Archive for the ‘Lighting’ Category
Have you ever found yourself rummaging through your kitchen cabinets and drawers wishing you had just a little more light? What a nuisance! Yet, it’s fairly easy to update your cabinets with the proper lighting to make this problem go away once and for all. Undercabinet lighting is designed to illuminate work surfaces from above, which reduces shadows so that you can easily see what you’re doing on top of a counter, in a cabinet, or other work spaces.
Having trouble deciding what type of undercabinet lighting is right for you? This guide provides you with insight into our top under cabinet lighting recommendations and the reasons that we recommend these particular models.
Our “Value” Recommendation in Under Cabinet Lighting
If you are looking for quality under cabinet lighting on a budget then we recommend the Maxim Lighting CounterMax 120 Volt Direct Wire Xenon Under Cabinet lights. The affordable 87831 series comes in either a white or bronze finish and is available in a variety of different sizes to suit your specific needs. Unlike some other similarly priced products, the Maxim CounterMax series comes with the Xenon bulbs so you won’t have to run to the store to try to find the right light bulbs for your new under cabinet lighting. Most importantly, this is a direct wire 120 volt option that makes it one of the easiest types of undercabinet lighting for anyone to install.
Not looking for the ultimate in under cabinet lighting but still want a little more than the value option? We have just the thing for you. While there are many mid-range undercabinet options we recommend the Kichler Series I TaskWork Modular 12 Volt Xenon. This is a 12 volt undercabinet lighting system with a built-in electronic transformer that uses Xenon bulbs, which are included with the purchase. You can use these lights individually, interconnected with cables or snapped together, providing you with numerous configurations to create the perfect under cabinet lighting design for your home.
Each of the individual fixtures has its own Hi-Low, On-Off switch and there is also a Master Switch Option that allows you to turn the lights on and off together as a unit. This means that you can use the undercabinet lights that you need at any given time without wasting lighting in the other areas of the space. There are four sizes to choose from and they come in three different finishes, so there will be a design that easily suits the style of your home.
When we’re asked for our “best” under cabinet lighting, the answer is always Kichler’s Design Pro LED Modular & Disc light series. First of all, they’re LED lights which are a terrific option for anyone who wants to enjoy energy-efficient lighting in the home, without sacrificing quality. The LEDs will last for 40,000 or more hours before needing to be replaced and they are included in your purchase. Not only will you save energy (and costs) around the home but you can install them and then forget about them for years on end without worrying about their maintenance.
That isn’t all that makes the Kichler’s Design Pro series the ultimate in under cabinet lighting, though. Other key features of these lights include:
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) are a great alternative to traditional incandescent light bulbs. They are more energy-efficient, which means that they are more affordable. They last longer so they don’t require the hassle of frequent replacement. And in theory they are greener for the earth because they aren’t thrown out as often. However, CFL bulbs do contain mercury, which can be bad for the earth if the bulbs aren’t properly disposed of when you’re done using them. This guide tells you all that you need to know about the threat of mercury from CFL bulbs, how to recycle the bulbs properly and what your alternatives are if you don’t want to deal with recycling CFL bulbs.
Understanding the Mercury Issue
Each CFL bulb contains approximately five milligrams of mercury. If the bulb breaks then the mercury is released. This can be dangerous to the individual if the bulb breaks in the home. If it breaks in the landfill then it can be dangerous to the earth because the mercury then makes its way into storm water and the air. The Association of Lighting and Mercury Retailers reports that four tons of mercury leak into the environment each year because of improperly discarded CFL bulbs. Mercury dangers are cumulative so the more bulbs that end up in the landfill the more dangerous it is for the environment.
Does Your Bulb Contain Mercury?
CFL bulbs are the only household light bulb that currently contain mercury. You can always check the light bulb label before you purchase it to find out if it does have mercury, though. That’s because the new light bulb labels will specifically say if mercury is in the bulb.
How to Handle a Broken CFL Bulb at Home
Follow these tips if a CFL bulb breaks in your home:
- Immediately open all windows to help ventilate the room. Leave the room for at least fifteen minutes after doing this. If your central heating / AC is on then turn it off during this time to make sure that the mercury doesn’t circulate through the rest of the home.
- Put on gloves before handling the broken glass. Scoop all visible glass and powder into a glass jar with a metal lid. Alternatively you can scoop it into a sealed plastic bag.
- Use a thick tape, such as duct tape, to pick up the remaining shards and powder that you haven’t been able to scoop up by hand. When finished, place the tape into the glass jar or sealed plastic bag.
