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.


Need a break from the heat of summer?

Posted by kbanks & filed under ceiling fans, lighting designs.

      

The official first day of summer is right around the corner, but the heat of the season has already made its debut.  Get ready for sunny days, cookouts and porch time with family and friends.

Although porches, decks and backyards create picturesque moments in our minds, in reality,  sometimes it can be a little too hot or humid to sit outside for an extended period of time. However, if you have a covered deck or patio space, a ceiling fan is a simple solution that will provide relief from summer temperatures.

Did you know that ceiling fans work just as well outside as they do inside? Ceiling fans are an excellent way to circulate air and provide lighting for your porch. Our friends at Lighting (a Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication) have a few helpful tips when choosing the perfect fan:

  • For rooms measuring 200 square feet or less, a 36- to 52-inch-diameter blade sweep works best.
  • For rooms 200-400 square feet, two or more ceiling fans are usually needed to circulate air.

Check out Progress Lighting’s Crescent Heights ceiling fan, which was recently featured in the publication. We’d love to hear how you’re preparing your home and outdoor spaces for summer activities.


Progress participates in IBACOS Lab Home

Posted by kbanks & filed under Projects, lighting designs.

      

From the outside, the 2,100 square foot house may look like any other home in Pittsburgh’s Cobblestone Estates. But this is not your typical house.

The Energy Efficient Lab Home is the latest demonstration project from IBACOS, a building consulting firm that acts as the team leader for the Department of Energy’s Building America program. IBACOS brought in S&A Homes to build the house and also teamed up with Best Practices Research Alliance, a research-based community focused on improving the quality and performance of homes.

The team works to discover methods to stretch the limits of efficiency in order to discover a way to make net zero homes-homes that waste no energy- affordable to build.  S&A Homes completed the house in fall 2010 and the house will undergo round-the-clock performance testing for the next three years.

Along with many other systems being tested, various lighting schemes combining CFL, incandescent and LEDs will be tested. The study will look at how the Energy Star-rated appliances perform as part of the whole house. Progress Lighting was excited to have the opportunity to participate in the project by contributing several LED Energy Star qualified fixtures to be used in the house. We choose a variety of interior and exterior downlights, decorative lighting and outdoor fixtures to help complete this unique project.

“When it comes to solid state lighting products, Progress Lighting is committed to educating homeowners, homebuilders and consumers about the variety of lighting alternatives that are in the marketplace today,” says Todd Roy, director of builder sales and marketing for Progress Lighting. “By participating in programs such as the IBACOS Lab Home, Progress Lighting can show individuals, through real-world applications, that energy efficient lighting technologies can be incorporated into both new and existing homes, while saving energy and reducing environmental impact – without sacrificing aesthetic appeal.”

Check out a few of the fixtures Progress Lighting contributed to the project:

Progress Lighting helps one couple “Fix This Yard”

Posted by kbanks & filed under lighting designs, special events.

      

Hopefully your yard isn’t “that yard.” You know, the one with overgrown weeks exploding out of the dead grass that causes the neighbors to cringe when they drive by?

But if you do have “that yard,” there is hope. Fix This Yard, a weekly project show on the A&E network, hosts Amy Devers and Alan Luxmore, a dream duo who help owners of needy homes completely renovate their yards and exteriors. Progress Lighting recently had the opportunity to team with Fix This Yard to help two deserving homeowners, Randy and Elizabeth, transform their yard into an outdoor oasis with the help of lighting fixtures. Don’t miss this episode, which airs Saturday, May 21 on A&E at 10a/9C!

New website shares all things LED at Hubbell Lighting

Posted by kbanks & filed under LEDs, lighting industry.

      

We’re excited to announce that our parent company, Hubbell Lighting, has just launched a new website dedicated to showcasing energy saving solid state lighting, LED luminaries and controls.

The website shares LED products from 11 of Hubbell Lighting’s brands, which cover the commercial, industrial and residential markets. Users can sort lighting fixtures by brand, markets or applications and quickly select a product and click directly to that product’s web page. You’ll also find helpful financial analysis tools, energy calculators, case studies and white papers.

We’re proud to be part of Hubbell Lighting, and we’re stepping up to the challenge of educating specifiers, builders, homeowners and everyone in between on LED technology.

More than 50 of Progress Lighting’s LED fixtures are featured on the new site – check it out!

Hubbell Lighting “Lights It Up Blue” for Autism Awareness

Posted by kbanks & filed under lighting designs, special events.

      

Hubbell Lighting’s headquarters, along with a few other Greenville, S.C. establishments – the NEXT Innovation Center, Riverplace, Westin Poinsett, BMW Zentrum Museum and Furman University’s bell tower – were illuminated with special blue lights on Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2.  The effort supported the Autism Speaks™ global Light It Up Blue campaign to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day and Autism Awareness Month.

We’re always fans of unique lighting projects, and we were excited to “Light It Up Blue” at our headquarters for a good cause!

Hubbell Lighting illuminated in blue lights

Over 900 iconic landmarks, airports, bridges, sports arenas, museums, concert halls, restaurants as well as retail, corporate and media partners in over 180 U.S. cities and 30 countries have been lit in bright blue to raise awareness and shine a light on autism as a growing public health crisis now affecting 1 in every 110 American children.

Simple ways to enhance your home with outdoor lighting

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

      

This post is courtesy of our guest blogger Linda Longo. Linda is a feature writer in the New York City area specializing in residential lighting design. For 17 years, she has served as the editor-in-chief of Home Lighting & Accessories magazine. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter for more lighting tidbits.

