Weekly lighting round-up

Posted by kbanks & filed under Progress Lighting.

      

This week, our favorite articles and blog posts revolved around social media, economic improvements and beautiful interiors. Hope you enjoy reading these as much as we did!

Social media has revolutionized social media – Mashable.com

Top 5 Cities with the Lowest Unemployment Rate – MultiFamily Executive

Velvet Shows Piles of Playfulness – Houzz.com

8 Great Kitchen Color Schemes – Houzz.com

Kitchen Island Designs We Love – Better Homes & Gardens

How to select a CFL

Posted by kbanks & filed under energy efficiency.

      

In 2001, the U.S. Department of Energy found that lighting accounted for around 7 percent of a home’s energy use. In 2010, the most recent data, that statistic rose to more than 15 percent.

CFL lighting is one of the most realistic options for homeowners to reduce lighting consumption in their home. But because it is still a fairly new technology, many consumers have questions on how to choose a solution that’s right for them. Here are a few tips for selecting CFLs shared in a recent article by Qualified Remodeler magazine.

  • Choose a CFL bulb with a color temperature between 2,700-3,000 Kelvin (K). Any higher, and the light will appear white.
  • CFLs that bear the Energy Star label are proven to last more than 6,000 hours.
  • Find a bulb with a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of at least 80. The higher the number, the more accurately colors will appear under the light.

Many CFLs are available in decorative forms, too. Seen here is our unique Haven collection, a CFL fixture!

Weekly lighting round-up

Posted by kbanks & filed under Homebuilders, Lighting.

      
It was a very active week in the world of residential lighting! Check out our favorite blog posts and articles surrounding beautiful designs, improvements in the home builder market and our Pinterest Match Maker Contest!

Pinterest: A priceless resource for homebuilders

Posted by kbanks & filed under Homebuilders.

      

Pinterest, the social networking site that allows users to share photos by “pinning” them on categorized boards, can be quite a valuable tool for homebuilders. As a visual platform highly trusted and used by women, the site offers easy access to a target market willing to share their home development desires.  Here are some quick comments from a recent article, Pinterest for New-Home Sales, which highlights why Pinterest may be the best new social resource for homebuilders.

Pinterest’s target audience correlates with the home building market – Pinterest hit 11 million unique monthly visitors earlier this year. From those visitors, 97% are women, with an exceptionally strong presence of women aged 18-34 – a homebuilder’s target market. A recent poll also revealed that women trust recommendations made on Pinterest more than any other social media site on the web.

A photo really is worth 1,000 words– People are consuming so much information online daily and Pinterest offers a new way for people to gather information and communicate. Instead of reading a 300-word blog post, users can access and share what they like in a visual and less time-consuming manner.

Pinterest’s ultra-visual format allows for quick brand advertising – Photos that highlight beautiful design are particularly popular on Pinterest, which presents a great opportunity for builders to position their brand with sought-after design.

Design and product photos can illustrate a lifestyle – Creating product photos to illustrate a particular lifestyle presents an opportunity for builders to tell the story of living in a given home or community. Homebuilders can reach out to their target market by creating specific boards that cater to a particular market segment.

Use caution to avoid copyright issues – Because Pinterest is so dependent on photography, builders must be cautious of copyright issues. Instead of re-pinning other people’s pictures, upload pictures that reflect the latest design trends and focus on “liking” and commenting on other people’s pins to drive traffic back to your builder page.

For more information and tips for homebuilders, check out the Progress Lighting for Builders Facebook page.

Win a Lighting Makeover from Progress Lighting!

Posted by kbanks & filed under special events.

      

Are you active on Pinterest? Does your home need a lighting makeover? If so, here’s your chance to win new lighting fixtures from Progress Lighting while having fun on Pinterest!

From today until July 29, you can create your own “My Progress Lighting Match Maker” board on Pinterest and pin images of your dream home – including at least three fixtures from our “Match Maker Contest” board. Once complete, post a comment with a link to your board under the instructions pin. Don’t forget to include the hashtag #ProgressLightingMatchMaker under each pin!

