How Lighting Can Improve Your Landscaping

Posted by kbanks & filed under Landscape Lighting.

Landscaping is as integral a part of your home as the interior, providing a lovely yard to enjoy warm days and pleasant nights. Professional landscaping can be a major undertaking, but it can also improve the value of your home a great deal, as well as offering years of enjoyment for you and your family.

Most people don’t realize the various elements that go into quality landscaping, which can go far beyond plants and pathways. Electrical lighting, in particular, plays a key role in the process. While discussing your landscaping options with a gardener, you may want to consult a qualified electrician to get his or her opinion as well. Here’s how lighting can improve your landscaping.

In the first place, you don’t use your yard in the daytime alone. Evening parties, barbecues, and even just a few drinks after hours can be made easier with a nice yard to enjoy them in. Lighting ensures that you can use the yard in the evening with safety and comfort. Without the lighting (or with inadequate lighting), you’ll be denying yourself a key portion of the day and limiting the use of your yard in the process.  A good lighting system helps you take full advantage of those days and nights when it’s too nice to stay indoors.

There’s also the idea of aesthetics. When properly deployed, your lights can do wonders for the atmosphere in your yard: highlighting key spots or providing an overall sense of warmth and wonder. It makes your yard more inviting, facilitating get-togethers or quieter evenings at home with your family. All of that comes along in addition to the most basic function of lighting: allowing you to find your way in the dark. An adequate lighting service can provide that basic function, but a good one – working in conjunction with your landscaping service and with a clear sense of what you want to achieve with the yard – can help make it so much more.

This information is courtesy of Electrical Connection, Inc., a full service electrician serving all of Connecticut. Visit their blog for more tips!

Top Pins of the Week

Posted by kbanks & filed under Progress Lighting.

From giveaways to holiday decor to your favorite collections, the Progress Lighting Pinterest page is full of inspiration for homeowners, builders, designers and DIY lovers alike. We’re excited to share our followers’ favorite pins of the week, and hope you’ll follow us, too. Enjoy!

Our boards are organized by room and style to suit your decorating needs. The coach lantern shape and clear beveled glass of our Crestwood fixtures perfectly complement a traditional home.

Pinned on our inspiring DIY board, our most popular pin shares the "Best DIY Furniture Transformations." If you're a chronic crafter or "upcycler", this board is for you.

Pinners love the romantic, casual feel of our Eden collection. Antique linen glass shades have a removable leaf decoration for a versatile style.

Our boards offer ideas for versatile design. For example, this pin featuring our Clayton wall bracket shares how this fixture is adjustable to provide light where you need it.

Follow our page to learn about contests just for you. You can enter our Home for the Holidays Lighting giveaway for your chance to win fixtures from our Nissé collection, just in time for the holiday celebrations.

Back to Basics: Kitchen Pendant Lighting

Posted by kbanks & filed under Kitchen Lighting.

With both functional and aesthetic benefits, pendant lighting is an easy way to beautifully illuminate your kitchen setting. Available in a plethora of shapes, sizes and styles, this versatile fixture offers endless design options and provides all-purpose illumination, task lighting and accent lighting.

Cluster small pendants over a dining room table or kitchen island. Featured pendants: Progress Lighting's Archie collection

Pendant Lighting Does It All

  • All-purpose illumination: Space pendants throughout the room for overall lighting. The larger the area, the bigger the pendant light should be.
  • Task lighting: Focus pendant lights on a specific work area, such as over a sink or desk area. One small pendant may be sufficient for certain task applications.
  • Accent lighting: Highlight specific areas of your kitchen to create interest and depth to your design.

Pendants should be hung at a height that doesn't block views across the kitchen. Featured pendants: Progress Lighting's Dynamo collection

Hanging a Kitchen Pendant Light

  • Pendant lights should hang 12-20 inches below an 8-foot ceiling. For each additional foot of ceiling height, add 3 inches.
  • Pendant height can also be measure up from the surface below the light/ Provide a 30-36 inches clearance above tables and countertop, especially those used for task lighting.