- Use a damp paper towel to go over the surface again to pick up any remaining remnants. Put this into the glass jar or sealed plastic bag.
- Never use a vacuum for cleaning up a broken CFL bulb. You run the risk of spreading the mercury throughout your home. You can vacuum as normal after the area is cleaned up but you should remove the vacuum bag immediately after doing so just to be on the safe side.
- Contact your local recycling center (see resources below) to find out if you can drop your broken CFL bulb. If not, check with your local government to find out what the proper disposal method is in your area. In the meantime, keep the glass jar or sealed plastic bag outside in a safe area.
Do you need a new dining room light? We are giving one away – a stunning drum pendant light – to someone in need. All that you need to do is to show us that you really need it by providing us with a picture of the dining room light that you’re currently suffering with. The ugliest light wins.
The winner of this giveaway will receive the Quoizel Utopia 3 Light Drum Pendant.
This drum pendant is the perfect item to update any old dining room. The classy design of its cream silk drum shade peeks out from the artistic flair of a black metal shade overlay with gorgeous leaf cutouts. The effect will transform your dining room into a magical place with the perfect ambience. And if one day far into the future you decide that you need a different chandelier or pendant in your dining room then you can move this one to another part of the house because it has a versatile design that will work in almost any room. So, are you ready to win this great prize?
Here’s how to enter:
All you need to do to enter is share your ugly dining room light with us on our Facebook page. Here are the simple steps for doing that.
1. Take a picture of what you think is the ugliest dining room light you’ve ever seen.
2. Visit us on Facebook.
3. Click Like at the top of the page.
4. Click to share a photo on our wall.
5. Select “upload a photo” and upload the image of the photo that you’ve stored on your computer.
6. Add a comment with a little bit of information about the ugly light you want to replace in our contest.
7. Click share and you’re entered! (feel free to share this with your friends)
All of the entries will be reviewed and a winner will be selected by our staff. The winner will be the person with the best ugly lighting photo since that is who really needs this prize!
Runner Up Prize
A random runner-up winner will be chosen from all of the entries
So what does the runner-up win? It’s a great modern Kichler LED desk lamp:
The sleek geometric design of this desk lamp will never go out of style. Since it uses energy-efficient LED bulbs it provides a contemporary but affordable task lighting option for your home.
This giveaway will end on June 1st, 2011. Get your entry in by then! A winner will be selected by June 2nd. The winners will be notified by email and announced here on the blog.
The Fine Print
This offer is open to U.S. residents only. Contest void in Florida, New York, and Rhode Island. Also void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law. Lighting by Lux reserves sole and final judgement in contest, no ifs, ands or buts. Maximum one contest entries per person. Contest entrants must “Like” Lighting By Lux on Facebook between the date of this post and June 1st, 2011 in order to be eligible.”
A stunning chandelier never fails to attract attention when you walk into the room. However, you don’t have to have a huge chandelier to make a room better with a hanging light. Smaller chandeliers and other types of pendant lights (such as ceiling fans) can make a huge impact on the ambience of any home without overwhelming the entire space. They add stunning ambience that improves the beauty of the room in which they are carefully placed.
Chandeliers are Decorative Lighting
The most important thing for you to realize is that these types of lights are designed for decorative lighting more than for functional lighting. Understanding this will help you use these lights correctly.
Tips that relate to this point include:
- Use chandeliers and pendant lights to light specific areas, not whole rooms.
- Select these types of lights for their beauty and aesthetic appeal.
- Place these in rooms that aren’t already dominated by other bold interior décor items so that they can stand out as a statement piece.
- Put these lights in rooms where intimate low-lighting is desirable.
Defining the Chandelier
Let’s start with chandeliers since they tend to be the most impactful lighting option for the home. What exactly is a chandelier? In short it is a light fixture that has a main body off of which protrudes multiple arms and each arm holds its own socket or lamp. A chandelier does not have to be a large and dramatic statement piece of lighting although it can be.
The world of lighting is changing. There are hundreds of different options available to you in terms of lighting design, light fixtures and light styles. However, the changes are taking place at an even more basic level – with your light bulbs. The traditional incandescent light bulbs that many people still use are being phased out and replaced with new, more energy-efficient bulbs. Don’t worry; the transition is big news for the industry but it’s easy on you, the consumer!
What are Incandescent Light Bulbs?
Incandescent light bulbs are the traditional light bulbs that most of us have been using all of our lives. They were the standard in the lighting business (especially for residential lighting) for many decades. However, they are rapidly falling out of favor with both consumers and the industry as a whole. That is because these light bulbs are not energy-efficient. They burn out quickly and so need to be replaced often and they waste a lot of energy while they’re working. This is bad for the earth and it also means higher electricity bills for consumers.