After July 26, we’ll select one winner to receive three of the fixtures they pinned from Progress Lighting! See below for official instructions. We can’t wait to see your lighting ideas!

Progress Lighting Pinterest Match Maker 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 Pinterest Match Maker 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 Pinterest. Employees of Progress Lighting (“Sponsor”), Wildfire (“Administrator”), Pinterest, 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 July 16, 2012, and will end at 11:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) on July 29, 2012 (the “Sweepstakes Period”).

Internet Entry: Enter by visiting Progress Lighting’s “Match Maker Contest” official board on Pinterest, click on the “Follow” button, completing all of the required information, and following all instructions. Create a board on Pinterest titled “My Progress Lighting Match Maker” and pin images of your dream home. Include at least three images from Progress Lighting’s “Match Maker Contest” board, and add the hashtag “#ProgressLightingMatchMaker” on all pins. Once complete, copy and paste the URL to your Match Maker Board under the contest instructions pin on Progress Lighting’s Pinterest page. 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 Pinterest. In the event of a dispute, all online entries will be deemed to have been submitted by the owner of the Pinterest/email account from which they were sent. For theses purposes, an email account holder shall mean the natural person assigned to such email account by the Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with such email account. 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 or about August 3, 2012, one participant with an eligible entry in the Sweepstakes will be contacted and sent three of the Progress Lighting fixtures they pinned. 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 on their Pinterest page and will be asked to contact kbanks@hubbell.com. Return of e-mail prize notification as undeliverable or failure of winner to respond to the e-mail according to the instructions in the e-mail 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 Pinterest Match Maker 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.

Introducing the new Guide to Green Lighting Solutions

Posted by kbanks & filed under Progress Lighting, energy efficiency.

      

The “green movement” – sparked by the quest to improve our environment and new government mandates – has individuals evaluating their homes and places of business for ways to improve efficiency and sustainability.

Did you know that the average American home uses 11 percent of its energy consumption in lighting alone? To address this challenge, Progress Lighting is committed to manufacturing fixtures that maximize energy savings – without sacrificing aesthetics. We also respond to the ever-changing needs of the lighting industry with extensive research and development programs that ensure high standard of quality and innovation for the home.

And we’re excited to share this knowledge with you.

Our latest edition of the Guide to Green Lighting Solutions offers a wealth of information, including:

  • Dictionary of modern lighting terms
  • Review of the recently-updated ENERGY STAR program
  • Explanation of energy mandates and initiatives
  • Complete guide to Progress Lighting’s extensive energy efficient product offering

See it for yourself, and download the Guide to Green Lighting Solutions today!

Four clever ways to get the most out of your home space

Posted by kbanks & filed under Uncategorized.

      

Whether you live in a petite studio apartment or an expansive mountain estate villa, maximizing space to offer a welcoming environment to guests is a must. If you are pondering whether you can host that upcoming VIP gala or buy an ultra chic piece of furniture, here are a few quick tips to help you upgrade for the space you’ve always imagined.

The entryway: a welcoming place – Your entryway will most likely be the first point of contact for your guests, so naturally, this needs to offer a welcoming atmosphere. You don’t want your guests to feel cramped or overwhelmed by this vicinity. This space should be functional – allowing people to maneuver easily and efficiently. Adding a large mirror will beautifully reflect the rest of your home and give the illusion of more space. Consider adding a bench or sitting area for guests to place personal belongings and shoes. Or, add wall-mounted hooks for knick-knacks to eliminate clutter in hallways or other rooms.

Be efficient in public spaces – Your living room and family room are high traffic areas that offer the most natural spaces for friends and family to gather. Maximize this space with multifunctional furniture such as a storage ottoman – that can double as a chic cocktail table! Consider a coffee table that offers drawers or open shelving below. You will love that hidden space when your party heats up.