Pendant styles can offer a clean, understated look for today’s interiors. Featured pendants: Progress Lighting's Brookside collection

Pendant Lighting Reflects Your Unique Style

Select a pendant style that reflects your decor. Modern pendants made of glass exude sleekness, while glass orbs present a retro look. Choose a style that matches your kitchen decor and meets your lighting needs.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens,

Energy-efficient Lighting: Watts vs. Lumens

Posted by kbanks & filed under LEDs, energy efficiency.

Advances in lighting technology continue to highlight the importance and inherent benefits of choosing energy-efficient sources over traditional incandescent bulbs.

According to the Alliance to Save Energy, bulb packages are largely forgoing display measurements in watts (the old way of labeling bulbs), and transitioning to a more accurate measurement, lumens (the new way).
It is important for consumers to understand the difference between these two labels to make an informed purchasing decision to adequately – and efficiently – light your home.

What’s a Watt?

Watts measure the amount of power a bulb uses – not how bright it is. Using watts to describe brightness is like using gallons of fuel to describe how fast a car can go. This practice wasn’t a problem as long as we continued to use the more than 100-year-old incandescent bulbs. Traditional incandescent light bulbs waste 90 percent of their electricity to produce heat, and use only 10% to produce light. The solution: energy-efficient bulbs, which use fewer watts to give off the same amount of brightness.

Look for Lumens

Lumens measure the amount of light produced by a bulb. The more lumens in a light bulb, the brighter the light.

For example:

  • 40-watt incandescent bulb = 450 lumens
  • 60-watt incandescent bulb = 800 lumens
  • 100-watt incandescent bulb = 1600 lumens

Source: Alliance to Save Energy:

Congratulations HomeSphere!

Posted by kbanks & filed under Uncategorized.

We would like to congratulate HomeSphere Inc. on their new partnership with PPG Architectural Coatings. PPG will connect HomeSphere’s growing builder network to its wide range of interior and exterior paints and stains, caulks and adhesives.

“With our strong suite of brands and large distribution network, PPG is uniquely positioned to service the new residential market,” said PPG National Business Development Manager Carl Howell. “HomeSphere connects our team to a much broader base of homebuilders that can benefit from our variety and environmentally-conscious paints and coatings.”

To view the full release, click here.

Energy Savings in Office Space Lighting

Posted by kbanks & filed under lighting controls, lighting industry, renovations.

A recent article on office space lighting in tED Magazine states that “lighting is the biggest consumer of electric energy in commercial buildings, accounting for an average of 38 percent of consumption.”

Commercial buildings are often over-lighted, utilize inefficient light sources and pay high local energy costs – creating a space in the marketplace for significant lighting upgrades.

According to the article, “replacing older T12 systems with the latest T8 systems can generate energy savings up to 50 percent, depending on technology and light levels.” Using fewer lamps in over-lighted areas can also save on energy costs.

In the past, most office space lighting was designed to produce excessive light down to desk activities, while eliminating the glare on convex glass computer screens. With today’s technology, glare is seldom a concern, and more emphasis is being placed on human interactions.

Additionally, LED lighting is becoming more popular for office lighting as prices fall and and building owners focus on lifetime costs. Owners have also explored adding lighting controls as an upgrade. The use of occupancy sensors or a relay panel with a time clock  allows lighting to be turned off when it’s not needed.

The full article written by Craig DiLouie appeared in the October issue of tED Magazine. For more information visit,

Cosmos for the Cure

Posted by kbanks & filed under Employee, special events.

Members of the Hubbell Lighting team, including Progress Lighting, were recently invited to “Cosmos for the Cure,” a fun event dedicated to raising breast cancer awareness. Complete with delicious cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction – the event was a notable success.

Enjoy some pictures below from this annual event with great food, great company and for an even greater cause!

Thanks to all who came out to support such a worthy cause!

Guests enjoyed participating in a fun raffle.

Plenty of cosmos to go around!

The event also included a silent auction with an array of prizes - all funds supporting breast cancer awareness.

How to Choose Your Vanity Lights

Posted by kbanks & filed under Bathroom Lighting, Lighting.

