Progress Lighting goes mobile!

Posted by kbanks & filed under Lighting, Progress Lighting.

We are excited to announce that our full product catalog – which showcases more than 5,000 lighting fixtures – is now available on a mobile app!

Have an iPhone, iPad or Android-powered phone? Now, you can review all of Progress Lighting’s products that deliver aesthetic appeal and stellar performance right at your fingertips.

Special features of the Progress Lighting app include:

  • Review items by category
  • Add or remove category items to cart or jobsheet
  • Searchable items by keyword, family, finish, or brand
  • Dealer mode allows you the ability to have separate
    jobsheets and convert the jobsheet into an order through the website
  • Downloadable local content for use in offline mode
  • Easily toggle Dealer Modes and Local Content on/off

Download the app today, and let us know what you think!

Incandescent bulbs: The debate continues

Posted by kbanks & filed under energy efficiency.

If the incandescent light bulb “ban” wasn’t confusing enough for consumers, there’s a new push to stop funding for the legislation. A debate over whether the government can require manufacturers to sell energy-saving lights is expected to reignite.

Last year, Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas successfully pushed to stop the Energy Department from using taxpayer dollars to enforce a law requiring light bulbs to become more efficient – and plans to offer an amendment this year to extend that ban.

Many manufacturers have already planned on meeting the new standards, but if the incandescent “ban” isn’t funded, it won’t be consistently enforced – and could stunt further progress in making light bulbs more efficient.

What are your thoughts on the incandescent phase-out – and the measures being taken to stop its enforcement? We’d love to hear your thoughts and questions.

Source: E&E Daily

UPDATE (July 6, 2012): We have recently learned of consumer-driven initiatives to educate others on the incandescent phase-out and government product regulation. We  recommend reading the Freedom Light Bulb blog to learn more about the different arguments and perspectives. Let’s continue the conversation by sharing additional thoughts in the Comments section.

What do you want to do at your kitchen island?

Posted by kbanks & filed under Lighting, lighting designs.

Kitchens are the gathering spots of today’s home – and islands are stylish workspaces that help make these areas efficient and inviting.

So, what do you want to do at your kitchen island? Knowing the goal of this space will help you design the perfect station.

  • Cook. An island meant for cooking includes appliances such as cooktops, ranges, microwaves and warming drawers. Make sure to consider your ventilation needs, too.
  • Prepare meals. Though it might have a prep sink at one end, an island used mainly for preparation needs a large, uninterrupted surface. A dishwasher is a great addition for post-meal cleanup.
  • Entertain. Space is key for an entertaining island. The countertop must provide ample surface for serving or dining. There should also be plenty of room for guests to mingle or be seated outside the work zones.

And, no matter what you want to do at your kitchen island, the proper lighting is key. We recommend illuminating this area with downlights, track lighting or a series of decorative pendants.

Let’s keep talking! What is your favorite thing to do at your kitchen island? What would you love to add to this space to make it more functional and inviting?

Source: Better Homes & Gardens – Kitchen and Bath Ideas

This kitchen island is ideal for preparing meals - and illuminated with Progress Lighting's Archie pendants.

Choosing the right lighting fixture – by designer Laurie Smith

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

The American Lighting Association has produced and launched a new series of videos about lighting features well-known designer Laurie Smith.

View this quick, informational video, which focuses on how to use lighting to contrast or coordinate with your interior environment.

Let lighting be that unexpected element in your design process – and let us know how you choose the right lighting fixture for your home!

Landscape Lighting 101 (Part 3) – and Outdoor Lighting Giveaway!

Posted by kbanks & filed under Landscape Lighting.

In the third and final segment of our Landscape Lighting 101 blog series, we’ll explore important points to consider when you’re ready to purchase lighting fixtures.

Selection and placement of landscape lighting is crucial to achieving the desired overall look. However, a common mistake is to focus entirely on this process – and not on the overall lighting system.

Here are five points to keep in mind when purchasing lighting:

  • Plan for long-term function.
  • Account for energy cost.
  • Plan for consistent voltage.
  • Account for bulb replacement costs.
  • When purchasing a transformer, allow the option of adding additional lighting in the future.