Common Replacements for Incandescent Light Bulbs
Consumers who are interested in replacing their incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient options have had several options emerge on the market in recent years. The two major options that people select when opting to replace their incandescent light bulbs are:
1. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs). These light bulbs use only about one third of the energy that traditional incandescent light bulbs use. They are fairly affordable for the consumer. As a result, these have quickly become the new standard in the lighting industry, replacing the old incandescent bulbs as the favored choice in lighting.
2. Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). These light bulbs are even more energy-efficient than CFLs. The individual bulb costs a lot more than a CFL bulb so it can be pricey to get started with using these bulbs. However, LED bulbs can last many years and are more energy-efficient than CFLs so they’re a wise investment for people seeking to switch away from incandescent light bulbs. They are especially common bulbs for under cabinet lighting, task lighting and lights on dimmer switches although improvements in their technology and some reduction in their price is making it possible that LEDs may ultimately replace CFLs as the brand new industry standard in lighting.
Selling a home is tough right now, I don’t need to tell you that. The value of houses is low and there is a lot of competition on the market. However, it is possible to make your home appealing enough to find a buyer. Paying attention to your home’s lighting is crucial for setting your house apart from the rest of the crowd and increasing the likelihood of a sale.
Why Lighting Matters
Does changing the lighting of a home really make a difference to buyers? Yes. Light has the power to flatter a space or make it unattractive. The right lighting can have a major impact on the aesthetic appeal of the home. A dark home looks dingy and unappealing. A home with glaring lights feels harsh. A space with the right amount of task lighting and ambient lighting is warm and inviting, something that buyers are definitely looking for. The right light fixtures can also enhance the design of the home, making it more elegant or more contemporary.
Tips for Improving Existing Lighting
The first thing that you should do is to look at the lights in the home that you want to keep. There are things that you can do to improve existing lights in the home to make the house more interesting for buyers. Top tips include:
- Make sure the paint is right for your lighting. You may have great ambient lighting but if your walls are painted a dark color then the light will get absorbed and the room will seem dark. Re-paint with bright and light colors to enhance the value of your existing lighting.
- Open the curtains. Although your existing lighting is important, there’s nothing better than natural sunlight. Make sure that you let as much of it in as possible when showing off the home to potential buyers.
- Clean all of your light fixtures. This allows the brightness of the lights to shine through and also makes the fixtures themselves more appealing. What a great cheap way to make it more likely that your home will sell quickly.
- Check that all of the lights are working properly. A big mistake that homeowners’ make is that they forget the little details. A buyer who walks into a room and turns on a switch only to find that it doesn’t work is immediately turned off.
- Listen to your lights. If any of them are making a slight humming noise then they are too old and need to be replaced to increase the likelihood of a sale.
Tips for Adding New Lighting
There will be some areas where you want to add new lighting to enhance the value of the home. Here are some tips for adding that important lighting:
- Start with the exterior. Curb appeal is the most important part of getting a home to sell. Make sure that your home’s exterior is well lit with attractive outdoor light fixtures.
- Replace outdated main light fixtures. If you walk into a room and the first thing that you see is an out-of-date light fixture then you’re going to look at the rest of the space with a bad taste in your mouth. Invest in upgrading the main light fixtures that get attention in the home.
- Replace lamps with better all-room lighting. Task lighting is terrific when you’re actually living in a space. However, when you’re looking at whole room to see if you want to live there, you need great ambient lighting. Lamps look like clutter to potential homebuyers and the wrong style of lamp can turn off buyers who would otherwise be interested in the home. Invest in better ambient lighting to avoid this problem.
- Update the light fixtures in the bathroom. This is one area where the task lighting rule doesn’t apply. You should make sure that there’s great lighting around the bathroom mirror. The fixtures should be in keeping with the style of the home. An impressive bathroom can clinch the sale of a home and lighting helps with that.
- Add LED lights in kitchen cabinets. This is a great little touch that appeals greatly to buyers, making it noticeable that you’ve really put some effort into making the house convenient and comfortable for them.
Have your real estate agent or a good friend walk through your home once you’ve completed your lighting updates. They can provide you with an outside perspective as to whether any additional lighting changes should be made to make the home more appealing to buyers.
Lighting is something that is made all over the world. In fact, many of the best light fixture designs come from amazing exotic locations. That said it is important to try to buy American-made products as often as possible. Luckily options are beginning to really open up for people who want terrific American-made lights.
Why Buy American?
