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.

Lighting by room: Entryways

Posted by kbanks & filed under lighting designs.

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!

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Well-lit entries and hallways welcome and safely guide family and friends into a home. When choosing light for entries – particularly at the doorway – it’s important to think about lighting needs both inside and outside the house.

Some light should be directed downward at about standing height to illuminate walking paths, while overhead light from inside a foyer can eliminate unwelcoming shadows. Avoid light that shines at the eyes or upward, which can supply too much glare to be helpful. Also, when choosing a color temperature for bulbs in an entryway, look for those with a higher number, which helps portray hues more accurately.

Sizing your lighting fixtures

  • In a narrower hallway, try a regular installation of recessed fixtures accented with small, floor-height lights.
  • In a large entry space, a small fixture would be dwarfed. Choose a light that supplies interest in both size and height.

Most entryways have fluid boundaries, but light can be used to your advantage to define edges, steps and doorways.

  • Chandeliers are great sources of overall light, which portable lamps and sconces supplement.
  • Portable lamps may also offer task light, as well as direction to hallways and doors.
  • Although primarily used for overall light, recessed downlights can also supply subtle accent light for wall decor and accessories.

A chandelier and two-light wall sconce from Progress Lighting's Wisten collection illuminates this modern entryway.

The Basics of Lighting Replacement

Posted by kbanks & filed under Projects.

Are you looking to brighten up your home with an new elegant chandelier over the dining room table? Or perhaps you need a few pendant lights to hang over your kitchen island? While you can fully expect to change light bulbs without too much hassle, replacing a lighting fixture is of a different degree of difficulty and safety. A professional electrician is usually required when it comes to replacing the light fixtures in your home.

Depending on the product and location, lighting replacement can be relatively straightforward. By way of example, let’s say you’re looking not only to replace the old light above your kitchen island, but also looking to move it over a foot or so, where it can be centered. After all, the point of a task light is to be able to see what you’re doing as you cook for your family and guests.

First, as always when working with electrical equipment, the breaker for the circuit serving the light must be switched off at the electrical panel. Next, the old light will have to be detached from the ceiling joist.

Depending on the light, there might be a cover that has to be removed before the electrician can reach the screws holding the fixture up. Your electrician will then remove the wire nuts connecting the fixtures wires from the house wires. If you are moving the light, the wire may not be long enough to reach the new location. Your electrician will then have to run a new wire to power or splice wire in the existing electrical box to reach your new light.

Home wiring has three different kinds of wires. The black wire is the live wire, which is considered “hot”. If you hold it and touch anything that is grounded, you will get shocked. The white wire is the neutral wire and while there should be no current, it is possible that bad wiring in other places in your home might accidently lead to this wire having a charge. It is always a good idea to treat this wire as if it were hot. There is also a ground wire, which is usually uninsulated copper. The fixture wiring is much the same, except the ground wire is usually green. When connecting a new light, your electrician will simply connect like to like.

Depending on the model, a hole may need to be drilled in the ceiling sheetrock (or plaster) to make room for the electrical box. The body of the light will then need to be properly secured to the electrical box.

Finding the right light for your home is only the first step. Making sure it is in the perfect location and installed correctly is just as important. Replacing the lights in your home will make it brighter and more beautiful, and a professional installation will make sure is shines for years to come.

This information is courtesy of Electrical Connection, a full service Hartford electrician providing electrical installation, maintenance and repair to the entire state of Connecticut. Please check out their blog for more electrical tips and information.


Shades of gray (and other kitchen and bath trends)

Posted by kbanks & filed under Interior Design.

A recent issue of Qualified Remodeler magazine has noted several trends in home design this season:

  • Gray color schemes
  • Transitional-style kitchen and baths
  • Quartz finishes
  • White painted cabinetry
  • Glass backslashes
  • LED lighting

How are you incorporating these styles in your home?

Gray color schemes and transitional designs are growing in popularity this year.

Four trends for spring home buying

Posted by kbanks & filed under Homebuilders.