——————————————————————————-

Believe it or not, it can convey a lot! People don’t often think about outdoor lighting until the holidays when evenings come quick, entertaining is frequent, and the mood is festive. We pay attention to detail and delight in showing off our individuality. It makes us smile to drive through our neighborhoods at night when the properties are all decked out.

Why ditch the fun as soon as the season is over? You can make your home and yard look sensational all year long with a few simple lighting techniques.

One of your first priorities is to make sure the path to your door is adequately illuminated. The boxed sets of solar-powered lanterns that you see everywhere really don’t do the job. The light they give off – even when using a new technology such as LED – is not very strong, consistent, or long-lasting. Using such sets also leads to what many of us in the lighting industry refer to as the “airport runway look.” There are probably many homes in your neighborhood with this landing strip look, so I know you know what I’m talking about!

Achieving truly great landscape lighting is rarely a successful do-it-yourself endeavor. I strongly recommend visiting your local lighting showroom for a consultation. Bring in photos of your front and back yard (use your cell phone if you don’t have a camera handy) so the experts can make the most concrete and effective suggestions. Perhaps you never thought that the giant oak that was there when you bought the house or the small palm tree you added last year or the flower garden you planted in spring that looks so sensational during the day could really pop at night. Lighting experts are trained to locate such elements as areas where you can create visual interest and “landing spots” for the eye.

Merely finding the parts of your landscape that you want to highlight is not enough. You’ll need to evaluate how different light sources – halogen, LED, CFL – will change or enhance the natural colors. You’ll also want to know how to position the lighting to produce various effects. By moving the angle of a fixture (some have a locking mechanism for precise aiming), you can position the beam of light so it casts dramatic shadows along the tree bark or catch the edges of a stone or brick façade. The shadows provide “texture” and make the objects you’re illuminating appear three-dimensional and vivid, not washed out as can happen with a too-bright floodlight. Again, there’s no need to try and figure it all yourself. Many lighting stores offer free consultations and others apply the design fee toward the purchase of landscape lighting products.

If you do a lot of entertaining in your backyard, patio, or deck, you won’t believe how much better you’ll love that area when it’s lit properly. Enjoying summer evenings outdoors is the stuff great memories are made of! Whether you’re having the neighborhood over for a party or just unwinding from your day, good lighting creates a warm atmosphere where everyone looks great under the glow of low light levels.

Sometimes floodlights are needed for security purposes, but please turn them off while you are entertaining. No guest feels comfortable sitting under the glare of harsh light meant to deter burglars. There are plenty of decorative outdoor fixtures on the market that will suit the architecture of your home perfectly from the front entryway to the back door.

There are a lot of options for using light to enhance your backyard enjoyment. Deck lights today are decorative, small in size, and incredibly handy for ensuring the safety of people going up and down deck stairs at night. If you have an inground pool or a water feature in the yard (i.e. fountains), submerging waterproof lights will create a spectacular visual effect. The choice is yours whether you want to use colored light or not, but this is another area where a professional’s expertise will help you find the perfect products to do the job.

Whichever method or products you choose, illuminating your property properly is a beautiful way to make your home stand out from the crowd.


Update: The phase out of the traditional light bulb

Posted by kbanks & filed under lighting industry.

      

We recently wrote about the legislation behind the phase out of traditional incandescent bulbs. Since then, we’ve seen a variety of articles that not only outline the new regulations, but also describe how people are responding.

To start, some are under the assumption that the incandescent bulb is being outlawed by the federal government. But here’s what’s really happening: It’s a planned phase out of today’s general service 40W, 60W, 75W and 100W incandescent bulbs from January 2012-January 2014. The law will simply set new standards that today’s bulbs will not be able to meet. The new regulations are also technology-neutral so any light source that meets these standards can be used – including CFL, halogen, high efficiency incandescent, LEDs, etc.

Some folks are simply opposed to this change. We came across one article describing how people are stockpiling traditional incandescents to avoid changing light sources in their homes. But in reality, there’s no reason to keep old incandescents unless you prefer paying higher electricity costs.

Despite the hoarders, another news story explains that, according to a recent poll, most Americans are o.k. with the changes. In fact, 71% say they have already replaced standard bulbs in their homes with CFL or LEDs alternatives.

So, have you heard any incandescent hoarding stories? Or are you opposed to the new legislation and stockpiling bulbs yourself? If so, what reasons do you have for holding back?

Which Lifestyle palette is for you?

Posted by kbanks & filed under Lifestyle palettes.

      

You may remember we introduced our Lifestyle palettes for 2011, and you might have seen these Progress Lighting families in our new catalog. But do you know which Lifestyle is right for you?

We designed our Lifestyle palettes to help connect your lighting fixtures to the environment you have created in your home. You may have a preference for bold and modern accessories, and fixtures in the Loft group best suit your tastes. Or maybe you’ve created a “livably luxury” vibe in your home and you’re drawn towards collections in the Grace palette.

Whatever home decor taste, Progress Lighting is here to help you match your style with a name and a set of fabulous lighting fixtures from which to choose.

By taking a few minutes to fill out the quiz on our Facebook page, we can let you know which Lifestyle palette we suggest for you based on your answers.

Once you know whether your style fits in Loft, Transcend, Relax, Elements or Grace, check out our photo albums on Facebook for images of a few fixtures from your palette. You can also browse our latest catalog online to view Progress Lighting’s full offering.

So which Progress Lighting Lifestyle palette are you?

Clayton from the Elements family

Haven from the Transcend group

Flirt from the Relax palette

Chanelle from the Grace collection

Calven from the Loft palette