Getting Clear on Lighting with Lance Smith (Part 1)

Posted by kbanks & filed under Homebuilders, LEDs.

      

Our own Lance Smith, Manager of Builder Sales and Marketing, recently contributed to Best Practices Research Alliance’s “Getting Clear on Lighting” series. Check out the informational Q&A in this multi-part blog!

Q: You seem to agree that LEDs are the future, and that they’ll become mainstream faster than many predicted.

A: What we’re seeing in residential is LED technology that commercial has seen for a while now. We’ve reached the performance we need—12 watts for 1000 lumens. But the first question I get from a national builder when we meet is, “Has the price of LEDs come down?” We need to decrease the costs.

LEDs will continue to get cheaper, but because it’s a better technology, there’s a limit to how cheap it can get. Luckily there are other ways to reduce the price. For example, LEDs are so bright now, that we can reduce the number of them in a bulb and get the same effect. Their price will be more in line with fluorescent pricing five years down the road.

One kind of LED we think has special promise is the AC LED. (AC LED works on the alternating current of normal household current rather than requiring additional parts to use direct current.)  Commercial lighting has had this technology for a year. It reduces the cost and size of the LED bulb and gives better performance.

Progress is committed to the growth of LEDs. We’re introducing more LED products in outdoor styles, a new LED flushmount series, and we’re making our award-winning Bingo lighting series in AC LED now.

Lightbulb FAQs

Posted by kbanks & filed under energy efficiency.

      

The lighting industry is changing quickly. New legislation, phaseouts and technologies are affecting the options we have available to illuminate our homes. We share the top five frequently asked questions (and answers) as recently found in Better Homes and Gardens’ Lighting magazine.

Q: I’ve heard that 100-watt bulbs are now banned, and 75-watt and 60-watt bulbs aren’t far behind. What’s the reason?

A: The bulbs themselves are not banned, but the federal government has instituted a staggered set of regulations that requires lightbulbs to meet certain efficiency standards. Traditional incandescent technology – which wastes 90% of the energy it emits as heat – cannot meet those regulations, so manufacturers are developing replacements for those bulbs.

Q: What’s the best replacement for a 100-watt bulb?

A: There are plenty of options that closely match the color and output of incandescents, while trimming utility bills. The traditional 100-watt incandescent bulbs delivers 1,700 lumens of warm-colored light. 72-watt halogen incandescent or 23- or 27-watt CFL bulbs are similar in appearance but last longer and are more efficient.

Q: What are good replacements for other wattages of bulbs?

A: For a 75-watt bulb, look for a 53-watt halogen incandescent. Use a 43-watt halogen incandescent to replace a 60-watt incandescent. For a 40-watt traditional incandescent, use a 29-watt halogen incandescent.

Q: I don’t like the light color of CFL bulbs. What are my options?

A: CFLs have come a long way, and you should be able to find both warm- and cool-colored light now available.

Q: Can I use LEDs in traditional light fixtures that once accepted incandescents?

A: There are LEDs to replace traditional incandescents, but many are still expensive. They pay off with energy savings and can last 25 years. Watch for the cost to continue to decrease as this advanced technology becomes more widely available.

Lighting by room: Outdoors

Posted by kbanks & filed under Landscape Lighting.

      

We’re all looking for tips and ideas that help us enjoy our outdoor spaces as much as our indoor ones. The simple solution is to use lighting to enhance safety, ambience and enjoyment of your landscape.

As you choose fixtures for safety and beauty, it’s important to consider how you turn those fixtures on and off. Because some lights will be used more than others, install as many as you can on individual controls, and include dimmers for more options.

Task lighting, on the other hand, will do the hard work of guiding footsteps outside. They can also add accent by defining the edges of flowerbeds and interesting features. Here’s how layers of light can help:

  • A series of step lights will offer plenty of task lighting for safe passage up and down stairs
  • Accent lights enhance the textural interest of plants and shrubs
  • Sconces alongside doors and windows direct overall light both upward and downward, eliminating distracting glare.

Summer is the perfect time of year to enjoy the outdoor areas of your home. What are your lighting goals and challenges for illuminating these spaces?

Source: Better Homes and Gardens – Lighting 2013

Lighting by room: Workrooms

Posted by kbanks & filed under Interior Design.

      

In our “Lighting by room” blog series, we borrow ideas and tips from the most recent issue of Better Homes & Gardens’ Lighting magazine – while offering suggestions for lighting fixtures from our own collections. Enjoy!

How do you use your home office? Is it just a space where you to work from home, or is it a room for the kids to finish homework or use a computer, as well? Either way, adequate lighting helps the whole family get work done more easily.

The best type of illumination for home offices is indirect lighting. Since most workrooms typically host devices like computers, tablets and televisions, light that doesn’t glare or cast glows onto your eyes helps you better see screens. Additionally, light should be aimed around the room to prevent shadows.