According to a recent U.S. News article, this is the first spring when the housing market is clearly in recovery – and there are four key trends to watch this season.

  • Tight inventory of homes on the market is causing prices to rise
  • Fewer homes are being sold as foreclosures, and more through conventional sales
  • It’s still cheaper to buy than rent
  • Financing is still a challenge for many buyers

Are you considering buying or selling a home this spring? If so, what makes this season better than others from your perspective?

What to look for in a home builder (Part 1)

Posted by kbanks & filed under Homebuilders.

Our friends at Toll Brothers have started a new blog series on what to look for when selecting your new home builder. We share their findings and best practices on the Progress Lighting blog for our fans!

Selecting the right home builder is the most important decision you will make when considering your new home. What are you supposed to look for? What qualities are important? What should you avoid? In this blog series from Toll Brothers, “What to Look For in a Home Builder,” you will find topics that are crucial to consider when the time comes to make your dream home come to life.

There are two important qualities to consider when selecting a home builder.

  • The first, which may appear obvious, is the quality of construction.
  • The second , which may not be immediately apparent, is the quality of architectural design.

Your home builder should go to great lengths to design efficient, logical floor plans where everything from a graceful flow from the Foyer to the Family Room to the work-flow in the Kitchen is highly (and repeatedly) scrutinized. They should also strive for good-looking, well-proportioned exterior designs that neatly fit in with regional and local architectural styles. The interior and exterior of your new home should be detailed and reviewed repeatedly to avoid awkward finish conditions.

With respect to the quality of construction, no one wants to be constantly doing repairs on their “new” home. The quality of design and construction affects everything from how energy efficient your home is to the amount of money you are going to have to put towards repairs years from now. You home builder should oversee all aspects of the building process so that the construction of your home is constantly being monitored.

To learn more about choosing the right home builder, check out the original article from Toll Brothers.

Check out Progress Lighting’s new Amazon page!

Posted by kbanks & filed under Progress Lighting.

We’re excited to introduce our official page on Amazon.com! Now, you can search Progress Lighting collections that are recommended for you – and buy directly from the site.

Check it out for yourself, and let us know what you think! http://www.amazon.com/l/3039329011#

Progress Lighting’s Energy Star collections: Beauty and efficiency

Posted by kbanks & filed under energy efficiency.

When you think of Energy Star-rated lighting, what usually comes to mind? Most of us think of very functional downlights and products with limited visual appeal. While these types of lighting play an important role in our homes, Progress Lighting continues to expand our families that are both energy efficient and decorative.

Imagine illuminating your home with beautiful chandeliers, pendants, bath fixtures and outdoor lanterns that fit perfectly with your decor and are also Energy Star qualified. With Progress Lighting’s more than 200 qualified fixtures from multiple product families, this vision can be a reality.

Be sure to visit our Energy Star page regularly. We also recommend reading our Guide to Green Lighting to learn more about efficient options for your home.

Gather five-light chandelier

Wisten hall & foyer fixture

Promise outdoor lantern

Wisten one-light bath & vanity fixture

Avalon close-to-ceiling

North Park ceiling fan

Top 10 Design and Remodeling Trends for 2013

Posted by kbanks & filed under Uncategorized.

Our friends at Enlightenment magazine recently revealed the top 10 trends in home design and remodeling for the year – and we wanted to share them with you! We love how these predictions are all about achieving a modern look while saving time and money.

  • Kitchen cabinets with a clean, simple contemporary look
  • Countertops made of quartz composite – the closest thing to no maintenance
  • Hardwood floors of pre-finished and engineered wood for installation time savings
  • Glass backsplashes will replace glass mosiac tile in popularity
  • Stylishly simple sinks with deep single bowls
  • Color palette with charcoal tones
  • Bathroom stone with the white background and bold grey veins of Calacatta marble
  • Texture and sparkle with bold colors and Polished Nickel finishes
  • Living in your home longer by incorporating aging-in-place designs
  • Healthy home, healthy living with green and sustainable elements

Hanging lanterns from our Gather collection feature a Brushed Nickel finish that sparkles