively, they can work with the wallpaper, stuffed animals and furniture to show off a child’s passionate interests.
Whenever we add new products to the site I like to go through all the items and pick out my favorites, it helps me get a better feel for the new introductions and make recommendations later on. We just finished adding Elk’s 2010 lineup to the site and I wanted to share a few of my favorites here with you.
There are a lot of things to love in the 2010 lineup from Elk but one of the very first things to catch my eye was the Nestor 1 Light Pendant. (shown left) I love the blend of chrome and the abstract pattern, a few of these above a counter top or kitchen island would really add a unique touch to the room.
Another white hot trend is drum shades, drums in just about any size shape or color are everywhere. Combine the drum trend with another hot trend, namely stripes and you have the ELK 20041/5 Fabrique Tan Stripe 5 Light Drum Pendant, gorgeous over a kitchen table or just about any table for that matter. Bold stripe not your cup of tea? The ELK 20019/3 Fabrique Textured Tan 3 Light Drum Pendant might be the ticket.
Of course fabric drums weren’t the only trend Elk addressed this go round, there was even a chrome drum pendant that caught my eye as well. Of course we cant forget about the swing arms, swing arm wall and floor lamps are everywhere this year and for good reason, they’re functional and classically stylish at the same time. The ELK Lighting 17016/1 Elysburg 1 Light Swingarm Sconce in Satin Nickel comes to mind as well as the Lanza 1 Light Swing Arm Sconce but I think my favorite is the Elk 10110/1 Swingarm 1 Light Sconce in Black Chrome, I just love the transparent outer shade on the black chrome body.
Bedrooms are our refuge from the world, a safe place to get away from the day’s hassles, a sanctuary for rest and romance. Bedroom lighting can go a long way toward creating this feeling of safe haven. The right lighting can even help our brains switch gears from dealing with a busy day to preparing for sleep.
The best bedroom lighting is heavy on soft, ambient light that creates a warm and cozy feeling while casting a flattering glow on you and your partner. This sort of lighting is best achieved with a few lamps with warm, low- to medium wattage bulbs placed around the room. If you have a flushed center ceiling light, consider switching it out for an indirectly-hung pendant light that can do a better job of bouncing fill light off of the walls and ceiling.
If you have a high or sloped ceiling, you can create more fill light by adding wall sconces to fill the dead space above the door line. This can also be achieved by hiding uplighting on top of tall pieces of furniture, such as an armoire, to bounce light off of the ceiling. Washing a closet door with downlighting is another way to bring in fill light and enliven dead space.
Task lighting is also an important consideration in a bedroom. Whether you read in bed or in a nearby chair, use a table lamp, a wall-mounted swing-arm lamp or a pendant lamp suspended above the nightstand, the guidelines are the same: opt for an opaque shade that directs light downward. The bottom of the shade should hit just above the shoulder — high enough to illuminate the work space and low enough to keep the light out of your (or your partner’s) eyes. Another option is to install adjustable recessed lights in the ceiling over the bed, with dimmer controls within easy reach of each side of the bed. Such directed, focused light allows you to read without disturbing your partner’s sleep.
The bathroom is yet another multi-purpose room with its own unique lighting requirements. In the morning, it needs to be bright and functional to help us wake up and get out the door. In the evening, it can take on a more spa-like atmosphere, allowing us a sanctuary for pampering ourselves and easing away the tensions of the day. Just like any other room, a bathroom should be lit in layers that can be adjusted appropriately. But the bathroom’s primary functions have special lighting requirements that should not be overlooked.
Task lighting in the bathroom is key. The sink and mirror should be lit in such a way that faces are lit evenly, without shadows, for makeup application or shaving. To accomplish this, more than one light is generally necessary. A row of bright bulbs above the mirror is a common method for vanity lighting. Even better is to flank the mirror on each side with a light box or a fixture mounted at eye level.
In many of today’s homes, dining areas, like living rooms, have evolved into multi-functional spaces wherein dining is only one of many activities carried out within. As with any other multi-use room, lighting in dining areas should be flexible enough to accommodate all of the different ways the space is likely to be used. This is once again achieved through a layered combination of ambient, accent, decorative and task lighting.
One thing that hasn’t changed about dining rooms (and dining room lighting) over the years is the tendency for the dining table, and the decorative light above it, to be the room’s central focus. However, often the necessity to move the table over to make room for a home office or storage unit means that this central focus isn’t necessarily in the center of the room. This can create a problem for centrally-hung chandeliers and pendant lights.
One solution is to hang the light on a swag chain or a pulley system. A swag chain can allow the light to easily be moved over the table. A pulley system allows the light to be raised closer to the ceiling so that it is visually tied to the ceiling rather than the table, so that it doesn’t look odd if the table isn’t centered directly underneath. With this in mind, another option is to forgo a pendant light altogether in favor of a flush or semi-flush lighting fixture. Flexible recessed lights aimed either at the four corners of the table or at the centerpiece are another option.
As mentioned in our last post, track lighting has come a long way in its evolution from the rigid, clunky-looking design that achieved popularity in the 1980s, giving it a resurgence in popularity and making it one of the up and coming trends for 2010. Here is a more in-depth look at what to expect from today’s track lighting.
The track lighting family has expanded to include three categories: fixed rail lighting, free-form rail lighting, and cable lighting.