Design Tips

  • The shape of your fixture’s shade can be used to diffuse the light around a home office and can serve as another element in your decorating scheme.
  • Sunlight and artificial light compliment each other, particularly in offices that feature large-scale windows. Try adding a small-scale chandelier to supplement for evenings or rainy days.

Lighting by room: Bathroom

Posted by kbanks & filed under Interior Design, Lighting, Progress Lighting, lighting designs, lighting industry, lighting lifestyles.

      

In our new “Lighting by room” blog series, we borrow ideas and tips from the most recent issue of Better Homes & Gardens’ Lighting magazine – while offering suggestions for lighting fixtures from our own collections. Enjoy!

Bedrooms have the ability to be both practical-minded and beautiful retreats. Properly illuminating your bedroom can help create a relaxing, comfortable and romantic atmosphere.

Lighting magazine advises resisting the urge to choose dark lampshades, which can make the bedroom feel gloomy, or direct overhead lighting, which can be jarring and disruptive. Instead, use shades that diffuse the light, as well as lower lumen light bulbs. If bright light is occasionally needed, add additional fixtures throughout the room to compensate.

Bedroom spaces are perfect for taking advantage of natural sunlight during daytime hours, but for other times of the day light layers should be considered.

  • Chandeliers can serve as a great source of overall light. The use of multiple bulbs and lightly toned shades help diffuse illumination across the room.
  • If your bedroom has an entry to the outdoors, task lighting by the doorway is essential. Task lighting will not only add to the style of your space, but will also provide illumination for safe entry.
  • Sconces that push light up and down should be considered to provide both task and accent light.

Design Tip: If you’re unsure about mixing and matching light fixtures, start with families of light, such as our Savannah collection, pictured right. Using the same fixture family helps guide your design and offers many options in size, too.

Whether it’s sleeping, dressing, reading or relaxing – well-designed lighting is essential. Do you have proper lighting in your bedroom?

Lighting by room: Bathroom

Posted by kbanks & filed under Progress Lighting, lighting designs, lighting lifestyles.

      

In our new “Lighting by room” blog series, we borrow ideas and tips from the most recent issue of Better Homes & Gardens’ Lighting magazine – while offering suggestions for lighting fixtures from our own collections. Enjoy!

Thanks to the beauty and functionality of bathroom illumination, you have the ability to see yourself in a whole new light. We can all agree well-lit spaces help you groom, dress and bathe a little better.

When choosing the right amount of light for your bathroom, focus on the bulb’s color temperature. You want something that is going to flatter your skin tone and help you wake up and attend to grooming tasks. Bulbs providing bright white light that’s at least 3,500 degrees Kelvin are recommended.

Design Tip: Not a morning person? Try accent lights that shine from behind a mirror for soft illumination that’s less startling in the morning.

Bath lighting tends to create a more intimate feeling when paired with dark color schemes, while bright white creates a more open and airy atmosphere.

Light Layers

  • Sconces offer the perfect amount of task lighting when placed at face height, flanking mirrors above the sink. Installed on separate switches, sconces can also supply accent lighting for overhead fixtures.
  • Taller sconces are ideal for dressing tables. The bigger and brighter fixtures provide illumination helpful for accomplishing specific grooming tasks.
  • Small recessed fixtures are used to complete the room’s overall light. For more flexibility, install different groupings of recessed cans on different switches with dimming capabilities.

Properly illuminating your bathroom helps maximize beauty and functionality. Does your bath space accommodate your lighting needs?

LadyLuck by Progress Lighting

Understated elegance, design flexibility: June 2013 introductions

Posted by kbanks & filed under Progress Lighting.

      

Today’s interior design trends call for products that offer flexibility, efficiency and minimalist designs. In response, Progress Lighting has introduced multiple new collections and expanded current families to meet the wants and needs of homeowners and builders.

New families and fixtures

  • Invite is designed for understated elegance. Fixtures feature iconic scroll arms, dual-layer etched glass and Mylar drum shades. Optional clear cylindrical finials offer high style – but at an inviting price point. Available in a Brushed Nickel or Antique Bronze finish.
  • Engage is a circular-inspired bath collection. Vanity fixtures offer a fun graphic representation, while coordinating with other popular bath accessories and patterns. Engage is designed to use any screw-based lamp source, allowing customization in light level and color temperature. One- through four-light vanity fixtures available in Brushed Nickel and Antique Bronze finishes.
  • Arise is inspired by the sun rising over the tide on the horizon. With flowing lines and etched opal glass shades, the one- through four-light bath and vanity fixtures feature G9 lamps and Polished Chrome or Antique Bronze finishes.
  • Promenade features architectural lines and fresh, modern curves. The outdoor lantern family features an etched opal shade set within a Black frame. Energy Star qualified (excluding post lantern).
  • A new five-light chandelier features an updated traditional feel with an off-white, linen drum shade. The fixtures coordinates with a variety of collections, including Inspire, Gather and Heart.