Choosing proper lighting for your bathroom vanity is one of the most important steps in the design process. Our friends at Riverbend Home share all you need to know about lighting your bathroom. Perfectly illuminate the room where you start and end your day with these tips contributed by Casey Makovich.

Consider placement

Our experts say that placement of your vanity lighting fixtures is key. Light fixtures placed on either side of your bathroom mirror or medicine cabinet at eye level provide the best task lighting. For extra light, double vanities, or large mirrors, combine side lights with an additional fixture above the mirror.

Keep Proportion in Mind

For a light above the mirror, choose a fixture that does not exceed the width of your vanity. With longer double sink vanities, consider choosing two separate overhead lighting fixtures rather than one long one.

Style and finish

Choose lighting fixtures that complement the décor style you’ve established throughout your bath and the rest of your home. When it comes to finish, your safest bet is to stick to the same finish used for other fixtures in your bath. However, if you have a knack for mixing and matching or are working with a decorator, your lighting fixtures can be a great place to incorporate the mixing metals design trend.

Safety is key

As always, when it comes to electrical wiring near sources of water, be sure to check your local codes and/or hire a professional electrician. They will be able to give recommendations on placement of lights, product specifications, and types of outlets required.

Check out Riverbend Home’s extensive collection of Progress Lighting fixtures.

This guest post was written by Casey Makovich, a Writer and Social Media Coordinator for Riverbend Home.

The ROI of LED: Invest in lighting solutions for long-term savings

Posted by kbanks & filed under energy efficiency.

Imagine installing new lighting in a home that will last for more than 20 years before a single lamp needs to be replaced. With LED technology, a lighting fixture can last for decades and offer significant energy savings compared to other sources.

However, it’s easy to shy away from LEDs that have a higher initial cost than traditional incandescent fixtures.

Before making a home lighting decision, keep in mind inexpensive bulbs with high wattages can result in high energy costs in the long run. An LED fixture will deliver the same amount of lumens as a standard 60 watt bulb – at only 13 watts.

It’s also much more convenient to choose fixtures that will last an average of 20 years under normal home use. No more climbing a ladder to replace a burned out bulb every few months. The light quality of LEDs also makes them a great option for universal and aging-in-place design.

The key to choosing lighting – as with all features of the home – is to look beyond the initial cost. The return on investment for LED technology is long-term energy savings, while eliminating the need to buy new fixtures every few months or years.

Progress Lighting offers multiple LED lighting solutions, including:

6” LED downlight delivering 1,000 lumens

Progress Lighting’s highly efficient, cost effective 6-inch LED downlight is now available in a 1000 lumen output option for new construction or retrofit applications.

LED close-to-ceiling family

We now offer an Energy Star-rated LED close-to-ceiling family with multiple design and finish options.

LED undercabinet series

Progress Lighting’s LED undercabinet series is ideal for providing task lighting on counters with a subtle, yet wide distribution of light.

Houzz reports kitchen remodeling trends

Posted by kbanks & filed under Kitchen Lighting, remodeling.

A recent article posted by highlights findings from Houzz‘s Fall 2013 Kitchen Trends Study. Here’s a high level review of the trends…

  • Most Houzz users don’t want a larger kitchen, but want the feeling of space. Islands and open concepts are most popular now.
  • Stainless steel is the top finish selection for appliances, followed by white or another color.
  • Nearly all Houzzers surveyed say changing countertops is in their kitchen remodeling plans. Granite is their top material choice, and half are also selecting tile backsplashes.
  • The majority of homeowners are selecting soft or neutral palettes for their kitchens.
  • Users under age 45 are more likely to define their style as “contemporary,” while users 45 and over favor a “traditional” look.
  • In general, Houzz says that homeowners are interested in creating kitchens that please themselves (rather than designing for resale), and focus on aesthetics and functionality.
  • Half of respondents say using eco-friendly appliances and materials in their kitchen is important.

Progress Lighting's Alexa fixtures featured in a modern kitchen

Are you planning a kitchen remodel? If so, what are the most important features in your new design? Leave your thoughts below.

P.S. Find lighting inspiration for your kitchen – and every room of the home – on Progress Lighting’s Houzz page!