With these last tips in mind, we would love to hear about your successes and challenges in lighting the outside of your home. What additional questions do you have? Do you have advice to share from your landscape lighting experience?

In addition, we invite you to share photos from your home’s landscape that needs new or additional lighting. Between now and Friday, March 23, 2012, submit your photos in our Outdoor Lighting Giveaway!

After the submission period, our judges will choose one winner of a lantern series (3 fixtures) from our Westport collection and one winner of two Mission landscape fixtures. We can’t wait to see your submissions!

You could win three fixtures from our Westport outdoor collection!

Landscape Lighting 101 (Part 2)

Posted by kbanks & filed under Landscape Lighting.

To continue our three part series on landscape lighting, let’s consider the key design principles that will ensure a beautiful and well-planned landscape.

Keep these tips in mind when selecting and placing fixtures:

  • Be cohesive – Create the same overall effect throughout the landscape. When lighting separate entities – such as a prominent tree or a featured piece of architecture – the lighting should flow smoothly together.
  • Create depth - For example, path lights create interest along the driveway while the viewer travels up toward the property.
  • Accentuate focal points – Highlight entryways and stationary pieces to create points of interest. These focal points will engage visitors and encourage them to take a closer look.
  • Explore perspectives - Review each angle of the property – including from inside the home. Focus should be given to creating a continuous experience from each viewpoint.
  • Show balance and symmetry. Lighting should be proportional across the various areas of the property. Local symmetrical components in different landscape areas, such as columns or corresponding bushes. The goal is for the amount of illumination within and across different areas to be symmetrical.
  • Control quality and direction - Select fixtures that set a specific mood, such as broad beams and soft edges or narrow beams with hard edges. Direction simply refers to the where the light projects (i.e. down lighting and up lighting).

Choosing and installing landscape lighting is far more than simply illuminating a property. Keep these design principles in mind when planning your landscape lighting system.

Source: Landscape & Hardscape Design-Build

Landscape Lighting 101 (part 1)

Posted by kbanks & filed under Landscape Lighting.

With spring and warmer weather just around the corner, now is the right time to start preparing the outdoor spaces of your home for relaxing and entertaining. In this three part blog series, we’ll look at the goals, design principles and purchasing tips every homeowner should keep in mind when planning their landscape lighting.

Landscape lighting can make a property shine in more ways than one. With proper planning, lighting can help create a usable and safe outdoor space, and also complement a home’s exterior.

There are several reasons for choosing to light a home’s landscape – both practical and aesthetic. When determining where to place landscape lights, consider the following goals:

  • Security – Broaden light levels and dull brightness to allow visibility in both lit and unlit areas of the landscape and to deter intruders.
  • Safety – Properly lighting walkways, stairs, pond areas and other tripping hazards helps ensure a safe passage indoors.
  • Usability – Areas that are frequently used after nightfall, such as a deck or patio, should be appropriately lit with fixtures that complement the structure.
  • Aesthetics – Consider the visual experience of guests and light focal points to bring out the beauty of the property.

For our readers planning to revamp your home’s outdoor spaces this year, how important is lighting to the overall experience? What other projects do you have planned for your landscapes, decks and patios?

Source: Landscape & Hardscape Design-Build

Progress Lighting makes a splash at the International Builders’ Show

Posted by kbanks & filed under IBS.

The NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) is the must-attend event of the year for the building industry – and Progress Lighting was once again proud to be part of the show.

And we didn’t limit out participation to just one booth; Progress Lighting was represented throughout IBS to showcase products and support visiting builders.

On the show floor

  • The Progress Lighting booth saw heavy traffic throughout the show as guests toured our Lifestyles palettes, outdoor collections and LED offering. We also hosted three product tours through the NAHB, where we had the chance to show visitors the benefits of our LED offering for 50+ homeowners.

  • We also had a presence at the Builder Partnerships booth where we displayed several LED products, including undercabinet fixtures, step lights and several outdoor lanterns.