Buying products that are produced in America helps to improve the American economy. Unemployment is still shockingly high. If we choose to support businesses that employ people in United States factories in stores then we are effectively supporting local jobs.
Additional reasons to buy American include:
- It supports American working standards. There are laws here (such as child labor laws) that do not necessarily exist in other countries. Buying American made products supports those working standards.
- Buying American often means supporting green efforts. There are environmental standards for the factories here that aren’t always in place in other places. This is important when it comes to lighting as more and more consumers seek to be greener in their own lighting usage.
- Sometimes American lighting may be less expensive than other options. This is due to reduced shipping costs although it does vary depending on many other factors.
Options for American-Made Lighting
You may be ready to consider buying American-made lighting but just don’t know where to start. Some of the top lighting choices right now in this category include:
There are some people who enjoy very simple lighting with a few easy curved lines. Then there are those of us who prefer detailed, intricate geometric designs. If you fall into the latter category (or are just looking for something truly distinct in lighting) then you absolutely have to check out the Schonbek Geometrix line of lights. Covered in gorgeous Swarovski crystals, these high-tech light fixtures decorate the home much like great jewelry decorates the body.
More than just great lines
The most outstanding immediate feature of the Geometrix lights is the cool geometric lines and patterns that make up the designs. This isn’t just about triangles and rectangles. You’ll find spirals, pyramids, pentahedrons, spheres and more.
However, it’s not just the great geometric patterns that make this line of lights so amazing. There are many neat high-tech design features including:
- Distinct pairing of lighting with STRASS Swarovski crystals, an effect that actually change the way that the light interacts with the space in the home
- Combination of halogen, xenon and LED lighting
- Lights with colors that put on light shows in your home
- Chandelier models that can be washed in your dishwasher!
Top Geometrix by Schonbek products
Let’s take a closer look at some of the leading products in this amazing line:
- Compact DaVinci LED Chandelier. The DaVinci chandeliers are all pretty impressive. They’re decorated with an abundance of luminescent Swarovski crystals. They range in diameter from ten inches to two feet. And yet, these massive balls of incredible light can be taken apart and washed safely in the dishwasher. The LED chandelier in this line takes it to a whole new level. It uses energy-efficient LED lighting in 10, 12 and 15-inch chandeliers that can be hung individually or grouped together for a neat constellation effect. The LED lights can be programmed to show off different colors. Great for parties and creating different moods in the home! And yes, it’s still dishwasher safe.
What could be better than a beautiful chandelier? How about a beautiful chandelier that is designed specifically to benefit a great cause? Crystorama, a manufacturer of amazing lighting products, really wowed customers when they created a terrific light fixture specifically to benefit the families of children with cancer.
When Crystorama was founded in Brooklyn in the 1950’s, the main function of the company was the import of stunning crystal chandeliers from exotic destinations. Over the years, Crystorama has grown to source the best crystals from around the world, which are then used to create their unique lighting products. Their goal is to create interior decorative lighting that exceeds industry “standards for innovative styles, value, service, and valued relationships”.
About Crystorama Products
Crystorama describes its own products as “tomorrow’s antiques”, a term that really fits what they create. The elaborate chandeliers from this company are made using traditional designs, antique molds and specialized craftsmanship. The result is that there is a traditional, vintage look to Crystorama’s chandeliers. The high-quality lights are certainly suitable to modern spaces but they bring in that mysterious element from the past.
How Crystorama is Helping the Embrace Kids Foundation
Crystorama teamed up with Swarovski crystal to create a brand new chandelier. The fixture is part of their Brentwood line of products. The popular product is a gorgeous chandelier that can improve the interior design of many different types of spaces. How does this help kids with cancer? Each time that someone purchases this charity chandelier design, a portion of the proceeds goes to the Embrace Kids Foundation.
How do you know which lighting is the right lighting to choose for your home? Wouldn’t it be great if you could get personalized product recommendations from professionals in the industry? Now that’s possible in a very easy way. Simply take advantage of the personal lighting shopper feature that is available here on our site.
Benefits of the Personal Shopper Feature
You can use our site’s personal shopper feature to obtain the following benefits:
- Get personalized recommendations for lighting products from a certified American Lighting Association consultant.
- Easily sort through the tens of thousands of products on our site to find the ones that are just right for you.
- Find the lighting fixtures that are within your price range.
- Ask questions about your lighting options so that you can choose the right fixtures for your home.
How to Use The Personal Shopper Feature
Our site’s personal lighting shopper feature makes it super simple for you to find the right lighting in seven easy steps. Simply go to the personal shopper page and do these things: