Outdoor kitchens get more sophisticated

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

      

As our friends at Kitchen and Bath Design News explain, outdoor kitchens have long been popular in warm weather climates – and are increasingly turning up in homes across the country as a way to expand the kitchen and entertaining space, without having to expand the footprint of a home.

These spaces are also becoming more sophisticated, with upscale grilling appliances, all-weather cabinetry, patio heaters, lighting, refrigeration and ice makers, countertops and even prep sinks and dishwashers.

Below are some of the hottest trends in outdoor kitchens today:

  • Outdoor kitchens are seeing growing interest, both because they provide expanded kitchen space without having to alter the existing kitchen, and because they have proven to be a good investment that offers high returns upon house appraisal.
  • A far cry from just the basic backyard barbecue, today’s outdoor kitchen spaces increasingly include not only a high-end grill, but weatherproof cabinetry, prep space, refrigerator drawers and ice machines, lighting and sometimes a prep sink, patio heater or fire pit.
  • Because it is seen as a central entertaining area, outdoor kitchens seem to be getting larger in size and more detailed in terms of accessories.
  • One hot trend in outdoor kitchens is replicating the style and features of the indoor kitchen in the outdoor space, creating greater continuity between the indoors and outdoors.
  • Outdoor cooking centers are also becoming more involved, with side burners, warming drawers, griddle heads and even pizza ovens being incorporated into the cooking area.
  • The industry seems to be putting a greater emphasis on aesthetics, while concentrating on fit, finish and quality of the product.

Do you have any insight or suggestions to add about this growing trend?

Our Nantucket Collection works well in outdoor kitchen/entertaining settings.

Decoding lamp lingo

Posted by kbanks & filed under Uncategorized.

      

Great New York Times article that I wanted to share that addresses the misconception that incandescent bulbs will be banned in the near future.

The truth is: Federal regulations are changing how lighting products are made. In an effort to help consumers choose products that save money and energy – while meeting performance expectations – manufacturers are now responsible for presenting consistent information on their labels.

Here are a few facts you’ll need to know:

  • Brightness – Rather than selecting a light bulb based on wattage, labels will now use lumens, which is a more accurate measure of light output and brightness.  (Helpful hint: The more lumens, the brighter the bulb.)
  • Energy Used – A measure of how much electricity the bulb will consume.  This information will be listed in watts.
  • Life – This is the bulb’s expected lifespan and is expressed in years. Additionally, it a bulb’s life is calculated based on three hours of use a day.
  • Light Appearance – This reflects how a bulb’s color appears on a scale – from warm to cool.
  • Estimated yearly energy cost – This figure represents how much, based on average usage, the bulb costs to run for one year.

Home lighting trivia & giveaway!

Posted by kbanks & filed under Lighting, lighting designs.

      

Many of you who have entered our Home Lighting Trivia and Giveaway say you will use your new Progress Lighting pendant over the kitchen or dining area in your home.

  • Did you know that pendant fixtures should hang between 30″ and 36″ over a table or island?

Hop over to our Sweepstakes tab and share where you would add a mini-pendant to your home, and we’ll send you one! But hurry, the promotion ends in two weeks! :)

The color Orange

Posted by kbanks & filed under Uncategorized.

      

We’ve been seeing a lot of the color orange out on the streets these days.  To get a sneak peak at this popular color, we asked our own director of decorative product development, Libbe Milicia,   Here’s what she has to say:

  • The fashion Universe loves orange, and can’t get enough of  the persimmon shade in particular.
  • It mixes well with brown and bronze shades.
  • It continues to dominate the palette because it’s an earth-based (and livable!) color – and also has a lot of range with copper and coral shades.

What do you think? Where have you seen this bright, fun shade pop up? We’d love to know!

Bathroom lighting upgrades – Home Depot video

Posted by kbanks & filed under Lighting, Projects, Uncategorized, renovations.

      

Been thinking of renovating or revamping a bathroom in your home?  Check out the latest video from Home Depot, which shows you all the fun things to consider when tackling a bath and vanity makeover.

  • Change out your mirrors – This can immediately update the appearance of your bathroom. Be sure to choose a finish that matches your vanity.
  • Incorporate new lighting – Lighting can transform your bath and vanity into a spa-like atmosphere.  Use wall sconces, close-to-ceiling and recessed fixtures, which work together to reduce shadows and brighten the area.
  • Upgrade your toilet - Dual-flush toilets are now available to help conserve water usage.
  • Choose your shower heads- The right shower head will depend on whether you have a fixed shower or hand shower.  In fact, Delta’s Leeland fixed shower head is a favorite at Home Depot (and Progress Lighting offers the Leeland collection - a Delta bath match collection to help you coordinate!)

Have you recently remodeled your bathroom?  We’d love to see pictures!  Share them on our Facebook page today.

Color temperatures and applications

Posted by kbanks & filed under Lighting, Uncategorized, lighting designs, lighting industry.

      

Most of us know that there are different lighting fixtures for different uses. Task lighting, mood lighting and general lighting all play roles in residential and commercial environments.