Additions and expansions

  • Bingo is now available in an LED version. Circular etched opal acrylic diffusers include a replaceable AC LED module. Each module delivers 1195 lumens at 17 watts – without an LED driver.
  • Equinox pendants now feature an optional interior etched opal glass shade adds a modern twist to the collection’s traditional style.
  • Cuddle has been expanded to include one- and three-light pendants with a round shade and bottom diffuser.
  • Jack outdoor lanterns are now available in a Black finish with a white opal glass shade.
  • P8071 is now available in a 1000 lumen option. The 6″ LED downlight delivers light output comparable to a 75 watt Par30 – but at only 12 watts input power.

Lighting by room: Dining area

Posted by kbanks & filed under Lighting, Progress Lighting, lighting designs, lighting lifestyles.

      

In our new “Lighting by room” blog series, we borrow ideas and tips from the most recent issue of Better Homes & Gardens’ Lighting magazine – while offering suggestions for lighting fixtures from our own collections. Enjoy!

The placement of Progress Lighting’s Palais chandelier creates prominence in this traditional dining room as both a lighting source and centerpiece.

Pull up a chair, have a second helping and stay a while. A dining room with great lighting and an inviting ambiance help friends and family feel welcome.

Although there seem to be several industry ”rules” and guidelines for illuminating your dining area, it is perfectly acceptable to adjust those guidelines to best fit your space.

Choosing your fixtures:

  1. For a longer table, use individual pendants to spread light out equally across the dining surface.
  2. Pairing a crystal chandelier with patterned wallpaper adds a touch of glamour to a traditional dining area.
  3. Neutral paint schemes and simple window treatments call for a fun, textured and patterned chandelier.

Design Tip: Mirrors help eliminate shadows from corners and crystal bounces light around a ceiling.

In the dining room, light changes from one meal to the next. At large holiday gatherings, bright light is essential to match the energy of the room, but for more intimate gatherings, less light works best.

  • A matching pair of sconces, hung about head height, cast flattering light onto faces.
  • If you choose to just have one light source, make sure the fixture is large enough to supply shadow-banishing illumination.
  • For small gatherings, dimmed light from the chandelier and the buffet can provide all the illumination needed.

Lighting by room: Kitchen

Posted by kbanks & filed under Interior Design, Lighting, Progress Lighting, lighting designs, lighting lifestyles, remodeling.

      

In our new “Lighting by room” blog series, we borrow ideas and tips from the most recent issue of Better Homes & Gardens’ Lighting magazine – while offering suggestions for lighting fixtures from our own collections. Enjoy!

The kitchen is one of the most important spaces to properly illuminate because it is often the busiest room in the home. While the kitchen may seem like just a work area, proper lighting instillations can turn this area into so much more.

Pendants have become popular choices for kitchen lighting due to their versatility. These fixtures typically have an adjustable stem that enables you to change the distance between the light and the work surface. The ideal height for pendants above an island is 28-34 inches and 28-32 inches above a table.

Design tip: A single pendant fixture with a drum shade provides more pull as a focal point. Multiple drum-shade pendants tend to blend more into the background.

To get the most out of your kitchen, layered lighting should be considered. Here are a few suggestions for fixtures to “mix it up” in your kitchen.

  • In-cabinet lights supply accent lighting, which enhances the look of the room. If cabinet shelves are glass, one fixture at the top should suffice; for solid shelves, try one under each shelf.
  • Under-cabinet lights and range hood lights offer task light to the countertop section of the wall.
  • Recessed cans are ideal for overall light and can be chosen to match a color scheme to add additional style.
  • If one chandelier doesn’t supply enough illumination, consider including two or three particularly small-scale versions over a large work surface for task light.

Progress Lighting’s Bay Court pendants provide the perfect amount of accent lighting over this kitchen island.

Lighting by room: Living Room

Posted by kbanks & filed under Homebuilders, Interior Design, Lifestyle palettes, Lighting, lighting designs, lighting industry, lighting lifestyles.

      

In our new “Lighting by room” blog series, we borrow ideas and tips from the most recent issue of Better Homes & Gardens’ Lighting magazine – while offering suggestions for lighting fixtures from our own collections. Enjoy!

From family get-togethers to quiet movie nights, a well-lit living room is essential in helping us do all of our living. And as for designing the lighting in any room, proportion plays a huge part.

Big chandeliers can overpower a small-scale space, but a too-small pendant can feel lost in the sweep of an expansive ceiling. In a living room, use your space’s dimensions as a guide. Add the length, width and height to get an approximate height (in inches) of your chandelier.  Additionally, the bottom of the chandelier should be about 78-84 inches from the floor.

Light layers should be placed strategically to eliminate shadows and provide optimal illumination.

  • Chandeliers bring style to any room through unique fixtures and ornate details while serving as a great source of overall lighting.
  • Sconces offer soft accent light while highlighting focal points throughout the living room.
  • Lamps have the ability to supply welcome task lighting for seating areas.

What is your favorite living room fixture? We love the look Joy adds to this sophisticated living room.