12 unusual housing trends on the horizon for 2013

Posted by kbanks & filed under Homebuilders, Progress Lighting, remodeling, renovations.

      

2012 marked a significant year for the housing market. It is expected in 2013 that we will continue to see a “recovery” in housing, as inventory diminishes and prices rise.

However, there seem to be some new trends emerging in the housing sector in 2013 that you might not expect. Check out these trends provided by Morgan Brennan in Forbes magazine.

  1. Financing – With the Federal Reserve buying up $40 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities per month, lending rates will continue to hover near record lows. These miniscule mortgages rates are continuing to entice qualified prospective buyers.
  2. Mom and Dad – More first-time homebuyers are receiving gifts or loans from family members for down payments.
  3. Fix ‘Em  & Flip ‘Em” – Companies have begun to offer “Fix ‘Em & “Flip ‘Em” programs that provide up to 70% of the cost of buying and fixing up a home, typically at 12% annual interest.
  4. Nontraditional lenders. – Nontraditional lenders are funding more and more large-scale projects over commercial banks.
  5. Hotel luxury – Builders are increasingly taking advantage of luxury residential offerings like high-end hotels in mixed-use high rise buildings. This allows residents to enjoy year-round travel-like amenities in the luxury of their own home.
  6. Pet friendly – Some buildings are taking pet-friendly to another level by offering pet service centers. Dogs can now receive walks, grooming and play dates all within the owner’s residence.
  7. Remodeling – The housing market will experience an increasing amount of home makeovers throughout 2013.
  8. Going green –  Green homebuilding is expected to encompass as much as 38% of the U.S. residential market by 2016. Spending on green home technologies is expected to rise as much as $114 billion from $7 billion.
  9. Smart homes – The invention of Apple products has had a direct impact on home automation. Allowing homeowners to automate living spaces more effectively and for less money.  Homebuilders say smart home technology is a frequent request among clients and developers.
  10. Online buyers – Online real estate sites have become immensely popular as more house hunters are turning to the Internet.
  11. Online real estate brokerages. – Digital real estate firms source listings from multiple listing services and offer in-house agents to broker deals. These one-stop-shops are catching on fast.
  12. Real-estate-centric social networking. – Sites such as Houzz.com, a design and home remodeling site that allows users to create idea books and source contractors, have become extremely popular.

What housing trends do you expect to see in 2013?

Home design and lighting: Our weekly favorites

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

      

Missed our tweets and Facebook posts this week? You came to the right place! Check out of favorites for the week of January 7….

6 lighting tips for aging vision

Posted by kbanks & filed under Lighting.

      

Our friends at Enlightenment magazine recently published the article “Brightening the Home for Seniors,” which explains the specific lighting needs of older individuals.

As we age, we need a different quality of light – higher light levels without glare. We are also much more sensitive to changing light levels and our circadian rhythms are more dependent on illumination throughout the day. Based on these facts, we learned six tips for choosing and placing lighting in homes with senior inhabitants:

  1. Design interior spaces – including hallways – with uniform lighting in mind
  2. Conceal lighting bulbs/tubes from view
  3. Incorporate layers of light
  4. Choose sources with good color rendering
  5. Task lighting should have a high light level and be adjustable in position
  6. Avoid light sources that cause glare (i.e. halogen)

Want to learn more? We’ll discuss lighting for universal design and aging-in-place during the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas later this month. If you’re attending, be sure to stop by the Progress Lighting booth (#C3526).

LED downlights, such as our P8071 fixture, are ideal for seniors because they rarely need replacement and operate at a very low temperature.

Win a Janos chandelier! Lights, Camera, Tweet promotion

Posted by kbanks & filed under Progress Lighting, Promotions & Giveaways.

      

@ProgressLtg Twitter followers – our next product giveaway is for you! “Tweet” us a photo of a room in your home that needs new or additional lighting (along with a short description) to enter!

Progress Lighting Twitter “Lights, Camera, Tweet” Contest

OFFICIAL SWEEPSTAKES RULES

1. No purchase necessary to enter or to win. A purchase will not increase your odds of winning. Subject to applicable federal, state, local and municipal laws and regulations. Void where prohibited.

2. Progress Lighting Twitter “Lights, Camera, Tweet” Contest (the “Sweepstakes”) is open to anyone who is 18 years or older at the time of entry and have chosen to “Follow” Progress Lighting on Twitter. Employees of Progress Lighting (“Sponsor”), Twitter, and each of their respective affiliated companies, subsidiaries, advertising or promotional agencies, and other agents, and the immediate family members of, and any persons domiciled with such employees, are not eligible to enter or win.

3. Entry. The Sweepstakes begins at 10 a.m. (E.S.T.) on January 7, 20123, and will end at 11:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) on January 21, 2012 (the “Sweepstakes Period”).

Internet Entry: “Follow” Progress Lighting (@ProgressLtg) on Twitter. Upload a photo of a room in your home that needs new or additional lighting. Photo should be accessed via an online link. Along with the link, include a short description of why you would like to win the fixture. Mention @ProgressLtg in the tweet. The total content of the Tweet should not exceed 140 characters. By entering, you agree to the terms of these Official Rules. Only one entry per person, per Sweepstakes from the Progress Lighting Pinterest Page.

Sponsor and Administrator will not be responsible for incomplete, lost, late, entries or for failure to receive entries due to transmission failures or technical failures of any kind, including, without limitation, malfunctioning of any telephone connection, network, hardware or software, whether originating with sender or Sponsor or Twitter. In the event of a dispute, all online entries will be deemed to have been submitted by the owner of the Twitter account from which they were sent. For theses purposes, an account holder shall mean the natural person assigned to such an account by Twitter. All entries become the property of Sponsor and none will be returned. Any questions regarding the number of entries submitted or the owner of an email account shall be determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion, and Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any entries by persons determined to be tampering with or abusing any aspect of the Sweepstakes.