Additionally, our products were seen in action at these off-site locations:

  • The New American Home
  • Centerline Homes’ Generation X, Y and B show homes
  • Nationwide/Palm Harbor Cape Cod show home

Our Bingo collection – as seen in the Nationwide/Palm Harbor Cape Cod show home – was a huge hit! Customers gravitated towards the product, and the collection also grabbed the attention of a blogger from The Wall Street Journal as “one of five products that caught his eye.”

In addition, we received enjoyed conversations with guests about LED technology and the next generation of lighting. We look forward to continuing these relationships and attending next year’s IBS in Las Vegas!

Progress celebrates a successful Dallas Market

Posted by kbanks & filed under Dallas Market.

We unveiled our latest collections – and showcased other favorites – during the Dallas International Lighting Market last month. Now, we’re excited to report back about the successful show!

Overall, attendees were positive, upbeat and excited throughout Dallas Market – and reported that our product offering is on target with the needs of today’s consumer.

Visitors to the Progress Lighting showroom gravitated toward several of our new collections, including:

Bingo


Caress

LadyLuck


Cuddle


We’d like to give a big thank you to all of those who visited us during the show! If you attended Dallas Market, what were your favorite takeaways from the event?

The Right Way to Use Wall Sconces

Posted by kbanks & filed under Lighting.

[Our friends at Build.com share their expertise on the Progress Lighting blog. Enjoy!]

Lighting your home may seem like a no-brainer, there’s definitely a better way to do it. And lighting with a wall sconce is no different.

The first question to ask yourself is: What kind of lighting do I need from a wall sconce (also sometimes called a wall light)? Is it complementary lighting in a larger room? Brightening a hallway? Or is the wall sconce more of a decorative accent, with functionality taking a back seat?

Since wall sconces are so versatile, there are definitely right and wrong ways to use them. And there’s an amazingly wide range of Progress Lighting wall sconces to work with.

No matter where you’d like wall sconces to go, they should be hung roughly 60 inches from the floor and, if possible, approximately six feet apart from each other.

These are the general lighting rules for using a wall light, but, as we all know, some rules can be bent. Here’s a breakdown of possible places and guidelines for using a wall sconce.

Hallway: Here is where you can follow the six-feet-apart rule along the wall. If it’s a long hallway, each wall sconce will produce enough brightness to be placed at that distance. If you’re considering the decorative element (one on either side of a door, or multiple wall sconces at the end of the hall, for example), that’s also perfectly acceptable.

Large rooms: Wall sconces provide the perfect secondary light source. They’re not so bright that they overpower a living space, yet they’re bright enough to help with illumination.

A larger living area (a great room, living room or bedroom) will typically feature a primary source of light of some kind, like a chandelier or ceiling light. A strategically placed wall sconce can brighten an area that could use more light (a far corner or next to a slider) or highlight a feature in the room (a piano or piece of art).

Again, place multiple wall lights at least six feet apart, unless it’s for ornamental sake.

Entryway: There are a few places that could benefit from a wall sconce as strictly a decorative element. And an entryway (or foyer, if your prefer) is one of them.

If your home has an entryway, chances are you have an excellent primary light source somewhere nearby. Bay windows, floor lamps, chandeliers and foyer pendants are examples. Adding a wall sconce to one of the entryway walls (even right next to the door) creates a warm environment and is an excellent way to welcome guests into your home.

Outdoors: Inside the home isn’t the only area that profits from wall sconces. Your home’s exterior can also benefit, and thanks to the vast selection of Progress Lighting outdoor wall sconces, you have a lot to choose from.

The front porch is an excellent location for an outdoor wall sconce. The benefits? Increased safety at the front door, a decorative upgrade and an instant boost in curb appeal (especially if you add complementary Progress Lighting outdoor lighting).

The wall sconce might be one of the smallest lights you add to your home, but it can pay off some of the largest dividends. To harness the power of the wall sconce, just follow a few simple (and flexible) rules, and your home will thank you.

Until next time, Happy Home Improving from Build.com!

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Sean Murphy is copywriter at Build.com. Build.com is the second-largest online home improvement company, specializing in plumbing, lighting, door hardware and ventilation products. Sean manages the Build.com at blog.build.com and is enjoying some productivity following his marathon in December 2011.