But lighting also plays a big part in how we view other items in the home or office. And it’s important to view items – such as carpet, wall coverings and other accessories – under different color temperatures to know how they will be perceived in their respective applications.

Here are a few guidelines:

  • Warm light is great for intimate experiences in environments, such as restaurants or boutiques.
  • Cool light is ideal for friendly and inviting areas, such as reception desks or showrooms.
  • Daylight provides bright light and replicates sunlight – and is mostly found in areas like museums, galleries and medical offices.

So, what does your lighting design say about your environment?  Take notice the next time you walk into a store or office and ask yourself, “Is this the intended effect?” You might be surprised what you find!

Introducing the Greening of Greenville LED Streetlight Pilot

Posted by kbanks & filed under LEDs, Lighting, Projects, lighting designs, lighting industry.

      

We have always been proud of our hometown of Greenville. We are in the Upstate of South Carolina, a beautiful part of the southeast and a hub for innovation and urban design.

When Greenville’s downtown was redesigned 30 years ago, an extensive tree canopy, on-street parking and wide pedestrian walkways were developed. Part of the plan also included streetlights that were grouped on matching black poles. The fixtures used mercury bulbs and lacked many of today’s modern innovations, including photocell technology to shut fixtures off during daylight.  Mercury bulbs have since been phased out and the original fixtures are no longer manufactured.

To reflect the spirit of innovation and Greenville’s vision for the future, Hubbell Lighting, our parent company, has partnered with Duke Energy and GE for the LED Streetlight Pilot. New LED streetlights will allow for quick upgrades or replacements by just updating a circuit board.  These lights are between 30% and 60% more energy efficient than other sources and also produce a white light.

Hubbell has deployed four different LED pedestrian light styles in a one-block area, which are expected to be installed in September 2011. We have heard of other communities adding LED technology to their streets, and we are excited to play a role in bringing innovation to our neck of the woods.

The LED Streetlight Pilot is one of several programs underway as part of the “Greening of Greenville” initiative. To read more about the program, check out the website.

The mother of all light sources

Posted by kbanks & filed under LEDs, Lighting, Progress Lighting, Uncategorized.

      

We tend to spend a lot of our time focusing on modern light sources, such as fluorescent lamps and light-emitting diodes (LED).

But seeing how Progress Lighting is headquartered in Greenville, SC, it’s pretty hard to ignore the sun – our biggest source of light and heat – during the summer months.

It’s more than 90 degrees here today!

So, in honor of summertime, we wanted to pay tribute to our big shining star. Happy Friday everyone!

P.S. Look at the picture closely and you can see our water fountains in the front of the building. I wonder how many people have wanted to take a swim in there lately. :-)

Seeing the Light in Tough Times

Posted by kbanks & filed under Lighting, Progress Lighting, Projects, lighting designs, lighting industry, renovations.

      

Even though people may not be building houses like they were a few years ago, the lighting industry is still doing business. American Lighting Association (ALA) Conference keynote speaker Robert Stevenson says showrooms just need to “figure out ways to make it easy for customers to do business with you” in order to keep numbers up. He acknowledges the fact that it may not be the ideal time for the lighting industry, but encourages showrooms to rethink how to get customers to buy. Here are a few of Stevenson’s tips found in the June 2011 issue of  Residential Lighting.

  • Stay focused. Business is still being done, you just have to figure out new ways to get it.
  • Have a subcontractor on staff who can offer services at a lower price than an electrical contractor.
  • Have staff members who can help customers with decorating. Give them ideas. Make their lives easier.
  • Make your staff feel appreciated by allowing them to be involved in the thinking processes or your company. Show them you value their input and opinions.
  • Go through the city records and find people who bought houses 10 years ago and are not able to sell them now. Target those people by reaching out and showing them how they can make their house more appealing to potential buyers.
  • Maintain relationships with customers by getting email addresses and keeping in touch. Figure out ways to get in front of them.

Stevenson ends by saying “in business, there are three words for survival: Prospect. Prospect. Prospect. So rethink how you’re going to get people to buy lighting.”

Out with the Old

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

      

Renovating a room can be a huge undertaking, unless you consider only updating a few pieces in the space. When you choose the right furniture and accessories to add or replace, you can have the same effect – but for less money and effort than a full overhaul.

Lighting fixtures are one way to change the look of the room without committing to an extensive project. The 2011 issue of Lighting, a Better Homes and Gardens special interest publication, offers a few great tips on how to update the look of a room by simply changing the lighting.

  • Get rid of the brass. This finish on fixtures was popular – 20 years ago. Brass is a sure signal that lighting is outdated.
  • Replace outdated glass. Housings grow old and tired, and a fixture’s glass can, too. Ask your lighting showroom about replacing large panels of glass with shades.
  • Forgo a chandelier for a few pendants over a dining table. If a room’s aesthetic allows, you can even mix pendant shades – different colors of glass, for example, or different shapes of glass in the same color.

These few simple steps can refresh the way you light the rooms in your home and give the space an updated look. Check out a few Progress Lighting fixtures below that can refresh a variety of home settings.