4. Prizes and Odds. On January 23, one participant with an eligible entry in the Sweepstakes will be contacted and sent one fixture each from Progress Lighting. If the person submitting the entry does not meet the eligibility requirements, no prize will be awarded.

5. Winner Notification and Acceptance. Winner will be notified by Progress Lighting through direct message on Twitter. Return of prize notification as undeliverable or failure of winner to respond to the message according to the instructions in the message may result in disqualification. To claim the prize, winner must provide a mailing address to where the prize may be sent. Winners may waive their right to receive prizes. Prizes are non-assignable and nontransferable. No substitutions allowed, except that prizes and individual components of prize packages are subject to availability and Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prizes of equal or greater value. Winners are solely responsible for reporting and payment of any taxes on prizes.

6. Participation. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify persons found tampering with or otherwise abusing any aspect of this Sweepstakes as solely determined by Sponsor. In the event the Sweepstakes is compromised by a virus, non-authorized human intervention, tampering or other causes beyond the reasonable control of Sponsor which corrupts or impairs the administration, security, fairness or proper operation of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the Sweepstakes. Should the Sweepstakes be terminated prior to the stated expiration date, Sponsor reserves the right to award prizes based on the entries received before the termination date.

7. Limitations of Liability. By entering the Sweepstakes, entrant agrees that (1) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with the Sweepstakes, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved individually without resort to any form of class action, and entrant waives his or her right to a jury trial for such disputes, claims, and causes of action; (2) any claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering the Sweepstakes, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (3) under no circumstances will any entrant be permitted to obtain any award for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased and any other damages, other than damages for actual out-of-pocket expenses.

8. Construction. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of any contestant and Sponsor, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of South Carolina, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions (whether of South Carolina, or any other jurisdiction) that would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than South Carolina. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these rules shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. If any such provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable, these rules shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if the valid or enforceable provision was not contained therein.

9. General Release. By entering the Sweepstakes, contestants release Progress Lighting and any other promotional sponsors, and each of their respective affiliated companies, directors, officers, employees, representatives, partners and agents from any liability whatsoever for any claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the Sweepstakes or with the acceptance, possession or use of any prize (including, without limitation, claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages related to personal injuries, death, damage to, loss or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light).

10. Sponsor. The Progress Lighting Twitter “Lights, Camera, Tweet” contest is sponsored by Progress Lighting, whose decisions regarding the selection of winners and all other aspects of the Sweepstakes shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor will not be responsible for typographical, printing or other inadvertent errors in these Official Rules or in other materials relating to the Sweepstakes. If you have any questions regarding this Sweepstakes, please contact Caitlin Greeley at 864.672.9617.

Top 10 Rent vs. Own Cities

Posted by kbanks & filed under Homebuilders.

      

In a recent issue of Multifamily Executive magazine, we learned that in the nation’s most desirable – and expensive – metros, renting remains the once and future king of housing economics.

The Top 10 Rent vs. Own Cities include:

  1. San Jose, CA
  2. Honolulu
  3. San Francisco
  4. New York City
  5. Boston
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Seattle
  8. San Diego
  9. Washington, D.C.
  10. Portland, OR

However, as rents continue to rise and home prices continue to decline, the advantages of renting over owning are becoming narrower in many major metropolitan areas.

To our homebuilder audience: where does your area stand in the rent vs. own battle?

Four Tips for Illuminating Your Home this Holiday Season

Posted by kbanks & filed under holiday lighting.

      

In the spirit of the holiday season, we’ve put together four tips to make the most of the lighting and decor inside – and outside – your home!

  • Incorporate layers of light. Consider adding multiple types of fixtures – such as chandeliers, recessed lighting and wall sconces – to add depth to the rooms where friends and family gather during the holidays.
  • Small changes = big difference. Minimal adjustments such as decorating existing fixtures or adjusting illumination to highlight holiday centerpieces will enhance a festive environment.
  • Make a first impression. Entryways are the first areas of a home to invite guests and set the tone for the rest of the interior. Lanterns and hanging fixtures can be functional, yet decorative, pieces that serve as the focal point in entry areas.
  • Illuminate your home’s exterior. Simple outdoor lighting techniques can make your home and yard look great and offer functional features during the holidays – and all year long. Lighting along paths and driveways enhances the overall theme of your outdoor space while preventing accidents in the dark.

We would love to hear about your holiday entertaining traditions – and how you plan to decorate and illuminate your home this season. Share your thoughts and questions in the Comments section!

This week in lighting and home decor online

Posted by kbanks & filed under Dallas Market, holiday lighting.

      

Check out our favorite articles and websites we found this week!

What electrical distributors look for…

Posted by kbanks & filed under lighting industry.

      

We recently participated in a branding study by The Electrical Distributor magazine (tED) which sought to evaluate awareness and preference for manufacturers of various lighting and electrical products.

Here are a few of the key takeaways found by the study:

  • Electrical Distributors use many sources – such as print, in-person, trade publications and sales reps – to stay up-to-date on electrical products and equipment.
  • 62% of electrical distributors carry lighting.
  • The top factors that influence electrical distributors when deciding which lighting brands to stock are – quality/reliability, manufacturer’s reputation/integrity, availability/delivery and technical support/service.
  • Electrical distributors are highly influential in the brands of lighting their customers buy.
  • Looking ahead to 2013, 87% of electrical distributos anticipate flat or improving lighting sales.

To our electrical distributor readers, are these findings comparable to what you see in the field? We’d love to hear your thoughts!