Turn your bedroom into a haven – Your bedroom should serve as a place of refuge from the world – a natural spot for renewal and rejuvenation. Minimize your bedroom clutter by ensuring your closet space is used properly.  Tuck away those out-of-season clothes, accessories and shoes with hidden storage containers and closet organizers. Every closet could use some functional organizing.

Ensure the exterior reflects the interior – The space surrounding your home should appear fresh, clean and bright. This area is where visitors form the first impression of your home – so you certainly don’t want to disappoint. Enhance your “curb appeal” by keeping your landscape updated to begin welcoming your guests before they even walk in. Keep your lawn cut, flowerbeds tidy and weed free and, of course, greet your guests with a colorfully painted front door!

Changes to PAR and R lamp regulations – What you need to know

Posted by kbanks & filed under energy efficiency.

      

Chances are, you’ve heard about the new lighting regulations behind the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act – also referred to as the “incandescent bulb ban.” While the program does affect the traditional, iconic lightbulb, new rules are on the horizon for other popular lighting sources.

As noted by our friends at the American Lighting Association, PAR and R lamps – which have a screw base and use standard incandescent or halogen sources – will undergo efficiency requirements starting this Saturday, July 14, 2012. Here’s a quick summary of the new regulations:

  • After this date, PAR, R and BR lamps must be approximately 20 percent more efficient
  • As with other regulated luminaries, lamps already made may be sold. However, non-qualifying regulated lamps cannot be manufactured or imported after July 14, 2012.

Do you use PAR, R or BR lamps in your home? If so, are you looking forward to having more efficient options to choose from, or are you satisfied with your current lighting?

The sustainable outdoor room

Posted by kbanks & filed under Outdoor Living.

      

“Outdoor rooms” are an extension of the living environments within our homes. And these spaces are increasingly designed with a strong focus towards sustainability.

An article in a recent issue of Residential Design + Build shares how using the right materials can help home owners save on water consumption and electricity costs.

  • “Green roofs” utilize plants to control the ambient temperature through shading, creating oxygen and reflecting heat.
  • Installing plant material “on” buildings can help manage weather changes that affect a building’s temperature.
  • Using native plant material in landscapes can naturally reduce water consumption, reduce the need for pesticides and minimize a project’s overall maintenance requirements.
  • Many irrigation systems can be used with smart controllers that monitor the needs of plants.

Do you use any of these sustainable practices in the outdoor rooms of your home? What green materials would you add to this list? Let’s continue the conversation on making outdoor living beautiful and efficient!

Landscaping for energy efficiency

Posted by kbanks & filed under Landscape Lighting.

      

A well-landscaped yard can beautify a home’s exterior. But did you know it can also reduce heating and cooling costs?

Consider these four elements of an energy-efficient landscape design:

Climate

Each climate zone requires a different landscaping strategy.

  • In temperate climates like California you want to shade against the summer sun, allow for solar gain in the winter and allow for a cross breeze in the summer to help cool the home.
  • In hot humid climates like Atlanta and Houston, you want to avoid planting water intensive trees and shrubs too close the house in order to avoid mildew issues.
  • In hot and dry regions like Arizona, you want to maximize shade on roofs, windows and walls.
  • In cold areas like Chicago you want to create wind breaks along the north west side of the home, but keep trees on the south side only if they do not block winter sun from entering the windows to help warm the house.

Microclimate

Microclimate is the area directly around the home.  If you live on a lake your home may be cooler than the surrounding area.  If you’re on the sunny slope of a hill your home may be warmer than others.  Take this into consideration when installing or thinning trees.

Shading

Use trees and other plants to help shade your home to help reduce cooling costs.  But, be careful not to provide shading that may prevent solar warmth from helping to heat your home in the winter.

Windbreaks

Use windbreaks—tree and/or shrub plantings—around your home to help reduce heating costs.  Simply put, a windbreak will reduce the wind chill around your home.

Summer is the time of year when most homeowners consider landscaping for beauty. Keep these tips in mind to also improve your home’s energy efficiency – and add your own in the comments section!

Source: Old House Web